Tag Archives: new adult

I’m Moving!

32858796736_aaf1c32d9d_kHey everyone!

I’ve got exciting news. You probably already guessed what the news is based on my post’s title… yes, I’m moving! I got a new job and am moving across state lines.

It’s a big deal for me because I was born and raised in Maryland. My entire family lives in Maryland. And though I’m only going to be two and a half hours away from them, that’s a long drive!

Anyway, I’ve rented a suite until my apartment is ready in a few weeks. But I’ve already packed all of my belongings over the past three weekends because I’m not getting a break between my old and new jobs. My last day at my old job was this past Thursday and I started my new job today!

I’m a bit tired and nervous about knowing absolutely no one in this area. I’ll have to get involved with the community. (This might be a little dorky, but I was a Girl Scout for ten years; I was even a Girl Scout Ambassador. So, it might be cool to volunteer with the Scouts. Be a role model.)

Thanks for listening to me about my news. I wanted to post something writing related for you all, but time just got away from me. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could freeze time for everyone but yourself and then have time to do everything you need to? I’m sure there are a ton of unintended consequences to that power… I choose not to think about them. Save that for another time. 🙂

Have a fantastic evening everyone!

(Photo courtesy of Mumes World.)

YA vs. NA: The Dividing Line

lets-talk-about-sexOnly in the literary world are 13-17 year olds considered young adults. To the rest of the world, young adults are those people in their twenties. However, the literary world has decided to create a category for these young adults. They’ve titled this age group New Adult.

In video games, you have E for everyone, T for teen, and A for adult. That division makes more sense than delineating novels into children’s vs. adult books, where children’s books encompass picture books to YA.

All the young adults I know are not children. They are those individuals in college, starting out with their first professional jobs, balancing graduate school and work, etc. They are not freshmen in high school or working on getting their first kiss.

Would you consider a fifteen year old to be a young adult? I think of a fifteen year old as a teenager, a young one at that.

Some of the YA books I’ve recently read I was surprised at the sexual content in them. Just because you call something “adult” doesn’t mean you can get graphic. I won’t name any specific books, but there were some YA novels that detailed a guy going down on a girl or a girl experiencing an orgasm.

I don’t know about you, but when I was fifteen, I was naïve, hadn’t been kissed, or had a boyfriend (I don’t count preschool and elementary school where relationships last about two hours).

Now that I’m older – a true young adult – I would be uncomfortable with teenagers reading some of the YA books out there. I’ve got a thirteen-year-old cousin and I don’t like thinking about her reading some of the YA books I have.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that YA books and NA books don’t have a clear dividing line. Sure, people will tell you that NA characters are eighteen to mid twenties, that they deal with losing their virginity, falling in love – true love, not infatuation – for the first or second time, and the like.

But it seems nearly every YA book has the two main characters falling in love, making out, having sex, and more. The main difference I see is that YA protagonists must be 13-17 years old.

Maybe my issue is more with YA books being called YA. Ask agents, writers, publishers, editors, etc. about what makes a YA book effective. Most will tell you one of the big proponents is an authentic teen voice. So, why aren’t YA books called Teen books? Is it because that would limit marketing capability? Would older individuals be dissuaded from reading a group of books labeled Teen instead of Young Adult?

As for NA books having a more adult voice, the few NA books I’ve read dealt with sex, drugs, and abuse, but I’ve seen all of that in YA books. More so, the NA books I’ve read each had a voice that sounded suspiciously like a teenager. I will say that many YA books don’t go into as great of detail as NA, but the same issues are still there.

What do you guys think?

(Photo courtesy of Utopyacon: http://utopyacon.com/categorize-this/)

New Adult Fiction: Filling in the Gap

There are children’s books, young adult novels, and adult books. Now, there’s a new genre on the rise: New Adult.

Though new adult fiction has been around for a number of years, it’s only recently that it’s becoming a more common term.

New adult fiction is aimed at readers who are typically between the ages of 18 and 30. It’s a genre for those who enjoy young adult but are looking for more mature topics, without jumping into characters nearing middle age.

These books bridge the gap between young adult and adult populations. They reach to both older teenagers and adults, and tend to focus on the transition from innocence into complicated adult issues. These issues could be living on one’s own for the first time, losing one’s virginity, the trials of one’s first professional job, preparing for a wedding, etc.

In young adult books, sexual interactions and more gruesome or socially unacceptable acts of violence tend to be alluded to instead of shown in any sort of detail. New adult books include more graphic scenes, both violent and romantic.

However, there has been some hesitation about new adult fiction. Books falling into this genre find themselves in the in-between territory. Stuck between adult and children’s literature (children’s and young adult), there is some difficulty finding the genre its own bookshelf.

Here’s a short breakdown of genres to help with differentiating new adult from already established genres:

Young Adult

  • Age appropriate for 13 to 18 year olds (the high school age or those about to attend)
  • Coming of age, but not in a hugely graphic manner and usually without losing all of one’s innocence
  • Easy to comprehend tone (aka fast reads)

Young adult books are stories with language that is easy to read and to the point. They are the PG-13 rating of movies.

Sample Books: Harry Potter, Twilight, The Lightning Thief, Delirium, A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Golden Compass

New Adult

  • Age appropriate for 17 and older (undergraduate, graduate school age)
  • Main character typically 18-25 years old (instead of 13-17, like in YA)
  • Contains both straightforward writing and adult situations
  • Deals with life between the end of high school and full-fledged adulthood (i.e.- you’re legally an adult but you’re not quite ready to be completely on your own)

New Adult books contain some of the same aspects that young adult books do, but with adult situations added in (i.e.- steamier physical interactions) or situations that are harder for younger teens to relate to (i.e.- getting engaged, first professional job, college, having a baby, etc.)

Sample books: Easy, Losing It, Beautiful Disaster, Slammed

Adult Fiction

  • Adult audience, so technically ages 18 and up. However, many adult books include main characters and situations that teenagers won’t relate to and that 18-25 year olds may have difficulty relating to.
  • Can have either straightforward or more complex writing that takes longer to digest
  • Typically includes sexual scenes, sometimes cursing
  • Erotica is considered adult

Sample books: A Game of Thrones, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Da Vinci Code, Jane Eyre, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Notebook

The new adult genre is in the midst of development. This can make it difficult for them to find homes among traditional agents and editors. Therefore, some new adult books have been self-published instead of going the traditional route. For example, Beautiful Disaster was self-published in June 2011 by Jamie McGuire. It was picked up by Atria Books and published through them in August 2012.

Literary agents and publishers are starting to pick up on the new adult genre as a potential moneymaking category (it certainly has a large enough audience). However, this genre is still budding and isn’t seen in traditional bookstores.

Without support it will not grow to the likes of young adult and adult.

What do you think about new adult as an emerging genre?