Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reviewers' Roundtable- New Adult

The Reviewers' Roundtable is a weekly discussion feature hosted by me and Emily from Read Your Bookcase.  Each week we discuss a different bookish/blogging topic and hope you guys will share your thoughts too! 

Go HERE to find a list of past/future topics.


New Adult: Verdict?

So New Adult.  I just want to ask New Adult a question:  WHY???  Why did you give me such hope with your promise of books that would bridge the gap between YA and Adult books?  Why did you make me think that I would find tons of books that reminded me of my own college experience/life in my early 20's??  I just want to know why you made me think I would like you and then you proceeded to show me the same EXACT book over and over again??  Please explain it to me.

Ok so I was being a little bit harsh.  Not all NA's are exactly the same.  Just most of them are (IMO).  I don't get it though.  Why did the idea of writing books with college age characters make all these authors run to the computer to write about virgin/innocent/insecure/naive/inexperienced girls and bad boys who have sex with everything that walks but also hides some sort of painful secret.  I get that 50 Shades brought out some people's need for erotica, but is that the only fantasy that people have?  I know for sure that my fantasy is not to see some virgin girl defiled by a man-slut.  As soon as I see virgin I am instantly like HELL NO.  It's SO freaking old news.  Our damn society and it's need for women to be "pure".  Give me a break.  If guys can be hot and sexy while having sexual experience, so can women.  Get over it already!!  End rant.

But for real: What is the deal with this genre (or sub-genre/age range)?  Why is there ZERO creativity flowing?  I can think of at least 99 things that I did in college that are so much more interesting than insta-love between good-girl and bad-boy.  I know a lot of people have said that because the genre mainly consists of Contemporary right now that there-in lies the problem.  BUT I pretty much exclusively read YA Contemporary and in no way do I feel like I'm reading the same story over and over again.  There are SO many issues covered in YA Contemporary... where are these issues in NA?  People in their late teens/early 20's have so much going on!!  I just think it is such a missed opportunity to have this genre getting all this attention and then be full of books that aren't up to par.

So how can this be fixed?  Well I think there needs to still be a few more stand out awesome authors to pave this genre.  I know there are a few already, but I think it needs more.  Too many self-published books are jumping on the bandwagon... and while I love self-published books, for this genre exclusively I think they are ruining it.  And publishers: Please find some books about college that are about something fresh!  I beg you!  I've wanted books like that for so long and haven't had too many at all.  Also maybe some dystopian/sci-fi/paranormal stuff would help?

New Adult-ish Books That I've Liked:

  • Jessica Darling Books (be Megan McCafferty) after she graduates high school- The writing in these books are like WOW and the main character is a kick-ass heroine.
  • Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls- I liked that this book was about a mental illness and how that mental illness caused the M/C to do hurtful things.  The romance was secondary to the illness to me.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- OMG!!  Best book ever.  Not sure if it qualifies as NA or if it is more YA, but it's about girls in college so....  But yeah it's amazing and I could read 100 books more like this. 

Books I Will Never Read:

  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire- Hell. No.  I will never read this book.  I've done my research on this and I know that the only outcome from me reading this will be my blood pressure raised and me being extremely offended.
  • The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski- Well Book Rock Betty wrote this review.  And I think that just says it all.
  • Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens- This one just sounds like a love-triangle that goes on and on and on and on.  And the girl in it blushes a lot apparently.... just no.
  • Down to You by M. Leighton- A girl who is doing it with twin brothers.... ewwww!!!!!  And the twin's names are Cash and Nash.  Seriously?

Books That I'm Thinking About:

  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  • Slammed by Colleen Hoover
  • Yes/No??  Have you read these?

So what do you think about NA?  Do you read it?  Do you like it?  Do you have any recs for me?

And don't forget to check out Emily's Post :)


  1. This is a great post, I actually haven't had the best luck reading NA books either which is a real shame, as a lot of bloggers have a had a great amount of success with these books. I actually read enjoyed Fangirl, if more books were written like this then I would certainly be picking up more NA. I also read Easy recently too and really enjoyed it. The Jessica Darling series is next up on my list, so here's hoping that I will enjoy that book too!

    1. I hope you like the JD series too!! It's pretty great so you probably will :)

  2. I agree 100%! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  3. I should pick up Fangirl, every says such awesome stuff about it. I recently just read my first NA series- it was addicting, I stayed up past four a.m. to finish the last one. was very much a virgin & experieneced guy(who was also quite a bit older...and her teacher!) type read. I think that big no-no premise is what drew me in, I just had to know what was going to happen. Though would I want to read those types of books over and over- nope. =)

    1. Yeah I know what you mean. I read and liked The Vincent Boys which kind of had that dynamic going on... but now I don't want to keep reading The Vincent Boys over and over again. I want something new!

  4. You are making the right decision not to read The Edge of Never and Beautiful Disaster. I've read both and they are truly appalling. They're the kind of books that I don't understand how anyone can like or respect (I'm being harsh, but they're bad). I really loved Easy and Hopeless. Hopeless has a little bit more of the NA drama, but Sky is a great character. And Jacqueline, the main character is Easy is such a normal girl.

