I recently picked up Phillip Reeve's Mortal Engines and realized just how much 'questionable material' makes it past the censors somewhere around the chapter taking place in the sweaty underbelly of a mechanized super city where peasants who criticize their mayor are forced to conduct slave labor in septic tanks until they collapse from exhaustion, drown in feces, and have their corpses tossed into a furnace to be used as fuel. It sounds bad, but reads worse. Also better.
So, what exactly differentiates 'YA' novels from more mature ones? I probably already sound pretentious and insufferable so I'll just say my peace quick and be done with it because I have absolutely nothing of value to add to the conversation at my ripe young age.
It's marketing and how far apart words are. That's pretty much it. After reading GRRM spend two paragraphs describing roasted onions and bread sitting on tables it's somewhat a shock to read a novel in which the protagonist is thrust into the meat of things like three chapters, each around a thousand words a pop, in. (Spoilers for a 10+ year-old book I guess.) I went through a few phases when writing. First, I described things way too little and it was horrible. Then I described things in far too much detail and it was horrible. I still consider my work pretty horrible, but I'd like to think I've found somewhat of a balance between the two.
So all this talk about drowning in crap and struggling with detail brings me to Cambria: what I aim to actually finish next. I'll probably post the prologue to this site, but it should be said I have what must be two hundred first chapters attempting to put this series to paper in a way I'm satisfied with, so my earnest advice is to not get your hopes up that it will last.