I'm 22 and have always enjoyed reading. The first book I read was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - books captured my imagination from that moment on.
I was introduced to the Young Adult genre a few years ago. I was truely surprised at what I found! I determined that people often bypass YA, they don't really appreciate or value it for its worth, as if it's not properly matured writing, when it definitely is! Take for example, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, absolutely captivating and so intelligently, thoroughly written - with some of the most complex themes you can fathom, from dystopia to love, to familial obligation. Then there's Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, a dually narrated tale of the struggles of a boy relegated to living part of his life as a wolf and the girl he loves. Maggie's soothing, lyrical prose and realistic characters make the story so palatable and enjoyable.
Young Adult fiction can transcend so many themes - themes you don't often find in older fiction.
I don't care what anyone says and I don't care how old I am, YA fiction continues to produce some fantastic stories and authors and I'm proud to say I love it.