The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Graceling by Kristin Cashore are part of a growing subcategory for the young adult genre.
In both stories, the main protagonist is a girl and she kicks ass but not in a Tomb Raider or Tank Girl type of way. Think Gladiator with Hunger Games and Robin Hood with Graceling. Excuse the Russell Crowe reference. I've been watching too many Ridley Scott movies. Take away the setting and the subplots, you're left with two very similar story lines. Girl fighting against an oppressor, meets a boy who helps her save the day. Even the character names mirror each other; Katniss and Peeta for Hunger Games; Katsa and Po for Graceling.
What's different is that the girls aren't looking for and they don't want the usual fairy tale ending. They also don't need to use their "feminine wiles" just to get ahead. When they meet the guys, they don't go girly and most of the time, they're saving the guy's ass. It's not that the guys are useless, I'd rather think of them as so secure in who they are that they don't need to prove themselves to the girls. Which is very refreshing and non-existent in the books I read growing up.
I got Graceling in 2008 and The Hunger Games in 2009. Although I prefer Graceling for now, I reserve final judgement after I get copies of Catching Fire and MockingJay; books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games trilogy, respectively. Fire, which I read early this year is more of a companion/prequel book to Graceling, so not really connected. Although BitterBlue will be coming out next year, I think, so we'll see...
All I know is if I had a daughter in her tweens, these are must-reads.