Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Adult Books

I have a question for all you readers out there (and authors too)... What does the term "new adult" mean to you?

I classify my books as New Adult when the main characters are either college aged, or in their early 20's. The story may not necessarily appeal to the true YA audience because the characters are doing things they can't relate to yet (interning, working full time, living with their bf's, etc). It's about a period of time in our lives when we're not necessarily sure where we're headed. We're still figuring things out. It's that in-between stage between high school and true adulthood. We've all been there.

Now my characters in In Dreams are in college, but I wrote that book in a younger voice, with no sex, very little swearing, etc. I classify it as YA because it reads as YA, even though the characters are no longer in high school. I felt like the situations the characters go through was appealing enough to a younger audience that they wouldn't feel like they couldn't relate.

I honestly think that if your main characters are in high school, then your book is Young Adult. At least that's what i've always just assumed as a reader. Young Adult = high school aged stories. No matter if they're having sex, swearing, doing drugs, etc- high school kids have sex, swear, do drugs, etc.

But i've seen some high school aged books being called New Adult. So i'm wondering, are we classifying that category based on subject matter of the book, the way the book is written, or the age of the characters?!

I honestly don't know.

I honestly am asking.

If we want the category to be taken seriously by publishing houses, readers and bookstores, then it needs to be consistent, does it not?

So I wonder- what does New Adult mean to you? When you're a reader and you grab a New Adult book, are you assuming the characters are at least college aged, if not older?

Talk to me people. :)

1 comment:

Tracie Nall said...

I feel like YA has meant high school characters, so the reasoning follows that New Adult would mean college or young 20's aged characters.

It doesn't mean that YA-aged person can't read a New Adult book, just like that person could also read classic literature or history books or anything else that strikes their fancy.

Trying to classify them based on content (drugs, swearing, sex) is too difficult. We don't need a complicated rating system for books in the vein of the movie rating system.