Carlie over at Librarilly Blonde had an interesting post/rant the other day about an article in the Washington Post that, perhaps unintentionally, derided young adult literature as something to be "graduated" from, so that readers can move on to "nonfiction with no holds barred and fiction that draws on the full resources of the language in portraying complex human relationships." Needless to say, she didn't take too kindly to these words, and neither do I - especially since he listed Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," which I read in middle school as one of those books for him. If that made him feel adult, I wonder where a YA novel like John Green's Looking for Alaska would fit into this scheme.
As a librarian, I'm often asked what I'm reading by friends, family and library patrons. I'll give them the title, author and then a quick booktalk/plot summary, piquing their interest - until I conclude with "it's a YA novel" at which point their enthusiasm quickly wanes. I remind them that Harry Potter is a children's book and that Twilight was written for a teen audience (this last title used strategically and only when I think it will work in my favor, as for some, it it the death knell of any argument). I attempt to lure them in with lines like "You know, Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is actually really popular among adult bookclubs and is published in several markets as an adult, not a YA title," but to no avail.
People who have never read any YA really just don't seem to like it. I bet I could trick them into reading it, but it shouldn't have to be that way. All I'm saying is to give it a chance...
P.S. And if you're wondering what I'm reading now, it's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart, a favorite for the Michael L. Printz Award, highly recommended to me by those people who actually read YA lit.