First let me say that many of my blogging friends love the New Adult genre, it’s the best thing since sliced bread to them and I respect that. Everyone likes something different and even my co-blogger is in love with the New Adult genre. This is my opinion on the New Adult genre and it’s negative, sorry!
What is New Adult?
“Alise, I’ve been living under a rock, what the heck is New Adult?”
Well, my dear friends, the best definition I can find is from NA Alley:
We view New Adult fiction (NA) as a category of literature—meaning, it gives readers content expectations, but it does not dictate genre-based criteria. Typically, a novel is considered NA if it encompasses the transition between adolescence—a life stage often depicted in Young Adult (YA) fiction—and true adulthood.
Protagonists generally fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.
NA Alley is a great site for those of you NA lovers!
Why I Dislike the Genre:
It’s not even that the genre has some obvious identity issues: is it Adult/is it suitable for my (insert age here) teen/why is it sold in the Teen section of Barnes & Noble/why is is being marketed to younger audiences/isn’t New Adult just Adult that teens can actually buy but it’s that almost every New Adult book is the same. Some of the most popular New Adult books are below, and while I have only read a few of them I have heard from friends and other reviewers they are remarkably similar.
From Goodreads’ Popular New Adult Books List
I think all readers or book bloggers have seen or heard about these titles before, with a majority having read them. I believe my dislike for this genre stems from the fact I really hate repetitive story lines, and New Adult is the biggest contributor to that for me. I even created this gorgeous, analytical chart that is based on entirely scientific data* that may or may not be just a little sarcastic.
So you get the point. Contemporary in general is a tough genre to make unique and it seems to me like New Adult is basically just a more extreme version of YA contemporary. If there were sub-genres in New Adult that included fantasy or dystopia, I would probably be much more inclined to give the genre another chance. As of right now, I don’t feel very motivated to keep searching out more books in the New Adult genre.
Around the Internet:
Some quotes I found relating to New Adult literature:
“[Referring to BEAUTIFUL DISASTER] The book is referred to as a young adult version of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which itself is referred to as literary porn for women.”
“There has been a lot of backlash towards new adult. The biggest criticism has been from those who define new adult as ‘young adult with porn.'”
–I Believe in Story
“I don’t want New Adult to be a label that just means that you can add in more explicit sexual content to YA. I don’t want it to be a label for authors that are too cool to write YA or for authors who are not good enough to write adult fiction. I want it to be books that “bridge the gap” between YA and adult fiction the same way middle grade novels prepare younger readers for YA.”
-Wrapped Up In Books
For Fans of the Genre:
-Why is it you like New Adult books? If it is close to your age range so you relate to it, why doesn’t just the adult genre or a more mature YA novel satisfy you?
-Have you found a new adult book that is not contemporary?
-Would you classify New Adult safe for younger teens around the age of thirteen?
-Do you think New Adult has a particular set of tropes that every book in the genre conforms to?
-What books would you recommend to a newbie (or person like me) wanting to experience the genre?