One of the great things about the New Adult genre is how well it blends with so many other categories. Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy… you name it, New Adult can fit into it. It’s all about discovering what it means to be an adult, something everyone can relate to, no matter what reality you live in!
The Evolution of New Adult by Anne Tibbets
Ask any Romance writer their definition of “Trope” and you get a pretty standardized answer: ‘Up-tight debutant meets rugged cowboy, loosens her corset and rides off into the sunset,’ or ‘College girl with damaging past meets Good Boy with a chip on his shoulder and moves past her skeletons to find true love.’ You name it; the trope has been explored.
The beauty of writing tropes is that readers who love them can locate them with the ease of a Google search or a GoodReads list. It’s not difficult.
Personally, my favorite aspect of tropes is taking them and putting them in supernatural or science fiction settings, and seeing how the environment affects those tropes.
What if the Cowboy is a wanted space smuggler? What if the heroine’s damaging past involves demons, or a poltergeist? The trope automatically takes on a life and death element, raising the stakes, adding danger and intrigue and WHAM! I’m hooked.
This is why I love New Adult titles that crossover into other genres. It adds layers!
Take your standard twenty-something girl, a girl who struggles with her place in society as a woman, on her own, building a life outside her childhood and the safety of her family (if her family is indeed safe), and twist that trope, meld it, heat it like molten glass and blow it into something beautiful and unexpected.
Now, this girl not only has to find her way to happiness, but the obstacles compound the issue and make it that much more difficult. Conflict! What’s not to love about that?
New Adult is the perfect playing ground for such trope manipulation. But since the category is still so new, and the readership is still growing, the difficulty is exposing readers to other types of New Adult that go beyond the college campus, and explore those same issues, and still get the attention of those tried and true tropes that readers love so much.
The good news is that publishers like Carina Press understand the need for New Adult variety. They seek to push the limits, and for this, I rejoice.
I hope the growth of New Adult continues to flourish. I pray NA readers find diversity and embrace it. Because without that, there are so many incredible trope manipulations possible – and only good things can come from that.
Three New Adult Books You Should Be Reading
The Line Book Two: Walled by Anne Tibbets
Freedom means making brutal choices.
Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.
When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.
Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.
A Grave Inheritance by Kari Edgren
Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.
But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?
With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.
Dreams of a Wild Heart by Danube Adele
I dance, rock climb, and have mastered MMA, because just being a twenty-six-year-old doctor isn’t enough. It doesn’t keep me from remembering the terrifying night my life changed, the night my true love died. I was nearly seventeen.
Life goes on, but the secret I keep is that I still talk to him in my dreams. That was getting me by until Tabron showed up—or, more specifically, until the six-foot-two brute of a Viking whisked me off to another planet because his leader is dying. And the joy didn’t end there. I’m being forced to choose a mate. The Brausa are facing extinction.
Tabron has no need for a mate, himself, and he’s told me as much. Multiple times. What he does have are hands and wicked lips that stir feelings I thought lost forever. Choosing him (just to play along until I can find a way home) seems to irk him and I find this surprisingly fun. But surviving a hidden conspiracy and the dangers of this alien place might be more difficult than I could ever imagine…
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