The amazing New Leaf Literary is running the Addicted to New Adult event and I'm so happy to be a part of it. You can read the kick-off post here. So here's why/how I fell for New Adult and make sure you check out the killer giveaway at the end.
I fell for New Adult the same way I fell for YA. I read something a little different than what I was used to reading and it consumed me. Everything I read was an attempt to get back to that feeling of something new, exciting and encompassing. For New Adult, it was Beautiful Disaster that sucked me in. I’ve had the ebook version with the colorful tongue cover on my computer for ages, but it wasn’t until it was picked up, repackaged, and people were raving about it that I decided to finally read it. You know how readers always say, “I devoured that book.” Well, this book devoured me. I was so caught up in the story and the intensity, it crawled under my skin and left me wanting more. So I picked up Easy and Flat-Out Love and everything else that bore the NA label, if only because I associated that with Beautiful Disaster.
That’s how it happened. Why it happened is a realization that has come to me more slowly. New adult is reason vs. passion (Losing It reference…) after all and we can love things without ever knowing why, but passion burns and if you have reason left over it’s a love that can last a long time. I’ve actually spent a lot of time figuring out this field and what it is that draws me to it, what it is that makes me territorial and defensive.
The first is the romance aspect. I will (figuratively) slay people who lump NA in with erotica or call it sexed up YA. However, romance is an important part of NA, the same way romance has a tendency to be a big part of YA – or literary fiction for that matter. Relationships are integral to a human life – whether you have them or not. I don’t know about you, but my life is has a tendency to revolve around other people. And I often think back on my life in terms of what boy I liked during that time. So, the best way I connect with a character is through his/her relationships with friends, family, and, yeah, the romantic interest. And with NA, that romantic interest is generally such a prominent part of the story that I feel strongly connected to both the main character and the dude she’s falling for.
The other thing I’ve begun to notice the more I read is how nostalgic it makes me. It’s weird, because I’ve read so many YA novels and never pined for my high school days. NA never fails to make me miss college – at least the novels where the characters are in college. I miss the freedom and the excitement of feeling grown up but still really pretty naïve. I miss parties and only having class Monday – Thursday for a few hours a day. I miss working a minimum wage job with very little pressure. I learned who I was in college. I mean, I’m still figuring it out, but I learned a lot about trust, friendship, responsibility, boys, and balance when I was given that huge amount of independence. The most important thing was, I figured out how to take care of myself. I think a lot of YA is figuring out who you are, and NA is about figuring out with to do with your life. And that still resonates across many age groups.
I love YA because everything feels urgent and like the end of the world. The stakes are always high and the relationships are intense and exciting. In NA, you do get a lot of the same angst that comes with YA, but you also get the nervous energy of being (seemingly) alone in the world for the first time, you get a person colored by their high school past, and often that includes romantic experience, bringing relationships to a much more passionate level. Long story short, I fell for NA because I connect with these characters so intensely - they are simultaniously reminders of who I was and who I am now.