Dishing Junk – The New Adult Genre – WTF or WTG?

Dishing Junk is a  feature on the PJV where we dish it out! The girls and I have realized that we need a place to sort of vent our book & book blogger troubles. It might be something small and inconsequential that we thought was inappropriate to mention in a review – or it might be a genre-wide gush. This is going to be where we dish it out. Readers are welcome to participate in the discussion on their own blogs or in comments. Dish it…

Suddenly everyone is asking me about BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. Which leads me to this post.

New Adult Genre

McGuire’s BEAUTIFUL DISASTER is considered one of the leading New Adult books in the current market.

Young Adult sales are through the roof, authors are dying to get into this Young Adult genre and make some money. But, there are restrictions. You don’t want your heroine running around being all slutty, hooking up with boys and generally acting like a tramp…so is this why we invented New Adult? Most girls wait until college to experiment, right? So, therefore if you want your character to be a bit more experienced and do more sexual things you put her in the New Adult category.

I think I got a bit ahead of myself though. Some of you might be asking what is the New Adult genre?

Really everyone has a different answer. Here is mine, in a handy graphic:


It is supposed to be an in-between. A stepping stone from Young Adult to Adult, but a lot of naysayers have said that it is basically like letting Bella boink Edward with a little more throbbing and a lot less feathers and abstract flashing lights.

Whether you like it or not, the fact is…it’s taking hold. HarperCollins among others are signing author after author to fill this New Adult genre.

Personally, my feelings towards this new genre are – basically authors have been writing about 20 somethings forever. I mean, it’s an age…people write about age groups. We don’t skip any, we even write about people in nursing homes (ahem Nicolas Sparks). College based stories, coming of age in your early 20s…it’s been done. Why are we now classifying them as “New Adult” and is it just because we want to sell more books? Publishers realized that Young Adult books are selling so let’s give them something else to sell? And stuff them with sex – because we all want sex! Sex sells right?

But, this is where I scratch my head, because polls are saying that 52% of Young Adult books are bought by 25+ year olds.

Why are we buying these books?

Teens are fun to read about, they bring us back. The innocence in the characters is refreshing. There is innocent romance which is not all muddied up with throbbing members and heaving bosoms. We want to read about that first time people fall in love, the characters not all broken from prior romances. We like that the young adult voice. Which is what…innocent?

Maybe it is the sign of the times. There is so much sex, violence and intensity on the television, in the news, reading a young adult novel, even if it is violent or angsty is still fresh and there is that word again, innocent…

So, why are we going to like New Adult? I think sales might be good at first, but I really doubt they will rival Young Adult. I think readers are happy right now, publishers aren’t going to lose them, because they aren’t going anywhere! The teens that read The Hunger Games when they were 14 are now pushing their way to adulthood and I bet you they will pick the next big Young Adult dystopian when it is released. Just like this mom of 1, 30 something– that still reads young adult and when is feeling like she needs a few heaving bosoms in her life, grabs an Adult book. But, that is just MHO. XOXO

Will New Adult books be on your plate?