I read both these books last week. I absolutely loved The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale, an author from Utah. It is a light, fun fantasy - well-written and easy to read. I am currently reading Princess Academy by the same author and have two more of her books on hold.
(Edit: Finished Princess Academy. Not my favorite. A little too slow for me.)
I did not really enjoy Girl with the Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier. It was slow, not much to the plot line, and had a few "suggestive" parts. I saw this book on a reading list for high school (maybe it was 9th grade) and am still wondering why. It was historical fiction and offered an interesting look into life in the 1600's (I think that was the time frame).