What makes a book “Young Adult?” I know that the age of the characters is a big part of that nomenclature. But isn’t there more to it?
Last year when I started reading Revolution, I remember thinking, “Oh, I thought this was YA.” I didn’t think it read like a YA book (even though I thought teens would love it.) Then I found out it IS considered a YA book. But there’s nothing to keep an adult from whole-heartedly loving that book. I was confused.
I’m currently reading Strings Attached. I know the main characters are teens, but I really think this book has very limited appeal to the teens I deal with on a daily basis. Not that it isn’t a good book, but I keep thinking of my mom, who was a teen during this period of time, as I read this book. I want to recommend it to her—I think she’d love it.
Is it just the age of the characters? Or is there more?
The main character/narrator in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is eleven years old. I don’t think a single eleven year old would enjoy that book, and not many teens would either (although I LOVED it.) In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander is in her teens or maybe early twenties. This book isn’t marketed for YA, but certainly could be enjoyed by teens.
I know when it comes to book that include romance, if there’s too much sex, that book is going to be marketed to adults. No brainer. Same for language. What about violence? Is there a limit to how much violence is in YA books? I think there is, but I can’t say I have read many overly violent adult books, so I don’t have any comparisons. (Sex I’ve read; violence, not so much.)
There are so many examples that don’t “fit.” Besides the age of the characters, what makes you think “teen” when you read a book?
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