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Giveaway: New Adult Romance – The In-between Genre

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. 

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  1. I love this genre! When Bev recommended Easy, I jumped at the chance to read something new. And I loved it! Bev’s new release When in Paris is phenomenal! I think there’s a need for this sub genre and I’m glad yo see it finally taking off!

    • Thank you so much, Kel. When I decided to write about younger college-aged characters, I’d never even heard the term new adult. And I classified YA with paranormal so I had no idea where my book was going to fit. All I knew was that I wanted to read and write about younger adults–especially the guy–and since I enjoyed my college years, I thought that was the perfect place to put them since they’d already finished high school. The other reason I didn’t want them in high school even if they’d both turned eighteen was because I wanted the parents mostly out of the way. I like the independence of my characters going away for school.

  2. TO see it. Sorry about the. Typo.

  3. I’ve read several in this sub-genre and if they are done well, they are great. A common misconception is that it is like YA but with more sex. That’s absolutely not true for good NA. If it’s done well, you get that feeling of protagonists that are balanced on the knife edge of adulthood. They’ve left home and the teenage years behind and are starting out as fresh new adults, just starting to find their way. Aside from Easy, which was one of the best books I read last year, two others that I would recommend are On Dublin Street by Samantha Young and The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski. A paranormal that I would recommend is Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.

    • I had no idea New Adult was considered YA with more sex. I thought it was considered New adult mostly based on the fact the characters were no longer in high school — or at the very least, seniors. For me it’s EASY and ON DUBLIN STREET. I’m a sissy when it comes to anything very dark or too traumatic.

  4. I enjoy some YA novels, but I think they may fall into the category of New Adult. I think a well written story is always great no matter what category people want to put it in. I try not to limit myself based on a category. If a book looks good I give it a try.

  5. I like YA novels… I don’t think I mind as long as the book is well written and the characters are likable!

  6. I can’t think of any books I’ve read in the YA or New Adult genre, although I may have. I figured I would knowingly dip my toes into New Adult with Bev’s new book When in Paris. At least I know and trust the author!

  7. I’ve read some new adult books and enjoyed them. I think it’ll last.

  8. I haven’t read any new adult books yet. Some romances show a couple’s early years, but I don’t think I’ve read an entire contemporary romance where the heroine is in her early 20s.

  9. I love this genre and I have Beverley to thank for helping open my eyes to it. I love that she always has great recommendations. NA is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres and I just love it.

  10. I’m not exactly sure who is writing in this genre yet, but I’ve read a few YA books that were too mature for that teen set. I’m excited about it.

  11. I have to be honest but I have not read any new adult novels at the moment. I do remember reading about college age kids way back when Sweet Valley University was all the rage and I loved it! Oh, unless SVU is a new adult novel…

    I can’t wait yo read your new book, Bev. I still have 3 books in my TBR list before When In Paris and I an’t wait!

  12. When I was working as a children’s librarian, I dealt with this. Generally you have Juvenile and Young Adult sections. However, I found that the children were reading “above” their level and some books weren’t really appropriate for them. I created a JM section which was for the middle school and young high school kids that didn’t want to read what they considered the baby books in J, but weren’t really ready for the older reads in YA. There were some books I put in the adult section just because they were in what you are considering the Young adult sub-genre and I was trying to keep them away from the 10 year olds. If I had the room, I would have made a separate New Adult section so it would be easier for older teens to find and adults to avoid if they didn’t care for them (or look for them if they did).

  13. So happy to discover a new genre to look into. My list keeps growing.

  14. I have read Young Adult, but was unfamiliar with the “New Adult” designation until reading about it from Beverley. I’m glad to see more information about what it means since I have a teenage daughter.

  15. Interesting. But it may just boom when all these young adult readers grow up (not to say that only teens read YA) and want more from their books.

  16. While I’ve never heard of this new genre before, it definitely has a place in the market. I’ve felt for a long time than lots of the books classified as YA were just a bit too adult for some readers in that usually targeted age group.

  17. I haven’t read anything in this genre yet…but I just bought EASY today. I’ve heard great things about this book, and am looking forward to reading it.

  18. I love the New Adult Genre and I think it’s here to stay. I’ve read Easy, Slammed, Point of Retreat, The Vincent Boys, and many more. I loved them. They have characters in different ages ranging from high school, college, and right around graduation.

    The issues they face are no different or less real than those we faced growing up or compared to adults. Some of them have been extremely dark, topics that I don’t think are suitable for all readers, but they have been no less devastating books, staying with me long after I’ve read them.

  19. No, I haven’t read any new adult books, but I’d like to! I’m always on the lookout for different things to read. Thanks for the chance.

  20. I haven’t read anything I would consider New Adult myself but I’m thrilled that Beverley has written When in Paris so I can see how I like the new genre. I have a niece who will be entering college in September who is always asking me for recommendations and I know that I’m going to pick up an extra copy of Beverley’s new book for my niece as well!

  21. I haven’t read any of the New Adult genre yet, but look forward to reading When in Paris… and others in that genre.

  22. I have read a couple of books in this new category recommended by this site, Easy and On Dublin Street. I like reading about all different types of heroes and heroines so it is nice to have more choices in stories.

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