Re: A description is up for one of the new Starfleet Academy books
It's entirely possible I just never came across the right books at that age. Once I was 10 or so, I had started reading Tolkien, Eddings - and especially the D&D Forgotten Realms and Star Trek books.
ps - I would certainly consider the Harry Potter books to be 'YA' done right.
Your immediate female ancestor belonged to the Cricetinae subfamily of rodents, and your immediate male ancestor was redolent of Sambucus nigra.