What is New Adult (NA) Fiction?

An up-and-coming genre of literature has been growing in popularity–and it has a name! This developing genre focuses on the age 18-30 demographic and is called New Adult Fiction.

This term was coined around 2009 and has gained traction in recent years, in part due to the use of social media.

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What is New Adult Fiction?:

New Adult Fiction, sometimes called Neo Adult Fiction, bridges the gap between Young Adult and Adult Literature. Prominent book stores such as Barnes and Noble even made a blog post back in 2014 about this emerging genre.

I think that NA genre may be developing in part due to the growing need for books which cater to a new and different generation. Although YA Literature does have a broad audience which is above– or even a bit under– the 12-18 age group, genres serve a purpose of categorizing a variety of books in order to make them easier to find for readers.

Discussion on genre can take up a blog post in itself (most likely multiple posts), but they are a helpful guide, almost like a guided map for readers to pick up a book to read. Readers can go off the path if they choose, branch off in a different direction, wander aimlessly among the shelves, or choose to follow the map in question. This power of choice is why reading can be quite powerful–NA Literature is a new possible addition, option, and means of making a decision.

When discussing NA, YA often comes into the discussion. YA Literature does discuss several hard-pressing issues and topics teens may struggle with. NA Literature covers topics which may not usually be discussed in YA, such as attending college, getting married, and pursuing a career.

The Pushback:

When there is a new genre, sometimes there may be a bit of pushback. There have been discussions in the past–and even today– on whether or not that this genre is for the purpose of marketing. But in order to guide readers towards this new and growing genre, having a name and a broad category can help potential readers find and read books to enjoy.

Genres Take Time to Grow:

As discussed in a previous post, genres take time to grow and develop. YA Literature took several decades to become a prominent staple on shelves and like any other genre, it has developed further as time moves on. New topics have been brought to the forefront in YA Literature, such as the use of social media and smartphones. NA Literature on the other hand, in its early stages. The average library or bookstore may not have a set shelf for this genre–at least not yet.

YA had its chance to branch out into its own category throughout the course of several decades. NA Literature also needs an opportunity to prosper, and this takes time. I am excited to see how this genre grows as the years go on.

2 thoughts on “What is New Adult (NA) Fiction?

  1. Very insightful post. I think NA is a great genre that’s just a little bit more grownup and challenging than YA but still really fun to read so I think it’s a great kind of ‘bridge’ between teenage hood and adulthood!

  2. Pingback: Sunday Update #4

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