Last Week’s Discussion:
I’m not sure why, but the publishing industry and many authors seem to have an incorrect definition of ‘young adult,’ and, as a young adult myself, I find this rather troublesome. Why? Because it has a direct impact on the books that are supposedly for my age group. But they’re not and that needs to change. Either that, or change the name! Do the discussioners agree?
“Young adult includes more than just a “teenager”. I firmly believe that this includes people in their 20’s who are still technically in the early stages of adulthood. Most books have characters that are in their late teens and early 20’s – as in college age…… is 24 all that different from 20? I think not!”
“Some “YA” books ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR TEENAGERS!!! Yes teenagers need to learn about safe sex and need to know that there is violence in the world, but some YA books should not be read by a 13-15 year old, period.If publishers want books geared toward “teenagers” they need to have less mature content and they need to bring back the Teen section and not mix YA with Teen.”
“I can only speek for what I have seen here at home and the YA section are ranged with book from 12 – 25 which is fun. And I belive as a 27-year old that some YA books are not agedefined at all but can be enjoyed and hit the right feels even at this age”
“Now the publishers perfectly know adults (and I’m so far from my twenties it’s not even funny) read these books too! What they must avoid is swearing and having sex so they won’t shock the teenager’s parents (not the parents reading the book but the parent of the kid reading the book). […] So teenager/YA/NA etc. is just a media packaging for something that can be read by anyone feeling in the mood for.”
“My YA Novel professor said that young adult goes up to 22 not just teens because it goes to average year people are graduating from undergrad because then New Adult typically starts after college. Either way I’m 23 and still reading it so whatever!”
“Truthfully, I understand what you are saying. You are right, YA is marked for teens but often the themes are for, well, young adults. I don’t read it much, so I really don’t have a strong opinion.”
“i just always assumed YA is for younger readers but now that you say it, it’s mostly about high school. crazy, how did i never think about that because i totally agree! there should be characters in college and in the early twenties! these are young adults!”
“I totally agree with you as someone who will soon be entering her 20s I would love too read more young adult books with main characters in there 20s. I know a lot of people now argue that we have new adult books we can read but there is only a small percentage of these books and a lot of them contain sex which not everyone wants to read about.”
“I guess I don’t pay too much attention to the type of labels attached to books. Maybe because I don’t read too much contemporary fiction, but am focusing on filling my vast gap when it comes to the “classics”.
But if you try to write for a certain audience, and to sell your writing, those distinctions matter. And for my gut feeling, young adult definitely includes people in their 20s, that’s simply implied in the word.”
“I get that. I’ve read a few YA books with people in college, but they are usually freshman. I think it’s odd that if they hit 20, they’re automatically not YA anymore. I hardly feel like an adult at times at 39. The age thing is just silly.”
“But honestly, the whole notion of dividing books into a specific age group (whether they are based on audience or main characters) with a loose term such as ‘Young Adult’ is flawed. I think, it’ll be impossible for everyone to agree on an age range for YA because we have different views on when one stops being a child and when one stops being a young adult.”
“I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts with authors, and that ones who wrote YA all tended to say the same things. They didn’t write YA, they wrote a story the way the story needed to be written. The writing wasn’t dumbed down, the subject wasn’t geared toward young adults, or teens, or anyone else for that matter. A few of them even eluded that someone else down the line assigns it the YA genre, not because of content, but because that’s where they believe it will find its biggest audience.”
“It’s like the book world goes from teens saving the world (YA) to horny people in their 20s with shit plots (NA) to dull books about the woes of life (Adult/Gen. Fiction). Excuse me, but where do we fit in?? Is it because we’re millennials and the world has some skewed belief that millennials can’t do anything but eat avocado toast and scrape by on rent??”
Well, there are a few people who disagree with my point of view and who offered up potential other options, but most would seem to agree with me. This hard line dictated by publishers and marketers that a book with a character 20 or older is no longer allowed to be published as YA is just GARBAGE. And no! NA is NOT an acceptable option. Stop pretending like that fixed all your problems because all it did was make your problems worse. It proved you know nothing about young adults and what they want. So until you figure it out, readers, bloggers, and writers will continue to call the publishing world out on their total BS and lack of understanding of their readers! BAM!
Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST: