Hey, guys! I am so excited to post my very first “Alyssa on…” and so thankful that my friend, Bunny, has invited me to share on We Are Word Nerds. Basically, each month I’m going to pick a topic, share my thoughts, and suggest a book that coincides with said topic.
This week, I’m going to be discussing the newly emerged genre of New Adult!
Now, I’m no expert (and I don’t pretend to be), but I’ve come to understand New Adult (NA from here on out) in the following terms: 1. the characters are typically between the ages of 18-25, either just about to graduate from high school or in college, 2. the characters are newly independent (i.e., just moved away from home, just started at college, etc.), and 3. the stories typically center around two of the characters’ romantic relationship with one another. The new genre quickly exploded a couple of years ago and has come to be known by a few of the NA “major” authors: Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, Katie McGarry and, of course, Tammara Webber. For me, NA is kind of the perfect genre. I’ve long been a fan of YA contemporary romances but as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have similarly grown as well. At one point, the sugary sweet romances between the likes of Bella and Edward were all I needed to satisfy my want for romance but now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m more interested in reading stories that revolve around characters closer to my age (yes, I know that Edward was over 100 years old… shaddup!) NA romances contain all of the elements that I love about YA romances – the butterflies in my tummy, the urgency, the sweetness, the drop dead gorgeous guys… but have added steamy scenes that I cannot resist.
Of course, things can never been all unicorns and lollipops (as Bunny would say), and NA has picked up a negative stigma as its books have become more popular… and unfortunately, I don’t think that the stigma hits too far from the mark. It seems as though many NA books have fallen into a basic formula as far as story line goes: a naïve young woman meets the quintessential bad boy, the two fall in love, enter into a tumultuous relationship, break up, and re-unite. Rinse and repeat. And because so many of these books follow that trend, the characters end up reading the same as well. The female lead is seemingly strong and self aware until she meets her love interest, and then immediately falls apart. The male lead (with the dark past, of course) is more often than not incredibly violent and makes me question whether or not his actions can be classified as abusive. I’ve had many discussions with friends who read NA and we all seem to agree on this – a lot of the plots feel the same, and all of the characters seem like cardboard cutouts.
However, there is one book that breaks free of this trap and I’m sure you’ve guessed it – it’s Easy by Tammara Webber. Webber includes everything that I love about NA – a sexy boy, a relationship that seems doomed to fail, and oh Lord, the drama… but she wrote her story in a way that didn’t feel tired and over done. Her main characters speak and behave like typical college students and don’t run to the extremes with their relationship. The biggest thing that stands out to me about Easy is that Webber touches upon the issue of sexual violence on college campuses. She could have easily gone down a very wrong path and cheapened the horrifying experience that many college students do face… but instead, Webber showed that this kind of violence is a real and sadly common occurrence. Though her characters were put into terrible situations, each had to look within themselves to find the strength to heal after their ordeals. Basically, Tammara Webber wrote a story that satsified everything that I look for in a NA book but that also allowed me to walk away without feeling like I’d indulged in a guilty pleasure by reading it. I loved Easy and I think that it’s fantastic – it was a 5 star read for me, hands down.
If you’re interested in checking out a NA book, I strongly encourage you to start here. And if you do decide to give it a go (or already have!), please let me know what you thought of it!
Until next time,
Easy by Tammara Webber
Release Date: 2012-11-06 The New York Times Bestseller by Tammara Webber Rescued by a stranger.Haunted by a secretSometimes, love isn’t easy… He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior… The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth – and find the unexpected power of love. A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.