A NORTHERN LIGHT by Jennifer Donnelly.
Here is a possibility for next year. It is an interesting look at a smart girl in what appears to be a dead-end life. She lives in northern New York and helps out on her widowed Dad's farm, works as a waitress at a summer resort and longs to go to New York City to college. There is a mysterious death at the hotel where she works and the letters of the dead girl become entangled with Mattie's own complicated life.
I also just read P.L.A.I.N JANES by Cecil Castellucci which is a graphic novel about "art terrorism" which I liked very much until a friend pointed out a bunch of things about it that made me like it less. Mainly, that you barely knew anything about the secondary characters which was quite irritating now that I think about it . I still liked the story quite well.
But A NORTHERN LIGHT was far more rewarding a read. And it made me want to dig into AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, which shares the same murder as inspiration.