My husband and I both enjoyed the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix which led us to pick up Shade's Children. Nix is a mix between Stephen King for teens and Neil Gaiman. The book also has strong themes reminiscent of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series. Nix creates interesting worlds with intriguing plot lines. But he does tend to be a bit dark and... not gory per se, but he doesn't lack for death and destruction in his stories.
Shade's Children is no exception. The book is technically considered a young adult book, but I don't know if I would give it to anyone who would normally be reading young adult literature. It is relatively heavy. (Or maybe I'm just clueless about what young teens are reading these days. Call me old-fashioned, but I didn't read a lot of blood and guts until oh, college maybe.) The story takes place in a future Earth. One morning everyone under the age of 14 wakes up to discover that everyone 15 years and older has literally disappeared off the face of the planet. Earth has been taken over by Overlords who use their minions to fight amongst themselves. At age 14 children have a "Sad Birthday" a la Logans Run. They are taken to the "Meat Factory" where their parts are used to create more minions. Four children and Shade, an adult mind that exists in a computer, work to take back Earth.
If you like alternative futures, have a kid who likes fantasy/sci fi, or are a fan of Neil Gaiman then this book might be worth your time. It was a good light summer read, if a bit dark.