The New Adult Month continues with a discussion post on how old you need to be to read New Adult. Remember to check out my first post on the theme for an awesome giveaway of some of my favorite NA books. First of all, I'm sorry about the obnoxiously long post title, I didn't know what else to call it. Now, before I start, this is a discussion post, which means this is just my opinion, and I’m basing it off of what I’ve seen of the genre. There are many other perspectives of this, so my opinion isn’t the only one out there.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll try and write my very first discussion post (by the way, why haven’t I written a discussion post before?) So how old do you need to be to read New Adult? New Adult is about characters older than in Young Adult, and many of these books that I’ve read are about characters around college-age. So these characters deal with issues teenagers may not be able to relate to as much as YA books. However, that doesn’t mean a teenager can’t enjoy NA.
I started reading NA when I was fifteen, almost sixteen, and I loved it from the start. But it wasn’t until a year or so later that I really started reading the genre more than a book here and there. But I never had any trouble with the maturity level or how explicit the scenes were. But I’ve also always read and enjoyed books about characters older than me – I started reading YA when I was eleven, so all the characters were several years older than me. But, again, I always preferred that, so it’s not a surprise I was excited with NA.
Though I can imagine other people of that age not really liking that, and finding the characters pretty hard to relate to. Which is why I would recommend people to be sixteen or seventeen before they start. Not only because they’re more explicit than YA books, though they are, and that’s worth mentioning, but for me, it didn’t feel like such a big difference from YA. But the biggest reason why I think you should wait is because I think it’s harder to really appreciate it if you’re so much younger, I think it can be really hard to relate to the characters and to understand their actions and reactions.
About the explicitness of the book, there’s definitely a difference, and it’s definitely worth taking into account before you start reading NA, but I didn’t think it was that big of a difference from YA. I’ve never been bothered by more explicit YA books, but if you’re sensitive for that kind of stuff, I’d recommend waiting until you’re older.
As you can probably guess, this depends a lot on the person. I’ve always preferred reading about characters older than me, so I started pretty early, but if you prefer reading about characters your own age, you’d probably wait until you’re older. I’ve never been bothered by explicitness, so I had no problem starting early, but if you do, again you should wait. But either way, because of the explicitness, I wouldn’t recommend starting before you’re fifteen or sixteen.