There's no denying that New Adult - the genre designed to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction - has been a recent hot topic and a bit of a publishing phenomenon, much like adult erotica was this time last year. Whether you like it or despise it, it seems like it's here to stay, and I don't think I'm alone when I say I'm very glad about that. I love New Adult, and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
I've been reading quite a lot of NA books recently, mostly on my Kindle that I've bought myself or requested for review from Netgalley. I've read some I've really liked and some I've thought very little of, as is the way with any genre/age range of books. The writing has been of a high standard so far, even though I didn't expect it to be in some cases, considering a good handful of the titles started out as self-published works that quickly garnered a large audience and were picked up for big publishing deals. I've been pleasantly surprised, as I know a lot of other readers have been too.
I'm twenty-six years old and predominantly read YA and children's fiction with a sporadic splash of adult. I love children's and teen fiction, it will always be my favourite, but sometimes I just feel the need to read about older people, older characters in their early-mid twenties who are living a more relatable life and making more realistic choices closer to my own.
I personally find a lot of adult fiction boring and too difficult for me to relate to, but NA is exactly what I want at this moment in time, a time when I'm kind of in limbo - mid-twenties (yes, I'm not giving that little label up anytime soon), employed, with no husband, kids or mortgage. I've found that most female characters in NA books are in a similar position to me, though a lot are also at university/college which is again something I've never experienced. I can quite happily go along with that, though, as I know a lot of real-life people who went down that route and it's not an alien concept to me. Now, talk to me about getting married and having children and I'm guaranteed to run a mile!
From reading these NA titles I've been devouring recently, I've noticed that they tend to be quite similar. There almost always seems to be an absent parent, a bad home life and one or both of the main protagonist's virginity still in tact. I'll admit it can get repetitive when I read two similar stories close together, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them. I appreciate that NA is more realistic than YA as a whole - there's a distinct lack of supernatural and paranormal elements - and instead what you get are real people doing normal everyday things. There's still lots of drama, of course, otherwise it would be all about ironing and studying, and even I don't want to read about mundane stuff like that.
One thing I've noticed that NA has more of, a lot more, is sexually explicit content. Some has more than others, and honestly it doesn't really add anything to the story. Some of it is so cringeworthy to read too, because come on, we all have imaginations and don't have to read about every single second of sex. We know what goes on, so why so much detail? The sexual content wouldn't even rank on my list of reasons why I like NA and, quite frankly, I could happily do without it. My favourite NA titles are the ones with less exploits content, which is one reason why I'm not a fan of the majority of Abbi Glines' work. I read Fallen Too Far and didn't enjoy it at all - it was just *too* much. I don't mean to single Abbi's books out as I thoroughly enjoyed The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers, but it's the best example I could think of where there's way too much descriptive sex. It's not my thing at all which is why I avoid adult erotica at all costs!
Of the NA books I've read so far, I have two clear winners that I've been recommending to everyone who will listen: Easy by Tammara Webber and Losing It by Cora Carmack. I adore both of them and think they're shining examples of how good this genre can be. I've also read and liked Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess, True by Erin McCarthy and the aforementioned Abbi Glines series. I have a whole folder on my Kindle dedicated to NA I've bought, along with several Netgalley review copies, and I can't wait to get stuck in.
So, what I want to know is: do you like NA? Do you agree with its existence? Do you despise it so much you won't even think of picking up one of the books? I fall firmly into the 'I love it' camp, though I'm sure there are loads of readers out there who will (very politely) disagree with me. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments and, if you have any NA recommendations or indeed would just like to discourage me from reading certain titles, please leave those thoughts too. I'm interested to know what other bloggers, readers and even publishers think because, whether you love it or hate it, NA has made an impression on the reading world!