So, New Adult. I first discovered the term a few months ago when I started receiving emails from publishers about "New Adult" novels they would soon be publishing. Since, I have done a lot of reading about NA, and have decided I want to discuss the subject myself.
I'm not going to define it for you. Lots of people have already done so and I recommend you check out the posts by Elizabeth Burns, where she has blogged about NA in three separate posts on the School Library Journal site - be sure to go to the very first one mentioned, there are a number of posts she links to. What do I think NA should be? Julie from Bloggers Heart Books wrote a brilliant post which I pretty much agree with about what NA can be, so I won't repeat what she's already said. And lastly, before I get on to what I actually want to say, NA author Tammara Webber wrote a post about what NA isn't, or assumptions made about NA that aren't correct for all (i.e. It's not just YA with sex).
So now to my thoughts. When I first heard about it, I was seriously excited. Books about me! People my age, having the same confusing thoughts about what life is now I'm an adult and where I'm going to do. This is great, this is exciting! Books I can relate to properly! And then I was hearing people think it's not a great idea.
I don't see what is such the big deal for those who are against New Adult. I've read all the arguments again in the various posts I've read, but many new books have been put on my radar with the discussion of New Adult. Some people are saying there were already books like this out - well, hey, I didn't know about those books before, and the sudden popularity of the term "New Adult" has put those books on my radar. Books are being written about those in the 19-25 age range - before publishers suddenly wanted all these books, they were being self-published and doing exceptionally well. And now publishers are interested, hopefully more will be written. This is all good in my eyes.
I can kind of understand where people are coming from when it comes to a category in bookshops, as in having their own section. At the moment, there aren't enough in the UK for this to be feasible. It would be one shelf, if that. I am a bookseller and I've heard from booksellers in the children's department, who have been sent copies of New Adult books being published by the children's departments of book publishers, that they're having difficulty deciding where books should be shelved. Children's booksellers, I'm told, have a responsibility when it comes to their customers to not sell them something that might not be appropriate for their age, and so they have to decide if certain NA novels are appropriate for being shelved in YA. Yet, at the same time, there are YA novels I know of that are shelved in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and others in Horror, so this shouldn't really be a problem. As long as you know the books you're looking for, a bookseller should be able to direct you to the ones you're after. Maybe not so easy if you don't know any titles and want suggestions and are asking for NA recommendations.
In which case, I think NA - or whatever term it may end up with in future if it changes - is a good term or phrase to use online, like on sites such as Goodreads. I don't see any problem with grouping certain types of books together - like books containing protagonists aged 18-25 who are experiencing uni or college/first job/leaving the parental home, etc. - and giving them some sort of name - New Adult - if it's going to make similar books easier to find.
Which leads me to a question of my own. If I read a book that isn't marketed as NA, but as YA or adult, but would fit into NA, how would you, dear blog readers, like to label them? I would of course label them YA or adult as they are marketed, but should I also include a NA label? A mature YA label? A "feels like NA/mature YA" label? How can I best help you find "NA" reviews on my blog?
But yes, I'm all for NA novels, I'm looking forward to reading the popular ones that are recently being published, and any others that are written. I may even start looking at the self-published NA books. I am all for NA, and look forward to seeing how it evolves. And if, in time, it turns out NA does get it's own place within brick-and-mortar shops, I'll be happy to know where to find my future reads.
What are your thoughts on NA in general, and, if you're for, the negativity from some?