…and why I need this gap to be filled.

 Reflecting myself as a Reader – and why sometimes I need just a little *more*

Let’s start with pointing at myself: I am 34 year old woman, married and in the middle of my life.  If you follow this blog and my reviews you see that I read a lot of YA fiction, contemporary and paranormal. And .. I love these stories. Just sometimes, I need to put on my adult panties (as Pushy likes to phrase it) and read some adult stories. Kissing is cute, innocence is cute – but let’s face it, there is more out there and sometimes I miss reading about the “more”.

But, do I want to read stories about people my age? Uhm… nope, definitely not. I want to escape and dream when I read, and also I want to feel young again, getting back to this feeling when everything is overwhelming and every decision of uttermost importance. When you still get to know yourself and everything feels so much more intense.

More Intense, More Drama … just a little bit  more!

So, if we take this up a notch, remove young people from their save environment of High School and parental support, add a few years and the same basics as we find in YA but, with the addition of even more intensity and .. yes even Sex. Those kids are older (19-26), College aged and for the first time separated from home. Now,  they need to take care of themselves, which adds a whole new world of conflict and drama.

New Adult is the older, sexier version of Young Adult.

And.. I like it! A lot!  No, I don’t  just like it, right now it perfectly fits my taste and during the last weeks I got addicted to these stories. Seeking out one NA story after the other. And damn it – those stories are intense! They are amazing, and I was utterly compelled, deeply mesmerized and drawn into these stories.

 St. Martins definition of New Adult Fiction 

“…[n]ew, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult-’a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.”

Where does New Adult come from and where does it fit?

Now, New Adult is not a new Genre, but it is certainly not yet a genre that is perfectly established. I don’t think you’ll find a shelf in your favorite bookstore labeled New Adult Fiction, right?

St. Martins was the publisher who actually first talked about this genre in 2009 where they hold an epic contest looking for entries that would fit this “new” genre. The response was enormous, but sadly they ended up not picking up the genre. Two of the winners,  Rae Carlson (The Girl of Fire and Thrones)  and Ruth Long (The Trachery  of Beauty Things, which just came out btw!) ended up being published by another publisher and their stories were sold as YA stories.

I guess it’s just not easy to place. To the YA section or Adult? It can fit both and it certainly will be read by both. However, I do strongly believe that it is just a matter of time, especially considering that this particularly genre is a raising star among the self published authors!

New Adult – A raising star among self-published authors!

Take Beautiful Disaster “for instance! Jamie McGuire self published this story in May last year and her book went viral. 30.000 ratings on goodreads! And then, the Simon& Schuster Imprint Atria offered her a contract and re-published her book! The same happened to Colleen Hoover with her two –book story “Slammed” and “Point of Retreat “and her books were also acquired by Atria. Surprisingly (or not…) , I just found out that another book I just finished yesterday “Thoughtless” by S.C. Stpehens was also acquired by S&S and just re-released August 16th. (Btw, I just bought Book I and 2 at the iBook Store, so there they are still available for $3.99)

It truly seems like S&S plays a lot of attention to these stars among the self-published authors. Is it a coincidence that they are all New Adult books? I do not think so!

But the statistics speak for themselves. Beautiful Disaster and Easy (Tammara Webber) were both on the New York Times Bestseller list! And all books mentioned above have incredible amounts of ratings and reviews.

Those books are just some perfect examples for New Adult books. Emotional, touching, incredible intense and with the perfect amount of sexual tension that is often left in YA books!

After I read those books, there was no turning back from this genre anymore and I devoured book after book. Interestingly, all of them were self-published and all of them had an insane amount of ratings on both goodreads and amazon.

 

New Adult – Future Prediction

My prediction for the future is that we will see much more of this genre. I also strongly believe that publisher become more and more aware of the incredible success this genre has in the self-published world. More and more of these stories I mentioned are bought by one of the Big 6 Publishers and re-published. Just look at the above mentioned books! ( I am just waiting for “Easy” to be acquired too, I am sure it’s just a matter of time..)  This alone shows that at least they are aware that apparently this genre is something which is needed and appreciated! I am excited following this process and I’m eager to find out where this leads us!

