Saturday, September 14, 2013

On the Topic Of...New Adult


I know by this point everyone has shared their opinions on New Adult, but I've wanted to throw my two cents in for a while. Because as a 22-year-old recent university graduate YA lover, there's a lot I could say on the subject of NA. So here goes nothing.

Right now, New Adult is the new and hot thing and because of the "newness" factor, people are having difficulty defining exactly what it is, or what even qualifies at New Adult. From what I've understood, NA stories are typically ones where the characters are out of high school and are now in college, therefore older than YA but not quite old enough to be "full-blown" adults (for lack of a better word). And inevitably there always seems to be more mature romance involved--sometime to the point where it feels like the book is more about the sexual content than the actual plot.

But what appeals to me when it comes to New Adult isn't the more mature content, but rather the fact that the characters are older. I love YA and some of the characters that come from YA, but as a 22-year-old, I can sometimes find it a little difficult to relate to those YA characters. But with NA, the characters are much closer to not just my age (not that I'm THAT much older than YA), but also to where I am in my life. I find myself relating to those NA characters in ways that I haven't been able to relate to YA characters in a while. And for that alone, I'll take all the NA books I can. 

But as much as I appreciate how much I am able to relate to some of the characters in those NA books, sometimes I get a little frustrated with them. I mentioned already that one of the recurring themes with a lot of NA books is the more mature and increased sexual content. While there is a time and a place for that sexual content, there are some NA books that take it a little far, making it so the story is more about the sex than the actual story. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that sexual content as much as the next person, but is it too much that it happen in the greater context of an actual story? Just because I am complaining about this it doesn't mean that there aren't NA novels because there are and I've read them. Books like K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie blew me away and helped sell me on NA as a thing. The same can be said about Cora Carmack's books and I'm sure plenty of others I just haven't had time to read yet.

So my final say on New Adult: I can definitely get behind it, especially if it means more books like the ones I mentioned in this post. Im all for stories that are a little more mature, with characters I can really relate to.

What are your thoughts on the whole New Adult phenomenon? If you've read a lot of NA are there any you would recommend above others? Let me know in the comments! 

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1 comment:

  1. I would love some New Adult that branched away from the contemporary as well. Some New Adult fantasy, or paranormal would be amazing. I think this whole NA thing is just getting started, and like you am enjoying the ones I've read so far.

    I am looking forward to when some other authors take their turn at writing something in this genre, and see where it goes next. Great thoughts, Emilie!

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