Young Adult, New Adult, Adult ~ Differences, who should read them…

Hey lovelies! Today I’m coming at you with a topic that is actually quite close to my heart because well reading is for anyone and everyone, right? Right. If you have no idea what YA, NA and A stand for in this community its Young Adult, New Adult and Adult. These are the parent genres for books. Typically…a book should fit into just one. But like with most things, books are bound to overlap within the three designated umbrella genres.

As readers we will have that one main umbrella genre we gravitate towards, for me its YA. Maybe because I am a young adult still, but I love YA. NA I don’t read a whole lot of but I also probably wouldn’t have a clue that the book I’m reading is NA because it’s so closely linked in my mind with YA. Adult…Adult is one you either love or you have to leave for a while. Maybe only certain sub genres appeal to you. For me, I can read paranormal across all three genres, fantasy I can read across YA and NA the rest I tend to stick to YA. But…that doesn’t mean we all have to.


Young Adult

Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction published for readers in their youth. YA books are catered towards readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults. ~ sourced off Wikipedia

Just take a minute to read that last part…so YA is aimed towards 12 – 18 year olds but approx half of the readers are adults. Is this wrong? No. Is it a bad thing? Maybe…maybe because the target audience for this umbrella genre is only filling half of the readership for these books, the other half is filled by adults. I stand by the fact if you’re not a reader it’s not because you don’t like reading, or hate it even if you can read it’s usually down to one of three things.

1)There’s still this need to be socially acceptable and reading for a lot people still seems really nerdy, boring and isn’t cool enough for most 2)You’ve not even tried to find a book to read, you’ve already labelled it as a waste of time and it’s just words so what I have video games to play etc (I know bookworms who play video games AND read…I think you’re the ones losing out by not reading there) 3) the thought of reading books intimidates/scares you because an average YA book is 365 pages.

Now with that all in mind, I think it’d be great if we had more young adults actually reading YA, reading makes us think, it challenges our opinions and views, it opens our eyes to see the real world, the world from others perspectives and worlds we can only hope do exist. Now before we move on to New Adult lets chat about the fact roughly half of YA readers are 19+ and they’re outside the target audience.

If you like reading, and reading YA is something you enjoy, then the age you are for YA doesn’t really matter. Most books tend to skirt around the sexual stuff that tends to happen more in NA and if it does happen in YA there tends to be a recommended age and a disclaimer, legally it’s needed for parents to know what their child is going to be reading. So let’s not hate on those bookworms who are older than us young adults, who enjoy YA, just shut up and go fangirl with them for Christ sake it’s easier. They’ll take something different from the books too and by chatting about the books, we all learn and grow.

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New Adult

New adult fiction (also known as NA) is a relatively new genre, generally written about and aimed towards young adults between 18 and 30 years old. Many publishers specifically target the genre towards the 18 to 24 age range. The term “new adult” was popularized in 2009 when St. Martin’s Press ran a contest requesting stories about “a sort of older YA or new adult. ~ sourced via Wikipedia

Now I don’t know about you, but NA books can be tricky to identify…or may it’s just me because I’m so used to reading books and not caring what the genre is or umbrella genre, that identifying them well I need a crash course.

New Adult as you can see is aimed at 18 – 30 though typically it’s pushed more towards 18 – 24. Now I can say one thing, I have read Colleen Hoover’s books and she writes YA and NA. As for me telling you which books are which, give me a millennium to figure that out. NA is great if you’re wary about Adult like me.

I don’t like the idea of jumping straight into Adult for one simple reason…in reality we don’t go from a young adult to an adult. We have to go through this in between stage of being a new adult, learning how to function that suddenly we can’t read all the time or do what we love. That we have a new sea to navigate and where we left the boat? God knows, you know what we’re like, misplacing everything important.

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Pretty sure we all know roughly what adult books are like, they tackle the adulthood life we all end up living and also can cover a wide rang of topics.

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Differences and My Opinions

Ok do aside from the main difference of the age boundaries, the content within the books will be slightly different. Middle Grade which I’ve not included here, but is another umbrella genre is aimed at 9 – 12 year olds. Does that mean a 17 year old can’t read it? No, cause I’m currently reading the Percy Jackson series and wishing I could slap my younger self for not reading it then.

Now what I’ve learned from doing this is I started reading YA at a young age, I sort of skipped reading middle grade and went to YA at 10. Due to me having always read and being a kid, my reading level was and probably still is higher than my age. I also grabbed books which drew my attention to them, I didn’t care for genres I just wanted to read. And at it’s core…that’s what all bookworms want. We just want to read, we don’t care if it’s YA, NA, A or MG we just want a good book. Characters we can relate to, a plot line that doesn’t make us want to snooze but instead makes us stay up all night.

