How would you define New Adult? Do you think it deserves its very own genre?
I think New Adult is a pretty cool new concept. In my mind it really specifies a transitional period of growing up, between graduating high school and really becoming an adult. It is the college days, the first job, and possibly the first serious relationship. What I don’t like is how lately “new adult” is being grouped with “erotica”. Um, it is SO not that. It is simply the age group that it applies to, and the personal growth that occurs during that time. If young adult is typically teenagers, then new adult is 18-early 20s. It doesn’t have to be only in the romance genre, even though that is where it has become most popular. I’ve read a few paranormal NAs that I thought were quite good. Just starting to figure out a new career falls very much into the new adult genre in my mind. I think a reason I like new adult so much is I can relate to it better than to YA, since I very recently was a new adult. I’m 30 now, so I guess I’m a full blown adult now, huh? But very recently I was getting married, getting a first house, setting up my life, and really getting somewhere with my career. That is very much a new adult experience, so I enjoy reading books containing that experience.
The actually definition of New Adult is a bit of an enigma for me. To me it is like Young Adult, but the main characters are college aged. Some people claim that Young Adult is simply a book in which the main characters are teenaged. I do not think that is all there is to it. These two genres are defined by more than just the ages of their main characters. Young Adult is more like a coming of age story told with amazing honesty and bluntness. New Adult is much like a coming of age story, but more like a coming to adulthood story. There is this vast gap between being a teenager and being a full fledged adult with a career, a house, a spouse, children, etc… I am only 31 and while I feel like I am still in the New Adult phase of my own life, I suppose to some I am an actual adult! <insert sharp intake of air here, AKA a GASP!> To others, mainly my mom and other family members, I am not quite there yet. One thing that I can honestly say that I do NOT like about the New Adult genre is how it gets labeled as young adult, but with sex in it! Or New Adult is about damaged lovers having steamy sex. Ummm… no. I get the whole “damaged lovers” thing, but really, what I think the main point is, is that these books are not going to typically feature first love, as YA does. New Adult main characters have typically loved and lost before. These books deal with how to learn to love again, how to learn to live as an adult in a world that does not quite take them seriously yet. New Adult is one of my favorite genres to read. But please please please, readers, publishers, and authors alike, to NOT make it all about the steam and not about character development. Pretty please? oh, and one more small request to all book stores out there, can we PLEASE get an NA section? I am so tired of searching Romance, erotica and the teen section for NA books, never knowing exactly WHERE I might find them.