How Adult is Young Adult?

I ask, because I recently found a review in YA M/M Books of my novella Pricks and Pragmatism.  Needless to say, I was rather chuffed – but it also got me thinking.  Because although P&P keeps poor Luke and Russell at arm’s length for much of the book – it’s been described as having UST you could cut with a knife *g* – they do actually get some, ahem, relief at the end.  

Furthermore, Luke isn’t entirely celibate before then…

I’d always assumed YA books shouldn’t contain graphically described sex.  After all, aren’t YA readers, well, generally less than 18 years old?  Or at least (because I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few YA books) isn’t that the age range aimed at?

So how much sex is acceptable in a YA book?  I’d be interested to hear what people think. Smile


And in other news: a couple of reviews, one for an older story, Becoming the Spoils (My joky Polish plumber vampire short; I think she liked it!):

I’ve had some mixed reactions to some of this author’s work, but one thing I can usually count on is strong writingBook Utopia Mom

…and a nice one for Muscling Through from a site that’s new to me, Joyfully Jay:

Beautifully written from a really interesting and unusual perspective.  I loved the characters and their relationship – Joyfully Jay

About jlmerrow

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Find JL Merrow online at:
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Adult is Young Adult?

  1. jim says:

    Hi, I run the YA M/M site you linked to above and your question is one that I considered at great length. IMHO its difficult to box YA into an exact age group as there are variations on what constitutes a YA regionally, culturally and individually? Considering the age of consent, not only is it legal in some countries for YA to be sexually active from the age of 12, I’m sure there are as many sexually active in other countries where the age of consent is higher, before they reach that upper age range.

    If they have the ability to practice it, then why shouldn’t they be able to read about it?

    Personally, I do not like books, in any Genre, where the use of sex is gratuitous , and if I read a book where the use of sex to help move the story forward goes too far or beyond what I find acceptable, then I stop reading. YA’s of all ages have the same option, therefore I wouldn’t say the question is how much sex is acceptable in a YA book, but how much sex is acceptable in any book.

    I certainly don’t choose books to review based on what I think is “acceptable” for a YA to read, but purely where the subject matter or plot is something that will resonate with YA’s and have characters which they should be able to relate to.

  2. jlmerrow says:

    Jim, thanks for commenting. (Just FYA, I mirrored this post to my LJ here: where there has been some discussion going on that might interest you)

    I’d totally agree that preventing young people from reading about sex is, in many cases, locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!
    I think it’s great that you don’t restrict yourself to reviewing books specifically aimed at the YA market – after all, when have teenagers ever confined their reading to “YA” books? I know I didn’t, and I don’t expect my 14-y.o. to either.

    Thank you for reviewing Pricks and Pragmatism. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s