New Adult Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Laura (last edited Feb 20, 2013 01:43PM) (new)

Laura | 500 comments For anyone who is not quite sure what this group is about, New Adult books focus on the period in life where you are becoming a proper adult. The characters are usualy between about 18 - 25 and are generally either at college or starting their first job.

The catagory fits inbetween YA and Adult books. It has a similar coming of age feel as YA books but rather than people experiencing their first kisses the content and issues used are more mature such as first serious relationships and heartbreak.

New Adult books can be of any genre though currently contemporary romances are by far the most common.

Here is a guest post i wrote for someones blog about what NA books are and why i love them. It contains several quotes from members of the group http://www.yacontemporary.com/2013/02...

The New Adult Alley blog has a post that i think perfectly describes what NA is - http://naalley.blogspot.co.uk/p/about...


message 2: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Smith Thanks for sharing Laura! We hope the new definitions help!


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments I hope the definitions get used a little more. If people keep on getting what NA is wrong i worry that NA will start to change slightly and lose what makes it so perfect. If the media keeps on reffering to it as YA erotica it might start turning into that. I hope not, it is perfect the way it is :)


message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments This is another NA related post from a lover of NA books (and one of the moderators of this group) that explains what makes these books so appealing to read. There are also lots of great links within it to other posts about NA from different view points (including a link to this thread :P) http://www.bookangelbooktopia.com/201...


message 5: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Bibb (sbibb) | 3 comments Personally, I prefer the definition from NA Alley, because I don't think NA should just be about romance. It makes sense to me to categorize it as that 18-25-ish time frame, but not just as romance, since not all 18-25-year-old stories are going to be romance. I'm hoping to see more sci-fi and fantasy NA stories, personally, with less emphasis on the romance.

Just my two cents.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments Having romanance in it certainly doesnt make it a NA book, most do have romance though.

I am really looking forwards to there being more fantasy NA as i love fantasy books.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 3 comments What "category" would you put the 25-35 age group in?


message 8: by Laura (last edited Jan 10, 2013 07:24AM) (new)

Laura | 500 comments As far as i know the 25 - 35 age group just falls under the Adult catagory.

Origanally the main catagories were childrens, YA and Adult. NA has developed for two main reasons:

- Publishers did not like selling books about college age characters as Adult books. For books with characters over 25 it is much easier for them to just get published as Adult books.

- When you are college aged your not yet a fully responsible adult (generally) but nor are you a child any more. This means characters of this age have experiences that are unique to them and this is what helps to define this catagory.

Depending on the defination for NA that you read sometimes the age range varies. i have seen some that say up to 30, but my personal opinion is that by the time you are 29 you are probably (though not always) pretty well settled into adulthood.

There is a chance that other age catagories could appear but i dont think it is very likely due to the fact that books with most other aged characters can easily be published under adult.

(This is what i have heard anyway, im not saying it is definately 100% correct)


message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Smith NA can and sometimes does stretch into 25 to 30. On NA Alley we always say there are exceptions. The age thing should be used as a guideline. But Laura is definitely right in saying that usually these books are adult. :)


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments I think it depends enitrely on what is in the book probably, it can be very hard to tell without reading them wether they are NA or Adult.

The age certainly is just a guidline, sometimes characters can be younger and still in high school. If it is too mature to be YA then i think that generally makes it NA.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments I suppose there are always exeptions to everything. After all you can get adult books where the main character is an abused 7 year old child. Things are more on content than character age with the age just being a guideline.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "I suppose there are always exeptions to everything. After all you can get adult books where the main character is an abused 7 year old child. Things are more on content than character age with the ..."

That is true. There are books about younger people, but with maybe bad situations, or who are more mature. I think that going by content makes a lot more sense than going by age, though generally, the age would reflect the content.


message 13: by Laura (new)

Laura | 500 comments So. I wrote an article about NA as a guest post for someones blog. I tried to explain what NA is as well as clearing up misconceptions people may have. Hope y'all like it :) Guest post


message 14: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) I came across this genre label in another group here on GR and I absolutely love it. I've been a big fan of New Adult books for the longest time, both to read and write, and I'm very happy to have found a small home of like-minded people with you lovely lot :)


message 15: by Brian (new)

Brian Palmer (briancpalmer) Stephanie wrote: "Personally, I prefer the definition from NA Alley, because I don't think NA should just be about romance. It makes sense to me to categorize it as that 18-25-ish time frame, but not just as romance..."

We're hoping that will make our series appealing to the NA audience because it blends elements of the supernatural, action, sci-fi and urban fantasy genres together. We haven't seen much of that popping up yet, but hopefully more stories like this will begin creeping into the NA world!


message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan Cashman (megan_cashman) | 8 comments I came across this blog post from The Passive Guy, who blogs extensively about the publishing industry.

