How The “New Adult” Genre Reflects My Generation’s Feelings About Growing Up

Photo: getty images
girl reading new adult fiction

It is weird being a part of the 18-30 age range.

When you have some friends who have kids and others who still go out everyone weekend, you’re bound to feel a little whiplash in these chaotic years. It is an awkward transitional time where the word “adult” feels too serious, but the word “teenager” is way in the rearview mirror.

This can create a lot of problems: do you spend the day helping your friend pick out baby clothes or the night doing body shots in someone’s basement? Both?

You may feel confused about exactly it is you should be doing in your life as an adult.

I've found this reflected in my choice of fiction

RELATED: 10 Books By Black Authors That Should Be Required Reading In 2020

I have noticed particularly in my reading, there is a massive struggle trying to find something that interests me.

I was always a huge fan of Young Adult fiction (and still am!) but I have noticed over the past years that even those books don’t hold my attention the way they used to.

Some of them seem way too young with tons of unnecessary drama that I would have eaten up back in 2016, but now makes me want to throw the book across the room in frustration (because really there’s no reason the main couple can’t be together — it’s called communication!).

On the other hand, browsing the adult section makes me feel like an imposter. The lengthy titles and Pulitzer prize labels intimidate me, and I usually end up so bored reading them I give up.

So, what’s a girl to do when reading about the impossible romance between the werewolf and the faerie frustrates me to the point of throwing things, but the critically acclaimed novel about a mother of five bores me to tears? Where do I fit in?

This reading dilemma is a fantastic metaphor for how I feel in this awkward period of time where I am a grown-up who still calls her mom when she can’t decide what to have for dinner. 

RELATED: 24 Most Important Books To Read In Your 20s

Never fear, this is where the New Adult genre comes in.

New Adult books feature protagonists from the ages of 18-30 years old.

This relatively new genre began to grow about 10 years ago and has faced a few struggles on its journey to popularity.

There’s somewhat of a stigma around New Adult books — people generally consider them to be YA with more sex, and sure, some of them definitely could be described like that.

However, the New Adult genre is way more complex than that and has some really great titles to offer anyone who feels out of place in the reading world.

New Adult is the perfect solution in this confusing stage of life.

It may not help me transition to some semblance of a responsible sleep schedule when friends want to go on 2 a.m. drives or show me how to choose great wedding gifts, but it can entertain me.

When I want to put my feet up after a hard day of being a new adult, at least I know there is a genre made just for me that understands what it’s like to be an in-betweener.

Best New Adult Fiction Books to Read

Check out some of these titles for your next great New Adult read!

Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

The Roommate by Rose Danan

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

The Invisible Life of Addy LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Check prices and reviews on Amazon.

RELATED: 6 Books To Read That Are Better Than Their Movie And TV Adaptations

Erin Watson is an Editorial Intern. Her main focuses are entertainment, relationships, and horoscopes.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.