What is The Difference Between Young Adult and Adult Fiction Plus the Benefits of Buying Second Hand
While it's evident that teens are prominent in YA literature and are frequently the main protagonists (few exceptions), that doesn't mean that every story having a teen protagonist is a YA novel. It's like arguing that every story with children as major characters is a children's novel, or that Animal Farm, which only features the animals, should be read by animals or children because animals are frequently included in children's picture books, right?!
Many of you may be thinking, "Is it really that big of a deal?" It is, at least, to us. Not only do we have our own ideas about what makes a YA novel YA, but we also know a lot of bloggers who are more adamant about sticking to particular categories, and some of them may not want to read YA novels at all, so labeling an adult book as YA is causing those readers to miss out on a fantastic book. Some YA readers desire to read just YA books and are upset when the adult book they're reading isn't the YA they expected. Here are the distinctions, as well as the advantages of purchasing used books.
Young Adult vs. Adult Fiction: What's the Difference?
The protagonists are young, but there are some difficult issues on the page.
Young Adult books have major protagonists that are between the ages of 13 and 18. Sex, violence, and drug or alcohol misuse are among topics that can be found in YA fiction. The aftermath of sexual assault is the subject of acclaimed novels like Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. Kids go to YA to process scary material. The way these topics are addressed differs between YA and Adult. YA isn't gory or gratuitous; instead, it straddles the line between what's acceptable and what's not. Adult fiction is more prone to convey horrific events directly and even exult in the chaos. In some circumstances, the disarray is part of the appeal.
Consider the differences between Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why book and the Netflix version. The TV episode includes extended sequences of rape and Hannah's actual suicide that are not included in the novel. Although the plot revolves around Hannah and why she chose to terminate her life, the novel centers on Clay, Hannah's classmate who is a world away from Hannah. The act alternates between Clay and Hannah, delving deeply into Hannah's experience and bringing the audience right along for the ride. The novel is more YA, whereas the show is more Adult. The subject is the same, but it is approached in a very different way.
The protagonist's age
The fundamental difference between young adult and adult fiction is, without a question, the age of the main characters. A novel must include at least one teenage protagonist, who is usually in their upper teens – between 15 and 19 years old – in order to be classified as "young adult." (Protagonists in the lower adolescent range are more typical in middle-grade fiction, which is a different category completely.)
Adult fiction, on the other hand, can feature protagonists of any age, but it favors protagonists aged 20 and up. Let's look at two thrillers from the genre: Paula Hawkins' enormously popular adult thriller The Girl on the Train and Sarah Epstein's Australian YA thriller Small Spaces.
These two books have a lot in common in terms of subject matter: they both have a female protagonist who is a potentially unreliable narrator, and they both contain fundamental elements of the thriller genre. The books, on the other hand, are clearly divided into distinct categories based on the protagonists' ages. Small Spaces is about a 17-year-old girl, and The Girl on the Train's primary heroine is a fully grown woman, despite the title (32 years old). However, the age of the main characters isn't the only factor that determines whether a book is classified as YA or adult fiction. It's also the characters' worries and priorities, as well as the manner their stories are portrayed.
An older and wiser narrator tells the story.
The Body, a Stephen King novella that was adapted into the film Stand By Me, is about a group of twelve-year-old boys who set out to uncover a dead body. Gordie, now an adult, recalls the events of the story. Because Gordie is reminiscing about his past, the story is written in the past tense, creating a barrier between the reader and the story (YA frequently uses present tense for the benefit of immediacy). Gordie doesn't just recount the episode of discovering the body; he also discusses incidents that occurred far later in his life, and the novella includes details from his adult life. These are reminders that the story is set in the past, not the present. This creates even more distance between the reader and the story's present moment.
Teen viewers despise the 'older and wiser narrator' when it condemns younger characters for being, well, youthful. In YA, avoid inserting the older narrator's point of view. Even tactics like 'if only I'd known...' take the reader out of the present plot and suggest that the protagonist is making a mistake. Young readers, particularly teenagers, are frequently treated as if they are too immature to manage their own affairs. It is the goal of YA fiction to give kids agency.
The suggestibility of your ideal reader is poor.
