Prep is the book that I have just finished reading and I have nothing but praise for it. A book like this makes me want to read more of the author's work, but since this is her debut novel I have to wait a while until the next one is published (although it's on the way). It will probably appeal more to females because the main character is female, but it's not the stereotypical chick-lit at all.
Jodi Picoult is another author whose books I want to buy more of. I read 'My Sister's Keeper' and it was so intense and thought-provoking that I couldn't shut up about it and recommended it to just about everyone.