I really enjoyed The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
The writing is excellent (even though I don't like present tense). The characters are likeable and interesting. The world-building is unique. It feels like a European culture in a Central American setting. I also think the faith/religion aspect is really well done. It's not preachy, yet it's integral to the plot. There's adventure, love, politics, and—miracle of miracles—the correct use of comma splices (only 2 or 3 in the whole book, used for impact, with short sentences of similar structure). Bravo, Carson!
I'm not sure I like the way the author deals with the self-proclaimed "fat girl" issues and changes, but that's very subjective. I think the author misses some opportunities in one abrupt death scene. Elisa, the main character, also overcomes her underconfidence perhaps a bit too quickly.
Despite these minor, subjective issues, the book is rich and interesting and well written. Plus, it actually ends. I like a series to consist of stand-alone stories that build on each other, instead of having cliffhanger endings. This fit the bill: I'm satisfied, and don't HAVE to read more, but I WANT to. The perfect balance.