Can a book be labeled as Young Adult and New Adult?
I received an honest review for my latest book Doubt, which focused on the point that the reader expected a more mature storyline and questioned why my book Doubt was categorized in the New Adult category.
It made us here at Truth Seekers’ headquarters stop and think…
- Doubt’s main characters are former child prodigies, geeks who socialized mainly online.
- Cristal and Harry are 22 years old, just graduated from university with their PhDs
- They have never had a “boyfriend”, “girlfriend” relationship before.
- Emotionally they are more like young adults. Virgins, with little or no experience physically with anyone.
- Doubt can appeal to young adults because the content is clean and safe. No sex scenes, no swearing (just implied swearing with censored out letters)
- Does New Adult require the book to have “sexual scenes”?
What qualifies as New Adult?
See an excerpt from J. Sterling’s interesting article What Does 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?!” The content is an excerpt from What Does New Adult Mean to You? article on J. Sterling’s blog.
Feedback and Comments from the article
The interesting feedback makes us more confused than ever.
Here are some comments that J. Sterling’s followers posted about her article…
I see New Adult as a mixture of both content and where the characters are in life. While these days, high school kids shouldn’t be shocked by cursing and sex in books, I think their parents do. I don’t know, I prefer the “older” context and content personally, and more often than not seek out something that says New Adult over Young Adult.
Yes, if I’m starting a New Adult book I assume that the characters will be at least in college or in their 20′s. And I also assume there will be sex. If I’m reading a book with high schoolers, and they are having sex, doing drugs, etc., I would assume it be called Mature Young Adult. I would say I could be wrong, but let’s face it, that’d be silly. Because if I am wrong, then the rating system needs to change so that I am right. Ha! Otherwise it’s way too confusing.
It’s a little contradictory for me, because I am a young adult in university, and yet I do not find myself drawn to “young adult” novels, because I always thought that they were fluffy stories that stayed away from the idea of sex or anything sexual related and language. Something too lovely-dovey that I would not be able to relate to or stomach when reading. But was my mind changed after reading “Game Changer”. I enjoyed the storyline, and given the young adult theme attached to the book, it was the right amount of sex, and language and it was a relatable story.
With that said, “young adult” for me deals with young adults, between the ages of 16 to 18. Young adult novels if applicable can have sexual scenes but nothing to the degree of erotica, because that is in a category of it’s own. But I think that there are different degrees of young adult novels, considering Twilight was considered in this category, it does cause conflict and misunderstanding. That is why there should be a difference between young adult that deals with novels between the ages of 16 to 18, and young adult for over the ages of 18 dealing with more mature subjects and content and then the full out erotica. At that point can it be said that its’ young adult NC17 while warning the reader that the subject matter might not be applicable to a certain reader?
Read the full article at: What Does New Adult Mean to You?
Your thoughts? Please comment below. We really want to know how you feel about these two genres.
About Anne-Rae Vasquez
Anne-Rae Vasquez is a freelance journalist for Digital Journal.com, author, film maker and web design programmer. Her latest novel, Doubt, is the the first book in the Among Us Trilogy series. Her other works include: the novel and screenplay for the award winning feature film and web series Almost a Turkish Soap Opera, Salha’s Secrets to Middle Eastern Cooking Cookbook Volume 1, Gathering Dust – a collection of poems, and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing). Almost a Turkish Soap Opera was her feature screenplay and film directorial debut. Anne-Rae Vasquez is available for interview.
Do you love shows like J.J. Abrams' Fringe and read books like Cassandra Clare's City of Bones?
"Doubt" mashes fringe science, corporate espionage and paranormal encounters to catapult you into an out-of-this-world experience.
At 21 years old, Harry and Cristal are fresh out of university with their PhD's. Labeled all their lives as being 'weird' and 'geeky', they find true friendships with other outcasts by playing online virtual reality games.
Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game 'Truth Seekers', has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry's missions, Cristal and the team of 'Truth Seekers' stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the 'end of the world' as they know it.
Doubt is Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy. Among Us is a book series which delves into the world of the supernatural and how it intersects with the everyday lives of seemingly ordinary young people as catastrophic events on earth lead to the end of times. Among Us weaves the theme of a young man and woman, who while not fully understanding their 'abilities', are drawn together in their desire to find out the truth about the world they live in which is similar to themes used in J.J. Abrams' TV shows Fringe and Lost.
What readers have to say...
As a big fan of the show Fringe, this book appealed to me tremendously. The writing was well done, and the way the "supernatural" forces were introduced was great.A good, clean read for any age.It was an excellent story that I'm sure both adult and teen urban fantasy fans will enjoy. You don't have to be a gamer or know one to identify with the characters. They're very well developed and definitely feel like people. I would definitely recommend it to a friend and I'm really looking forward to the second book....the novel is written in such a languid style, it moves on effortlessly and absorbs the reader into the story completely. Although the story itself revolves around the online gaming industry, one does not have to have an in depth knowledge as it is ably explained and discussed within the plot line.
OMGosh! I just finished reading "Doubt" INCREDIBLE! I couldn't put it down.
˃˃˃ >>> Depth and Substance mashed up with Fringe Science. Will entertain young and old alike.
This book is intended for mature young adults and new adults. Ages 16 to 45 +
˃˃˃ >>Inspired by real Truth Seekers Aaron Swartz and Harry Fear
The main character Harry Doubt was inspired by Aaron Swartz, internet prodigy and activist, co-founder of the Creative Commons and Reddit, and Harry Fear, journalist, documentary filmmaker and activist whose coverage of the conflict in the Middle East was seen on UStream by millions of viewers.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating – G
More details about the author
PR Contact Details
J. Suarez c/o AR Publishing 7360 137 Street #517 Surrey, BC Canada V3W 1A3 +16046085747