First, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Recently adapted for a movie, this novel follows a veterinary school drop-out as he travels with a circus featuring a sweet-natured elephant.
Second, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Another series primed for movie adaptation, this series follows the adventures of teenager Katniss Everdeen as she competes in the Hunger Games, a to-the-death competition of wits and skill. I promise you, you won't be able to put these books down. You'll devour each book with a voracious appetite.
Finally, I'd like to recommend The Help by Kathryn Stockett, also recently made into a movie. The Help chronicles the efforts of a Southern white lady and a team of African-American maids describe the life of the help in the 1950s/60s.
Let me know if you like them!