Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I Love New Adult Books

Addicted to New Adult is a promotion organized by New Leaf Literary & Media to share the love for New Adults books. You can check them out on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook


Really good New Adult books have most of the elements that make Young Adult books so great, but with a different set of challenges. NA is different from YA and even adult books because the problems the characters face are somewhere in between ‘teen problems’ (growing up, school, friendships, first love, family problems, asserting independence, etc), and ‘adult problems’ (needing to work for a living, thinking about marriage and children, saving money for the future, buying a house, etc). It’s that wonderful in-between time where the world is wide open to you and everything seems possible. Characters have made it through the tumultuous teenage years but likely haven’t yet had time to become jaded, cynical, world-weary adults.

So why does that deserve its own genre you may ask? There are so many reasons. When I graduated from high school, if you’d told me that my college years would be like a completely different world, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it was something I quickly discovered was true - old friendships were tested, new friendships were formed, I faced different challenges, worried more about the future, and I also had way more freedom and way more fun. I came out of my shell, became more confident and independent, tried new things, partied hard, and faced a whole new set of challenges than I did in high school. Those college years are ones I look back on fondly, and I would have loved to read about kids my age at the time instead of having to choose between ‘teen books’ and ‘adult books’ because even though I enjoyed both, neither seemed to apply to my life anymore.

I actually just recently won a giveaway based on my answer to the question ‘what does New Adult mean to you?’ This was my answer: 
“To me, New Adult means people just starting out. Whether they just finished high school or they're in college or even post college, it's people who are trying to figure out their lives - what they want to do, who they want to be, and learning what it's like to really be an adult. I like that anything goes - they're sometimes darker and edgier, some of them are super sexy, and some of them are really emotional and tug at your heart.”
Those are just some of the great things about New Adult books. A lot of people (both authors and readers, I think) seem to have the impression that New Adult is all about sex. I can understand how they think that based on the racy covers and the fact that a lot of New Adult books do seem to revolve around sex, but the really good ones have much more of a story to them than that, and I think people should give this new genre a fair shot. 



What do you love about New Adult? What are some of your favourite New Adult books? Leave some recommendations in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out!  


5 comments:

  1. New Adult's been tricky for me. "Sexed up YA" is what's stuck in my head but I know there's more than that out there. I think the college years are such a crazy time and I'm shocked it's taken this long to focus on this age and time of life.

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  2. I basically agree with and love everything about this post, Marie! Which, you know we share a lot of the same thoughts on New Adult. I REALLY hope authors, publishers, and fans of this type of fiction are able to help shake the bad stereotypes about it!

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  3. That's a great answer for New Adult. Personally, I haven't read many and the covers tend to turn me off - they all seem near identical to me. x_x

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  4. It's about such an important and volatile time in our lives! I remember my college days and how much I changed and learned about myself as well as the rest of the world. That time is intriguing to me because I know how much I developed and that the characters will most likely mature greatly throughout the plot.

    mestith at gmail dot com

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  5. I think New Adult deserves to be a category. With that said, though, I think that it needs to branch out beyond 'Broken girl is saved by hot guy with whom she has sex and relationship drama.'

    No, not all New Adult follows this formula, but there do seem to be a few trends that repeat, which has made me read with a lot more attention for patterns then I normally would. I think my favorite NA title read so far has been "If You Stay"... The hero was just such an out and out jackass that I had to see how on earth he could be redeemed, and since I've had a brother in a similar situation I was curious how it would be handled. I felt the author did a good job. (Talking the hero's issue; *not* the causes behind it, to be clear.)

    Getting to a point where we can define what NA actually is seems like it's going to be this category's biggest challenge. What determines NA: age? Themes? Specified sub-genres? Certain levels of sexuality? (I got into one heck of an arguement with my brother's gf over whether Fifty Shades of Grey counted as NA... Makes me wanna take an Advil just thinking about it.)

    I've been spending some of my downtime reading speculative (fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi etc.) NA and am really enjoying that--so much so that my own series are being re-evaluated because I feel, if I can actually write characters at this stage of life now, that many of my themes might work better within the context of figuring out adulthood rather than rebelling against parental guidance. (And yes it goes far deeper then that, of course.)

    If nothing else, NA will be an interesting field for writers, bloggers and readers to watch because it still has a lot of growing up (yes, that was intentional) to do. :)

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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