Monday, October 14, 2013

Musing about New Adult

So there's this new genre out there that's getting a lot of buzz: New Adult.

To me, New Adult feels like darker chick-lit, at least for some of the titles that I've read.  Typically the characters are post-high school, usually early to mid-twenties.  You remember those years, right? They were the years when most of us were surviving on ramen noodles, starting careers, (or, at least thinking about them), starting a Serious Relationship or two and generally still questioning the Universe and our existences but at the same time believing we had all of the answers.  Yeah, good times.

I really liked to read chick-lit in its hey-day and, frankly, I hate the term chick-lit because I think it's unfairly derogatory of the genre but most people will understand what I'm talking about when I use it.  I fear that the New Adult genre may soon fizzle, much like chick-lit, unless the storylines go deeper.  So far, the biggest conflict in most of the New Adult titles that I've read (and there are TONS of them) is will they/won't they sleep together.  This must evolve... 

While I love to read about relationships in my novels, particularly relationships that grow, I prefer other deeper conflicts and themes as well.  In fact, I usually prefer the romance to be secondary while the relationship-building compliments deeper plots and sub-plots.  I would also love to read New Adult that does some real genre-bending--e.g. New Adult historical, maybe?  New Adult speculative?  New Adult space opera??  That's the cool thing about a new genre.  A great story can always pave the way for an exciting trend, even within an existing genre.

Do you read or write New Adult?  If yes, got any titles you can recommend?

By the way, I posted a lot of pics from the Wordstock Festival on my Facebook and Twitter pages last week, in case you want to see some cool pics of some of your favorite authors and bloggers in the very cool city of Portland. There were donuts, people! :)

10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

New adult space opera! I guess my first book could've fallen into that category. And no romance, I promise.
I remember the college years much more fondly than I do my high school years.

Karen Walker said...

I enjoy chick lit when I want total escape, but this new genre doesn't sound appealing to me. Maybe it's my age.

shelly said...

I have read neither Chick or New Adult. But I love a great book that makes you think.

Good post!

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Talei said...

Honestly, anything to get people excited but I'm not sure the readers will notice any difference. Is it all a publishing marketers ploy? I'm skeptical but am sure it'll sell until the next big thing comes along. I know some writers of YA are now talking NA but I still think the lines are blurred. And, personally I think anyone over the age of 20 is an ADULT. Period.

I like a book with a good plot and compelling characters, irrespective of the genre or author. Yes, sex is always good - if well-written but the light-hearted fluff, I can do without.

Now - can we talk about the dino-erotica? I mean...

R. Mac Wheeler said...

I'm trying to get the term dude lit going. World needs more dude lit.

Danette Baltzer said...

I hadn't heard of New Adult but I think all the genres are getting ridiculous. I absolutely hate having so many in the library. Fortunately we don't break all of them up but there's always kind of a push to- and some libraries do have Urban Fiction area which I despise.

LD Masterson said...

I feel a bit old for new adult. Could we get some new senior?

DEZMOND said...

oy, if it's dark it ain't for little Dezzy.... I'm waiting for sunshine, unicorn and bunnies new adult genre :)

Liz Fichera said...

For the record, I think "Dude Lit" is awesome. Somebody needs to get on that. Like, stat.

Deniz Bevan said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm writing new Adult, because all my characters are in their very early twenties. But they're actually historical romances. Does it qualify as NA if they're not going to college? I find this rather confusing...