Interesting Links´

  • goodreads New Adult shelf (great list with NA titles, with Easy and Beautiful Disaster being the top hits)
  • St. Martins initial New Adult contest in 2009 (and funny coincidence, look who commented first on this post *chuckles*)
  • Dear Author Post about NA
  • NA Alley – a Blog about New Adult fiction

New Adult Reviews on BB

  • Beautiful Disaster (college ages and setting)
  • Semi- Charmed Life (college aged and setting)
  • Easyto come (read and loved!!)
  • Slammed & Point of Retreatto come (read and loved!!) 
  • Thoughtless  & Effordless- to come (read and loved!!) 
  • ….

Books placed in YA, but perfectly fit into NA

So, now I’d like to hear from you!

What do you think about this “new” genre? Do you think we need an additional genre? Why do you think it works so well in the self-published world and why do you think publisher are still a bit wary?

Did you read any New Adult books I have to check out? I’m dying for some more recommendations!

Much Love!

 

My New Adult Reading List

Treat yourself with one of those awesome books! They are all so worth your time!! Seriously! 

Please note, the Bewitched Bookworms are amazon affiliates. 

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Gaby 8/18/2012

Wow, I have heard this term thrown around but didn’t know it was for real. I do see a need for a genre between YA and the dirty romance. I am also, “older”, 35, married and with 3 kiddos. This is something that I will definitely read, I hope this genre grows! Great info and book suggestions.

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Danny 8/19/2012

Yes I hope also to see this genre grow much more in the next years! I agree, I do think there is a need for these kind of books. And.. if you look at the sales form thee books on amazon I am sure we will see much more!!!
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Jennifer Comeaux 8/18/2012

As a New Adult writer, I am beyond excited over all the attention the genre is getting these days! I think there really is a need to distinguish NA books from YA because NA has a different voice and it addresses different issues.

I was very lucky to find a small publisher who embraced my characters and didn’t ask me to change their ages to be traditional YA (like so many agents/publishers have asked authors to do). I hope the success of the current NA bestsellers will encourage more people in the industry to be open-minded about the genre. Thank you for spotlighting NA!

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Danny 8/19/2012

Thank you so much Jennifer for your coming here and leaving a comment! I agree with you, there needs to be a different. YA is more innocent and never deals with kids in College. But, obviously, there are tons of stories to be told for kids in this age!

I am a little sad to hear that so many publishers seem to be afraid to embrace those stories. But I am happy to hear that you found a publisher who belives in this genrea and your book!

I am hopeful and positive that we will see the change in the next years!
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Ashley 8/18/2012

I love, love, love your post Danny! By the way, I’m reading Beautiful Disaster right this second and I’m ADORING IT TO PIECES!!!

Okay I hope this doesn’t sound totally trashy, but here it goes. I love young adult books, but the thing I miss most when reading them is sex. Sometimes I just love it when things get hot and heavy.. and there’s not that much of that in YA. Sometimes the kissing is good, but usually I’m loving it and I’m like YES, THIS IS AWESOME! LET’S KEEP GOING! And then it ends abruptly… because it’s YA.

That’s why I’m really loving the New Adult contemporary romance books I’m picking up. I don’t want to read erotica but I want to read some epic romance stories that have the hot and heavy stuff, because that’s how it is in real life.. and I love snuggling up with a book like that when I’m missing my boyfriend lol!
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Danny 8/19/2012

Ashley, I am so happy you like this post. I spend some time getting it together as it is a topic I feel very passionate about !
And no it does not sound trashy at all!! I felt the same way so so many times! Especially with some hot upper YA stories like the ones from Jennifer L.Armetrout. I hated the fading to black and waking up the next day kind of scenes…

