Words cannot describe how excited I am to have discovered this new and upcoming genre called, New Adult, or Upper YA. As a reader, you all know that I love Young Adult fiction, and I'll always be young at heart. There is an infusion of imagination, and overall carpe diem in Young Adult fiction that seems to lack in mainstream Adult genres. But as a writer, I must admit that my novel falls under a slightly different category. When I started writing my novel in 2007, at 21 years old, I said to myself, I wanted to write a book for us eighteen to twentysomethings stepping out, and trying to make a way in this world.
Until recently, my novel held no place in the market according to some opinions in the publishing world. I can't help but feel like it's a bit misplaced to completely overlook an entire phase of life in favor of seeming popularity. Even more, how would anyone gage the popularity of a thing, if it's never released into the world? There are more twentysomethings and beyond reading young adult fiction in the last ten years than ever before, so how can it be that a genre dedicated to this group in question will be unpopular? Maybe it's unpopular because we don't have many options to choose from. When in high school, you learn an awareness of self that is merely a slice of what you learn in college and beyond. Your life is then steeped with a bit more uncertainty as you are now pushed out of the safe cocoon of familiarity (parents, old friends, etc), and into an oftentimes fast paced, strange faced world. We'll often feel like we are supposed to be in a specific place that seems to say we have arrived, but many of us are still in the process of 'arriving' at our individual destinations. These moments should be explored, and are worthy of presenting to the world.
Thankfully, there are more novelists out there stepping out and proving that us twentysomethings are worthy being written about. When I read Beautiful Disaster by Jaime Mcquire, which I review here, it was really the first novel I read that showcased the experiences of college life, and even then I had no idea of how to define or categorize it. It was more mature than Young Adult, and yet still too young adult to be in a mainstream adult genre. Now, Beautiful Disaster is one of the most popular self published titles. I've also recently discovered New Adult Alley, a blog dedicated to showcasing up and coming gems in the New Adult genre. They've even put together an ongoing list of books that they recommend in the genre (I found out that Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard falls under this category, score!!). I'm now, thanks to them, looking forward to reading Love Story by Jennifer Echols. Now that I've discovered this genre, I'll definitely be showcasing more wonderful authors. I can't tell you how awesome it is to finally be able to tack my novel down to a genre, it's like coming home.
I'm sure this genre will grow to mean a lot to mature young adults out there, who will discover more characters to relate to.
What do you think of this new genre, New Adult?