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How Old Are The 'Teens' On The Covers Of Teen Novels?


How Old Are The 'Teens' On The Covers Of Teen Novels?

THEY’RE HOW OLD? Hours of fun have been provided to us by When Microsoft launched their age-guessing robot we all flocked to see if the app could accurately guess our ages and then were genuinely surprised at how accurate (or how inaccurate) the results were. So we decided to put it to the test and see how old the cover models on teen books are. Remember, young adult books always feature teenage protagonists, so theoretically, the models on the jackets should also be teenagers…or at least look like teenagers.
The results were….well, you can see for yourself.

The main character in Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, and presumably the character this model is portraying, is supposed to be around 18 or 19 years old and yet the robot pegged her for 27.
What’s interesting is that we did this test for a lot of YA books (A LOT) and the overwhelmingly similar response was 27 years old for the female models. Either there’s a glitch or we should start a new “27 Club.”
Let’s take a look at some more results:
Lol. Celaena Sardothian is 18 in Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and yet this cover model is apparently a fresh-faced early teen. Maybe that’s why this hardcover design got a makeover for the paperback.

Why is it so hard to guess the ages of the teens on the cover of historical fiction young adult novels? Maybe it’s the old fashioned hair, makeup and clothing. Bright young things? Meh, that’s pushing it a little.

Rachel (from the Defiance series by CJ Redwine) has always been more mature than her fellow teens in this fantasy/dystopian series, but we had no idea she was THAT old. (Also, she’s another member of the 27 Club!)

Ewwwww. Sam and Astrid are supposed to be a couple in Gone by Michael Grant, so what is a 20-year-old girl doing dating a 31-year-old man? AND VICE VERSA? Gross gross gross gross gross.

America Singer???? Is that you???? We had no idea you were pushing 40!

No wonder the vampire dude on the left looks significantly younger than the two ladies. VAMPIRES NEVER AGE! #TeamTeenHumans

What are these 30-year-olds doing on teen covers!? No seriously, what are you doing here? Don’t you have an adult section of the bookstore to go to?

What’s going on here, Alan? I thought you and were bro Nick in the Demon Lexicon series by Sarah Rees Brennan were supposed to be teenagers, NOT MIDDLE-AGED MEN.

Okay fine, we’re cheating a little with this one, but c’mon. This is pretty funny.

Finally, this isn’t technically a young adult novel (it’s the movie companion) but these actors are supposed to be portraying teenagers. The best part about this is Maggie Q (who plays Tori in the movie) is actually 35 in real life but is the only “teenager” the robot found. Lol. Aww, Eric. You’re so old.

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