Okay so a few days ago, I opened up the blog for discussion about the New Adult category. What I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks is that we all have some things about it that we’re curious about, that we want to way, and that we want to know – and ultimately we’re all looking for great recommendations.
Read the first discussion post on New Adult HERE. It’s still open for discussion, guys. Feel free to comment and keep the discussion going, or we can just continue it here.
Near the bottom of that first post, I listed a few things that I wanted to discuss over the course of this ongoing discussion. The first bullet-point mentions that I’d like to share some recommendations that I’ve read because 1) I want other people to read them and 2) because some of you guys are asking for recommendations. This is super exciting because you guys know as well as I do that as readers, we just love to squeal about the books we love, right?
*The majority of the books I’m sharing at this time are non-traditionally published. This is to make you all aware of them in case some of you aren’t. Conversely, you guys PLEASE feel free to share New Adult recommendations with me (any type of publishing). I’m always up for recommendations.
Oh my goodness, these books are so excruciatingly good that I want to take them and push them on you all. These each are fantastic examples of New Adult for those of you that love: sibling relationships, complex characters that have development over the book/series, great settings, wonderful romances (no triangles) that are swoony but not steamy. Not only that, but this author is a male and is able to write a female character so well – it’s almost unbelievable. AND AND what I love so much about these books is that they’re such great NA contemporary romance stories but they have a backdrop of real-life issues in them – stuff that you would hear about going on in the real world like deployment, etc. Nothing too heavy but it is actual plot to run alongside the romance, which gives each story some depth and makes you feel like you’re reading something amazing. (Because you are.) Another wonderful thing about these books is that they can be read in any order. After I read the first one, I felt like I knew the Thompson family and I LOVE THEM. I have the books shown in order of publish dates, but I actually read the middle book first and had no trouble at all, NONE, in keeping with the flow of the goings-on of this family. This is a series in which each sibling gets her own book but the rest of the family is still present. YOU GUYS, read these.
My review for The Last Hour is coming soon!
This is one of my absolute favorites for so many reasons: amazing character development for main character Sophie Price (you will hate her in the beginning and love her in the end, trust me), absolutely amazing settings, super-swoony love interest with no triangle and not too steamy, and the slow-burn of all slow-burns. The things that takes this book up from great to super-great is the incorporation of real-life global social issues into the story: Ugandan orphans, victims of the LRA. It sounds really heavy, BUT Fisher Amelie incorporates this into the story so that it is absolutely captivating and raises awareness while entertaining you at the same time. I really cannot love this story (and love interest Ian Aberdeen) enough. I am SO HONORED that I have had the chance to read it and I will read it over and over and recommend the heck out of it.
These two are very different books in terms of subject but I’ve added them to my recommendations together because they both feature fantastic male leading characters AND they have some swoons but are not too steamy.
Slammed by Colleen Hoover is just a great, great NA/YA contemporary romance with a male leading character that just completely breaks the mold and sets the standard for other great male characters. (I haven’t really found one that can live up to Will yet.) He is the first I think of when I think of great NA/YA males. Non-mysterious, respectful of women, has a job and some big responsibilities. Also, the story is so good – more swoons without being overly steamy. Plus HELLO Avett Brothers fans, you’ll love this one!
(Sidenote: I’m totally wearing one of my Avett Bros. t-shirts while writing this, which means absolutely nothing.)
Fight or Flight is a New Adult issues-contemporary in which there is a little bit of romance, but it comes later in the story and is not the driving force of the story at all. Personally I think this story qualifies as NA more on the basis of the issues and transition rather than the age of the characters. That’s just my opinion…however, those who enjoy great issues-contemps will love this one. This is the story of Emerson and Jay living and coping on the streets – why they end up there, how they make it day-to-day, that sort of thing. It isn’t a steamy romance – it’s a survival story. It is phenomenal and more people should read it. That is all.
(Slight trigger warning for abuse and violence.)
I have not reviewed this on the blog yet, but it is coming soon!
I really cannot recommend this book highly enough to issues-contemp lovers.
