Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday: Rating Books Out of Your Age Demographic

I created Thoughtful Thursday, because bookish thoughts kept popping up in my mind while reading, and I wanted to explore these questions and get your opinions too!

Each week, I will post a new bookish thought that I will discuss. Everyone is welcome to join. You can do this in two different ways. (1) You can discuss your thoughts in the comment section of the Thoughtful Thursday post. OR (2) You can post your thoughts on your site. If you do option two, please link back to the Thoughtful Thursday post, use the Thoughtful Thursday graphic, and add your name/post to the Linky widget. If the Linky is closed, feel free to add to add the link in the comment section.

This Week's Topic/Question

How do you rate books that are out of your age demographic (e.g., an adult rating YA or MG or a YA rating adult or MG)?

My Answer:

I love books, always have. I've never really considered age ranges. I've always read YA books, and my interest hasn't slowed as I got older. I'm now 31 and my love for YA is the same as it ever was. I read adult books growing up on occasion; actually, it was wasn't until my late 20s that I got into more adult genres (Contemporary Romance, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, Erotica, etc).

My "gateway to adult books" author was Richelle Mead. I was a moderate fan of her Vampire Academy series, and decided to check out her Urban Fantasy Georgina Kincaid/Succubus series. I instantaneously fell in love with the book and the genre!  I remember thinking, wow, I must have more of this Urban Fantasy thing!

I hit the ground running after that. Actually, I have only recently discovered lot of my all-time favorite authors, specifically Jim Butcher and Nalini Singh. This was actually perfect, because I got into their The Dresden Files and Psy/Changeling series respectively when both series were already past their halfway marks. I got to read both series in their entirety back-to-back, which was awesome to say the least!

Moving on (since I haven't actually answered the question), I don't consider the age demographic when I read a story. I base my rating on whether or not I enjoyed the book, plain and simple. No other factors affects my rating. I haven't always like a book or two from a series or author that I love, and I'm not afraid to say so.

Also, I don't let my personal experiences/age affect how I experience the story. I don't put myself into the character's shoes until I'm writing a review and only then. I suppose since I didn't start reading many adult books until after I'd been an adult for a while, it wasn't hard for me make the transition. I'd already encountered a lot of the themes and situations from adult books in my own life. Same goes for YA now; high school is over (thank god). While it's been over 10 years since I experienced that, it doesn't feel like it was that far away for me to not remember somewhat how being a teen felt.

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Great comments! It is really interesting to hear how everyone rates books outside of their demographic. I am always worried that I am rating books that are MG/YA too harshly when I am not their intended audience. I am glad to know that other adults are rating YA books just based on their opinion alone. :)

    1. I think there's a difference between being truthfully honest and brutally honest. There's no reason to insult someone's work, but if you didn't enjoy it you shouldn't lie and say you did. Especially if you're a blogger and people come on you site to read your opinion. No one enjoys watered-down truths. You can tell when people are holding back and all it does is put doubt in you. If you're not going to tell me what you think, why visit your blog? Be honest, not mean.

      Also, it's not like were hurting childrens' or teens' feelings writing critiques. Most authors of YA are not teenagers - they're probably your age or older. They can take it, lol.

  2. I don't know how you don't let your personal experiences yell at characters. I am trying to step out of myself more with YA. Now that I read it more I need to have the mindset of the age the book is targeted to. But that is a struggle.

    1. Oh, I feel the struggle. Definitely. A lot of times, you get the typical annoying YA heroine -- is gorgeous but doesn't know it; makes asinine decisions (for the plot's sake only) and whines throughout whatever ordeal she's going with (coughs "Bella Swan"). That type of character is one of the major things I hate about YA. The melodrama can be too much.

      That's gets on my nerves and is something I picked up on as a teen myself, so yay. It's not just me being old and grumpy, lol.