Most people haven’t heard of NA Fiction. If you’ve landed here, you’ve probably at least heard of the newish literature genre of New Adult Fiction. The term’s been around since 2009, when it was first used by editors at St. Martin’s Press. But there are many books published before 2009 that fall within the genre.
Despite it’s relative obscurity, the NA genre is growing rapidly with Bestseller releases like Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Distaster.
NA books are the bridge between Young Adult (YA) fiction and Adult fiction. Main characters are 18 to 30 years old. Themes include leaving home, gaining independence from parents, developing sexuality, and romance, as well as making education and career choices.
Themes and Topics
Some New Adult books are on the “happy and warm fuzzy” side of the spectrum, but many NA books address intense themes like drug and alcohol abuse, depression, rape, domestic violence, suicide, terminal illness and death, sexuality, bullying, and family conflicts.
Just because these titles are for a younger audience, their authors don’t shy away from explicit details. Writers of New Adult books are brutally honest with their readers. Sexual and violence scenes are often highly detailed.
The issues that main characters grapple with are central to the 18 to 30 year-old young adult age group: moving away from home, first jobs, romantic relationships, gaining independence, college, discovering sexuality, engagements and weddings, starting a family family dramas, empowerment, loss of innocence, facing failure and more.
Many NA books focus heavily on romance. In fact, some consider NA a subgenre of adult romance. New Adult fiction, unlike mainstream adult romance, however, doesn’t guarantee a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. Stories are often written in installments, as a series. Each book ends mid-story, often on a cliffhanger and without the traditional …and they lived happily ever after. A Happy For Now (HFN) ending is common, although some authors will end a series with an HEA.
Some NA titles that deal with the kind of intense themes listed above include Easy by Tammara Webber and The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski.
NA fiction has stirred up a bit of controversy, mainly among the publishing community. Some publishers and agents don’t recognize it as a legitimate genre. They feel the new genre is merely a marketing ploy and that the audience isn’t there to support it. Of course, breakout bestsellers like Beautiful Disaster make that point moot.
Many book outlets don’t classify books by this genre, making the search for New Adult fiction somewhat problematic. Goodreads, however, being so author and reader-centric is a great example of a pioneer and it’s a great place to find reviews and info about new releases. The NA community is strong here and a great place to find book recommendations.
Others have complained that the intense topics addressed by NA authors aren’t appropriate for the target audience. While some high school students may read these novels, this genre is targeted at ADULTS. Though they may be young, these topics are realistic and many approach them in very modern, common sense way that is not only entertaining but instructive.
I hope this page has helped teach you a bit about the newish genre of New Adult Fiction.
Please stick around and check out my Book Review to discover amazing books in this genre. Head over to the blog section to find out all the latest releases, news and author interviews. Want to find out even more about NA? Check out the NA Book Catalog and our blogroll.
Thanks for dropping by!
Cheers and kisses,