“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.” Douglas Adams
Are you in denial about your writing? Are you writing something you could’ve sworn was aimed at middle grade readers when it clearly screams (or quacks) young adult? Or vice versa. Show your work to your critique partners with specific questions about whom they see as its intended readership. You might surprise yourself and find you’ve conquered a plot problem by raising or lowering the age of your main character.