Easy is the story of Jacqueline and Lucas and their time at college, finding themselves and work through some trust issues. It’s a great romantic story but there is great depth to it both in the romance and in the issues within the story. There is also some lightheartedness to the college experience within the story, and that is fun. I remember reading this one in one sitting last summer and just eating it up. Loved it. Totally paved the way for me to devour more New Adult and here I am, still doing just that.
Flat-Out Love is just one of the best stories ever, period. Main character Julie really likes her nerdy friend Matt but she just loves his brother Finn. But Finn isn’t around – he’s abroad all the time. She ends up falling in love with Finn after never having met him, which is so interesting, right? And then there is Celeste, their younger sister, who carries a giant cardboard cutout of Finn everywhere because she misses him so much. Dude, this family is so strange, but they are so endearing and charming and I just fell in love with them so much. (Especially nerdy Matt.) Particularly after the thing happens. It may be a little bit predictable once you get into it, but doggone it, that’s okay sometimes because sometimes you can’t beat a FANTASTIC story. And this is one of those. Great characters, great setting, great story, swoons but not too steamy. Quirky younger sister but great sibling relationships. This story is made of WIN.
These two represent two of the first NA books that I read on purpose – I read books that qualified as NA before these, but I don’t really think that I knew that I was stepping into something “new.” I think that lots of us tend to get our feet wet with these two books, but in case you haven’t – these are EXCELLENT places to start.
Lost & Found tackles the “bad girl/good boy” thing, which is a departure from what we’re used to with the alpha-male, angsty, bad-boy thing that some feel is a bit overdone. In this case, bad girl Rowen Sterling isn’t really all that bad and good boy Jesse Walker is actually quite amazing. I love this story – how Jesse helps Rowen tackle some issues she has in her life just by being kind to her and helping her realize that she is a good person, inside and out. There is wonderful character development with ‘bad girl’ Rowen. There are some swoons that border on steamy, yes, but I didn’t feel that these scenes took away from the story at all. This is one of those cases in which I expected a good story, but I had no idea how excellent it would be. Highly recommended.
Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much. It took on the issue of body image. Cat used to be a perfect size – she was a stick-thin model until an accident with subsequent surgery caused her to gain some weight. She didn’t get fat – she became healthy! Cat became a normal, average-sized woman, but it devastated her. It affected how she felt about herself and how she felt others perceived her. Meeting Nate changed her life – he took her exercising, he made sure to tell her uplifting, positive things about herself and her body, and he inspired her to be better. In spite of Nate and his awesomeness, Cat still has to work on her own mentality and her own issues with the changes in her body. Alessandra Thomas did a great, fantastic, wonderful job with this story – I felt a connection to this character because I am not “fat” but I am not stick-thin either…and I’ve felt most of those things that Cat feels throughout the course of the book. Reading this one was kind of therapeutic for me. The romance is pretty great and this one is actually pretty steamy, but the story and underlying message is AMAZING. High fives and hats off to Alessandra Thomas for tackling this subject. She did a great job. Mature readers need to be reading this one, no matter what their body size or how they feel about themselves because if they’re not experiencing what Cat did to at least some level, they know someone that is.
You guys probably know by now that I am a raging fan of this series, just having finished all three of the books published (Never Forget, Holding On, Always Remember) a few days ago. Never Forget is a super-fun, charming PERFECT example of New Adult contemporary romance with wonderful sibling, family, and friend relationships, a stellar setting in England, a slowly-developing romance with no triangle, GREAT characters, and swoons galore. I had the most fun reading this book! And I loved the rest of the series as well. If you want an example of the things you love in the YA books you read, except written for an older and more mature audience, WELL HERE YA GO. This one is great.
Also, watch for my thoughts on Holding On and Always Remember.
Here are just a few random traditionally published New Adult Contemporary books
that you may have already read!
This isn’t all of them!
Okay, so in truth – I could list more. There are SO MANY great ones.
I may do another examples post later on towards the end of this event, actually.
What New Adult Contemporary books have YOU read
that you would recommend?
Self/indie/traditionally-published – doesn’t matter!
Do any of these look like titles that
you might add to your to-read lists?
Have you already read any of these?
TALK TO ME, YOU GUYS!!
These are non-angsty, non-sexed up examples.
That seems to be what people are asking for mostly right now.
Your turn to recommend to ME please!