Young Adult Readers and the cross-over into Adult Fiction

Mostly Reading YA

Mostly Reading YA is a blog focusing on young adult and adult fiction, featuring a wide range of book reviews alongside author interviews and guest posts.

In 2012, I was one of their guest bloggers, discussing my thoughts on cross-over fiction – essentially adult fiction with a strong young adult appeal.

* * *

Why some of my favourite readers are Young Adult by Isabel Ashdown
I remember my own teenage years with great clarity. From around the age of fourteen, I pretty much felt I knew my own mind, and started to leave behind the things of childhood – Scooby Doo, sensible underwear, and most specifically books marked ‘for children’. My interests had shifted: I wanted to read about bigger things than my parents chose for me – I was after free-thinking and books with adult themes. Read more …

5 Comments on “Young Adult Readers and the cross-over into Adult Fiction

  1. Hi Isabel – read the rest of this post and cheered. I too have written about an older teenager (older I think than your own subjects) but don’t see it as a YA book. Makes me quite cross when it’s assumed anything about an age-group is for that age group even if it will have an added appeal for that audience. Like you, I started on ‘adult’ fiction as soon as I could. I think I would have been quite suspicious of a book aimed at teenagers, but then we are going back a bit!

    • Thanks for your comment AliB – really glad you enjoyed the post. It’s a fascinating subject isn’t it, crossover fiction – and so hard to define. For me, writing the story and characters has to come first, before concerns of readership, and that way there’s no danger of over-censoring ideas that might otherwise take flight. I’ve enjoyed so many great works of adult fiction that are narrated by/seen through eyes of children/adolescents … To Kill a Mockingbird, I Capture the Castle, The Cement Garden, The Member of the Wedding, Pigeon English … and on and on. All wonderful reads!

  2. I Capture the Castle is one of my all time favourite books and I was startled to see it on the YA adult list as I hadn’t even seen it as that – but of course it is. Likewise, To Kill A Mockingbird. Actually it had occurred to me even less to consider that YA, and yet I fell in love with it as a YA when I think about it. As a teenager with reddish frizzy hair I also longed to have smooth dark ‘bangs’!!

    • I think that’s a big part of the attraction to certain books when you are a YA discovering different novels – finding something to relate to, whether it’s a shared situation or a common dilemma or even an empathy with a character who longs for smooth dark bangs! Many thanks for your comment 🙂

      • Oh Isabel, I’ve only just found this! Thank you so much for the comment 🙂 Do you know I was in love with To Kill A Mockingbird’s Jean Louise and her smooth dark bangs.

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