I’ve had a couple of people read my book and be surprised that they liked it because they never read YA. I think people think YA books are kiddie books, and they just aren’t. My mom was two books into the Twilight series of books before she realized it was a YA series.
Just because books are about kids doesn’t make them kiddie books. Was It by Stephen King a kid book because it was about kids? Hearts in Atlantis?
Some YA books aren’t really YA books. I love the Gone series, but boy, those aren’t kids books in my mind. You’ve got dead babies and starving children and a teenager killing herself and trying to take little ones with her. Or the Hunger Games series — kids fighting to the death for food? Great books, but not right for all kids.
Just because books are about kids doesn’t necessarily make them kid books.
I’ll tell you why I read YA — because it deals with real issues. The books usually have a theme, a lesson, something to think about and learn. I’ve read adult books that are just all plot, lots of noise with no meaning. I hate those books.
In YA books, the characters are learning things — learning about the world, learning about relationships, learning about themselves. Learning what makes a person good or bad. Learning what’s important when you’re living your life, not money or prestige or stuff, but love and self-respect and making the right choices. The books aren’t “what happened,” they’re “what does it all mean?” which is so much more interesting. You should give one a try sometime. They might surprise you.