After reading an article about young adult books I thought I would share my own opinion. I write young adult books. Not because I want to, its more that's the characters I find relatable in my style of writing. There have been times in my own writing where I wondered if my work was even considered YA. I really had to research other people's books to see if Ink for example fell into that genre given its content. And my conclusion is yes, it does. Do I think people under 16 should read Ink? Well, if it were my kids no, I have been told 16 is the appropriate age for this kind of story, but I am going to go as far as to say 18. When your 18 your considered an adult, you can read what you want then.
To me, young adult is a story with a young adult, a kid in school dealing with life issues for example. And life issues aren't all rosy and squeaky clean. And those out there who act so shocked by some content in these books really need to take a step back and see that its not just teens dying to get their hand on YA books, adults over 20 and 30 and beyond read these books.
I think its good to address difficult issues in these books. If that's what you want to write about as an author go for it. If someone doesn't want to read it because its to much then its simple--don't read it.
Books are for enjoyment and I believe some people think to far into things. Nobody forces you to read a book, its your right.
As long as the book gives a fair warning of what is inside, difficult issues can be discussed, heck, someone might learn something. There is always going to be some idiot out there trying to convey the wrong message, but its our job as parents and as humans to steer clear of this.