Tell Me Something Tuesday: What’s the Deal with New Adult

Posted March 11, 2013 | 22 Comments


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings. There is a new discussion question each week. You can find all the details on her page. Hope you all decide to join!


This Weeks Question: What do you think of the New Adult category? Have you ever read a New Adult book and are there any you’d recommend?


Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m not fully sure what categorizes as new adult. Like, does it have to have naughty bits? And what is the cutoff ages for the characters? I mean, I’ve read books for years with characters in their early 20’s, but it was just plain adult.

In a way, it almost seems like the “New Adult” label is sort of a parental advisory sticker. The characters might be 17, but warning, it’s new adult, so it may have inappropriate material. Right?

I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the books that are labeled new adult. Hell, I want to read them! It’s just that I don’t understand all the rules of the genre.

I think the only ones I’ve read lately that are categorized as new adult are:


Click the covers to find out more about them.

I recommend all of these, especially The Boys of Summer and Hale Marie.

What do you think? And do you have any recommendations?


22 responses to “Tell Me Something Tuesday: What’s the Deal with New Adult

  1. Erica Pillera

    Ive been led to believe that New Adult is a step up from Young Adult which has no graphic sex scenes and a large step away from Erotica which is entirely graphic in ther sex scenes.

    So I guess the stories are more college age or after highschool when they are technically adults (Agree with Kimbacaffinate)

    • Christy

      Yeah, I agree with that. I guess I just get confused when people label books as NA that doesn’t quite fall into criteria. I don’t know, but I think I’m more clear on it now. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’m not an expert on genres, but from my understanding in NA novels the characters are either in or starting college, age 18-25? I feel that the characters in NA are more mature in some way, and I feel like I can relate to them more since I’m in that age category myself. I’m reading more NA lately, and I like it.

    Some of my personal recommendations:
    Just One Day by Gayle Forman and Charade by Nyrae Dawn.


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    • Christy

      Yeah, I’ve really liked (even loved) the NA books I’ve read so far. I’m definitely going to check out Just One Day! Thanks for the rec. 🙂

  3. I think a lot of authors don’t even know what is considered NA. I’ve seen it as broadly applied as “anyone in college” (with a main character at 29 earning her Ph.D). Personally, I think NA is college age: 18-21. (I reject the notion that one’s college years last eight years–18 to 25.) Anything older is a traditional adult novel. As far as sex goes, I think NA is more about the age group than whether sex is included or not.

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    • Christy

      That’s what I’m thinking now. Some authors don’t even know what’s considered NA, or they are labeling it that because NA is hot now. See, I’d have a hard time accepting a 25 year old as NA, because it just doesn’t seem right. I was really confused about the younger ages, too. I guess characters under 18 is YA no matter the content.

  4. I think everyone summed it up pretty well that posted before me. It has always been my understanding that the main characters are 18-25 (a college scene isn’t a must). So a step up from YA in the fact that they aren’t in high school anymore and there might or might not be some steamier romance scenes.

    Either way, I have been loving this genre!

  5. Jenny

    I honestly don’t know the specific requirements for New Adult. It seems like they are just adult books that the publishers are labeling to get people to take the leap from YA into adult novels. I don’t think I could list what makes a book New Adult, but I know one when I see it.

    • Christy

      Yeah, it’s definitely a genre that I’m adjusting too. Well, I like the genre, but I guess I’m just adjusting to the “rules” of what it is. 🙂

  6. DeeDee Griffin

    I don’t know the rules either, but I do love them! When I read a book that’s classified as New Adult, I expect it to have a YA feel but with a little extra steam. One of my frustrations with YA is that authors seem to be careful not to corrupt the younger generation so some scenes are watered down or the author has to make up some silly reason why a couple is so deeply in love yet can’t have sex. It’s just not realitistic.
    Some of my favorite NA books are:
    Charade by Nyrae Dawn
    Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
    Relentless by Cassia Leo
    Tasting Never by CM Stunich
    On the Island by Tracy Garvis-Graves
    The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

    • Christy

      See, here’s where I was getting confused: There are books that have 15-16 year old’s in some very grown up situations, so I didn’t know if that was considered NA. Now I’ve learned that it’s only NA if the characters turn 18 at some point in the book. Ugh. Why are they trying to confuse me with a new genre? lol. I have Hopeless and plan to read it soon. I’ve heard a lot of people praise Charade. I’ll have to look up the rest. Thanks, DeeDee!

  7. Misty actually says Hale Maree is adult but the character is a New Adult and by what I understand NA can be very racy and is basically adult so I would say it’s NA myself. I think Kimba said it exactly right though. Now they actually have a new label on it, but the characters really should be 18-25 for it to fit.
    I haven’t really read that many myself…

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