He may not be too supportive of NA, and certainly neither are the comment posts:

http://www.thepassivevoice.com/02/201...


message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) Wow, that really is biting. And look at done of those comments! I guess you got to speak to your audience, though.


message 18: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) Laura wrote: "Origanally the main catagories were childrens, YA and Adult. NA has developed for two main reasons:

- When you are college aged your not yet a fully responsible adult (generally) but nor are you a child any more. This means characters of this age have experiences that are unique to them and this is what helps to define this catagory..."


I have just had my novel Gothic dubbed Young Adult in a review on this site, which surprised me, as the protagonist is 23-24 in this book.

If anything, the reading and participating in this conversation makes me think that the book fits within New Adult. I never intended it to be a Young Adult novel because I wanted the main character to be in university and battling with real life concerns like living out of home and finding out what her own brand of independence looks like.

I, obviously, couldn't have that with a teenager who was in high school and still living under the roof of her guardian. However, I love reading YA/NA fiction, so it doesn't surprise me that the flavour of that kind of writing exists in what I write too.


message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) That's interesting. How do you figure, Jason?


message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Oxford (sarahloxford) | 110 comments Jason wrote: "Nicole wrote: "That's interesting. How do you figure, Jason?"

Biological clocks, a lot of women get really nesty around 30, where as a lot of men are just getting started playing the field."


My experience mirrors that, I'd have to say. All my female friends from school are now married (to older men) and having kids and my male friends have just got to the moving in with girlfriend stage. (We're early 30s)
I defintely felt the tick tick tick.


message 21: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) Now thats the first thing you wrote they I disagree with. Or, at least, I'd move tip say that the man isn't the only one seeing the death of his dreams and aspirations within a relationship. A good relationship should see compromise. The woman supporting her man as much as he supports her.

Perhaps New Adult's role in this conversation could be to highlight an understanding that there are two sides to every argument/compromise/etc?


message 22: by BR (new)

BR Kingsolver (brkingsolver) | 19 comments The major thing I have a problem with as far as the way people define New Adult (other than the YAsmut label), is when it's defined as aimed at 18-25 year old readers, the way YA is aimed at MG and high school kids. I think of it as stories about people in the age range. It can be written at a YA level, or at an adult level using more than two-syllable words, but the story is what counts. The people in the story are attempting to deal with that crazy age where everything is supposed to finally make sense but it isn't exactly what you expected. Whether that is graduating high school and discovering the world is a hard place, going through college and discovering that is something you really didn't expect, or graduating college and discovering you still don't have the answers to life. In modern literature, that period has been neglected. Adults seem to forget what that stage of their lives were like, or at least the ones who are published do.


message 23: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) Jason- You are like a train wreck I can't stop watching. You write to cause conflict; I get it. But you need to stop attacking other people's fantasies. If you want reality, read/write non-fiction. Every time I think you might have opened an interesting discussion, you make it personal. I'll take a logical debate any day, bring it on. But keep your pointless, provocative, personal attacks out of it. Alliteration. Bam!


message 24: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) I'm not really sure defining New Adult by an age range is really a good 'fit' for the genre. I'm more comfortable defining it by the types of experiences the characters work through. I stumble upon new trials that many adults have dealt with for years all the time. I'm a little older than many would place in the so-called NA age range, but I spent most of my twenties in college. I've yet to really dig into my career, and I have never bought a house, and I don't own a car. I've never needed these things before, either because I lived somewhere where they weren't needed, or because I was deeply involved in a somewhat non-traditional life path. That being said, most of the time I deeply relate with NA characters. One of the best parts of the genre to me is that it can encompass so many different things.


message 25: by Beth (new)

Beth Michele (bethmichelewriter) | 17 comments Megan wrote: "I'm not really sure defining New Adult by an age range is really a good 'fit' for the genre. I'm more comfortable defining it by the types of experiences the characters work through. I stumble upon..."

Well said my friend! :)


message 26: by Christine PNW (last edited Feb 28, 2013 08:28PM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Megan wrote: "Jason- You are like a train wreck I can't stop watching. You write to cause conflict; I get it. But you need to stop attacking other people's fantasies. If you want reality, read/write non-fiction...."

Jason doesn't read. He is here to market his book, and aside from those times that he is denigrating the work of other, more successful writers, he doesn't talk about anything other than himself.


message 27: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Jason wrote: "If success is peddling Edward/Bella ripoff billionaire novels, or books with abs on them that celebrate men like me succumbing to the wiles of some female, then count me out.

I craft art, I don't ..."


You sell porn on the internet. Enough said.


message 28: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) You really think very little of the NA female audience. I wonder why you bother. Your book may be some high art form (obviously above me), but I will never read it because I don't support self-important douche bags. Kick me out of the group now, if you want, but that really needed to be said.

