As you know, I've become addicted to the New Adult (NA) genre. Just look at the books I've read so far this year. Eleven out of the twenty-two books are NA (although I would also classify two of the Young Adult books as more NA in flavor, but I followed B&N's classification). And those are just the books I've finished. I have tried thirteen other NA books that didn't hold my attention, and therefore did not make the list.
So what's the appeal?
Well, I've always loved YA books. I enjoy getting to see teens figure their shit out. And I love the transitional period from childhood to semi-adulthood. And while the angst gets annoying at times, I love the first kiss, the first love, the first heartbreak, the first everything! However, I've always gravitated to the darker books. The sexier books, if you will. Hey, I'm a romance writer! It might be the French and the Irish in me, but I don't see the point in hiding sex or pretending it doesn't exist. It happens. Get over it. Which is why I adore YA authors like Jennifer Echols and Simone Elkeles. They don't run from it, they embrace it. Unfortunately, they are still human and they can't write a book a day, much to my dismay.
When NA made it's debut at the end of 2012, I knew I had to try it. University was a huge turning point for me, so I knew I would love books written in that age group. Needless to say, my first guess was correct. I was hooked. If I thought YA was good, it's nothing compared to NA. Since it's an older group, the darker issues are addressed more openly. There is sex, drugs, alcohol, abuse, suicide, and sadly, rape. Overall, I find NA books to be more honest. The genre is able to deal with broader, more difficult issues.
Now, there are some cons to the NA genre. Just look at my stats. Eleven (thirteen, really) NA books, plus another thirteen that I tried and couldn't finish. Those aren't great odds. So why have I struggled with some of the books? The main reason is, the majority of the books I've tried were self-published. However, before you all freak out, I have nothing against self-published authors. In fact, with the NA genre, I'm adoring them.
But just because your book is NA does not mean it's good! People are so desperate for the genre that they will read anything. As for me, I still require basic spelling and grammar, and a hint that you actually edited the work. That sounds harsh, but some of the books I downloaded were so full of errors that I immediately returned for a refund. When I download a book to my Kindle, I expect quality. I expect the book to be in top form, regardless of whether it was self-published or published traditionally.
Still, there are some gems amongst the rocks. My top three NA books so far are:
Easy by Tammara Webber
This book is my all-time favorite at the moment. I loved the hero, I loved the heroine, and I loved the plot. And the writing--swoon! Plus, it deals with the issue of rape on university campuses. I think this is a powerful message that needs to be discussed by everyone. I don't care your gender--we need to stick up for each other!!
Wait For You by Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J. Lynn
This is another book that deals with a very tough issue, but I won't get into it (don't want to ruin the book!) For once, the heroine is the one with the issues. The hero is sweet, funny, and loveable as he tries to win her over. He is a "bad boy" but not in the traditional, brooding sense. Trust me, you will LOVE this book. Even the secondary characters were amazing. I can't wait for book two.
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
Okay, let's be honest. The title is dreadful. I almost didn't try it based off of that, but the cover is so gorgeous! In the end, I'm glad I gave it a shot. This book is amazing. Yet another plot that deals with very difficult issues. This one, however, is mutual between the hero and heroine. Both are very broken individuals, but together they work. I loved it, and I can't believe I have to wait for book two!
So there you have it! My thoughts on the new genre.
Have you guys tried the NA genre? Any favorite books you'd like to add?