Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is gripping, and moving, and intense, all of which befits a YA novel about two troubled girls struggling with death and their changing worlds. The primary protagonist lives in 21st century Brooklyn, and her counterpoint lives in Paris during - the title may have given this away, so don't be too surprised - the French Revolution. I was totally caught up in their stories, and in getting to know them, their friends, and their worlds. All in all, so very well done.
Also engrossing, and also good at making me cry, though in a very different way, is An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, by Elizabeth McCracken. This memoir about the stillbirth of McCracken's first child carries the overlay of sadness you'd expect, but without a hint of the mawkishness you'd fear. It's not a book I closed thinking "well, that's beautiful" - it's not healing - but it's strong and vivid and real.
And just to be completely elsewhere, I also read The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna. What can I say? It's a Finnish fable-eque tale of a journalist who drops out of his life after stopping at the side of a road to care for a young hare which was hit by the car in which he was riding. It's quirky. It has charm. It did nothing that made me yearn for a simpler life working with my hands, in nature, far from the madding crowd. But good for those of you who do - just watch out for bears.