Which of them was the machine?
Is this NA or YA?
I ask this purely out of curiosity, since my book is not ready to get published in any way at all. I'm not sure, so I thought I'd ask just to see...though I'm veering toward this being NA (new adult as opposed to young adult). This might or might not belong in the YA forum, but I doubted it. Should it belong anywhere else, please move it, Mods!
Here's a bit of the set-up: We have two MCs, one female (17) and one male (19). As for the FMC, the readers will see her progress at developing a power which she already knew she had but had not practiced using much before, as well as learning to trust the MMC; school is only ever mentioned briefly, and outside a developing crush that involves her, there's not much romantic subtext.
The MMC causes less of my curiosity--he lives a bit like I guess a single male adult would: works, goes home, reads, sleep, repeats...until he meets the FMC, of course. There's no coming-of-age with his side of the story.
A majority of the story takes place in a train car.
I hope that's enough information.
So I just wanted to ask...would this novel be considered NA or YA?
NA is about college-aged characters. YA is about high schoolers and older middle schoolers. Granted, there are a lot of different factors that go into it, but your story is probably YA. It doesn't really matter whether or not you mention school. That majority of YA does not go into detail about school.
I'm going to advise you to research your category. NA, as a category really doesn't even exist. It's just chick-lit and college aged erotica rebranded as something new and special. I don't think I've seen a NA book that deals with NA problems—most of them focus on YA problems, age up the characters, and add more sex.
Who is the audience for your story?
It also depends on who the focus is. Is it the MC or the LI? Whose story is it primarily?
New Adult seems to be no-man's land right now. Sounds like your story should fit in good with Young Adult. I technically have a New Adult story and it would be shelved in the fantasy section.
YA is basically anything younger adults will find relatable.
It doesn't have to have a romantic subplot to go under YA.
Editing a novel of the Supernatural Horror Variety
Drafting a Retelling of the Magical Realism Variety
It sounds like it would be on the high side of young adult. As others have said, new adult isn't that marketable of a category just yet. Basically, if your novel involves characters older than high school age, you should probably just call it whatever genre it is.
Your plot sounds more NA than YA. This is mostly because of the age of the characters, and also because one of your major characters has already "grown" up. However, your book will most likely be shelved in the YA section since it has teenage characters. There is no NA section in most bookstores.
On the other hand, your book's age level will ultimately depend on the contents of its pages. If you treat the characters like teenagers, it will be considered YA. If you treat the characters like adults, it will be considered Adult or NA.
4th Rewrite --> YA Paranormal, 73k words (on hold)
Final revisions --> Dark Fantasy, 100k words