Discussion Post: This Review Should Come With a Warning – Or is it Okay to Review New Adult, Adult, and Young Adult on the Same Blog?

Posted May 13, 2016 by Lisa Mandina in discussion post / 22 Comments

Today I’m doing my 3rd discussion post as part of the 2016 Discussion Challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight. My first one was all about if teens are really as dumb as we think, and will expect what happens in books to be real life.  My second one was about giving ratings in your reviews.  You can go read my thoughts and then share what you think on those two HERE and HERE. Today I want to talk about the different age levels of books and how to review them on blogs.

So, recently I’ve started reading books that I would definitely not recommend to my high school students because of their sexual content.  It’s not that in any way I want to censor what they read, I just know what is appropriate for me to suggest, and what isn’t any of my business.  The reason I am thinking about this is because up until these past few months, the majority of what I read and blogged about was YA.  Once in awhile I’d throw in a nonfiction, memoir, or a Stephen King type of book.  None of which I would have an issue with a student of mine reading about.  But as I started this paragraph out saying, I seem to have gotten a bit of a trend with the types of books that I’m reading, and it all kind of started with the After series by Anna Todd.

I’m a 43 year old woman, so there’s nothing wrong with what I read.  And I don’t intend to be very explicit with my reviews.  I plan to talk about the story just like I would with any other book.  But since I usually only review books that I liked and finished, I will be saying good things about them.  So I guess my question to anyone who decides to join into my discussion post here is, should I be worried about who reads my posts?  I’ve started doing an “NA” in front of the new adult books I read, and then “YA” in front of the teen/young adult books.  Although some of my romances I’m reading aren’t necessarily NA, but I feel silly putting the word “Adult” by itself in front of a review title.  I mean, I would have to do that with Stephen King and Dean Koontz, etc.

So tell me, what do you think about all this?  Do you think for me to review both types on the same blog is a horrible idea?  Do you think the way I’m differentiating in the titles is a good thing?  Or do you think I need to be worried about any of this if I don’t intend to actually put the explicit stuff within my review?

I’m feeling a bit conflicted on this, because as a high school librarian, it is very possible that I might have students who want to follow my blog.  And then I don’t know if it is bad for me to post things that I wouldn’t tell them outright they should read.  Of course it could just be my silly brain that won’t stop dwelling on the thought.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’d like to join into the discussion.  And this last gif is because I can’t resist a Supernatural one any time I do a post like this.

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22 responses to “Discussion Post: This Review Should Come With a Warning – Or is it Okay to Review New Adult, Adult, and Young Adult on the Same Blog?

  1. I think it would be good to put in a disclaimer of anything you believe others might find questionable in a book, maybe underneath you're review, or else put a recommended age group. I usually mention things like this in my reviews because I never want to have someone shocked by something in a book I recommended to them but that they didn't want to read.

    I've had bad experiences where certain content was never mentioned by reviewers or in the blurp and the cover didn't really hint at it either. I personally mention these things because I like to see them in reviews.

    Also, I guess I would consider your audience for it you want to start reviewing these other books. If you have built up a following because of your YA reviews, you might lose followers who only want those reviews.

  2. Personally, I'm of the opinion that it's YOUR blog–you should do what you want to/what you're comfortable with on it. I read and review all sorts of genres, including: mid-grade, YA, NA, and "adult." I always make sure to mention, somewhere in my review, if there are more mature themes or triggers within the book…but I don't usually go out of my way to say, "this is YA," "this is adult," etc. I just include a small paragraph or sentence explaining what the triggers or mature themes are, and move right on along.

    So far, it seems to be working for me. So…it's your blog, do what you want! basically. 🙂

    • That's what I'm hoping that if I mention something somewhere,it will work. I don't know if I'll continue with the label in the titles of the post, but maybe just put it in the first paragraph of the review from now on. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I'm not going to be much help because I think it depends upon who your audience is. If you know you have more Teen / YA readers coming to your site than adult readers, then you may want to gear your posts more to them. I seem to have more adult readers to my site. That said, I still like to be careful with what I place on my blog. I've visited other blogs where they curse … often. I don't think that would be appropriate for me. Just my two cents — I think your site is fine as it is. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

    • I try not to curse, or have much cursing. Because I'm not really someone who does that around other people, and even though it doesn't necessarily offend me when other people do, it still does stand out to me when I hear it out loud. I think I have a mixture of readers, so I think I'm okay. But I appreciate all your thoughts, and thanks for the stopping by to join in!