Now, if you actually have something valuable to add, I will gladly respond.


message 29: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Megan wrote: "You really think very little of the NA female audience. I wonder why you bother. Your book may be some high art form (obviously above me), but I will never read it because I don't support self-impo..."

I'll go with you.


message 30: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Jason wrote: "Christine wrote: "You sell porn on the internet. Enough said."


The mental acuity that a man needs to work in my field has elevated my focus to levels you cannot even comprehend. My mind's theater..."


All righty then, David Foster Wallace.


message 31: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) Beth wrote: "Megan wrote: "I'm not really sure defining New Adult by an age range is really a good 'fit' for the genre. I'm more comfortable defining it by the types of experiences the characters work through. ..."

Well said, indeed!

I'm actually surprised by how much attention I've seen around NA the last week. Today I finally saw the twitter chat that people seem to have come here from. Sadly I missed the event, but I also got to see the link for the G+ group.

Like Megan, I'm a little older than the standard 'age group' for NA. I really felt ancient still loving to read YA books, but that's less of an issue here. Also like Megan, I studied late, travelled a great deal, and have had many of the experiences that seem to get looked into in NA lit. Characters in this book are also no longer high school aged, so whatever they are going through are immediately more relatable for me. When I read YA, it has to have a strong fantasy element just so as to take the characters out of high school.

(Also, interaction with supernatural mischief seems to have the effect of ageing characters prematurely perhaps?)

NA doesn't have that problem. I'll read fantasy or paranormal, but also more memoir based novels in this genre. It's actually really awesome.


message 32: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) I don't have a problem with porn. I have a problem with you.


message 33: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) LOL


message 34: by Anne (new)

Anne Christine wrote: "Megan wrote: "Jason- You are like a train wreck I can't stop watching. You write to cause conflict; I get it. But you need to stop attacking other people's fantasies. If you want reality, read/writ..."

Chris, I couldn't agree more!


message 35: by Anne (new)

Anne Christine wrote: "Jason wrote: "If success is peddling Edward/Bella ripoff billionaire novels, or books with abs on them that celebrate men like me succumbing to the wiles of some female, then count me out.

I craft..."


Lol!


message 36: by L. (last edited Mar 01, 2013 12:51AM) (new)

L. (ladyabercrombie) By this definition I would question the group's choice for the March read of The Sea of Tranquility. I read it late last year and, at least to me, in theme and content TSOT falls categorically in YA, not NA.

Thoughts?


message 37: by E.C. (new)

E.C. Adams (ecadams) | 11 comments Megan wrote: "I came across this blog post from The Passive Guy, who blogs extensively about the publishing industry.

He may not be too supportive of NA, and certainly neither are the comment posts:

http://www..."


People hate for the sake of hating. What's with all those biting comments? (!)


message 38: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) Whatever the reason for his hateful comments, I'm glad those posts seem to be deleted now.


message 39: by E.C. (new)

E.C. Adams (ecadams) | 11 comments Nicole wrote: "Whatever the reason for his hateful comments, I'm glad those posts seem to be deleted now."

I just saw them now... not deleted at all.


message 40: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Field (nicolefield) How strange. All but his first three comments are no longer showing up on my screen.


message 41: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) I don't think the problem with finding relatable NA books is the age of the authors writing them (unless of course they are being written by a 12 year old or something). I think the problem really occurs when an author tries to write about something too far out of their realm of experience. When I think back to my college years and the creative writing classes I took, the resounding piece of advice seemed to be 'write what you know'. A billionaire should not try to write about being broke after college and trying to scrape together rent by waiting tables. :P

Also, just because we now have the label NA doesn't mean everything ever written about people in their twenties should be categorized under the term. Some things are simply not going to fit and are not meant to.


message 42: by Diane (new)

Diane Rinella People say NA is hard to define. I think the problem is really that a genre like Sci Fi is clear cut. Something either is Sci Fi, a combo of Sci Fi and something else, or not Sci Fi at all. NA seems to be a genre that is defined more on appeal than on subject matter. Am I correct in this? There are plenty of books called NA that are not. My book has been thrown into the NA category because of the age of the characters, but, in my opinion, it's not NA. To me, Easy by Tamara Webber is definitely NA, and not only because of the character's age. Do others agree with this? That NA is defined by appeal and subject matter, not just subject matter. I would love to hear opinions on this.


message 43: by Lorelle (last edited Mar 13, 2013 09:01PM) (new)

Lorelle (lozza2407) | 22 comments Ok I could be wrong but this is my feel to the NA situation.. This is only my opinion.

Im only new to the genre myself, but it seems that NA , as with any genre , has a stigma associated with it, where to be successful, like anything you are trying to market, it has to tick certain boxes. A formula. Really like any Urban Fantasy or PNR.

