This weeks topic is ‘What makes a book YA’, which is both a difficult and interesting topic!
I seriously have no idea how to start this discussion.. So we will see how and where this goes!
I think for romance books it is mainly based on how explicit the romantic scenes are described. Which is still a bit hard to just draw a line I guess. But I think for fantasy books it is even harder?! I think it is/should be based on how gory and brutal the book is. (questioning myself here?!)
For contemporary I was thinking about the topics the book deals with. But there are so many great YA contemporary books out there that deal with difficult topics, and do it so well! (Examples; With the fire on high or Four Three Two One!)
Actually, I think in contemporary it is often the age of the main characters that decided on the YA/adult category! In YA characters are often 17-24 years or something, while for the adult contemporaries they are often older. I think because of the age of the characters books often feel like they are YA or adult. (not saying that adult books cannot have young MC!)
And I think for fantasies this is often also the case. But there are quite some adult fantasies out there that to have ‘younger’ main characters then what I mentioned before. And in those cases I think the harshness of the book really plays a role!
What of course also really plays a role is the intended audience! Which of course doesn’t mean that if a book is written for teen audience, it is only read by teen audience. I mean if you want your book to be read by a 60 year old woman, it would be a bit weird to write a book with a 18 year old male MC, since it would be hard for the reader to connect. Which doesn’t mean this 60 year old lady cannot read books about 18 year old guys!
I also think a big distinction is in the writing style! To me, in general YA books read way easier and I often fly through them quicker. Mainly about fantasy now, but I feel like world building and magic systems are often more complicated and more elaborated in adult books. Meaning I need more brain power to fully understand everything, which the means that I read slower!
Just as a side note, I feel like in adult fantasies the stakes are often way higher! And it is always more questionable if every character will survive!
This was a messy post hahah, I really struggled writing my thoughts today. I have not answered the example questions whatsoever, since I didn’t know how to answer them. But if you were curious here they are:
- Do you think some books by female authors should have been adult and were unfairly classified as YA?
- For fantasy books it is so obvious that most YA is written by women and Adult by men, I’m actually pretty curious were that comes from?!
- What are some things that definitely make a book YA for you?
- Kinda did answer this one!
- What are some YA books you think should be classified as adult and vice versa?