I'm pretty new to writing YA. In fact, I'm very new to it. I'm also new to reading YA.
You're probably wondering what the heck I'm doing trying to write YA when I have hardly read it or written it. Good question. Well, it first started when a close friend suggested my writing suited YA better than adult. Then I read a few YA books and decided it seemed like a heck of a lot more fun than what I was doing.
So here we are.
My question for you now, is: What, in your opinion, are the "must reads" for the aspiring YA writer? What books should someone interested in writing YA have under their belt and in their brain before considering themselves even somewhat qualified to write YA?
I know some people are naturally talented enough to pull this off without an impressive compendium of books in their brain, but for the rest of us... please advise.
(By the way, I'm also just looking for some awesome reading material to add to my need-to-read list.)