    1. I haven't read Beautiful Disaster, but from what I've found out about it it baffles me how some people are like obsessed with it. What is sexy about a guy that wants to possess a woman like an object? I was actually thinking of reading them just because sometimes I like hating a book (I know that sounds weird).

      I'm definitely going to try Easy for sure because it seems safe.

  5. I'm so frustrated with the NA genre right now. But I also think that we need to give it a chance. This is an extremely new genre that is still just starting to emerge and become its own thing. I'm sure that, in a few years, it will be significantly better with more books that are well-written and about things other than insta-love and college-age female virgins.

    Especially because there are a few gems hidden in what's already there. Yes, there is a TON of bad stuff...but a couple of my favorite reads have been from that genre. Not all of it is awful. Some of my favorites: Unteachable by Leah Raeder and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, and a really good one that I just read this week — Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan.

    I haven't read Easy or anything by Colleen Hoover yet, but those are on my TBR list!

    1. I am all for giving it a chance to come into it's own. I SO want this genre to succeed because like I said I've always wanted books about college. Books that look more like my own college experiences.

      I didn't realize Reason to Breathe was NA. I bought the first 2 books recently and they do look really good. I can't wait to start them!!

  6. I loooooved Hopeless. I hope you give it a try. It's more upper YA if that makes sense because she's still in High School, but it touches on harder topics. I read Easy and really liked that one too. I totally get what you mean about NA being the same stories over and over again. It's getting ridiculous. And I LOVE the jessica darling series. No one ever talks about them anymore, but they're so good.

  7. Coming from someone that doesn't read contemporary, I did enjoy Slammed a lot.

    I don't read NA books simply because they're ONLY contemporary. Why? Where is the bridge between YA fantasy and Adult fantasy?

    1. I totally agree... More fantasy would maybe help this genre because right now it's not living up to the hype. And people who don't read Contemporary aren't getting anything cool!

  8. I haven't read too many NA but yeah, a lot of them sound the same. I did love Easy though! And Slammed was really good too. The Sea of Tranquility is probably my favorite. Great post!

  9. I really loved the idea of NA when I first heard about it, I think that was in the spring of 2012. Since then the genre has just exploded! And yes, I do agree that many of the contemporaries sound very similar, sadly.
    As for the books you've loved, I haven't actually read any of them ^^'
    As for the 'nope' books... I read Beautiful Disaster. There was nothing beautiful about it. After a while, I'm not even sure why I kept reading. Definitely NEVER reading anything else about Travis and Abby. I'm also not planning to read Thoughtless and Down To You. As for Edge of Never - I really enjoyed the first half or so. After that I still liked it, but I also had problems with it. I also wasn't all that happy with the ending.
    As for those you're considering: Read Easy!! It definitely among the best I've read, with a very self-empowering message for women. I think it handles the issue of date-rape really well. Another NA book I've really enjoyed was Emancipaing Andie by Priscilla Glenn. Oh and Sea of Tranquility of course! It's set in high school but the tone is more NA. Soooo good!!

  10. I just wrote a post about this too-my feelings are pretty much exactly like yours. Loved Fangirl, but not much else. NA gets so repetitive. I tried EASY but put it down really quick, the content was really different, a HUGE change from YA.

  11. Great post!

    I actually hate the idea of New Adult. I just don't see the point. NA is just a fancy name for Adult books, in my opinion. I don't want to offend anyone, but I actually think this was a marketing decision of sorts. Seeing as how not everyone is open to reading the more adult novels, especially younger people, they thought "Oh, hey, let's just call it New Adult". I think that's why most people think this is just YA with sex. And the fact that most of the characters are in college also kind of makes me mad. Pick something else, people! Also, there seems to be no clear way on what really is a NA book. How old should the characters be? I've seen YA books with 18 year old MCs, just as I've seen NA books with 18 year old MCs. And when do they stop being NA? When they're 30? 25? When?? And do you also include erotic romances under the NA umbrella if the MCs are under 30? Like I said, I don't know who made the decision to rename a portion of the adult genre, but hats off to him/her for the decision. I'm not into economics, I don't understand how it works and I never will, but this seems smart even to me.

    The one thing that pisses me off is that most of these books show college girls as being either terribly innocent or as having a very difficult childhood. Now, I don't think that in itself is wrong, but if you take pride in the fact that you're writing "realistic fiction", you should probably know that not all "new adults" have crappy childhoods or are virgins. There is an in-between that I'd like to see explored. So whenever I see NA in the genre of a book, I just stay away from it.

    As for the books you've mentioned. I have read Beautiful Disaster and The Edge of Never and I actually liked both. I'm sorry you won't be reading them :( The other books you've mentioned though I have yet to read (I honestly don't know if I do want to give NA another try though, so they may stay in my "maybe someday" pile forever)