I didn't even realize that there weren't books about people between the ages of say 19 and 25 until New Adult books burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. And then I was all “where were these books all my reading life!”
Maybe the first New Adult book I read was “Anne of Avonlea.” She was only sixteen but she began working as a schoolteacher at the Avonlea school which is pretty new adult in my book. Plus, Gilbert goes from being the horrible boy who torments Anne to the one who can’t stop looking at how awesome her red hair is.
Another classic New Adult book is Daddy Longlegs by Jean Webster written in 1912. It’s an epistolary novel and I bring this up for a calculated reason. There are letters in my book, Undeclared, too!
Okay, enough self pimpage. In Daddy Longlegs Jerusha Abbott is an orphan whose post secondary education is funded by an anonymous benefactor. The story is told almost entirely through letters Jerusha writes to her benefactor whom she calls “Daddy LongLegs”. She ultimately falls in love with him and reveals that his anonymity was revealed to her much earlier than he thought. I first read this book after I watched the 1955 film with my mother starring Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. My mother was a big fan of these black and white films and would rent them during the holidays.
Fast forward many years (not revealing how many) until the summer of 2013 when I read “Easy” by Tammara Webber. The sweet romantic tale of a young college girl suffering a bad breakup and an assault on her college campus was a story that I couldn't get enough of.
I went on a tear and read Colleen Hoover’s “Slammed” and “Point of Retreat.” My goodness, who knew I was a slam poetry fan? “Something Like Normal” by Trish Doller, narrated by a 19 year old Marine back on leave and having to attend his best friend’s funeral broke my heart and then knitted it back together. (*cough* like my book *cough*)
There are the super angsty reads like J. Lynn’s “Waiting for You” and Jessica Sorenson’s “The Coincindence of Callie and Kayden” and the heart wrenching emotional trilogy by S.C. Stephens “Thoughtless, Reckless, and Effortless.”
One of my favorites, though, is “Sea of Tranquility” by Katja Millay. If you told me I would love a book wherein the heroine doesn't say a single word for the first third of the book, I would have laughed at you. But Millay writes a powerful narrative about a girl who suffered a terrible random assault that crushed her dreams. It is all she can do to wake up and move each morning, let alone talk.
One thing I love about New Adult books is that it is a time that we can give our characters a little more leeway. They are learning to be responsible. They make a lot of mistakes. But they also form lasting relationships with boys and girls that will carry them into the next phase of their lives.
New Adult books are rocking my world. I've named a few of my favorite. Why don’t you recommend some for me?
Author: Jen Frederick
Publisher: (May 1st, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.
Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
This is a mature New Adult book. I see that it is classified as YA - not sure how to change that - but I wanted to be clear that it has explicit love scenes in the story.
Jen Frederick lives in the Midwest with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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