Young Adult as a genre isn’t really all that new. In fact, it isn’t even a genre, because books aimed at readers from age 12-18 are composed of every genre from Dystopian (“Hunger Games”) to Sci-Fi (“Maximum Ride”).
Way back when I was a teen, we had Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Cherry Ames, and more. The books weren’t shelved as “YA” but we knew they were written for us because the protagonists were teenagers and their problems mirrored ours. Except Nancy Drew, because neither I nor any of my friends had her freedom or fancy little car.
Then along came New Adult, literature aimed at the 18-25 age group. Sort of like “Friends” only in a book form.
Why not? The baby boomers are retiring in hordes and what are they going to do with all their free time? Like my husband, some of them who never picked up a book during their working lives will suddenly discover the pleasure of reading. Especially since to their dismay and chagrin, they will also discover that their bodies have begun to rebel against bouncing around the tennis court. And how many cruises can a person take? All right, as many as they can afford, but it’s nice to be able to relax on the lido deck with a good book when all there is to look at is miles of ocean.
I think there is a market for Old Adult. I’m one, and I prefer reading about people my own age who have problems similar to mine rather than some 30-something, gorgeous blonde finding romance with a 17th century Scotsman. Because it just makes me jealous, and that’s not a good feeling.
An Old Adult novel could be a mystery, a romance (yes, even old people fall in love, sometimes to their utter amazement), or even science fiction. We did see the first man walk on the moon.
Only I guess we shouldn’t call it Old Adult. Young folks like the idea of being called adults, so YA and NA work for them. Maybe we need a different title for this demographic such as Mature Adult. No, that sounds like it is X-rated.
I need a little help here. Who has a suggestion?
I’d love to hear it.