Devil’s Advocate: Julie, Kristen and Blue Bitch About NA v. YA


I like being contrary about things. I’m a little bit of a—well, I’m a fucking jerk a lot of the time. So, when The Vampire and The Jezebel weighed in with me about the New Adult and Young Adult subject, we had some fun.

ME (Ye Olde Harpy) : Either you’re a young adult or you’re an adult. There’s no leeway and no in-between phase. So fuck off right there.

BLUE (The Vampire): Seeing as I’m still in the inbetween phase, I’m going to disagree with you. I can drink legally, drive legally and I have a long-term boyfriend, but if you asked me how you go about applying for a mortgage I’d look at you like you’d lost your mind. I suppose it depends on what you feel makes someone an adult. Age range?

ME: I can see that, I suppose. But you can also be 40 and not ready to apply for a mortgage or handle a long term relationship. Kristen, what exactly is the age range for NA?

B: Yeah, Kristen, what is it? 😉

KRISTEN (The Jezebel):  The age range is 18-25.  Let me eat my soup and then I’ll weigh in. But I disagree with Julie as well.

B: Good to know I’m not alone, haha.


ME: Excellent.


K: Why I think New Adult is a Thing:


ME: Oh, Jesus, here we go.


K: Shut up. Just because you’re handed the keys to the kingdom on your 18th birthday doesn’t mean you have any idea what to do about it. It’s like going through the wardrobe into Narnia–a whole new world. Also, in America, a weak economy, outrageous education costs, dwindling entry level wages, as well as a sense of entitlement have created this weird co-dependent culture on the journey to adulthood. There’s no way you can swing it on your own at first. Obamacare is the best watermark of New Adulthood: if you have to be on your parent’s health insurance between 18-26, you might be a “New Adult.”


While you will probably start over many times in your life–God knows I have–you will only have once chance to take chances and try new things with a clean slate.  When you’re between 18 and 25. You probably have little to no responsibilities or baggage. You haven’t burned any bridges yet. It’s the time in your life that really defines who you are.


I am the first person to admit in no way, shape or form, did I have my shit together in my early 20s. It took me a little while to get going in life. But I don’t regret anything I did during those years, because they made me who I am today. I wasn’t ready to be doing the things I do now back then. The things that are now successful for me would have been failures then. And I’m more successful now because of what I did back then.


We all have our own path. Some are straighter than others, but they all get us where we need to be.




B: I find it hard to believe that you can’t think of some way to dispute that, Jules.


ME: BLAH BLAH BLAH *blows raspberry*


B: Astoundingly eloquent response.


K: Didn’t that happen in a presidential debate? *bows* And stop talking about people who can’t get mortgages or boyfriends. I’m still a good person, you guys.


B: I’ll be your boyfriend.


*awkward pause*


B: ANYWAY,  the challenges thing is important, Kristen, you’re right. Some people hear NA and think it’s just YA with sex.


K: I’m not talking about reading the books, I was reading Stephen King and Jackie Collins when I was in junior high. I’m talking about the challenges that face the characters in the books and people who are in that age group.




K: Have you been drinking? NA has no parents. NA has responsibilites.


ME: NO, I’m at the gym. See, there’s Gym Crush right over there. Back to the subject. A lot of YA’s don’t have parents, either. A lot of adults have overbearing ones. I get it, NA is for the homeschooled kid that just went away to college at the party school. I get it. But it will never have a shelf at the book store that doesn’t exist.


B: But they’re really not even close. The characters in Kristen’s BECAUSE THE NIGHT face way different challenges to the ones in my STRICKEN. Same genre, but one’s NA and one’s YA. So.


K: If you think that kids in high school aren’t having sex, you’re ridiculous.(I don’t mean you two, I mean the general public.)


ME: I say you don’t get a crash course in adulthood and while some books may appeal to a younger adult crowd they are still grown  ups.


K: Callie and Tristan face different problems in SEASONS IN THE SUN than they do in BECAUSE THE NIGHT. The main difference? Parents either have a say or they don’t. They have free will or they don’t.


ME: YA’s still have free will. That’s what runaways, vagabonds, rebels and derelicts are. They are also the cheerleaders, geeks, ugly kids….. all of them have free will. Their decisions are hard to make because of obstacles. JUST LIKE WHEN THEY ARE 18 OR WHEN THEY ARE GROWNUPS.


K: Anyone can read any book they want. But it’s about the characters, not who’s reading them.


B: Ah, but if you look at it that way, you can have an adult novel written from the P.O.V. of a 4 year old. Doesn’t make it a novel for children. I think it *is* about the people reading it – or more specifically, the people who are supposed to be reading it (your TA). Obviously, the TA for a New Adult novel is different to the TA for a Young Adult one.


K: But I read young adult, and I’m not in the target audience.  I believe it’s the challenges of the characters that define the category.  I’ve had 50 year old men read my books and enjoy them. They’re not my target audience. But that doesn’t mean my book is a different genre and category.


B: That’s my point – your book is the genre and category you write it as, regardless of who’s actually reading it.


ME: WAS that your point? I think we’re just talking out of our asses now.


K: You’ve been working out!


ME: Yeah, but I get to write the post, so I can take over then. And nobody has to answer me.


K: *sigh* Right. So if the characters are having these challenges, it makes them either young adult, new adult, or adult.


B: Exactly. And I think saying there’s no gap between YA and Adult for NA is like saying there’s no such thing as puberty. It’s a transitional period.


ME: It’s a transitional period from adult to middle aged to senior, too. Every book is about transition in one way or another. RUNNING HOME is a similar age group, Ellie is only 26. But she still lives in an apartment, is unmarried, doesn’t have a dream job….EVERYONE goes through these changes, it isn’t specific to kids 18-25. So, I call shenanigans.


There you have it, folks! Give us your opinion on NA and YA. The Harpy demands it.

One response to “Devil’s Advocate: Julie, Kristen and Blue Bitch About NA v. YA

  • Karen Soutar

    Oh God. Well, number one: you three are hilarious. I was grinning while reading. Number 2…do I even have a number 2? I understand where the categories come from. As an ex-bookseller who used to supply to schools, boy do I know about the challenges of finding books for the teen market, not quite adults, well out of kids books…and then the next stage, new challenges, no parents on the scene, your guy is a vampire – no, wait, that doesn’t always happen. I suppose the problem I have with it is that I’ve always read everything, from as long as I could manage the words. I read my mum’s historical romance when I was 7. I read Jackie Collins, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King age 15. I’ve just read and enjoyed Because The Night, age 42. So for me, books are books and it totally depends on the reader what they understand or enjoy. I realise not everyone is like this. And there are parents yelling at me ‘What? You’d let you’re child read that?!’ Chill out, never did me any harm. *twitches*

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