Oct 7, 2013

Posted by in Question | 13 Comments

Question – New Adult. Is It Really Different From YA?

Question Visual Again

New Adult.  Also known as NA.  I have not read any NA.  I’m concerned it is too much like YA.  Some of you know that my love affair with YA is very selective after having read too many overly angsty and overly dramatic young adult books.  But I hear such wonderful things about NA.

So what exactly is NA?  From what I understand, it’s college aged heroes and heroines instead of high school.  Does that really make such a huge difference in being able to relate to a character?

Yes, today I don’t really have an opinion on my Question.  Instead I am full of, well, questions.  And my final one for you is:  Is NA really different from YA? 

And a side question, are there some NA titles you would recommend as ‘must reads’?

  1. Danielle H says:

    I’ve not read much NA. But I the one I did enjoy was Stay With Me by Elyssa Patrick.

  2. I haven’t read any NA either cos whatever they say I still see the angst. The girl who meets some tattooed guy and then they have sex and it’s very angstful. Eh no thanks

  3. I really enjoy NA and I despise YA. I avoid almost all books marked as YA. I surely hope that YA and NA are different in that I would hope there would not be as much sex in YA.

    Some of my favorites are The Edge of Never, Beautiful Disaster, Ruin and Hopeless.

  4. Just to serve as a reference point, I have to be honest and say that neither YA nor NA stories appeal to me. Probably I’m too far removed from that period of life. I’m not aware of many other heavy readers who feel like I do, though. I’m more interested in characters once they’ve left adolescence behind and built up more life experience.

  5. The way I like to explain the difference is that YA deals with firsts (first love, first car, first job, first time away from home) whereas NA is more about settling into adulthood with all the responsibilities and freedom that entails. Even “new adults” who live at home have different struggles than teens who are legally their parents’s responsibility.

    There might still be some of the angst that exists in YA, but that also exists to a degree in adult. I think with New Adult, you’re going to have the range from upper-upper YA to teetering on the edge of adult.

    It’s actually one of the challenges as an author who writes YA, adult, and now NA. Ultimately my publisher and I decided to go with my YA pseudonym for my NA work. I’ve already fielded questions from my betas who read the NA because there IS sex in it and it’s not really YA, so…

    I guess my advice would be to find one NA project that appeals to you and give it a try. If it’s not your thing, it’s not. And that’s okay.

  6. To be honest, I am not a fan of NA but only because the few I have tried read like angst with sex. That isn’t appealing to me at all but I don’t think I am the target audience anyway. From what I have heard it is when one lead character is age 19 to 27 (though I would argue that 27 is a little old for NA).

  7. I actually really like YA books, so it’s probably not a surprise that I also like NA. But I do see a difference – to me, NA books deal with more mature themes and settings. There can still be some angst, but not as much. The relationships are also more mature. I haven’t read a lot of NA yet, but I did enjoy Helena Newbury’s Dance for Me and In Harmony (both are Fenbrook Academy and can be read as series or on their own).

  8. I haven’t read any nor did I know such a style existed…

  9. I’m not a YA fan at all but to me, NA, when it’s done well, really is different. It isn’t just taking the same teens as in YA, making them college age, and then adding sex. Good NA is about taking those first real steps toward independence, breaking away from the beliefs you’ve been taught and figuring out what works for you, and making real mistakes without the safety net of your parents to bail you out. I’m many years away from it now, but I well remember those first few years after I left home, went to college, then graduated and got my first job and a good NA book brings me back to that time in my life.

    Many of the NA books are over the top with angst, but a few that I would recommend are Easy by Tammara Weber (one of my top reads last year), The Edge of Never by JA Redmerski, and Lick by Kylie Scott (the hero in this one is a tattooed, mid-20’s rock star, but the heroine is a 21 YO college student, so I do consider it NA).

  10. Erica PIllera says:

    I think the only real difference is the sex and sex scenes. In young adult its only implied in new adult its described.

    I also think its an age thing as well New adult is more like 18-19 to 25 college/uni years and YA is more high school but not always.

  11. I think I’m channeling you, Julie. Wednesday I have a review of my first NA book that I’ve read and a brief note on the difference between YA and NA. The book is BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Jamie McGuire. As far as I can tell NA applies to an age group 18-twentysomething, and it distinguishes itself from YA by the sex, drugs and violence portrayed. I don’t expect to be reading this genre designation routinely, like others have said, I also like my protagonists more mature.

  12. Interesting question Julie. I have tried YA and haven’t found any truly enjoyable. So I have been apprehensive to pick up a NA beacuase I am afraid it will be the same. I should really give it a try, life was much more fun at 25 than 18. 🙂

  13. It’s really not that different, but I do find I enjoy it more. For me NA feels like the lovechild of a YA book and a contemporary romance. Since I enjoy both genres, I tend to really enjoy NA.

    On one hand, they read very similarly. I don’t notice a marked increase in maturity between YA characters and NA. I think this can be attributed to the fact that adult authors write YA, therefore their heroes and heroines tend to feel more mature already. More college age, instead of highschool.

    I think the biggest difference between YA and NA is the depth of the issues explored. Most NA books deal with some very serious problems. The hero or the heroine are often seriously damaged due to past events. When it is good, it creates a story that feels more genuine and emotionally engaging, because there is no “perfect” romance. It’s not sappy – it’s hard, and often painful, but always beautiful. Which I like – give me a flawed romance over a perfect one any day! YA romances just feel too idealistic to me at times. When NA is bad, the tragic events of the past can lend a depressive feeling to the story, where everything is just too bleak and heavy.

    Another difference I’ve noticed is the amount of sex. The hero and heroine generally have sex at least once in a NA story, whereas in YA you are lucky to get a good kiss. But it’s also not a 24 hour sexathon like you sometimes find in Contemporary romances. In this sense, I prefer NA over the contemporaries, because sometimes it seems authors are using excessive sex scenes to mask the fact that their book has no real plot to support it.

    In the NA genre, I really loved Easy and Flat-Out Love. They both focused on tragic situations, but they were chalk full of hope, and healing, and beautiful, surprising love.

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