Does having teen characters automatically place a novel in the teen / young adult category? If asked I think most people would say no, story content is what defines the category of novel, yet I've noticed a growing number of people asking if my novel JIMMY is a young adult novel. Some even go so far as to message me about the sexual content within the book, their concern being that it is a bit too much for the teen audience the book is geared toward. Of course my reply is always that it isn't directed toward a teen audience (though I doubt many of them would be upset over the content), which is when they often reply with, but the main characters are all teenagers.
Does this happen with other works?
Before Stephen King was well known do you think people thought his first published novel Carrie was geared toward teens given the age of the main character? And what about the movie Scream? That focuses on high school students, so it must be teen drama, right?
Seems silly, I know, yet it has happened so many times now with my work that I'm starting to think that this type of thought process may be common, which, naturally causes me to wonder about the possible mishaps that could happen with such misconceptions about the audience a particular book or movie is geared toward.
"Hey kids, glad you are having fun with your first ever slumber party. Now it's time for a movie. I've picked a heartwarming kids tale about a boy and his Good Guy doll . . ."