New Adult Books: Necessary or a waste of time?

So there’s been a lot of conversations happening all over the interwebz in the last few weeks about the talk of a new genre of book – and that is New Adult. Don’t get me wrong, these books have been around for ages now, but previously classified as Young Adult (or I’ve sometimes heard them referred to as Mature Young Adult) or in some cases Adult Fiction.

There’s a lot of opinions floating around – is this genre needed, or is it a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

What is new adult? Essentially think of any YA title and change your protagonist from a teenager to someone aged between 18-25 years old. So they may have just gone through college, or they’re moving out of home for the first time. They’re dealing with some different issues to what teenagers may be dealing with, but otherwise it’s the same. Oh, and since our protagonist is a little older, we’re okay with a bit more of the horizontal tango if you know what I mean.. :)

Over half of the people who currently purchase YA books are over the age of 18 and buying for themselves, so yes I think books of this nature are relevant and will sell. On a personal level, I am 28 years old, and would definitely read these types of books (along with my trusty and loved YA).

There’s a lot of discussion about NA (That’s what they’re abbreviating New Adult to fyi..) becoming  new Chick-Lit. I seriously hope this is not the case. And there seems to be an awful lot of focus on the romance/sexual side of things too.

Do I think there is a need for a new genre for NA? The jury is out on this one. On one hand, if it makes finding books easier (As I rarely venture into the adult fiction section of the book store, there’s potentially some great titles I am missing due to the wrong classification) then I am happy to shop for “New Adult” titles. However, on the other hand, if New Adult is merely going to become a simply put a typecast excuse for college erotica, count me out. I’d like to think that NA books can have the same broad spectrum of genres that YA offers, although from the sounds of things, it seems at this stage at least, that all of the books within are contemporary fiction. I wouldn’t mind some NA Dystopian or Fantasy style novels?

Essentially, I see both good and bad aspects of this move (which I’ll summarise at the bottom), however I’d like to think I am a ‘glass half full’ kinda gal, and so I remain optimistic that this could help fill in the gaps that people my age suffer from (not aged in the YA bracket, not quite wanting Adult fiction either).

Okay – so the PROS to this as far as I can see is that it’s going to help me, the reader, find what I want to read much faster if this is done right. Middle Grade/Young Adult/New Adult all having their own rightful categories would  help me so much when it comes to discovering new books that I’d like to read. By putting them in to these categories, I at least know at a glance that if I pick up a NA book, the protagonist will be closer to my age and there may be mature themes.

TheCONS from what I can deduct are, that if this genre is not correctly managed, it could end up being a genre filled with college girls and their flings. Again, I am a positive person – so I’d like to think it wouldn’t come to this. And if it does, then I’ll just stick with my YA books thank you.

I’d love to know what you’re all thinking about this out there… is there room for New Adult books? It’s something worth discussing!

What do you think?

  • Erica says:

    I’m pretty excited about this “new” genre, Mel! I just finished reading one called “Darkhouse” by Karina Halle, about a 22 year old ghost hunter. It was so refreshing to have an older protagonist, and I found it much easier to relate to her than I do with say, a 15 year old. There are quite a few books in this series, and I cannot wait to get cracking on them!

    • Melissa says:

      I am so keen to read Darkhouse as well with everything you told me about it! I’m going to get this from Amazon on Kindle like.. today. Not sure when I’ll get time to read it, but seeing as it’s a NA style book and it is not a ‘chick-lit’ style book, I am up for it! Thanks heaps for letting me know about it!! xx

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