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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Saturday 22 December 2012

Is "New Adult" the new "YA"?

The answer? Yes it is.

I feel as if book trends are growing up along side me. Before it was all about YA. Kids set up in a high school battling teenage angst, and getting into supernatural trouble. And I am all for this type of book still but sometimes you just want something more. Jumping all the way from YA to Adult is an option, but there seems to be a gap there ain't it?

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
That's where "New Adult" comes in.

I've heard this term being thrown around quite a bit these days, "New Adult". What is this exactly? I think Jeaniene Frost has a pretty good definition:
YA’s that skewed older and featured protagonists outside of a high school setting
Here's another definition I found in this article by the New York Times:
 Publishers and authors say they are seeing a spurt in sales of books that fit into the young-adult genre in their length and emotional intensity, but feature slightly older characters and significantly more sex, explicitly detailed.
 This definition accounts for one of the more significant differences between YA and New Adult, sex. In YA most sex scenes fade to black, happening behind curtains and leaving our hungry imaginations to fill in the empty space. But don't fret lovelies, New Adult is here now to save the day.

But it's more than just sex. It's experiences, and subjects that may be a little too rough for a high school setting (if this is even possible). It's about what happens after you graduate high school? What happens in the "real world"? That new experience and terror of living on your own and taking care of yourself. Maybe breaking up with your high school sweetheart, finding new love. It's about all these things and more. Kind of reminds me of the brand new MTV show titled Underemployed (which I watch faithfully).

A show about 5 friends/high school graduates
who are just trying to figure out how to deal with their new lives.
I think I'm ready for something new. Maybe this "New Adult" is just what I need! New Adult is for college kids, high school kids who feel like they needed a little more juice in their novels, adults who love YA but sometimes feel like they wanted something a bit more adult thrown in the mix.

I think this new genre is going to catch on fire. I already love it, and authors are already gearing towards writing more novels targeting this new exciting market. Like for example, Jeaniene Frost. You might know her form her hugely popular series The Night Huntress, Cat & Bones make my life better. Well now she is writing a brand new series and guess what this series is all about? New Adult.

Her Realmalker novels (title subject to change) have been in the works for a while, but before they were rejected for being a little "older than most YA’s, plus the world is darker and more complex than what’s currently popular.”

A world which is darker and more complex than your average YA wasn't on the cards a few years ago, but it's definitely on now! Jeaniene just got the green light and her New Adult story is going to be published! Haleluya! (publishing year not set in stone yet but she thinks 2014).

To read the full story of Jeaniene's new novels click here.

But this just goes to show, the world is changing, we are changing, and the publishing industry is changing right along with us.

And now I leave you with one more example of a New Adult Novel:

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)Add it to your Goodreads

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

**Warning - This is a Mature YA/New Adult book. Contains sex and violence**

Soon enough the *Warning* won't be needed.


  1. I love/Hate new adult books. I hope they don't end the era of YA because I mind the sex. :/

    I wish the warnings be forever because still I can't let my 14 years old sister read New Adult novels.
    Better call it NoeAdult

  2. I love this new genre and I'm not sure why it wasn't popular before. I can't wait for all of these new adult books to make an appearance on my shelves.

  3. See I don't think YA will ever stop, New Adult is just another step in the ladder. And what I think will happen as these books become more popular is that they will get their own space in bookstores and as the term New Adult becomes more popular then people will know what it means, and the level of maturity they contain, so the "warning" will be in the genre. Just like people know what it means when they pick up an "adult" book.

  4. I think what bothers me about new adult is that the difference, marked in your asterisks, is that it contains sex and violence. Which YA has already contained (Looking for Alaska, The Hunger Games, etc). It seems, to me, a two-part way to a) market to people who don't want to associate with YA for various reasons (too young, bad stigma, etc.) and b) to further divide a genre that doesn't need dividing and to act as a rating system, where you can stop people from reading something because it's too mature for them as new adult.

    I just... gah. I don't see this ending well.

  5. I like New Adult :) I still love Young Adult, it's my favorite. But as I'm growing up, I like to experience new things and read about people my age too. Sweet post, Tasch. :)

  6. I basically agree with Nicole. I was just told on Twitter today that I, at 17 and a soon to be college student, was not mature enough to read any new adult because a) I was not mature and b) I was not the demographic.

    I kind of find new adult to be insulting to YA. It wasn't too long ago when people said YA couldn't be sexier or we couldn't talk about drugs, sex, and other issues.

    For me, it's putting a limit on what I can and can't read and I don't like it.

  7. See I don't think it's putting any limits on anything that can be done with YA. Just as YA is supposed to be for a certain demographic, New Adult is too. But honestly, who follows the rules? I still read YA, New Adult, Adult, and even Middle Grade when I feel like it. It's only a new genre, a name, a label. Also a marketing strategy.

    And whomever told you that you were not mature enough for New Adult is just an idiot! You are the only person who can decide how "mature" you are and what you can and can't read. I'm only 20, and I read any genre I want. Been reading Adult books since high school, and will read YA all my life.

  8. I don't think YA will ever stop too. But New Adult is something that might be more appropriate for me. I'm 21 and I'm about to graduate from college. I love YA but there's something about New Adult that draws me in. I like the issues being tackled there, too. <3

  9. Indeed we grow every minute but for me reading MG/YA is for joy and Adult/NEW adult have many issues that I face in real life ( I love to forget).
    We see violence and some sex in YA novels but not as graphic as ADULT. New Adult is away for new publishes and authors to take a chance in life so I vote LET THEM BE.
    I don't think adding new genera shall make me stop enjoying my MG or YA.



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