quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


New Adult: The New Genre on the Block

I'm probably behind the times in talking about this, but I just discovered this new genre through a book I recently read, Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson.  While researching for my review, I saw that this book can be considered "New Adult".  I didn't have any clue what that meant, but after I did a little research, I thought it was such a great idea!

Obviously not a new idea in terms of writing, but definitely a new idea in terms of marketing, New Adult is a line that was first pursued by Dan Weiss, Publisher at Large for St. Martin's Press, and his Editorial Assistant, S. Joe-Jones.  Weiss is a veteran in the publishing world, bringing to the world the Sweet Valley High series, among other things.  He saw a niche that was being underutilized and felt he could really develop something new for readers.

Basically, New Adult tends to center around protagonists who are between 18 & 26 years old.  They are usually in a transitional period where they aren't children, but haven't quite established themselves in their adult lives.  This means that they could be entering college, graduating, starting a their first career, or entering that first serious relationships.  It's a lot of "firsts", but in a way that is different from what a teenager would experience.  I like how Kristen Hoffman put it in her article, "New Adult: What Is It?", "As the saying goes: old enough to know beteer, but still too young to care" (2010, para. 3).  She goes on to say, in reference to herself and friends, "It's a strange time, because we're technically adults, but most of us feel more like overgrown kids" (Hoffman, 2010, para. 2).  This sentiment, I feel, perfectly encapsulates the need for this genre.

As a "20something" myself, I often feel like I'm in this constant battle, trying to figure out where I fit in now that I'm not in high school, but also when I'm not an adult with a mortgage, a husband, and two kids.  I think New Adult is a great opportunity for people n the same type of transitionary period of their life to tell their stories and write books about characters reflecting their lives.

There are some great books out there that could already fall into this genre, and an opportunity for more and more to be added.  Some of my favorite "adult" books I would re-categorize as New Adult: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin, Prep by Curtis Sittenfield and Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson.  Obviously there are a ton more examples, and the genre is ever expanding to include books in all realms, not just contemporary (Royal Street is a good example of this).

I think this is an exciting new genre and a great addition to the book world.  The fact that more publishing houses are starting a New Adult line means more opportunity for readers and writers.  I like that the publishers are realizing that there are still needed distinctions.  Not to pigeonhole but to expand.  There are some interesting sites that you can check out if you want to learn more about New Adult: NA Alley, 20 Something Reads, and Confessions of a Twenty Something Fiction Writer.  All three have really good resources and book recommendations!

So what do you think?  Love New Adult?  Hate New Adult?  Needed niche or superfluous addition?  Let me know your opinion in the comments!

Hoffman, K. (2010). New adult: What is it? Writer'sDigest.com. Retrieved from http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/new-adult-what-is-it


  1. Great post! I like the addition of New Adult. I think you're totally right, there's a big difference between the themes and issues that come with YA ages and adult, and NA captures those years and transitions perfectly. :) It may be a marketing ploy, but I appreciate the separation if only for making it easier to find books that I'll relate to (that's why I avoid so much adult fiction!).

  2. Oh, I LIKE that concept! There's a lot of coming of age stuff out there for pre-teens, teens, and post-40 year old women (usually centering around divorce and/or tragedy), but precious little for the 21-38 crowd. Given how we're living longer, and thus "40 is the new 30", it seems appropriate to have "finding yourself" stories for the 20s and 30s readers to relate to.

    I think previously, that's a genre age set that was covered primarily in romance novels. Personally, I'd love to see non-romance that centers on that age set (and the 60+ age set)...although, I suppose technically that could be any general fiction.

  3. Interesting! I guess this could apply to my book. And I would definitely be interested in reading these types of books. I get tired of reading about teenagers all the time...

  4. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! I'm glad there's so many people out there really paying attention to NA. It's such a great category and it's still so untapped. The possibilities are endless :D


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