Im really drawn to the contemporary romance feel ( I love to get stuck into all those lovely emotions you experience at that Uni/college age, along with more adult situations, drinking , sex etc ) but I want to put a paranormal edge , as this is my passion..So this is what im going to do lol.

From what people have said, its a very emotional time where you are in a exploratory phase of your life, emcompassing your transition into adulthood, which in itself presents a lot of material to tuck into. From reading a lot of blurbs, there seems to be a lot of troubled backgrounds, intense experiences , and angst regarding love. I wanted to write within this age group about 2 years ago, due to the emotional and physical content that you can include by appealling to that higher age bracket than YA. I was shocked to find it wasnt a market that had been saturated. Now Im very excited it has more exposure.

NA is only the age bracket, and it can be sci fi, UF, PNR, contemporary romance, dystopian etc, just like YA and Adult can be.

But due to it being such a new genre thats only now being tapped, it seems that NA books have certain elements that seem to be popular , so youll see a lot more of that around - just like YA and Adult does.

If I start reading a NA book and it sounds as though it should be YA, in that they are acting like school kids, but the author just seems to place them in a college setting, I dont continue reading them. I like to see that a higher level of maturity has been achieved.


message 44: by Lorelle (new)

Lorelle (lozza2407) | 22 comments Megan wrote: "I don't think the problem with finding relatable NA books is the age of the authors writing them (unless of course they are being written by a 12 year old or something). I think the problem really ..."

This is great advice. RE : "write what you know " As Im thinking about writing, I find i am putting a lot of myself into the characters, and Im worried that Im taking the easy way out and I should stretch the characters a little more out of my confort zone. But being that Im only just starting out, I think I shall stick to what I know, and what I have experienced and feel proud that I am at least doing something I love to do :)


message 45: by Diane (new)

Diane Rinella Does it seem that now NA is considered a legit genre people are jumping on the band wagon and just cranking stuff out that is formula?


message 46: by Lorelle (new)

Lorelle (lozza2407) | 22 comments Diane wrote: "Does it seem that now NA is considered a legit genre people are jumping on the band wagon and just cranking stuff out that is formula?"

Id say so. Seems publishing is a business like any other. You sell what people want to buy. There must be a load of marketing and psychology behind it. Probably no different though to a traditional "Adult" author jumping on the YA dystopian bandwagon. You know when you get that cookie cutter type feel? NA will be next no doubt.


message 47: by Diane (new)

Diane Rinella Thanks. Marketing has a lot to do with it. I'm being told by marketing people that my book is NA. Maybe it is. I don't see it that way. My appeal seems to be to people in their 30's who like erotica. How is that NA? Well, that characters are NA age, but so what? I think until this genre is better understood readers are going to need to rely on each other for definitions. That makes it tough though because then taste will come into play and recommendations will be colored. It will be interesting to see where all this sits in a year.


message 48: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) I'm 29, my second masters degree actually is in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Studies, and I'm sill struggling to start my career in academia after many long years of study. Am I still allowed in this conversation? ;P

Let me just say that NA is somewhat of an umbrella term, but it's not meant to be all encompassing. I will admit to being more drawn to books labelled NA, so marketing scheme equals success in that it caught my attention. However, an NA label does not guarantee my purchase. Story line and reviews are equally important to me. I think New Adult should deliberately left vague so that the reader is left deciding whether or not it fits their own experience. There can be no one definition of being 'newly' adult because everyone's experience of coming into their own is unique.


message 49: by Megan (new)

Megan (thebookiemonster83) Further, should NA be considered a genre if its own? Or merely a targeted audience? Or a secondary, categorical tag following a more definitive tag such as 'science fiction'?


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Oxford (sarahloxford) | 110 comments I wouldn't say a targeted audience because like ya it is rarely the case that the age bracket of readers fits precisely with the age bracket of the characters.
I saw some stats on a fb page once that put the ave age of those who 'liked' a particular ya/na author as between 25-30.

I don't think it's a genre either, more like a sometimes helpful secondary categorisation like you suggested.
I agree with what others have said that becoming a new adult is a unique experience for everyone and particularly some in college settings can be quite boringly formulaic. There is a common theme of 'becoming' though. I suppose before 'New Adult' they were labelled 'Coming of Age' tales. The age and way in which the characters come of age can be anything.

There's no doubt this new adult label is about marketing but as a reader I like it. Before I knew about it I would read plenty of ya and get frustrated about the age. I wanted to read non-paranormal romance as i read a lot of pnr, but didn't know where to start as so much looked like soppy chiclit. You know with a New Adult label that there'll be more complex emotions than ya and a theme of coming to know yourself and create yourself that you don't necessarily get in an adult book of the same genre.


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