Anabel González

A couple of months ago I finished my novel. When I started writing I did not thought if it was a YA or an adult novel. I just wanted to develop a theme and characters gave me the age range for that item.

But now I've been looking for what defines a book as Ya? Because I have to put my book in a classification before sending it to agents. The basis of the book: a  romantic, fantasy novel with a slight touch of suspense. But it is YA?
In my search I found a wonderful article of: Dunlevy-Scheerer Henley on
what are the defining characteristics of a Young adult literature.

In a very good research she defines what she thought the YA books include now.


I realized that in a Ya book you can have almost anything as a plot but you have to make the reader of that age to identify with it.
The age range of the characters can go from 13 to 21! Which surprised me a lot!
And that this kind of book should be written in first person, because for most readers is much easier to identify with the character that way

Well my book is written in first person, it seems the plot is not so important for the classification so I think it goes well. But here's the problem, the main character is a girl of 19 years and the leading man is 24 years old.


Perhaps her age can enter into the range but I don´t know how can it fit in a YA book a relationship between a young adult and an adult.


I never particularly liked the kids my age, in fact I married a man 10 years older than me, but I imagine one in your mind has set standards that adolescent relationships should be between similar age because if not one assumes they have nothing in common.

So now I am in a dilemma. Is my book a Ya book or an adult?

What Do you believe that defines a YA book now?

Now I'm going to cook and to take a lot of tea!
Have a great weekend!

Edades de los personajes en una novela Ya

            Hace un par de meses que acabe mi novela cuando la empecé a escribir no pensé en que fuera una ya o novela para adultos, solo quería desarrollar un tema y los personajes me dieron las edades adecuadas para dicho tema.

Pero ahora he estado buscando ¿qué define un libro como ya? Ya que tengo que clasificar mi libro. La base del libro una novela, romántica fantástica con un ligero toco de suspenso ¿Pero es ya?

En mi búsqueda encontré un maravilloso artículo de: Henley Dunlevy-Scheerer acerca de What are the definig characteristics of a Young adult litearature.

En el ella define con mucha investigación lo que ella cree que incluye los libros ya. Me di cuenta que un libro ya puede tratar prácticamente de todo pero tiene que hacer que el lector de ese rango de edad se identifique con él.

Que el rango de edad de los personajes puede ir desde los 13 a los 21! Lo cual me sorprendió bastante.

Y que debe ser escrito en primera persona, ya que para la mayoría de los lectores es mucho más fácil identificarse con el personaje de esa manera.

Pues bien mi libro está escrito en primera persona por mi protagonista, por lo visto el tema no es tan importante para la clasificación así que creo que entra también. Pero aquí viene el problema, el personaje principal es una chica de 19 años y el protagonista hombre tiene 24 años.

Quizás la edad de ella entre en el rango pero no sé que tanto pueda entrar en un libro ya el que hay una relación entre un adulto y un adulto joven.

Particularmente a mí nunca me gustaron los chicos de mi edad, de hecho me casé con un hombre 10 años mayor que yo, pero imagino que uno en su mente tiene las normas establecidas de que las relaciones entre adolescentes  deben ser entre similares de edad porque si no uno asume que no tienen nada en común.

¿Así que ahora me encuentro en una disyuntiva es mi libro un libro ya o uno adulto?

¿Ustedes que creen que define un libro ya?

¡¡Ahora me iré a cocinar y a tomar mucho te!!

¡Que tengan un excelente fin de semana!

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12 Responses
  1. There's a lot of debate about this, but most people agree that the main character should be a teenager who's still in high school. I don't know if yours qualifies as YA since your character is 19, but I've read YA with 18 year-olds who had just graduated high school before. Sarah Dessen usually writes older YA protagonists. I think over 20 is considered too old for YA, though. Hope that helps!

  2. of course it helps!! thank you very much.
    I have seen a lot of diferent opinions of ages in Ya novels. So i am very confused.
    What I see now is that maybe is not important that the leading man is 24. Since she is the protagonist.
    As I see 19 is going to be maybe to old but I think it adjust more to a Ya than to an adult.Cause also forn an adult maybe she is to young... LOL how to clasify a book is difficult!

  3. tracy_d74 Says:

    typically YA stops at 18. The defining factor for YA is the characters are dealing with issues that are typical for teens and they respond in a standard teen manner. So if your characters are dealing with school, or their mentality is that of a adolescent, then it is YA. If your story is based around adult issues and litter or not discussion about school or teen related issues comes up, then it is adult.

  4. Thank you very much! I guess since my character goes to college and the story is more based in the fantastic aspect than issues of having 19 years then it must be an adult novel.

  5. tracyworld Says:

    I'm not reading as much YA lately so am no expert, but I think it sounds as if your book is adult (because of the ages).
    The very first book I wrote I thought was adult, but then editors said they thought it straddled adult and YA. My protagonist was 16 but much of the story had to do with her parents. I'm considering reworking it so it's firmly YA.

  6. Well I think that when you are flowing with the story and the characters you are not thinking what your novel is gonna be unless you planned it.
    It didn´t bothers me if it is an adult book if I can let this characters be as they are.
    Of your first novel if you want it to be a YA is a great idea to rewrite it. And if you still want to maintain the parents part you can do as VC Andrews did with her sagas sometimes the last book was in the mother or the grand mother POV and shared all their story apart from the main story.

  7. tracyworld Says:

    "It didn´t bothers me if it is an adult book if I can let this characters be as they are." Exactly!
    That's a good thought on having the other POVs; definitely something to think about. Thank you!

  8. it is great that my obsesion with vc andrews helped in something!!! jajaja

  9. kaz_mahoney Says:

    It sounds a bit like Midori Snyder's POISON STUDY trilogy. In the first book, the main character is 19 and the guy is... I don't know if it specifically says, but he's definitely older than her. Mid-twenties at least. There are no real issues about her being a young adult or older teen; because of the fantasy world she lives in, and how dangerous her position is, it's all about the plot and adventure, with a bit of romance and friendship thrown in.
    When the books first came out, they were adult fantasy. Now, the publisher has reissued them in a YA edition, in the hopes of capturing new readers, but I don't consider them to be YA.
    I'd say that yours sounds more of an adult book, if you're saying that it's the plot and adventure and romance that take center-stage. If it's not about your character facing issues of 'growing up' and becoming an adult, then you're probably writing adult fantasy. But you might get a good 'crossover' audience, if younger readers get hold of it. :)
    Sorry this was so long!

  10. Thank you so much for your explanation is great that you been so long, with that I can understand better so don´t be sorry!
    I hope i get a good crossover audience cause it is in between, but first I have to sell it...
    Now I am very sure that I wrote adult fantasy.

  11. thats a great advice, thank you very much!!
    I think that for now I am going to say it as a romantic fantasy novel. Send it to agents that like this kind of text even as adult or young adult and see what happens.

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