by Molly McAdams
People have many ways of defining the New Adult genre; whether it’s the general age group that you’ll find in the stories, the problems the characters may face or the intensity of the steamy scenes…different readers and authors see it their own way.
I feel the New Adult genre is about the experiences we’ll have, the freedom we’ll finally taste and the lessons we’ll learn…most likely the hard way. It’s all about the time in your life when you’ve just legally become an adult and you’re learning what exactly it means to be an adult. People are excited to hit that age, and to finally be able to say they are “legal”; but going into that time in your life can be more overwhelming than you’re prepared for. Bills start coming, you are suddenly responsible for things like buying your own food and, if you went the college route, actually getting yourself out of bed and to class.
For a lot of “new adults” you’re finally free from the parental units and with that freedom comes the time to find who you are. And that’s what we’re all wanting to know, isn’t it? Who we really are, where we want to go in life, and what paths we’ll take to get there.
It’s the time in our lives when I feel we learn the most that will help us in life. It’s almost like when your parents told you not to touch that burning stove when you were a child, but until you touched it yourself, you had no idea just how much it would hurt. Our parents and people we look up to can tell us countless times to do this…oh, but don’t do that! But until we’ve experienced these things ourselves, we aren’t going to truly comprehend exactly what will happen if we do decide to “touch the burning stove” – whatever it may be.
New Adult is really all of these things. The epic highs and terrifying lows of becoming an adult and becoming who you want to be. We get to follow heroes and heroines through journeys that a lot of us often face during those incredible years of eighteen to mid-late twenties. I can’t say there is one thing that defines the genre, and as I said, other people may have a different view on it. But for me, it’s all about the thrilling time in our life that we get to learn about who we are, and it’s those steps and paths we take figuring that out, that make up the genre.