Skin Hunger: a Resurrection of Magic, Vol. 1 (2007, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum) is a great book--memorable characters (both male and female), memorable settings, memorable magic, and an interesting look at the power of words(it was shortlisted for the best YA science fiction/fantasy Cybils Award, with reason.
But don't be in any rush to read it (if you haven't already). You will be setting yourself up for disappointment, because
THE SEQUEL DOESN'T COME OUT UNTIL APRIL 2009!
There are so many reviews on line I can't link to them all. Here are a few:
Wands and Worlds