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Thread: YA/NA hybrid question - re: agents

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  1. #4
    Becoming a laptop-human hybrid Fuchsia Groan's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    The windswept northern wastes
    It's unusual for YA books to follow the MC into college. Far from impossible, but the examples that come to my mind are by already-successful authors, not debuts (Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, for instance.)

    I wouldn't try to sell it as NA for the reasons you cited, but what about just adult? Adult novels can have teenage-to-college-age protagonists and coming-of-age themes. The difference is often in pacing, in language, in the way the themes are treated. Speaking in very broad terms: Adult books are likely to feature less stylistic immediacy (past rather than present tense, for instance; not to imply all YA is in present tense) and retrospective elements (i.e., an older narrator looking back on her teen years).

    For instance, Claire Messud's The Burning Girl the characters are in their mid-teens for most of the story, IIRC, and the themes are coming of age, but the adult narrator is looking back on that period of her life, so it's an adult book. (Honestly, had the author been known for her previous YA rather than adult fiction, I think it could have been published as YA, too, because the retrospective frame isn't a huge part of the book. By contrast, in The Girls, there are whole chapters set in the present when the narrator is an adult, even though she's 14 for most of the story.)

    If you and your friend think the story would appeal to teens specifically, YA is worth a try. I would make sure, though, to read enough recent contemp YA to have a sense of what's selling.
    Last edited by Fuchsia Groan; 07-13-2018 at 11:14 PM.
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