This year I've been keeping track of what I'm reading by using a spreadsheet. I didn't make it myself, but found a really awesome one from another book blogger. Honestly, I love it. But I've developed a bit of a problem.
There's a section for demographic that has a dropdown menu for Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult and Adult. But, you see, I'm having a terrible time deciding which books are which.
Sure, I think MG books are pretty self explanatory. For me, pretty much any book with a thirteen year old or younger is MG. That seems clear enough. But the others have so much overlap that, more often than not, I'm left confused.
For one thing, there's this huge crossover appeal between YA and Adult. But, also, so many of the fantasy books I read have characters that are between 17 and 19 years-old - even if they are directed towards adults - but that's usually the age of YA or NA characters.
So then I get to thinking that, maybe, I shouldn't base it on age, but on the struggles that the characters are going through. Things like finding your place in the world is usually more of a YA or NA plot, for example. But…that doesn't always work, either.
For instance, the book that inspired this post, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club is about finding your place in the world and being independent for the first time - and the bond of sisters. This and the Goodreads 'genre's it was listed under, all made me think it would be a YA book. However, the main character is twenty-seven during a good part of the book.
Definitely older than YA. And, even older than what I usually hear called NA. But the plot and themes didn't feel like an Adult story, either. (I eventually shelved it as NA and am mostly happy.)
Then there's the absolutely awesome Air Awakens which I loved and adored - but was going to shelve as Adult. See, even though the main character is only seventeen, she's not experiencing freedom from her family for the first time. She's already mostly found her place in the world (at least, at first). And, I'll admit, the characters act like adults. However, when reading about the author at the back of the book, it said that this is her first young adult fantasy series.
So, I reshelved it to YA, though I still feel it's really a Adult fantasy series.
Before this spreadsheet, I'd never really given much thought to demographic. If the book sounded interesting, I'd just read it. It didn't matter to me if it was directed to someone half my age - or twice as old as me.
Have you ever experienced not knowing what demographic to call a book? Or, do you not ever need to and pretty much ignore the demographic? Or something else entirely? I'd love to know how you deal with it!