  4. I am a 42 year old woman and I write a review for EVERYTHING I read … from YA/NA all the way to erotic romance … my blog has a warning on it so the reader makes the choice to enter …
    it's your blog, your reviews and you like a diverse selection of books … AWESOME!

    • Thanks!!! I try not to put any of the explicit stuff on my blog, but still like to talk about the stories that I read and enjoy. Thanks for visiting!

  5. It's your blog! You should be able to read and review whatever you want and feel like. But I can understand your dilemma.

    • Thanks! I just don't want to do anything to jeopardize my school library job as I've worked so hard to finally get that. With education you just never know what people might have a problem with. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Love it! I am thinking that I will probably keep tagging it for sure. And maybe a sentence in the first paragraph of the review. Not sure if I'll keep it in the title like I have been. I've been following you for all this time, so it's good to think about how you do this as well! Glad you could stop by!

  6. In your case, since you know you might have some of your students reading your blog, I can understand why you're concerned about this. But on my blog, I've always reviewed YA, NA, and adult. I don't label each one differently in the title, but I list the genres for each book (I don't have a genre for adult, but, if someone were specifically looking for YA, they could find that), and I have a section at the bottom in which I include whether each book had violence, strong language, and sex. And there's a little disclaimer type thing in my sidebar that says I review all three age ranges. So I trust that anyone visiting my blog knows what they're getting and can figure out for themselves whether each book is suitable for them. I think as long as you're including the genre somewhere in each post, your students will be able to do the same. And if you're really worried, you could include a little *This book may not be suitable for readers younger than 18* disclaimer or something like that in the adult book reviews.

    • I like the idea of a disclaimer in the sidebar. I will have to maybe do that, so that I can feel a little less stressed about it. And I may take it out of the title, but still have the NA or YA in the first paragraph. Thinks so much for joining into the discussion!

  7. I can see where you'd be worried about this, given your students. I think since your reviews are not explicit you're probably okay with a disclaimer or even just mentioning in the beginning of the review the nature of the book and the suitableness of it or whatever. This is such a tough topic and you have to go with your gut I think. I also understand the job concern- normally I'd be like a tag or disclaimer is probably fine, but in this day and age you never know who will see something and complain. But again if you're not getting into explicit stuff- I can't imagine someone finding your blog objectionable.

    • I'm glad most everyone who has stopped by has felt the same way I've been hoping. It's really the way I feel and it makes me feel a little better with my change in some of my reading. I'll never quit with the YA, but may branch out occasionally. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I can see how you might worry about this, but it is your blog. You should be able to post reviews for whatever books you want to. Also, I believe that high school students are able to stop reading something if it makes them uncomfortable. Great discussion post, it really made me think.


    • I feel like that with high school students as well. And I don't necessarily have a big sign up at school talking about my blog and telling students to go check it out. So I guess it shouldn't be an issue. Thanks for joining into the discussion!

  9. I've had this worry myself because I know I have a lot of younger readers, and I feel like I want to help people make informed choices. I always put "My Content Rating" up near the top of my review and list YA (or sometimes what I call "Mature YA") or 18+. Then I put a dash and give a quick explanation of why I gave it that rating – something along the lines of "explicit sex" or (as might be the case, especially in YA) "characters have sex, but it's not shown" – something like that. I call it "My Content Rating" because it's based on my opinion. I also, like you, try not to include anything inappropriate in my actual review (and I don't review books with super racy covers).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • I like the way you have a content rating. I'm going to have to sit down this summer and really figure out for myself how I want to do that. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does worry about this a little. I also like that you mention when there is sex, but not actually shown in the book. I often forget about that, and I realize some parents might still have a problem. Thanks so much for chiming in and helping me think about this!

  10. I have the perhaps naive view that people will find books that work for them. I would have more problem with some Stephen King than with most NA books! I started my blog thinking it would be accessible for my middle school students, but quickly found I like the community of adult bloggers, and while I certainly review lots of kids' and YA books, I don't feel a need to censor myself–either my own voice or my choice of reading material. If it were a school-sponsored blog, that would be different, and I would have very specific content ratings. But I am not a fan of age-labeling in general. Some books I liked as a kid were adult books; some books written for adults are now considered YA books; I'm 46 and read a lot of YA books…

    • Totally agreed! I read more adult books as a kid, although I feel we didn't have the variety that teens today have. I feel like since it is personal and I don't have it necessarily advertised for my students, and I don't really do anything that is bad on here, that I'm okay. But this was something that stuck in my brain for awhile.

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