I know I shouldn't but I can't help thinking about novel #1 (the one I temporarily abandoned at 52,000 words a couple of years ago) and I've come to the decision that I'm definitely going to return to it and finish it after I've finished novel #2 (I never was very good at doing things in the right order).
When I started novel #1 I thought I was writing a children's book for 10-12 year old but now I'm not so sure. My protagonist is a 13 year old girl who is quite naive but does end up smoking and drinking (only very briefly and because she's grieving and rebelling at being sent away to boarding school). The novel begins with the revelation that the girl's mother has killed herself (suicide at Beachy Head). The daughter blames herself, but the real reason for her mother's death isn't revealed until the end of the novel when the girl uncovers all kind of murky family secrets.
I'm now thinking that this novel should actually be Young Adult and that the girl should be 15 rather than 13. This is going to mean quite a significant re-write as the voice is currently much too young for a 15 year old in today's society. My question is - how long can a YA be? Or how long is one typically?