According to NA Alley, a site dedicated to the New Adult Fiction genre, “New adult fiction encompasses the transition between adolescence – a life stage often depicted in Young Adult fiction – and true adulthood. Protagonists typically fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. Other terms for NA include: Upper YA, Crossover Fiction, and Mature YA.”
The popular HBO show Girls features young women in their early twenties navigating the difficult dating scene and the newly entered workforce. According to the Lulu Blog, “New Adult was coined by St. Martin’s Press as a midway between adult literary fiction and young adult books.”
XOJane defines this “new adult” period as the stage in a person’s life when they have left the safety and confines of their parents and are now in the “real world.” Using those parameters, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, and Sloppy Firsts (as well as the entire Jessica Darling series) by Megan McCafferty also fall into the New Adult genre.
This is encouraging for many authors who have found themselves rejected by publishing houses because their characters didn’t fit into an appropriate niche, too old for YA, too young for mainstream. Readers and characters between the ages of 18-26 seems to be that missing piece of the publishing puzzle and New Adult is hoping to create a targeted approach that will resonate strongly with them.
Will this new label help define or alienate readers? What are your thoughts on New Adult Fiction?