New Adult: A New Reading Experience

I’ve been somewhat outspoken against my mostly hate relationship with Young Adult novels. Between the over-the-top angst, the annoying love triangles, and the considerable absence of any kind of parental guidance, I’ve found that the genre just doesn’t usually work for me. So, when I heard about the New Adult genre, I was instantly on guard, and avoided those books like the plague.

Rush MeThen one day I was browsing NetGalley and came across Rush Me by Allison Parr, a Carina Press release about a post-graduate woman who finds herself at an NFL party, and goes toe to toe with the quarterback and overall ladies man. I’ll admit that I didn’t read the blurb that closely. To be honest, the second I saw “NFL Quarterback,” I quit reading and requested the book. I’m a sucker for sports romances.

Needless to say I was absolutely smitten. The book was fun and sexy and one of those reads that just pulls you in from the very beginning and finds a way to get its hooks in you. I was still a little hesitant about the new adult genre, mostly because those characters were a little bit older than most, but I was more than willing to give the genre another shot.

I then picked up True by Erin McCarthy, an author I whose adult books I’ve enjoyed in the past. Again, I was blown away. The genre seemed to encompass some of the themes that I went through at the high school/college time in my life. A better understanding of myself, my first time being in true love, heartbreak like never before, experimentation, and the joys and scares that come with being on my own for the first time.

TrueSince, I’ve read two books that dealt with some pretty heavy themes: Wait for You by J. Lynn and Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder. These books both crushed me and inspired me in ways I never imagined. They were both full of angst that I’ve come to associate with young adult books, and yet it didn’t have any of the other factors that turn me off from that genre. Instead, they both stood out as beautiful stories of self-discovery and personal growth that made me smile and cry at the same time.

I think Jane from Dear Author said it best via Twitter. “New Adult is coming of age stories featuring protagonists that are newly independent. Romantic NA are coming of age stories featuring protagonists whose relationships with each other and those around them further their self discovery.”

I’m happy to say that although I was slow to jump on the new adult bandwagon, I’m so incredibly happy that I took the leap. I’m still being very selective in what I read, but I absolutely can’t wait to find the next NA book to knock my socks off!
Have you read a new adult book yet? What’s your favorite book in the NA genre?


Rush Me:


Wait For You:

Falling Into You:

11 thoughts on “New Adult: A New Reading Experience”

  1. If you consider new adult from a romance perspective, I think there’s a lot of things that they’re doing differently within the stories that make it seem a little fresh and new to me as a long time romance reader. The perspectives and attitudes of the characters are just a little different in old easier to accept given their age. A book featuring the same types of circumstances or characters that are even eight years older would be very frustrating for me.

    But I think it’s interesting how the old rules of no first person, no first person present tense, no long separations, no other love interests, no non-wealthy characters, are being pushed aside. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that the new adult authors are necessarily traditional romance readers and don’t feel constrained by the unwritten rules.

    It’s not that I like all of the things that goes on in every new adult book. There are some that I find histrionic and there some that I find manipulative and there are others that are just full of characters I can’t understand. That said, a lot of new adult books read fresh to me and I think more than anything that’s what I’m enjoying.

  2. I found Rush Me to be an enjoyable read, I was happy to hear it would be a series. I have True in my TBR pile but have not started on it yet. I also liked Losing It by Cora Carmack.

  3. My top picks are Easy, Wait for You, The Secret of Ella and Micha and The Forever of Ella and Micha, and I just read Monica Murphy’s Drew and Fable books. What I think I like about these so-called NA the best is that they’re set in college, the main characters are still trying to find themselves and what they want as they become adults. Plus the male love interests are really great guys. Both the main couple go through a self discovery together, not just the female protagonist.

  4. I feel the same way about both YA and NA. I avoid YA like the plague, but I find myself falling into NA more and more. Like Jane, the situations and characters would probably bother me in older characters, but I find the stories a refreshing change from a lot of the same-old same-old of the current romance market.

  5. I actively avoid YA, whereas I’ve enjoyed all of the NA books that I’ve read. I have a hard time accepting a story of “true love” when the characters are 16 or 17, whereas if they are at least 20 or so, they are starting to think and act like adults, so it seems much more realistic. Also, even though it was a long time ago, I remember how new the world felt once I left home for college and was truly in charge of my destiny (for good or bad LOL).

    I have learned to be very selective though, because most of the NA books are self-pubbed and the grammar and spelling often leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the first person present tense that seems to be so popular in this genre. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ve got to read Easy by Tammara Webber, which is a near perfect example of this genre. I also enjoyed The Edge of Never by JA Redmerski and Relentless by Cassia Leo. In UF, I’d highly recommend Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, which features a 19 YO male lead who discovers he’s a necromancer and gets pulled into the paranormal world.

  6. @Jane: Well said, yet again! 🙂

    @Amy R: I’ll have to look at Loosing It. thanks for the rec!

    @KT Grant: Thanks for all the great suggestions, and I couldn’t agree more. I like seeing both main characters develop into adults. 🙂

    @Holly: I agree that older characters would bother me in some of these situations as well, but I find I love it at that early 20s age-range.

    @JenM: I tend to agree, young love and true love are, to me, very different. I have yet to run into the self-published NA nightmares. I think it’s probably b/c I am still VERY picky about what I pick up.

  7. I’m enjoying the NA I’m reading too. Definitely Easy, but also Good for You by Tammara Webber, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. All very good. I liked Rush Me quite a bit and have True on my TBR. 🙂

  8. I’m really enjoying the NA genre. I liked Rush Me and have pre-ordered True. I agree with JenM that you have to watch, though, because a lot of it is self-pubbed and the editing is horrible and/or non-existent. I wish I was the type of reader that wasn’t bothered by bad editing, but alas, I am.

  9. I feel the same way as you do about YA, I avoid it completely. But the NA, does that abbreviation work? It seems interesting, I have not picked one up for fear it would be like YA but with older characters. After reading your post though I think I will have to give one a try!

  10. @Kaetrin: Thanks for the great suggestions! I’m gonna have to check those out!

    @Holly: I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! YAY!

    @Patti (Caught in a FAB Romance): I’m bothered by bad editing too, so I’ve got to make sure I’m extra careful! 🙂

    @Lexi: I use the NA abbreviation, so I say it’s good! 🙂 I hope you try and like some of the NA books.

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