The other day, I was looking through some of my favorite book blogs and I came across a discussion post on The Broke and the Bookish that really got me thinking. The topic? New Adult Books. I had recently finished reading Easy by Tammara Webber and knew that it was referred to as a New Adult book, but I really didn't know what that meant. After reading the post I found, I had a much better grasp on this seemingly new genre. I had no idea, though, that there were people who really weren't into separating college aged (or 18-mid 20s) into their own genres. What separates these books from the adult genre? What separates them from the YA genre? Well that is an excellent question.
I googled what New Adult actually was and came across a great article from the School Library Journal providing a bunch of different definitions. One person was quoted defining the genre as YA-like but with older characters and more sex. Another person was quoted saying that they were merely romance contemporary novels. Who's right? I honestly don't know. Should New Adult be considered it's own genre? I must say that the New Adult books I have read do include much more mature content than what young adult books contain. That being said, I don't think the New Adult books belong in the YA genre. But do they belong in the adult fiction genre? It seems like the key behind New Adult books that a lot of people claim defines them is the sex, but Jane over at Dear Author made a great point when she said "New Adult is a time period and a feel — a newly emancipated person on the cusp of discovering themselves, where they fit into life, what allowances they will make, and how they relate to others." I think that if people are going to be classifying books as New Adult, they should go by that definition, not the amount of sex in the book.
With that definition, it really bothers me what books people lump in to the New Adult genre. Books like Easy by Tammara Webber, Thoughtless by SC Stephens, and even Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James should be considered New Adult because the characters are at that time in their life where they are entering the adult world and aren't in high school anymore. When I came across the New Adult Literature list on Goodreads, I was really surprised to find a lot of high school aged books on the list. Books on the list that I don't think should have been on there was Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Slammed by Colleen Hoover. The main characters of these books are all either in high school or high school aged and are not in the time of their lives that Jane had described. So why are they on the New Adult list? Beats me.
If it's so hard to determine what's in this new, upcoming genre, should we even try separating it? Should we have YA, New Adult, and Adult books all as their own categories? If you walk into a library, would you like to see a whole section devoted just to New Adult books? I honestly don't know what I'd pick. There are pros and cons to having this new genre. I love the books that I've read that could be considered New Adult, but I don't know if they deserve their entire own genre or not.
What do you guys think? I'd love to hear your opinions about this, so don't hesitate to share what you think :)