January 4, 2013
Have you ever read a book that didn’t seem to fit in either Young Adult (YA) or (Contemporary Romance) Adult fiction? It might have been about someone who has just moved out of home to go to college. Or someone who’s just finished school and now is trying to prove herself in her first professional job.
It’s not news anymore that young adult books are appealing to readers well beyond their teens. But is there a new genre that fits in between young adult titles and traditional adult fare? St Martin’s Press coined the term called “new adult.” While it seems to mean different things to different publishers, many agree that it’s a group title for books that are more mature than young adult titles – a literary category that may serve as a stepping-stone for readers moving beyond the young adult genre.
The transformation from child to adult doesn’t happen overnight—just ask as anyone who is a parent to a teenager. But the transition from teen to adult doesn’t happen overnight either. There’s a period of time where adulthood feels like playing house; fake. The expectations of and self-sufficiency are alien, and doesn’t feel real. New Adults are the people who have just begun to explore playing grown-up and playing house.
New Adult heroes and heroines are mostly likely in the range of 18 to 26 years old. College, first jobs, first relationships, there’s a lot that can happen when you’re 18-26, But the fact is, those same events feel very different at that age than they do at 12 or at 40. Kids and teens focus on the present, while adults draw on their past experience to inform their present and future decisions. New Adults are somewhere in between, the distinction might seem subtle, but it comes through crystal clear in the voice of New Adult fiction.
I’m excited about this growing trend. I was introduced to this genre when Beverley Kendall started writing her New Adult book, When In Paris…, which I thoroughly enjoyed! I can’t wait to read some other highly recommended and bestseller books: Easy by Tamara Weber and Slammed and Hopeless by Coleen Hoover. So this genre kind of blends what I love most about both (contemporary) adult romance and YA together. When it’s well written, I really enjoy that coming of age stories where we get to see the and angst and confusion of being young and unsure rolled in with the ability to take some risks, to be an adult instead of acting like one.
So what are your thoughts about this new genre? Have you read anything you’d consider New Adult? Do you think it will last? I’m giving away 3 digital copies each of HOPELESS and WHEN IN PARIS…. Comment to enter to win.