So the older you are the more choices you technically have, as NA and Adult do have a recommended age for a reason. The content within these books can sometimes not be suitable for say a 13 year old. And that’s ok, it’s also ok if the 13 year old’s parents think they’re old enough and mature enough to read it.

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I only discovered the world of YA properly when I was 14. From 11 to around 14 I was devouring all things paranormal, and any random books that I thought looked interesting. As a kid, I loved Jacqueline Wilson, her books got me into writing in a way because I liked that they had a message in them. As a teenager I read books that sounded interesting, I didn’t have a clue about new releases and so most of the books I read were backlist books. (click here to read my post on backlist vs new releases)

I’ve got my mum to read YA, hell my grandma’s read the first two books in the Lara Jean trilogy and enjoyed them. She’s in her 70’s. So to all those who want to shove us into these genres based on our ages, you can get lost. We’ll read whatever the hell we want, within reason, and if we want to read it then let us. Parents, if your kid picks up a book and you think it’s not gender appropriate for them or whatever nonsense that is.

Books aren’t there waiting for a specific gender to pick them up, if they were what about the non binary folk? Reading is for everyone, all ages, religions, ethnic backgrounds, sexual persuasions, genders. If you’re able to read, be grateful, there are millions who can’t read. We’re lucky, we can read and we can live a thousand lives through books.


So that’s it for today’s post, thoughts? I think something we all need to remember is a book is there for us to read and enjoy, it’s not a competition although at times it can feel like one. If someone likes reading paranormal, like I do, don’t start spouting Twilight nonsense at me. I’ll hurt you. There’s more to paranormal than Twilight, just like there’s more to Fantasy than Harry Potter. Capiche lovelies? Share you thoughts and opinions on this topic below, and we can have a good ol’ chat.

love clo


24 thoughts on “Young Adult, New Adult, Adult ~ Differences, who should read them…

  1. I definetly agree everyone should just read what they want and not judge each other for it! I absolutely love a lot of MG books (I’m 16) and also read YA, and don’t want to stop, and it really annoys me when people act like I should have outgrown them by now 😞
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

    • ugh tell me about it, so annoying, like I’ve read the first Percy Jackson book and that’s middle grade xD I think certain things we outgrow whilst others will always be a part of us x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you. Except for not suitable content due to the young age of the reader I say let’s read what we fancy! I read YA and recommended some titles to my kids. Great way to bond!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” So let’s not hate on those bookworms who are older than us young adults, who enjoy YA, just shut up and go fangirl with them for Christ sake it’s easier. ”
    ahahah Love this !! So true, neatly put. also made me giggle xD

    Same, I actually don’t pay attention to age when reading. I put them all in my own shoes, although a younger character will get away for stupid decision as of course .. they haven’t lived as long as I did *cough* so how should they know all that I do now ?
    That being said though, im more NA/YA too, maybe just a tiiiny springly of adult in the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe glad it gave you a giggle, for real though just go fangirl with them, instead of complaining about it honestly some bookworms *rolls eyes*

      True, I find it weird reading about characters who are younger than me now, like the 12 yr mark xD but it’s fine, if the books good even if I do want to yell at them for the stupid choices they make.

      NA and YA are great, Adult though well…I’m not ready for that just yet xD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post! According to my spreadsheet, I mostly read adult books. My second most-read age group is middlegrade. I really don’t care about a book’s target age. If a book sounds interesting, I’ll read it. I even read picture books, and I’m supposedly way too old for those.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, that what I’m like although I have to say pictures in books are something I’ve never enjoyed. Even at a young age like as a kid, it was a huge annoyance seeing pictures of how the characters or scene would look. I wanted to imagine it myself. Now though, if it’s beautiful detailed illustrations I can appreciate it. But overall I’m not a fan of illustrations ;p


  5. Love this post Chloe! ❤️ I love that you defined each age range, because its important to know who the target audience is… but then throw it out the window and read what you enjoy! I know some adults that sneer at YA and are obviously adulting too hard to understand why I love it. That’s okay! And I find it fascinating when a book has target audience haters but all the older readers reviewing love the book! I think there’s room for everyone. Because man we all love books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thank you! So glad you loved it, and yeah I think it’s important to know the defined target audience, for like reference. Then we can just throw it out the window cause if you want to read that book, who cares about target audiences right?

      I just don’t get where people get the time to hate on other people for reading books. Like that’s literally what they’re doing, who cares if it’s YA, NA, Adult or MG…hell maybe you want to read a picture book! If you enjoy the story, it shouldn’t matter.


  6. Whether it’s YA or NA, if a person has opened a book and started to read it, that’s a precious thing and it should be encouraged. On another note, thank you for the category breakdown. As a new blogger, it was invaluable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Honestly, I just read anything that sounds good. I’ve read a few MG books that were really good and I could see that it was acutally targeted at a younger audience, but when you take that into account when you’re reading it, it shouldn’t really matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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