Friday, 21 December 2012

The problem with 'New Adult' fiction

'New Adult' fiction is a relatively new phenomena in the publishing world which is intended to bridge the gap between YA and Adult. On the surface, this seems like a relatively good idea, right? If you're in college or an older teenager and you want to read something more mature with characters your own age, then this is perfect. But there are definite problems with this.
1) Swearing
I am not against swearing in books. Not at all. Teenagers use such language all the time and it makes fiction and characters very realistic. However, New Adult go completely over the top, and it's supposed to be seen as attractive. Expletives are just randomly put into titles for some reason unknown to me, and it really puts me off continuing reading.
2) Sex
I have no issue with this either, as long as it's written with maturity and is healthy. Yet, in NA titles it goes completely out of control. I'm not kidding, either. People write whole books filled with the stuff and it's just dire, if I'm honest. Either the main character (usually female) is a virgin and dates the boy who sleeps around/has loads of experience, or the main character is male and has done this and is falling for someone "they never thought they'd fall for". Excuse me while I vomit. In my opinion, most NA books are written as an excuse to write loads of sex into books for teenagers, and it's certainly not healthy.
3) Bad boys
This is probably one of the most irritating things about the NA genre. If a male lead is to be seen as desirable, he has to be a "bad boy", apparently. The nice guy gets kicked to the curb because the Mary Sue has fallen for the "dangerous" guy she "just can't stay away from". I'm not a gullible, pathetic teenage girl, ok? I don't lust after guys like this. They're not realistic at all, or attractive. They're often extremely violent with possessive tendencies, and they're supposed to be seen as the perfect example of a boyfriend you'd want. Classic examples include Travis from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and Chase from Taking Chances by Molly McAdams, two books I'm sure I'll never read.
4) Main characters
The main character, if female, is always a Mary Sue, in some shape or form. Innocent, naive, incredibly beautiful but unaware of her charms. Fantastically intelligent, but not smart enough to realise the guy she's fallen for is a total psychopath. Guys fall at her feet, and she has a great body, and her closest female friend is always a "flirt" or "promiscuous". The alternative is a "damaged" girl with a "past she wants to forget", but still has 95% of the above qualities. Maybe not as innocent, but definitely irritating enough to make you scream.
5) Romance
99% of NA books contain a sappy, unrealistic romance which includes the male character spouting professions of love straight from the author's imagination. No guy would ever say these things. Also, the stuff the MCs do is usually utter drivel, too. Surely the author's own experiences of relationships are not like these turgid fantasies? Most NA books are one step away from turning into Fifty Shades of Grey, for God's sake (inner goddess anyone?).
6) Self-publishing
I have no problem with self-publishing, and I think it's a great idea, as long as your work is properly edited and is written by someone with actual literary talent. Most books, alas, are not. They include constant grammatical errors, obvious spelling mistakes and a load of general errors you wouldn't find in a published novel. People who write these things, get some self-respect! It makes you look so unbelievably stupid if your main character's name never has a capital letter throughout the whole book! 

However, there are some self-published books which I have really enjoyed. The writing was actually pretty good and the characters were believable as people that would exist in real-life. My top three that I'd recommend are:
Easy by Tammara Webber
Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Have you read any self-published novels? What did you think? Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment