Today I want to talk about New Adult. Is it a Genre? Trend? Or maybe a sub-genre?
Right now it is being marketed as its own genre, but is it really? I don't think so. Before I start getting hate comments let me start by saying that I am a big fan of New Adult, but I think there are some huge improvements that need to be made before I feel comfortable calling it its own genre. So, lets discuss...
1. Young Adult is a genre, so lets explore that to understand why I don't feel NA is a genre yet. When you go into the YA section of a book store you find aisles full of books. In these aisles you find tons of sub-genre's such as paranormal, contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian, etc., Each of those sub-genre's have a niche. There are certain things that will always happen in each. It's as if they each have an initial outline that authors follow before adding in their extra flare such as what kind of powers the person will have, how they developed them, what their home life is like, etc.,
2. Now lets tie this pack into NA. First lets think about all the NA books you have read. Think about those plot lines. Do they all follow the same plot? Do they all sound like this: Girl in college->has problems at home->lonely->meets super hot bad boy->explores sexuality->falls in love. Your answer to that question should have been yes, because they all follow the same outline. And do you know what follows the same outline every time? (*hint* it's in the point above) You named it! A sub-genre.
Now, I'm not saying that NA will always and forever be a sub-genre. It could definitely become it's own genre and I would absolutely love that. I mean before YA became what it is today it used to only be contemporaries that all followed the same plot line and you felt like if you read one you read them all. Now there are literally billions of different YA books out there. All NA has to do is venture out to those other sub-genre's and it could mature into it's own genre. Like, why can't there be a paranormal NA? A science fiction NA? A dystopian NA?
All New Adult novels don't have to be contemporaries that focus on sex. New Adult, just like Young Adult, is just a label for the age range of the characters and readers and the maturity level for the reader.
Awhile back I read a YA CNN article called A Brief History of Young Adult Literature that the blog Read. Breathe. Relax was featured in. It is a really awesome article that I think you should all read, but there was a really great quote from it. It said, "...there were probably three shelves of teen books I wanted to read. Now, I feel like it's evolved from three shelves to whole hallways of books." That quote really sums up my feelings with NA. There are about three shelves of NA that I actually want to read, when there could definitely be hallways full.
So what do you think about all this? Do you think NA is already a genre? Let me know in the comments below =]