Friday, May 8, 2015

No, No, NA. New Adult: Setting it Straight

I often get asked to explain the New Adult genre. After my explanation, nine times out of ten the next question will be: “It’s just sexed up YA, right?”


I won’t deny that a huge amount of New Adult books have sex scenes in them, but that is not what NA is. In my previous post I explained that the characters in NA are usually aged between nineteen and twenty-five, often in college, dipping their toes in the independence pool and settling down to begin a family. But not all of these books involve sex.

It’s this transition in life that New Adult focuses on. The important rites of passage associated with leaving home.

It’s not just about becoming independent, but adapting to being out in the big world alone. There are no parents in the next room to run to, no dinner ready and waiting, no one providing all the things taken for granted when living at home. 

The next question I get asked is, “Doesn’t it have stronger language?”

Once again, no. 

The use of profanity does not define a genre. I’ve read plenty of adult books without swear words, and the same can be said for New Adult.

As the genre grows, the diversity of the content grows too. Christian, thriller, horror and urban fantasy to name but a few, are all available as New Adult books. Many are clean, many are not. All are New Adult.

E.L. Wicker


1 comment:

  1. Haha! I've been guilty of being in the "Isn't it just sexed up YA?" category! Thanks for the clarification! Do you see this category gaining momentum? I've heard bookstores/publishers have issues with it, since it doesn't fit into any nice neat categories. I'll be interested in seeing if it becomes more mainstream or dies out...