Literature For the Young Adult Age Range

young adult age range

In general young adult years are those between the ages of twelve to thirty. However, the true “young adult” age range is actually much older than this. Young adults can experience many of the same challenges as older age groups, and some of these challenges tend to be more common for those in their twenties than for those in their thirties. The fact is that as someone gets older, the experiences that they go through throughout their life do become more diverse.

The Change

A flock of seagulls flying over a beach

The thing that is common for all young adult age ranges is the amount of change that is going on within them. Just because you are younger than the average person does not mean that you have an easier time with life. While young adult’s experience a lot of change throughout their twenties, most also face challenges with regard to finding stable employment. Finding a job in the twenty-first century is no easy task. In addition, young adults also face a lot of change when it comes to their relationships.

The Differences

A woman standing in front of a building

As you may have guessed, there is a difference between the term young adult and the more popular concept of young adult. The term young adult refers to those who are experiencing the beginnings of becoming adults. On the other hand, popular culture often refers to the concept of young adulthood, which involves entering the “bars, clubs, and other common places” of your community. These places tend to have a very different set of rules and social expectations. While many young adults have found success socially in the more popular culture, others have found more success in less popular settings.

The Spectrum

When it comes to the definition of a young adult, it can be hard to pinpoint. On one end of the spectrum, some think of the term young adult as synonymous with young people. However, it is important to remember that people enter their thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond, so the term can have more to do with age. Some of the challenges that many young adults face include the challenge of balancing familial obligations with school obligations. In addition, many young adults go through substantial changes in terms of their appearance as they try to figure out where they fit in with their friends, family, and work group.


In terms of popular culture, many believe that the term young adult literature refers to YA material that tends to be more introspective, thought-provoking, and/or humorous. On the other end of the spectrum, some think of young adult literature as being pornography. Of course, there are some popular culture books that cater to both ends of this spectrum; however, there is a difference between YA literature and pornography.

Sub Categories

Many consider the young adult age range to be anywhere from thirteen to twenty-five. However, there are actually several subcategories under this umbrella, including those who are eleven through fifteen years of age. Additionally, there are several groups within this age group, including (but not limited to) preteens, teens, and young adults. While preteens are often referred to as young adult beginners, they are actually in the middle of the tween stage. Teens are in a transitional stage in their lives, exploring the many possibilities that exist between childhood and adulthood.

The Portrayal

In terms of popular culture, most think of YA literature when it comes to books and movies aimed at teenagers and young adults. One of the most popular examples of this is the movie Twilight, which has become extremely popular with the young adult age group. The movie depicts a sixteen-year-old named Bella Swan, who at this point is well on her way to finding her own happiness and independence. She is shown with her new vampire boyfriend Edward, who is an attraction to her because of his passion for magic and the dangers he sees in the dark. The movie has also brought some young adult women into the Twilight saga because of Bella’s relationship with Edward.

Wrapping Up

The Twilight series is a great example of how literature can reach the lives of teenagers and young adults. Not only does it speak to the ins and outs of growing up, but it also captures the imagination of the young adult age group. Some of the best selling books and movies targeted towards this young adult age range include, Easy Love, Any Boy Dream, You Can Build Your Own Boat, and Twilight. Even the New York Times has written that Twilight is one of the best novels ever written for the young adult age group.

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