The New Adult category falls between the Young Adult and the (chronologically, anyway) fully adult. The characters are anywhere from 18 to 25 years old, college-aged and slightly above, and are working to find their places in the world.
The first New Adult titles focused mostly on romance and were mostly from the female protagonist's point of view. As the genre evolves, so are the characters -- we now have books with male POVs, and a wide variety of mystery, urban fantasy, backgrounds of combat veterans or characters who are in the world of mixed martial arts.
They do contain explicit sex, which keeps them off the YA shelves (and therefore in my purview in this library). But, for female characters, the trend seems to be more about finding herself than the guy being the reward.
This is a genre that came out of readers in this age group wanting more characters that related specifically to THEM, and not an older character "remembering" the coming of age, in traditional literary fiction, or a younger character acting older than her age without a good reason. Publishers, agents, authors have responded to this - -many YA authors are crossing over, as are adult authors, and meeting in the New Adult genre.
Most New Adult fiction is told in first person POV, something I love as a reader. The one drawback, for me, is that they are also usually written in present tense. A personal peeve of mine is that I loathe novels written in the present tense. I can sometimes put up with a short story, but unless I'm being paid to read a novel in present tense, such as for an article or a review, I put it down.
Present tense in a novel, to me, feels like the author is being pretentious and saying, "look at ME" as an author, pushing me out of the story, whereas past tense seamlessly slides me right into the piece and lets me live it.
Why not try a few and see for yourself?
I've put the following on the shelves, which, to me, sound interesting, in spite of being in the present tense. Once you read them, I'd love to hear what you think, and whether you want more. I'm using the back cover blurbs for descriptions:
THE ELEPHANT TREE by RD Ronald:
Mark Fallon is an overworked detective investigation a spate of attacks at a string of high profile city centre nightclubs. Scott is a dejected 34-year-old, struggling to make ends meet working for his brother and supplementing his income with a small-scale drug dealing operation. Angela is an attractive 23-year-old, raised by her father, a career criminal and a small time drug dealer who supplies Scott with cannabis. This is a chilling tale spanning a few months in the lives of Scott and Angela, where realizations about the present combine with shocking revelations from the past leading to an apocalyptic climax where they no longer know whom they can trust.
VIOLET MIDNIGHT (Violet Night Trilogy 1) by Lynn Rush:
Pursuing a normal existence by attending college proves difficult for vampire hunter, Emma Martin, considering the mystical tattoo on her wrist glows when Vamps are near. And after three months of silence, the glow is back with a vengeance. Jake Cunningham witnesses Emma using her powers and reveals a few of his own. Finally, after three years of searching, he realizes his newfound abilities must mean he's a hunter like Emma. Thankful not to be alone in the fight against the Vamps, Emma finds hope and comfort in Jake's arms. As she learns more about her new love's family and its dark heritage, she may be forced not only to hunt them, but also to sacrifice her live to save Jake's soul.
BEAUTIFUL BASTARD by Christina Lauren
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate--and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative--completely infuriating--creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules -- or outright smash them -- if it means he can have her. All over the office. As their appetites for each other increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win.
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Dollar
After Travis returns home from serving in Afghanistan, adjusting to his former life is anything but easy. Especially since his brother sole his girlfriend (and his car). Then he runs into Harper -- a girl he wronged who wants nothing to do with him. But there's something different about her now. She's beautiful, smart, strong and funny . . .and she might be the only one who can show Travis that there's more to his future than just his past.
THE EDGE OF NEVER by J.A. Redmerski
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone--including herself--when she decides to leave the only life she's ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish. Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together--or destroy them forever?
TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry
"I close my eyes and suck in air.
West is not hot.
He's a FIGHTER. He's TROUBLE.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the associated heartache."