If I had no exposure to the New Adult genre and had to guess what it is, I would suspect something like this: Recent college graduate (or high school graduate if the character did not go to college), who is trying to figure out The Real World – getting a full-time job, finding a place to live, having to pay all your own bills, understanding health insurance and 401(k)s – all while juggling friends and family and romance and etc. I would guess the setting to be mostly in the workplace. I could also almost think that it could be about college freshmen, who are “new adults” by the fact that they are leaving home for probably the first time. However, though my college days are far behind me, I feel pretty confident in saying that the average college freshmen are (very) slightly more mature high schoolers. Even senior year of college can be seen more as a part of childhood than adulthood. But, I digress. (And please, these are generalizations, don’t get offended if you are – or were – mature and adult like in your college years.)
After reading several New Adult books, this is how I would define the genre: Young Adult stories with adult sex scenes.
Now I know that several New Adult authors dispute that definition. (I tried to search for some exact quotes from them, but since nothing came up on the first result page of any of my searches, I gave up. I’m sure you can find some if you really want to.) However, I don’t buy it. Most of the books that I’ve read had been about new college students who lose their virginity – graphically. Or fall in love and realize that sex can be meaningful – and graphic. Some have even had actual plot lines that did not center on sex, but was still inundated with multiple graphic scenes. Honestly, most of these books are bordering on erotica. And very few have ever mentioned majors, future careers, or paying an electric bill.
Now, if you like this, that’s fine. Read your horny little hearts out!! I’m not trying to demean other people’s tastes in books. I have just come to the realization that this genre is not enjoyable for me and thus, I think I need to give it up.
Does that mean I’ll never read another New Adult book? Probably not. (What is a break-up without a backslide?) For example, The Return is a book by Jennifer Armentrout that I have been looking forward to since The Covenant series ended. Seth was one of my favorite characters and I was happy to hear he was getting his own spin-off. However, while The Covenant series was YA, JLA has said that Seth is old enough for The Return to be NA. I’m DREADING that all this means is that the sex scenes will be much more graphic than they were in the preceding Young Adult series and the writing will be exactly the same. Here’s your chance, Armentrout, to disprove my New Adult theory! Please do!
And ughhhhh. That cover. Really???????????????????
What do you think? Do you read New Adult? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment?