At the end of the past century and the beginning of the 21st century, book genres and classifications have gone through important chances. Many new literary styles have been added. Some of them have been gathered together under age categories such as Young Adult or New Adult.
Young Adult is mistakenly thought of as a distinct genre. It is, in fact, a proposed age range. In Young Adult Fiction we can find different novels belonging to genres such as romance, epic fantasy, science fiction, adventure, etc. These books are usually written for teenagers. The age range is considered to be 12-18, preceded by Middle Grade ( 8-12 ) and succeeded by New Adult ( 18 – 25 ).
The beginnings of the term Young Adult go back to World War II were teenagers were given their own place in the demographic. “Seventeenth Summer,” published by Maureen Daly in 1942 is considered to be the first book written and published explicitly for teens. However, the term Young Adult was not used until the 1960s. The term was established by the Young Adult Library Services Association in order to represent the above mentioned age range.
The first books that fell in the Young Adult Fiction category focused on problems of the everyday life: romance, boys, girls, school and even parental divorce or drug abuse. The 1980s added several new genres to the category such as horror. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the new millennium that Young Adult Fiction bloomed again.
“When I was a teen in the ’90s, there were probably three shelves of teen books I wanted to read,” said Shannon Peterson who is the president of the Young Adult Library Services Association. “Now, I feel like it’s evolved from three shelves to whole hallways of books.”
Book marketing turned its attention to teenagers at the beginning of the 21st century. J.K.Rowling’s “Harry Potter” saga brought with it a flood of fantasy literature added to the Young Adult fiction collections. Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” vampire saga and Suzanne Collins’ dystopian “The Hunger Games” came soon afterwards and brought Young Adult fiction to everyone’s attention.
Young adult fiction became popular with readers of all ages. A market research showed that 55% of young adult books purchased in 2012 were bought by adults between 18 and 44 years old. Have you read such novels lately?