February 19, 2014

New Adult Fears: ROW80

Since I was in high school NOT that many years ago, I'm hyperventilating that my oldest daughter will go to high school in the fall. It's so strange that she's aging twice as fast as I am. *smiles*

As if it's not bad enough that I'll be attending several upcoming meetings about her future (and what classes will lead to said future), I've been noticing a lot of other growing up signs. *sniff, sniff*

My oldest loves to read. In addition, she's an advanced reader. She's been reading Young Adult for almost four years. At first, I pre-read every book to determine if it was appropriate. After a while, I trusted her judgement. She's a great kid with a good head on her shoulders. 

Now she wants to move into New Adult. I have some very intense feelings about this. I understand that some of the YA is on the younger end, and she's exhausted a lot of the options thanks to her veracious reading habits.

She loves paranormal/fantasy, but she doesn't like a lot of romance. So far, the NA books I've read have been focused on amping up the sex. Quite frankly, some of the supposed YA books are way too focused on that subject matter. Not okay for my almost 14 year old. (I so sound like a fuddy-duddy -- wait, that word choice didn't help, did it?)

I'd love to hear from other parents, and New Adult authors, about the genre. What do you like/not like about it? Is it really just a glorified adult book?

Please check back on Monday, 2/24/14, for my thoughts on the NA genre from a mother's point of view. I want to devote an entire post to the topic. 


Wednesdays are my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) check ins. 

I am considering entering the Amazon Breathrough Novel Award, but I have to admit I'm pretty freaked out by the "pitch" portion. Any advice from authors who've gone before me? 

My blurb is coming along slowly, so I'm sure that's why the pitch idea is so terrifying. Why is it easier to write an entire novel than to summarize it in a marketable way? ARGH!


Stephsco said...

I personally think most of the New Adult I've read is a form of contemporary romance--basically an adult market book. There are a few exceptions, like Easy by Tammara Webber, though the subject of sexual assault, while not TOO graphic, is still on the mature side. But maybe more for an upper YA reader, 16 or so. Then again, I read The Virgiin Suicides at 15 and Stephen King at 14.

A handful of NA books I've read, besides being poorly written, were exactly what you described: amped up sex, melodrama, using rape as a backstory to up the stakes, all of which I was not a fan of. I think the fans of these books are probably adults rather than teens, but I don't know that for sure.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is probably marketed as YA though it takes place freshman year of college. The MC is very much coming-of-age and the themes relate more to family and identity, which you see in YA.

There are plenty of "adult" books I would suggest that aren't tied to NA at all. The Secret Life of Bees for example, or The Poisonwood Bible, both have teen protagonists but written for the adult literary market. Mature writing but not soap opera-type drama.

Anonymous said...

At present, I think the vast majority of traditionally published New Adult fiction is contemporary romance, definitely with a heavy emphasis on sex in much of them. I don't think that's ALL that's out there, but it's what's most easily going to be found. For other genres, I think you'd have better luck with self published titles. I think eventually NA will catch up and be as diverse a genre (or really AGE BRACKET) as YA has become, but right now it seems to be synonymous with mature themes that probably aren't appropriate for a 14 year old.

S.H. Aeschliman said...

The synopsis! Yes. So hard. Probably because it took an entire novel to do the work that someone now wants done in just a few sentences. Have you considered getting a friend (who is also a writer) to help you write it? Maybe do a trade?

Kathy said...

Unfortunately, I don't know much about New Adult so I'll refrain from attempting to speak on the topic, except to say that I'm looking forward to reading other comments here and your Monday article.

krystal jane said...

To me NA is adult that signifies the protagonist is between 20 and 25ish. Right now, there's a lot of romance in that market.

I know what she's going through because I was the same way. I started picking up adult books when I was 13. It wasn't all age-appropriate, but my mom only seemed to have a problem with the paranormal books. She still let me read them though.

There are still plenty of books out there though. My first love was always fantasy and paranormal, but at that age, I started reading a lot of historical and horror books because I didn't want to go with the thick fantasy books just yet.

Tia Bach said...

Wow. I really appreciate all of you stopping by and commenting. It makes this lady very happy to have interaction on this blog.

For anyone who's interested, I did publish the follow-up post to this today and I'd love your thoughts: http://depressioncookies.blogspot.com/2014/02/less-wham-bam-more-thank-you-maam-row80.html


Jo Michaels said...


If you want me to look over your pitch, let me know. I put mine in already hehe

I left my comments on YA/NA on the other post.

Another awesome author: Cornelia Funke. :)