And yes this is exactly why I love NA too! It’s the perfect addition and just with the tiny bit more sexy times adult readers like us love!!
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I look forward to seeing more great New Adult releases! I love reading YA, but I really would love reading more about people my age (I’m 23), and I always get excited when I find a good book that features college students, or recent college grads (like myself.) I really do hope this becomes a bigger thing, as a lot of YA readers aren’t even teens, and would be a great market for books featuring slightly older protagonists. Great post! Thanks for linking to the New Age list on Goodreads – I’m off to add some more to my never-ending TBR list!
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Danny 8/19/2012

I know!!! If you look around so many people that read YA are much older than 18 or even 19 and I believe that is a big market for NA out there. I think publishers should just try to embrace these readers and stories more and go ahead with it. There is a reason why this genre works so incredibly well with self-pub authors!
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kimbacaffeinate 8/18/2012

I only started reading YA this past year and tend to go for the dystopian and fantasy books..this New Adult genre has me very excited because it blends some of things I love about YA with the things I need from Adult…I hope this genre explodes!
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Danny 8/19/2012

You put it perfectly,”t blends some of things I love about YA with the things I need from Adult” that’s exactly my point and I think the reason why many people love this genre!

I am actually positive that it will explode and we will see more and more !
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Yiota 8/18/2012

Ahhh now i know! Thanks for explaining it! I actually quite enjoy reading those books but there aren’t many out there, or at least i haven’t find them.High School all the time can be tiring! Heh!

Once again thanks for the post!
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Danny 8/19/2012

There are more books out there than you know! I was also surprised once I started to look out for more. Have a look at the goodreads shelf! There are tons of awesome books!
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Victoria Smith 8/18/2012

Well, I just looooooove new adult ^.^ And thanks so much for providing the link to NA Alley! We really hoped starting the blog would give people a central place to go to for more info on all things NA!!! So I’ve read all, but two of your recs and they’re on my TBR. I feel like you do. I discovered my first NA and now I literally can’t go back to YA, lol. It’s perfect for me and I’m so glad it’s expanding. Great article!
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Danny 8/19/2012

I truly love your blog! I think it’s a great site for a much unappreciated genre! I also have a hard time going back to YA right now, but still most books are YA so I have to “suck it up” and go back. I just hope to see more and more NA coming our soon!
I’m hopeful!
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I absolutely love YA, it is what prompted me to start blogging and is definitely not the same as what it was when I was a teen ;) but sometimes the situations are certainly not meant for the younger reader.

I love the new NA genre, it is a great ‘inbetween’ and gives me what I love from YA but with the added adult themes which I enjoy.

I loved Easy and I have Slammed, Point of Retreat & Beautiful Disaster on my reading pile – cant wait for your reviews..

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Danny 8/19/2012

YEs I do love YA too. It’s a beautiful genere with tons of amazing subgenres which I all enjoy. And, I do love YA more than adult which is why I read so much. But, NA is perfect for me, and I hope it will explode just like YA exploded!

Slammed, PoR and Beautiful Disaster was incredible and definitely shining examples of this genre!
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Mary @ Book Swarm 8/18/2012

I’ve always wondered why there weren’t more college-aged protagonists. There’s so much inherent conflict and drama just by being alive during that time that it seems to lend itself to great stories. While I’m not a big fan of the genre title (I don’t know why…just seems like it’s trying too hard), I love the concept and potential.
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Danny 8/19/2012

I agree! YA often stays in the age range between 14-18 – so 19 -26 is exactly the age range that comes later and plays in college! I agree, it’s actually odd that there aren#t more books like this out there!
But, I am SURE we will get more as this genre explodes!
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Lori 8/18/2012

I have read a ton of new adult, although I guess you could count some of the Jessica Darling books, but I love the concept! I really need to read more.
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Danny 8/19/2012

Some YA stories as they progress go easily into the NA genre as the protagonists leave school and go to college. This transition seems seamless. Still, once you are stuck with YA and just cannot go for “more”.
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Witchmag 8/18/2012

Although I’ve heard about it and read some books in this genre (Ward against Death by Melanie Card or try Entangled publishing- they have a lot New Adult), it hasn’t really stayed as an interesting genre. But after reading your post (very informative!) I realized I sometimes do get fed up with the innocent and want more, not that much more, not really adult but the in between ^^ So from now on I’m definitely going to check this genre out ^^ Thanks for the heads up!
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Danny 8/19/2012

Entangled is one of those small publishers that embrace this genre, but they also removed the tap “New Adult” in their linkbar.

Truly, if you want to really look into this genre I can only encourage you to read Easy and Beautiful Disaster!
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Witchmag 8/19/2012

So it wasn’t me who could not find their special NA section anymore, they did remove it… such a shame! And thanks for the books. I’ll check them out ^^
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Danny 8/19/2012

Nope.. it was there when they started but now it’s gone and all falls again under the YA section! Too bad!
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I’m so glad I have the perfect New Adult Recommendations! Letters from the Ledge by Lydia Meyers and The Ivy series by Lauren Kunze are my top too. Letters have 2 early 20’s main characters and 2 teen mcs. Its a heartwarming book. the ivy is set in college. Its unforgettable! my favorite book of 2012 was the second book in its series. I urge you to check it out!
Fantastic post on this new genre!!! I hope your prediction comes true!!! thanks for the info on a contest that happened for this genre. it was interesting to learn about!

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Danny 8/19/2012

Thank you so much for this recommendations! I’m always looking for more! I had the Ivy series on my radar but totally forgot about this! Totally added both books to my lits thank you!!
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Candace 8/18/2012

I always thought it was weird that there weren’t books wrote for college age people. And I love that its Indie/ self published authors that have done such a good job making it popular. Its like they’re showing up the big 6 by saying “see?! People DO love NA!” And I love that!
I think a section at the store for NA would be good, but I don’t see it happening. And if they are shelved as adult I think they’ll just be lost out there in the sea of books. So I guess I think they should end up in YA and just say something about what age they are appropriate for. Many terns read adult anyway. Its just the younger readers (12 or so) who read YA that are a bit young for it.
Awesome post Danny!
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Danny 8/19/2012

Haha exactly!!! Those Indie’s just go and write the stories that they feel strongly about and sometimes you just cannot make the characters younger. That’s just not the story that they want to to tell and I love that they are just going and do it themselves! and look at their success!

I agree these are definitely not books for 12 and below. So the book sellers need to think carefully where to put them!
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Ashley Montgomery 8/18/2012

I love the concept of new adult. Like you said, kissing is cute but sometimes you need a little more.

Happy reading!

Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva
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Danny 8/19/2012

Kissing is nice – but yes, sometimes.. I just want more and I am disappointed when it stops although I want to stay a little longer..
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Completely with you!!! Sometimes I am not in the mood for what adult has to offer, but I want more than YA. It’s such a lovely balance.

(FYI, I reviewed a NA recently that was sooo good – Lengths. If you haven’t read it, I’m sure you’ll love it. :) )

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Danny 8/19/2012

Oh gosh Thank you amanda!!! I had this book on my radar, but I thought it would come out later! And I was so busy last week that I didn’t see your review!
Thank you so much for telling me!

I just bought the book and I am reading it right now :)))
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Amanda @ Letters Inside Out 8/19/2012

Yay!!! I hope you love it. :)
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Tina D.W. 8/18/2012

I am so with you!! I’ve been struggling to find that happy medium, wondering among the stacks trying to find a more grown up YA because I love the style so much. But not those stories where they are bumping uglies ALL the time. I am writing down all the suggestions you and other posters have made for NA books. Thanks Danny!!

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Danny 8/19/2012

I was so often frustrated with some YA books as they could explore so much more but had to restrain themselves. NA is so much more free and open and there are not so many limits in terms of language and hot times!
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Nicki J Markus 8/18/2012

Excellent post. I only recently came across this term, so it was great to find out more.
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Danny 8/19/2012

Thank you Nicki! This really is a topic I feel very strongly about!
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hrose2931 8/18/2012

I’m pretty sure you’re on to something here. I know there is a growing number of authors that are using that term New Adult and I think there is a market for it. I’m very interested in it. I’d love to read some more titles in that age group. I want the teens to grow up sometimes.

Hey Brigid Kemmerer I’m talking to YOU! Let Michael have his own story!!

Sorry, if Hunter gets his own story which so far I feel is undeserved, Michael definitely needs his. Just my own little petition. Think I’ll send her this way for your post! This is also very timely for another friend of mine who is getting ready to publish and isn’t sure what to call hers Adult or New Adult. I sent her the link.

Great topic!!

Heather
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Danny 8/19/2012

YEEEEESSSS Michaels Story is perfect for this genere!!!! I am still heartbroken that we won’t get it and instead we get Hunter… ;((
I need Michael’s story pretty please!!!

Yes Teens grow up at some point and are tossed at college or in the world without parental support! This opens so much conflict and topics to be explored! I am eager to read them all!
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hrose2931 8/19/2012

I was told not to give up hope on Michael’s story by Brigid. I can’t remember her exact words, but I emailed her last night with a link to this post. I told her I still didn’t like Hunter and that Michael at least deserved a story if Hunter got one! She might be tossing around ideas for Michael’s story right now. Why don’t we get a petition going for Michael to have his story? You’re the techie, you’d know how to do that, right? *grins*

Heather
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Liza 8/19/2012

The only problem I see so far is people, companies, and publishers miscategorizing New Adult as YA. I recently read “First Comes Love,” which was in the YA section of my book store.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12180204-first-comes-love

When you read it, it’s clearly New Adult. The characters had been out of high school for more than a year and it reminded me of a very fun, sweet, lighter version of Easy minus the sexual assault.

I agree New Adult is the sexier older version of YA, but aside from those books you’ve listed the hardest part for me has been actually finding New Adult recommendations. First Comes Love, was just a joyous accident, because well, I thought it was YA, when I bought it.

Great post!
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Danny 8/20/2012

First, thank you so much for this recomendation! I added it to my list!
Second, you are right! Right now, no one has an idea what to do with it! Everyone knows what YA is, but as NA being a fairly new term no one has a clue!

but. I think it’s just a matter of time! some years ago, no one had an idea about YA as everything was in the kids section and look where we are right now!
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KM 8/19/2012

I would love to see this as a new genre, as well! I actually wrote a NA story but after agent feedback had to lower the ages because I was told that NA just doesn’t sell and there’s no market for it. Although I ended up liking my story as YA, I’m also sort of left wondering if there’s no market because there are hardly any books written for it. I just graduated college and would love to read a book about 20-somethings, but there just aren’t any that have that same YA feel but, like you said, just a little more mature. I haven’t read EASY, but it’s been on my TBR list for basically forever. I guess I’m going to have to pick it up now. :)

Great discussion! Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that NA will really take off. I think setting books in college provides a lot of really interesting fodder for a story because you’ve still got that newness of life, but you don’t have to worry about all the parental constraints.
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Danny 8/20/2012

See? This is what happens so many authors out there! They are asked to lower the age level because YA is what sellls best right now. I’m glad to hear you are happy with the change, but sometimes it just doesn’t work right?

I think that’s why many authors who write NA decide to self pub, because there it works miraculously awesome!

You must read Easy.. Truly .. must!
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(this doesn’t really apply to me, being a near 17-year-old and all) but wow! I saw this title and had to read it. This was a really great post and I think it was so good for you to share it because I know so many friends fitting into that age group. Even though I’m not there yet, I have (many times) thought into the future, wondering what exactly would I be reading for pleasure when I’m like…23? 24? and I’m SO glad that this new genre has popped up. Before, it’s like that awkward gap in between Child and Teen, except now they have Tween. I’m really happy that now there’s going to be New Adult in between Middle Grade and YA <3 Thanks for the fantastic post, Danny!
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Danny 8/20/2012

hehe. I absolutely believe that you would love these books! When I was 17 I was far from being innocent anymore and I read books that were much hotter and had older hero’s. So, although the age group is slightly higher I am sure you’d be a perfect reader for this genere too!

Just like I am reading stories about people that are much younger!
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Natalia Belikov 8/19/2012

You are 34? NO SHIT! you liar!! XDD you look SO much younger than that! XDDD or maybe reading YA has kept you young =9

Now onto the topic. OMG! I had no idea that this sort of “genre” was called New Adult. THanks for leting me know that there is a specific “name” to call this sort of books even though the NA genre doesnt really exist. It is really interesting that I can actually call “those” book in a certain way that doesnt really fit the adult, nor the YA market.
Btw, I LOVE “New Adult” fiction! Although I have read very little of those titles. Only Jennifer Echols romantic dramas, Where She Went and some others that I dont remember at the moment. There are not many out there and I’d love to see more NA titles out there.
Like you, I love the cuteness and innocence of YA, but sometimes I also want more.

Amazing post my dear friend =P
let’s stay young by reading YA!! but, of course, keeping always those *adult panties* on the shelf ;) lol!!!

XOXOXO
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Danny 8/20/2012

Looool can I love you anymore right now????? THANKS for thinking I’m younger this makes me feel so damn good my friend!!!

I came by this genre somewhen last year but then I forgot about it again. But, with those recent amazingly awesome books like Beautiful Disaster, Easy and Slammed I was again excited and did a little research!
This is a genere about to explode, I am sure about this!
Mark my words lool!
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[...] my latest addition of New Adult stories, Length is the perfect book for people who want to dig into this genre. As I just finished [...]

I love the New Adult genre! Even at 25, sometimes I still feel like I’m not an adult and I was dying for these books while I was in college! I didn’t feel comfortable reading YA (Ha! It’s most of what I read now lol) and I never fit in with all of the “adult” books where the 24/25 year olds have established careers, are engaged/married, and live in NY/LA . New Adult just fits!!
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Danny 8/20/2012

I felt the same way with 25. Sure you are legally called an adult, but I never felt that way! Well, now, I cannot hide my adultness anymore (which sucks btw lol).
But, yes I do love YA even though the kids are all around 16, but sometimes I just forget this fact. Still, I always love to read more upper YA with them being 17-18, I realized those are the books I loved most.
Now, with NA I can even relate more and I just looove it!
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I love this new genre! I am with you, I love reading YA books but I am always left wanting… more. The angst is good, but it never goes anywhere and leaves you feeling less than satisfied. I have Beautiful Disaster to read so I can’t wait for that one now. Great post!

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Danny 8/20/2012

Gosh you will love Beautiful Disaster (or hate it, there is no in between lol).
But yes, I felt so oft wishing for more that NA is the perfect genre for me. It can go deeper and adds a whole new level of drama, angst and hottness :))
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Love this post. I too am hoping that the NA genre takes off… I mean it already is among self-pubs like you said, but I’m hoping the big houses take notice and begin filling this niche :)

I love, love , LOVE Easy. That book was absolutely fabulous, and Beautiful Disaster was extremely addicting. I’ll also definitely be looking into some of the others on your list. I’ve heard great things about Slammed and FOL. Thanks for all the NA resources by the way.

To add to your list, Ward Against Death is a NA Urban Fantasy published by Entangled Teen… and it’s a total fave. Also, many of Samantha Young’s books could be considered NA.
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Allison Rushby 8/26/2012

Oh, wow. What a great post! I really do believe it’s beneficial for readers to have the NA genre to tap into and for it to have a specific name. For me, personally, it’s been really helpful with my writing as I usually write very sweet YA (heroine is usually around 13-15 and kissing only). However, next January, I’ll have a NA e-serial out with St Martin’s Press (six episodes of around 20,000 words per episode) and even though it’s historical, it has the whole bit — drugs, sex etc.. I really want to make that definition between YA and NA, especially for the reader’s sake, and flag that it’s a different kind of book entirely.

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Marie 11/6/2012

As much as I love my YA I want something MORE sometimes. Something that’s not adult but not YA but in between where the characters are still considered young but without the whole high school/parents thing. I’m glad this genre is increasing or I would had never discovered it!

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Stina Lindenblatt 12/6/2012

An agent recently told a friend of mine that NA is soft soft porn that couldn’t be sold as YA. I was shocked. Obviously this agent, who wants to represent NA novels, needs to do her homework.

Thanks for the great post!
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