Today’s discussion might be a controversial one, but sometimes those are the best ones. I’m going to discuss something that I often get annoyed with and that’s YA as a genre. YA is not a genre it’s a category or age group. Fiction and Non-Fiction are genres that fall under categories. Genre is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.” Also according to the New Oxford American Dictionary category is defined as “a class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics.” Books in the YA category (not genre) usually have different shared characteristics depending on the genre. In contemporaries, you won’t have characters wielding swords and fighting monsters, and you won’t see characters in a fantasy novel riding their bikes to the nearest book store (except for maybe Urban Fantasy or Magical Realism). These two characters could be the same age which would be the shared characteristic. I see the YA category as readers ages 18-26.
I know that this is confusing. Maybe I will write another post that goes a little more in-depth and break down category vs. genre more and then get into sub-genres if it will help.
Please discuss in the comments!