I'm 20 years old and I love reading, but something that I've recently discovered has been playing on my mind a lot lately, and that's the lack of books for my age group. Now, what does that mean you ask? What is a book that's 'for a certain age group'? Are you not allowed to read books for other age groups? Let me answer a few of those questions right now.
First of all, and don't get me wrong, I love Young Adult fiction, but I do have some issues with it.
I really enjoy young adult books, I think they're mostly light and easy reads, and that's something that I need after spending so much of my time reading textbooks and academic articles for university. I want to get away from the complex language of 'adult books'. I take to my blog, based on young adult books, and I have fun with it. Now, I don't particularly know the age range that young adult is actually targeting. I don't know what counts as a 'young adult' and I know a lot of people have problems with that as well.
My issue nowadays with young adult books are that, they are not relatable anymore, for me personally. I'm not in school, I'm not a teenager, I don't have to ask my parents permission to do things (although I must admit, there seems to be a universal lack of parents in ya books anyway), and I don't have the same mindset that a 16/17 year old would have. That's not to say I don't relate to all young adult books, there are some that are extremely relatable, even if it's because of my past and not the present time but the majority of young adult books are not satisfying me anymore.
Most of the time, I stick to the young adult age range because that's what I know, and if I wanted to branch out to more New Adult / Adult books, I wouldn't know where to start. This brings me on to my next point: New Adult.
What is New Adult?
Serious question. What is New Adult fiction? Is it just sexed up, young adult? I don't know. But I have read some 'new adult' books and can't say that I've enjoyed them so much I want to read more and more of them, purely because right now, from what I've seen, they're all the same. Let's have a think;
It's about a girl in university.
She's going to lectures, socialising with friends etc.
She meets a boy.
He's a bad boy, or in some cases, a lecturer. Whatever the case, it's always a type of 'forbidden' love, or a romance that was never likely to happen.
Bad things happen.
Good things happen.
They live happily ever after.
I've read so many New Adult books with that premise and I'm just sick and tired of it. I go to University, that was nowhere near my experience (HA I wish!), and they mainly focus on the romance. There's so much more to life after high-school that books should focus on for this age group, such as moving away from home, struggling to make friends, not knowing what you want to do with your life, financial issues (that's a big one), starting full-time work, etc etc. There's a whole age group that isn't be represented within fiction, the 18-24/5 year olds. Where are those books? Why is there no demand for them? I want them, and I can think of a whole bunch of other people who want them too.
Of course, I'm not slating the current age category completely, we all love a good romance but sometimes that's not all that we want to be reading, and for those of us stuck in the middle of young adult and adult, we need something more.
I will never stop reading young adult fiction, some books that I've come across have literally changed my life, and have shaped me into the person I am today. But I do want to branch out a bit more, I do want books to do with older characters, where 'sex' isn't a taboo etc.
I would also love to see more fantasy in New Adult. I think there's so much room for this category to grow, and I don't know if it's happening now, or if they're just stuck on cliched romances, but I want more.
I won't even get into the point of: what even is a 'new adult' because I honestly wouldn't even know where to begin. But my aim is to get into Publishing, and help to establish a stronger New Adult category that caters to everyone in that age range (and those above or under, if that's what they want to be reading- no judgements).
Let me know what you think about this topic, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts!