"New Adult" is still a fairly new genre, which many people (including myself) know very little about. This may be largely due to the fact that the majority of New Adult books are self published. If you have heard something about it, chances are that something was about how smutty it is. That, however, is only part of it. New Adult is about possibility, independence, and self-discovery.
But let me back up a bit. When I first started writing my upcoming novel, Over Again, I wasn't sure how to label it. It definitely wasn't teen fiction, as my characters are older, out of college even, and it didn't feel like adult fiction, as my characters are barely functioning adults (much like myself).
I considered Over Again to be more of a romantic comedy in the same vein as 13 Going on 30 and Just Like Heaven. That's when I heard about a newer genre: New Adult. Finally a genre that fit!
However, even after learning about this exciting genre, I still didn't know of any titles that fit into it. It wasn't exactly a section in my local library...yet! Recently, my library gave New Adult its very own shelf location. Cheers of joy! So, of course, I raided it and brought home a giant stack.
As I finish up work on my current manuscript, I thought I'd dive into some of these wonderful titles and share them with you. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting a series of New Adult recommendations to let you all know what's out there.
But first I wanted to get back to what the heck "New Adult" is anyway?
I recently purchased a book called Writing New Adult Fiction by Deborah Halverson to help me out along the way. Right in the beginning (page three) it says:
"That's the experience of the eighteen to twenty-five year olds whom psychologists have dubbed "emerging adults"...This seven -year phase of development is as distinct as childhood, teenhood, and adulthood—and so crucially different from each one. This post-teen, pre-adult phase is marked by identity exploration, instability, self-focus, and possibilities. Oh, the possibilities."
The book also lays out nine qualifications to make a novel "New Adult," but for our purposes I'm simply going to use the four that I think are key:
1. Age: 18-25 (roughly)
2. Identity: discovering self and establishing independence
3. Friends: typically of similar ages and interests
4. Romance: exploritory and mature
In my recommendations I will detail (spoiler free) how each book fits these criteria and give you a better sense of whether or not it's right for you. Plus, wine pairings! Yay!
Let me know in the comments if there's a title you think I absolutely must read.