I know Holly Black. She was one of my teachers at Clarion in Michigan. She is amazing, vivacious, oozing poetry and delight, and she is still a very popular author. She signed my copy of Valiant and it is the second book I've read of hers. The main character I really didn't care for, but no one pegs the eery other-worldly psychology of fairies and elves likes Holly Black.
I've been procrastinating on reading The Hunger Games because I'd seen the movie already (and liked it), but I have to say that the movie is wonderful, and the book itself is also wonderful. It is very much worth reading, and I think I do need to read the others.
All of these are wonderful to read, evocative, but... Angelfall, Valient, The Hunger Games all had the exact same plot: a teenage girl (who doesn't think she is beautiful, but really is), whose father (abandoned the family, was never part of the family, was blown up in a mine accident) and is at odds with her (schizophrenic, slutty, traumatized) mother has to do battle with (angels, elves, kids) to protect her (sister, friend, sister) and falls in love (with an angel, a troll, a baker's son).
For some reason, that depresses me.