I was going to post a review today, and in fact I had one all written out and ready to go. But you'll have to wait for my next post for that. I have spent the past hour or so reading about a, shall we say, literary phenomenon you have probably all heard of by now: "New Adult." There have been many, many articles, blog posts, and comments written about this particular subject, and yes, I'm going to add to the collection. For your reference, here are two posts by other librarians I respect in my specialty, which is teen services: Kelly at Stacked has a few links in her most recent Links of Note post, and Liz Burns wrote the first of a series of articles about it as well. Both of those have a bunch of links worth reading, both for and against the idea of New Adult fiction.
Personally, I am not convinced this should be called an age grouping in the same sense as young adult/teen, children's, and adult literature. I understand that a "new adult" or "emerging adult" has a different sense of the world around them, a different life experience, and in fact I would call myself someone in that range as a 25-year-old woman. But just because you want books that reflect your experience, which is completely valid, does that mean an entirely new age category be created because of it?
People have been saying that you're either an adult, a teen, or a child, and new adults are technically adults. I would have to agree. Just because you don't feel like and adult doesn't mean you're not one. Maybe new adult fiction is a legitimate genre, like fantasy or mysteries or romance, but I wouldn't carve out space for it in the teen section or adult section at my library. It's going to go in one or the other, and unfortunately it will have to suffice for all us emerging adults who want to read books with people in our stage in life.
And guess what? That's FINE. The good news about this discussion, and the sales of books in the genre, is that publishers and retailers are noticing that there is a need for these stories and people are willing to buy them. This is apparent in looking at e-book sales, as well as just looking at popular culture and other forms of entertainment right now. The TV shows Girls and 2 Broke Girls, for example, are about that period, in these instances, in a young woman's life (disclaimer, I've never seen either of these shows). The only show I can think of off the top of my head about young men at that stage is the web series "We Need Girlfriends" which is awesome and hilarious.
I just think they belong in either YA or Adult fiction, and not somewhere in between. That's what we are for, the librarians and booksellers in your life. I know people don't necessarily want to talk to librarians all the time, for various reasons. But the Internet is an amazing place! I have been inspired by all this to try to create a Pinterest board dedicated to the genre, and I'm guessing there are other lists out there that people have compiled already.
In the meantime, I wish we could all agree that these books can go in one place or the other. Frankly, I don't have the space in my library to create a new set of shelves.
Oh, and another thing. I really REALLY hate the term "new adult." First, it sounds like the new adult books are actually new books for adults. Second, the acronym is NA, which just makes me think of the, to me apt, other meaning of that: Not Applicable.