I recently read three really excellent YA titles: A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff (which is admittedly a bit closer to middle grade than YA.), Enchanted by Alethea Kontis and Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zach Stentz. I really enjoyed them all for different reasons.
A Tangle of Knots involves people coming together because of old and new attachments. The story is really beautifully done as we meet individuals who turn out to have connections to others in the story. They all cross each others paths and either become permanent parts of each others lives or help to foster other long term relationships after a chance encounter. It is really well done, lining everyone up and untangling by the end. It illustrates how closely related we all really are in this big family of humanity.
Enchanted has some similar tangles in it. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter making her particularly interesting in a family of unique people. This story is a brilliant mash-up of many fairy tales including "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and others. A tiny piece of each figures into the bigger story of Sunday and her immediate and extended family. It is beautifully written and ends with the possibility for a sequel that I personally would love to read.
The main character in Colin Fischer loves a good mystery. He likes the ordered thinking required to figure something out. He takes notes on what he observes around him in a notebook. He often ends a note with the word "Investigate." Much of what Colin does is influenced by his Aspberger's Syndrome. Unfortunately, this also causes problems for him as he
begins high school on his own. The story moves quickly and really only captures the first few weeks of Colin's time in high school but seems to accurately portray someone with Asperger's. I would be interested to hear from a student like Colin to see how well done his characterization is.