So I have been hearing the term “New Adult” to describe a genre of book that is focused on readers and characters that are older than YA. To give an age average, think somewhere between 19-26. I read a great blog post on the subject by Danny, on one of my favorite blogs Bewitched Bookworms! Click here to read her in-depth post and some NA recommendations. I guess that as much as the genre of YA appeals to young adults, there is a huge group of readers, like me, who are not so “young” any more, just a whole lot of adult. There is a huge blank spot that the publishers seem to ignore. You have Young Adult, then there is a huge jump to romance. I have lamented this for years. I may be in my mid thirties, but Fabio type romance stories don’t do it for me. I am also a romantic at heart and really don’t want to read some of the detailed sexual situations that are rampant in that genre. (Eww!!!)
Now I do enjoy the paranormal lean of YA and the fun of “first love” the genre provides. But being a “lil” older, I occasionally want something a lil deeper in the love category. I guess my only fear or hesitation about a genre that focuses on 19-26 old readers and characters, is that we will start getting too close to the romance genre and the yucky descriptive words. (What is up with describing every little detail of body parts that we cover all day long, eww, again.) My hope is that it gives authors the freedom to write about more mature and interesting themes and situations. Don’t get me wrong, I know that 19-26 year olds have situations with sexuality in their lives. I do have three kids, Ha! I just hope it can be done in a way that is creative, authentic and not vulgar.
Which leads me to my first official review of a New Adult book!
4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable
Synopsis from Goodreads
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night–but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
So here was a great example of a New Adult novel that not only talked about the Jacqueline and Lucas’ romance, but hit on some really serious issues. It used the older age group to try to deal with the problems of rape, stalking and violence on college campus’. I was so relieved it was not similar to an after school special, the situations rang true.
Now I am notorious for not liking books that are contemporary or true to life. I just don’t want to jump into those emotions, since I can’t seem to not feel what the characters are going through. This was a really interesting story and it starts right from the beginning, the action kicks right into gear. I was hooked, I actually began the book at about 9pm and was done about 4am.
Characters – Jacqueline is a great example of a flawed character that you don’t want to kill. She was confused and vulnerable but not at all whiny. I really felt like I could know her & actually like her. Lucas is also great because as much as he is LOVELY, he is not typical. A little dark and brooding, tats, piercings and tons of mysterious! The more I got to know him, the more I LOVED him. A really layered character. I would explain more, but don’t want to spoil!
Plot – The whole story is told on a college campus, so the frats, dorms, classes are all a part. Since I enjoy being chased by some sort of paranormal creature, I was surprised by how much I love the story line. It was really trying to deal with some complex issues without being preachy. Jaqueline starts off with her whole life completely upside down. Being saved by a mysterious good guy, who knows her name, could have just added to the crazy. The story is pretty faced paced, unfolds nicely and I can guarantee you will not be bored.
Warning – Ok, so like I said, I have three kiddos! So I have to put it out there that there are some intense physical situations in the book. Nothing “Fifty Shades of Yucky”, but not something everyone might want/need to read. I will say, it was done very well! No yucky verbage and it was told genuinely as a part of the love story. There may be those that find that reading about sexual situations between “New Adults” who are not married is just not their cup of tea. Like anything in life, we all have convictions and preferences, so there you go, now you know.
Overall, I am a fan of this NA genre. If quality writing and story telling go along with the more mature themes, I think I will be in. Here’s hoping for a NA section in my bookstore soon!