The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
And The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney
Tomorrow when the war began - by John Marsden.
it is the first book in a series of 7, all of which are excellent.
Yes to Hitch-Hikers.
But I also recommend the Tomorrow series by John Marsen - starting with "Tomorrow when the war began" - truly marvelous.
And anything Discworld - starting those will get you hooked. My favourites are 'Reaper Man' 'Soul Music' and 'Wyrd Sisters'
Enjoy your new book experiences :)
I loved The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan. It's a series about a vampire's assistant and the wonderful but dangerous world of vampires. There are too many books already written about vampires but this series is absolutely brilliant. The action scenes are very good and exciting, there is a lot of adventure and somehow I found it very realistic. It's really wonderful and gripping.
I also love the books by Louise Rennison, about a 14 year old girl (Georgia Nickelson) who's main preoccupations are boys, her body, school and weird stuff. It's superficial but it is the only ''chicklit'' (its not about fashion so it's not fully a chicklit I guess, it's more about highschool) that I can read. Plus - it makes me laughing out loud. I love Georgia Nickelson.
A good, scary read is Carrie by Stephen King or the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
If you like fairy-tale type books, you should try reading Ella Enchanted, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, or Fairest. They're all by Gail Carson-Levine. LOVE he fairy-tale stories. :)