When you were writing this story, who did you have in mind? Were you referring to a group of adolescent readers? Did you have any idea how significant this narrative would be for them? If you don't, you can end up with an adult novel on your hands. Adults are not vulnerable in the same way that teenagers are. They're inexperienced, their sense of self is still forming, and they're desperate to fit in. That implies that ideas that adults can read, think about, and discard can have a profound and long-lasting impact on a juvenile reader.
A book, for example, could have a recurring aspect of fat-shaming. Adult readers are more equipped to deal with such components, make their own decisions, and go on with their lives. A teen reader will be looking to the book for advice on how to act in real life situations. If the fat-shaming is seen as expected or hilarious, and no one disputes it, the young reader may conclude that society supports fat-shaming. This can have negative consequences, such as the reader causing harm to others by fat-shaming them, or the reader internalizing the shaming and developing an eating problem as a result of their fear of being fat-shamed.
Adults aren't immune to suggestion, especially if they've had a traumatic experience, but on the whole, adult readers are more capable of handling delicate material than teenagers. That's why it's critical to write from the perspective of a young reader at all times.
The story's primary themes
Another significant distinction between YA and adult fiction is the story's topics and how they are explored. This is a difficult one. Many individuals believe that the subjects explored in young adult fiction are less serious than those explored in adult fiction, or that adult fiction themes are off-limits in YA. This is absolutely not the case. Coming of age in YA, for example, or existential reflections in adult literature — some topics are clearly more peculiar to one group or the other. However, themes frequently cross over between the two areas. The manner themes are explored is what distinguishes them.
Take, for example, love and romantic relationships. This subject, as well as all that goes along with it, including sexuality, is as much a part of the young adult experience as it is of the adult one. While characters in YA novels may have sexual experiences, they are much less likely to be addressed in as much detail as a sex scene in an adult novel. (On the other hand, we can't fully say the same thing about the 'new adult' category... (More on that later.)
Another issue that might create a line between YA and adult fiction is violence, and the degree of graphic detail in which it is depicted. While violence isn't forbidden in YA, it's safe to assume that a novel containing particularly explicit violence is written for adults rather than children.
Your tale isn't conveyed through the eyes of an adolescent.
A critical lens is similar to a pair of sunglasses lenses. The physical lens alters how you see the world, making certain objects more visible and others less so. Critical lenses are a popular method of literary analysis, and they're also a helpful tool for authors. To write from the perspective of a teen, you must recall and/or imagine what it's like to be that character. What are their names? What epoch do they belong to? What city do they call home? How much experience do they have?
How sex is written for adults versus teens is a wonderful example of distinct lenses. Sex is used in adult romance novels to titillate the reader, advance the plot, and create suspense. The reader should find the sex scene emotionally rewarding, and the stronger the heat in the action, the more likely it is to be sexually exciting as well. Erotica is designed to achieve just that. Adults who are looking for these things are assumed to be the readers. When writing for teenagers, though, your audience has different worries. For them, sex is a new experience that comes with a learning curve, self-doubt, and a jumble of emotions. A story that doesn't consider this is written for adults rather than teen readers.
Second Hand Novels
There is no greater thrill in life than owning books and being transported to different realms through them. The joy of reading is that everyone gets something different out of the same book. A large number of people enjoy collecting books. Is it, however, always necessary to purchase brand new books? Here are some reasons why you should consider buying used books instead of new ones:
The Advantages of Purchasing Second Hand Novels
1. The Feel of Second Hand Books
The smell and feel of a second hand book's pages are quite different. It's nothing short of bliss to experience the worn pages of second hand books that have been read and re-read countless times.
2. Messages scribbled on second books
It is true that when someone acquires a book, a piece of themselves is preserved in the book. You might be able to see a peek of who the last owner was if you buy a second hand book. Underlined sentences can be found, and if you're really lucky, you might even find a sliver of the person's thought in the second hand book.
3. Low-cost second hand books
If you're sick of fighting for a book that's out of your price range right now, go to a used bookstore and purchase it for a fraction of the price. Older second hand novels can be found for as little as Rs 50.
4. Books are still books, whether they are new or old.
Books, new or old, are books, and a ragged second hand book, to be honest, makes you look like an even more avid reader than a flawless book. The final benefit of owning a used book is that it is, at the end of the day, a book! And, after all, books are always a good idea, right?