Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Adult Genre Skepticism

I was scrolling through some Goodreads giveaways today (because who doesn't love a free book now and then) and in what has now become the norm I had to scroll through a bunch of crappy books to find the gems. It seems every other book is a cheap vampire novel, a typical YA paranormal romance, or a sad Fifty Shades knockoff erotica (which is doubly depressing because Fifty Shades was HORRIFIC to begin with). Now it seems that the novels that populate the giveaway section fall under the brand new genre New Adult.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new genre, which is understandable because not all publishing houses have adopted it yet, I will give a quick description. New Adult is marketed as a genre that is meant to bridge the gap between Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction. It is generally geared towards audiences anywhere from ages 17 up until 30, which is quite old in my opinion. I think by the time you are 25 your tastes in literature should not be stuck in a YA like genre. Anyway, New Adult is "different" from YA fiction because it deals with protagonists that are out of high school and face new personal challenges like college or getting a job. They are also more adult in that the sex scenes are much more explicit.

When I heard about the genre, well I had some reservations and some skepticism as you can obviously tell from the title of this post. Currently I am part of that audience that the New Adult genre is marketing to and I have to question why there is any need for a new genre. When purchasing books say from a Barnes and Nobles, I never found that there was a prominent gap between genres. While I have recently found that a lot of the YA fiction doesn't appeal to me it has to do with the repetitive plotlines rather than the genre itself. There are only so many books you can read about a girl just discovering she has new powers who falls in love with the mysterious boy and goes on a bunch of pointless adventures because the book/ series always ends with her ending up with the mysterious boy.  I generally pull from the YA section, the adult section, the mystery section, and even the childrens section sometimes. Not every age needs a corresponding genre especially one as terrible as the New Adult is shaping up to be.

Many people in support of the New Adult genre say that it's not YA with a few racy sex scenes thrown in, but based on the numerous NA book blurbs I beg to differ. One example of this "groundbreaking" genre is the story of a college girl that just has to loose her virginity because it is sooooo embarrassing to be a virgin for so long...yeah that is totally the book that I would want to read. Another had the typical blurb of a YA paranormal romance with a little disclaimer that it should only be read by those 17+ because of the sexual content. All I know is that I am a target audience and I am not amused. Maybe if NA actually dealt with adult content that didn't just involve sex or romance I might be drawn in, but until then if I want a cheesy romance I will read YA. If I want dynamic adult characters I will read adult fiction. If all you want is a flimsy romantic story with some graphic sex scenes thrown in let me introduce you to the millions of Harlequin romances populating every used book sale.