Hi everyone! Today’s post is prompted by a lot of thoughts and feelings I’ve been having lately about my place in the online bookish community. If you follow me on twitter you may have read my thread where I talk about how weird it is to be a new adult in the book community, and this discussion post will be a bit of an expansion on that thread.
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, or even if you’ve just scrolled through my blog/social media, you’d probably see that I primarily read/post about Young Adult fiction. But I’ve recently been feeling a little discontent with YA lately, and I think it’s because of my age. YA fiction generally features characters anywhere between 12-18 years old and often explores subject matter and themes consistent with this age. A lot of YA fiction also focuses on high school related issues or is at least set in high school.
I turned 19 back in May, and I graduated from high school when I was 17. At 18, I’d done one year of university and one month before my 19th birthday, I moved out of home & to another state to live with my boyfriend. There are basically never any YA books with characters my age, let alone with my experience. But, even outside of YA there aren’t really many books that reflect my experience either. I like reading New Adult fiction (18-25 years), but so many New Adult books are mostly set in college in America and are most commonly romance novels. Also, most New Adult books I’ve read have characters in their early to mid 20s and very rarely do I find any my age. So I’m at a bit of a stage now where I’m trying to find exactly where in fiction I fit.
Not only am I trying to find where I fit in fiction, but I’m also trying to find where I fit in the online bookish community itself. I’ve been in this community for 4-5 years. I joined as a young teen (14-15) and was primarily the target audience for everything YA. However, I’m not really that target audience anymore. There’s been a lot of discussion on twitter about prioritizing younger teens (14-17) over older teens (18-19) and adults in young adult discussions. And whilst I do agree with this, I feel like there’s not enough discussion about how older teens feel sort of pushed out of YA but also how they’re not welcome in adult spaces either. I don’t mean this to derail the importance of prioritizing younger teens in YA conversations, but I do think it’s a very important discussion to be had. 18-19 feels too old for a YA protagonist but also too young for adult fiction. 18-19 year olds are told they’re not the target audience of YA anymore, but they’re not the target audience of adult fiction either. So the question lies: where do new adults fit- not just in fiction but in the community itself?
This struggle is part of the reason I wish more diverse experiences were explored in New Adult fiction. As I said previously, New Adult fiction currently is primarily romance/erotica books set in American colleges. I want to see more. Give me all the NA about messy new adults trying to find their place in the adult world- navigating their first full time jobs and moving out of home and learning how to manage their money properly so they can pay the bills. Give me all the NA about people who thought they had their life after high school sorted but hate the degree they’ve chosen so they take alternate paths. Give me all the NA about teen parents raising their kids and all the new adults travelling the world before they want to settle down.
Now that I’m beginning to feel discontent with reading YA fiction, I want to try to see how I go with some new adult and adult fiction. I have a load of anticipated 2018 YA releases that I might try to get to next year, but starting this month & continuing into the new year, I’ll be reading primarily NA/Adult. Since I’ll now primarily be reading NA/Adult, my content across all platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Blog) will be changing, so if New Adult + Adult isn’t want you’re into, I understand if you unfollow me. If you have any fave new adult/adult books you’d like me to read, definitely recommend them to me & if you know any bloggers who read mostly new adult + adult, or if you blog mostly about new adult + adult, let me know in the comments!
I thought I’d end the post with a few of the NA/Adult books I’m anticipating reading in the next few months!
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Trade Me by Courtney Milan
- The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
- If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
- Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
- Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
- Down By Contact by Santino Hassell
- Off The Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Are you a new adult in the book community? What are your thoughts on where you fit in? Also, if you have any new adult/adult book recommendations please feel free to leave them in the comments- most of the people I follow read primarily YA so I’m trying to find loads of recs.
Thanks so much for reading!