How To Know If You’re In A Young Adult Novel


generic book cover for a young adult novelIt sucks being a young adult. Too young to die, too adult to care.

Everything totally sucks. You wouldn’t be surprised if the world around you were fictional, it’s so sucky. Though if it were fictional, you’re pretty sure it’d be better than this.

Like, you could be anything in fiction: the heroine of a chick-lit novel; a cop in a crime novel, say; or the tortured protagonist of a lit-fic tome.

But you suppose that given your age, you’d probably be stuck in a Young Adult novel. Still, it might be better than the drudge of your daily existence.

So many of the kids around you are fake. And life’s a joke. How do you know what’s real and what isn’t?

Here’s a test then, to tell you…

12 Ways To Determine if You Are In A Young Adult Novel

1.  You are only 16, but you have already read Sartre, Nietzsche, and most of Samuel Beckett’s early stuff. There is no particular reason for this. It just kinda happened because you were bored one rainy Saturday afternoon. Whatevs.

2.  You are totally into something. Like, totally. Nobody else on the planet is as in to music/graffiti/salted caramel ice cream/model airplanes/retro computer games/lists/dog grooming, as you are.

3.  Other than the love of your life, of course! You never could have DREAMED that you’d meet someone your own age with the same interest in 17th century Chinese opera – but there they were,  on the very day your braces came off, stuck in the same queue for hours (oddly enough, for tickets to a Chinese opera).

4.  You have no real idea of what you want to be when you grow up. It’s almost as if you were already 10 years older than you are, knowing that your mind will change a dozen times before you end up doing something completely different from anything you thought of anyway.

5.  You are unpopular, except in the case of your friends, with whom you are, like, totally popular. Still, you can’t understand why mean and popular kids are so often jealous of your dorky self.

6.  Most other people your age confuse you and make you feel uncomfortable. You feel much more comfortable with people your author’s – sorry – your parent’s age.

7.  Fitting in with people of your parent’s age would be cool, except for the fact that your parents are not cool. Either one of them is dead or absent, or they are a total drag and embarrass you daily.

8.  You regularly quote from Shakespeare’s lesser known sonnets, or hard core punk anthems from a time before even your parents were teenagers. Nobody thinks this is unusual.

9.  You have a level of independence which is usually reserved for people who have jobs and pay their own bills, such as: unlimited access to a car, a never-ending stash of so-called “birthday” cash, a purely notional curfew and the ability to decide what, when and where you eat, without recourse to your (obviously feckless) family.

10.  You wish at least one of your parents was like someone else’s Mum or Dad. Unfortunately, no matter how many times you tell them this, your parents will not change. In time, you learn to accept this, because it is apparently something that forces greater than you have decided you must learn.

11.  You have a strange and yet endearing aversion to everyday forms of technology, which gives you a sort of timeless quality that should be good for another two decades or so.

12.  Nobody understands you. However, you do not hate them for this. In fact, you pity them; but you hide it under a thick blanket of witty self-deprecation, peppered with the sort of world-weariness an octogenarian could envy.


How Did You Score?

0-3:   Oh, dear. You are in a YA novel which is in fact written for adults, and therefore doomed to fail. Sorry for your trouble.

4-6:   You are the soon-to-be minted centrepiece of a John Green novel. You pretty much have all the proper boxes ticked there. Well done.

7-9:   You are about to meet a supernatural being who is in love with you. Drop everything immediately and throw your entire life over to improbable obsession. It’s the best fun ever!

10-12:   There is a 97.53% probability that you are fan fiction. Seek a publisher this instant.



Go on… tell me what I missed…

  18 comments for “How To Know If You’re In A Young Adult Novel

  1. June 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.


  2. June 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    You’ve been reading my diary, haven’t you? I thought Pandora had taken it, so that she could send it off to a publisher, because she told me last night after a Panorama special on Cuban cigar workers, that it was a work of genius. Which of course, it is. Mind you, you didn’t mention my love of celtic poetry and my attempt to re-write Beowulf in Klingon.


    • June 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      I have to keep things relatively anonymous, you see, in case I ever get sued for plagiarism. I do have to tell you though that your diary was a work of genius. Richer than Ulysses, truth be told. So if you could look away when I write about that episode with Les Dennis and the garden hose, that would be great.


      • June 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm

        What about the one with the Dagenham Girl Pipers and the garden gnomes?


  3. Dermot
    November 5, 2015 at 10:51 am

    My Goodness – I’m Adrian Mole…!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 5, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Put the ruler down, Dermot. Have you considered a second career as a diarist?


  4. November 5, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Demons. You forgot demons that chase you. Either that, or you discover your great-great-great-grandmother (oddly enough, on the postman’s side) was a witch. Which somehow means you are one, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 5, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Well, I had two choices when it came to this genre, and I chose the non-fantasy side, as I confess I was too ‘over’ it! Who knows, maybe it’ll come in another post… IN A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE…….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. November 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    These are so funny. And scary because they’re so recognizable. Goes to show how hard it is to write an original book. I’m waiting fo the fantasy/sci-fi one so I know what to avoid! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: