Okay, this a huge freaking deal to me, and my biggest complaint about the publishing industry:  They split my favorite kind of books between the young adult and adult sections of bookstores, and it makes them rather hard to find.

Of course, the real reason it bothers me is that I write books like the ones I love—and I have no idea where to categorize them! You know what I wish? That there was no Young Adult section of bookstores. They should just lump them all together from Junie B. Jones through Tolstoy and let us pick the ones we like from actual genres:  science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, pointless, etc.

Or, if they really feel like there needs to be an arbitrary division, they should group them by length:  short, medium, long, extra long, extra extra long, and Robert Jordan.

Oh, I know there are plenty of books that fit squarely into teenager land. They're not usually my favorites. There are some books that are sold as YA that I really, really love! And some books are sold as adult that I really, really love. Part of the problem is the name Young Adult. I'm sorry, but if your main audience is thirteen years old, that's not Young Adult. It's Teenager. Actual young adults are 18 through 25, give or take.

But then you run into the fact that EVERYONE'S DIFFERENT ANYWAY! There's no good way to classify books based on age, and I wish they'd just quit pretending there is.

So I end up dumpster diving to find a few tasty morsels among the juvenile and adult bins, and I curl up squarely in the doorway between the two to write my little stories.

And I spit watermelon seeds at the ankles of anyone who asks me which one I prefer.

(This rant sponsored by Sarah LaPolla's insightful post of today.)


  1. I'm in TOTAL agreement. It's hard. It's like they kind of need the YA section for teens, but not really, and I wish they'd put those books where all the books are... It's hard.
    And yeah. my favorite age to read/write is that 18-25. It's hard.

  2. I just want to read a book similar to YA without the teenage main characters. It's not often that teenagers have to save the day or discover true love, it makes much more sense for 20-somethings (well, the love part). Where is our genre? Something in between. (Then maybe there'd be a place for my own book one day)

  3. "There's no good way to classify books based on age, and I wish they'd just quit pretending there is."

    That's the truth.

    Everything I write is this YA-adult blend. I think because they're plot-driven stories, which isn't very adult (in this market), but then they're about older characters, which isn't very YA.

  4. Excellent post! I like how rantish it is without actually being rantish. I loved the "Robert Jordan" in the length. Ha!

  5. Great post. That's such a hard one because like you said, everyone would classify it differently. I'm not sure how I think it would be best to do it. You gave me something to think on!

  6. Thanks for commenting, everyone. I'm glad there are other people who feel like I do to some degree. In truth, it's not really a big deal, but it is confusing and frustrating at times.


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