Here is a list of some of the Young Adult novels I've read in the past few years that I highly recommend for either a young adult on your holiday gift list or for yourself! The links take you to the TFB review of each one.
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
No review of Kiki Strike, unfortunately, but it's a great girl-centric adventure story of Kiki Strike and her band of Irregulars--all aged 12-14 years old--who are out to save NYC from Chinese gangsters.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Scroll down in the post, it's the last of 3 books on that one.)
The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Lowboy by John Wray
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Slam by Nick Hornby
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearne
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger