What is Young Adult and New Adult Fiction?



As I worked on the third draft of my second novel, I started to wonder about an issue of genre and classification. My novel is definitely post-apocalyptic and speculative, but is it Young Adult, New Adult, or something else?

How are these classifications defined? Is it the age of the protagonist? The hero of my second novel is a sixteen-year-old young woman, so does that make this work Young Adult? Are all novels with a young protagonist necessarily considered Young Adult? I am not in any way suggesting that this is somehow negative; rather, I am trying to understand where this book fits in the publishing scheme.

Additionally, what makes a New Adult novel? Would such a book be aimed at 18-25-year-olds?

Does theme and treatment of the theme also play into the consideration of the classification of a work?

If anyone can offer any suggestions, please, please, please, feel free to offer answers.

Thanks to any who help.


15 thoughts on “What is Young Adult and New Adult Fiction?

  1. In regards to genre, I think it’s less about the age of the protagonist and more about the subject matter. Plus, I personally don’t love the classifications. Unless it’s graphic, sexually explicit or violent – a good story is a good story for any age. Just my thoughts. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When you get it figured out, it would be great to know. I’ve researched, and most places have their own points of view on what classifies young adult or new adult. From what I surmise, Young Adult is high on emotions, as being a young adult (teenager) is supposed to be, while New Adult still has those high emotions, just now with the freedom to make their own choices…like an 18-25 year old just finding their way in the world at large. I don’t know if that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Young-adult novels usually have protaganists of 15 to 18 years old and intended for high school students because they have less explicit scenes, profane language, sex, violence and such. Unlike new-adult novels which, although may have the protagonists of the same age range, are usually set either in contemporary senior high school or college, and have sensitive themes and issues such a abuse, rape, incest, etc. This is based on my observations. I read both classification of books. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I take no notice of book genres, indeed the books I like most tend to be put in several different sections of the book store so I end up walking around looking for them. I do tend to read non-fiction but if a fiction book takes my fancy I read everything the author has written. It’s all about story and characters that I can get into. For instance, even though I’m in my 50’s I love the Harry Potter and Twilight series of books.


  5. Jin Okubo

    if possible I would like to read a chapter may be half or a couple of excerpts from throughout the book then I think we can give you a better understanding of what it is which Genre you want to put it in

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jin Okubo

        That being the case, I think it’s too early to decide then only you would know what you’re writing if you want open and it answers everyones going to be giving you a vague ideas of what they think it should be or what they think it ought to be. But without texting fun of them every once you shooting in the wind. When its ready and when you feel it’s ready and you want to share then yeah I’ll come back to it and see what I can do.

        Liked by 1 person

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