Hey! I'm back! :) Although it's funny, because whenever I see bloggers going on breaks and then they're like "Hey! I'm back!" and blah blah blah, I'm like... okay, yeah, whatever... I just read your posts when they come out anyway, no matter if they're a few days or weeks apart. But, whatever, that's not the point of this post...
So, I don't if any of you know this, but I am a teen SPY at YA Confidential, which is an awesome YA group blog that focuses on all things TEEN in order to aid YA authors. They have a great panel of teens that they ask questions to on a regular basis (obviously... I mean, I'm on it... haha). Actually, if you're a teen you could sign up to be a teen analyst, just go to their home page and fill out the form on the sidebar. :)
Anyway, they do regular ask-the-teens posts where they invite their followers to ask the teens questions. One of the questions in the most recent post caught my eye:
Do you really care about the age of a character as long as the writing and story are good?
...and in trying to answer the question, I realized I actually had quite a lot to say on this particular topic.
So... one of the things is, books definitely can fit into different age groups, but I don't think this is all based on the age of the protagonist. You can't just assume that because the protagnist in a story is 12, the book is for 12 year olds.
In my head, I picture two categories of books. There are "fluffy" books - the feel-good books that are fun and bubbly and cute. An example that comes to mind is Forgive My Fins by Terra Lynn Childs (which is actually a really good book that you should read...) These books could have protagonists ranging from nine to seventeen, and younger/older. Yet I think of these fluffy books as being more appropriate and enjoyable for a younger audience. I know I read books like this in middle school even if the protagonist was 17, a good 5 years old than I was.
Then there's the "dark" or "edgy" books. These are the books that are really heavy, and are pretty much the opposite of the fun, bubbly, cute books I just described above. These books are much more serious and deep and deal with much greater issues than in the fluffy books. Yet again, these books could have protagnists ranging from twelve to eighteen years old, but I think of them of being more enjoyable for an older teen audience. Some examples I think of are books by John Green, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta.
So, the age of the book, as a whole, rather than the age of the character in the books determines the age of the audience.
BUT I still don't care what the "age" of the book is. I know I just said that I thought of "fluffy" books as being for a younger audience, but that doesn't mean I don't LIKE those kinds of books. I LOVE those kinds of books. I also like the edgy books sometimes too. It really depends on how I feel at a certain time what kind of book I want to read. I've talked about reading needs before, and I'm sure I'll talk about them again after this.
My numerical age (17 at the moment) does not determine what kinds of books I read - I, as a whole person with all my personality quirks, determine that... just like books as a whole determine the age of the audience the book is appropriate for.
So I guess the answer to the question is... no, I don't care about the age of the character at all! :)
Hope that made sense... haha.
Do YOU care about the age of a character as long as the writing and story are good?