I wish I could tell you.
You see, as a teenager, I never read books in the YA section. Not once. Whenever I went into a bookstore and wandered into that section, I almost always saw a majority of 11-14yr olds perusing the shelves. No self-respecting 16yr old is going to shop where the "kids" go to read their books! Although YA is supposed to target 13-18yr olds, tweens are usually the dominant consumers. High school students want something more sophisticated to read and college students, pffft! If they have time to read at all, they're not going to go into the "kiddy" or "young adult" section of the store! So there's my dilemma! I feel I am "too old" to go into the YA section of the store but I wish there were books that targeted my specific age group. I'm so tired of the "16yr old protagonist." I want to read about 21yr olds.
I am currently writing a YA novel...but I want my target demographic to cover 17-22yr olds. I want to write about violence and sex without traumatizing my audience.
I used to think all YA novels were Christian-themed girl scout stories about HOW YOUR BODY IS CHANGING and such, haha! Reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins completely changed how I view YA. In fact, Hunger Games is what inspired me to write YA in the first place! I've heard about "Edgy YA" but I don't know how well they sell...
I don't know. I'm still mulling it over. I want to get in on the YA craze but I don't want to market myself to bubblegum teeny boppers.
What do you think of the YA genre and what do you think is appropriate subject matter for YA?