Coles Notes: New Adult (NA) Romance

By Catherine Coles

‘New Adult, or NA, is an emerging category in fiction that closely resembles ‘Young Adult’ (YA), but features characters in the 18-30 age category. The NA phenomenon is a result of the perceived lack of novels featuring characters in a post-adolescent but not quite adult phase of life, as well as the growing trend of young adult novels appealing to adult readers.

These novels aim to bring the emotionally-intense story lines and fast-paced plotting of young adult fiction to stories that focus on a new range of experiences in life beyond the teenage years. Hallmarks of NA include first-person narration, soap-opera like plots, and characters with ‘issues’ ranging from history of abuse, health issues, and troubled family lives. Like in YA, some of the most popular NA novels to date are romances… but unlike in YA, sexual activity is a given. So if you enjoyed YA books like The Fault in our Stars, Eleanor & Park and If I Stay but are looking for something a little bit steamier, read ahead.

If you want the epitome of NA, look no further than Colleen Hoover. Her last two books have won the Goodreads Choice Award for Romance — two years in a row! It Ends With Us, Hoover’s latest release, follows a twenty-something named Lily. Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up — she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own florist business. So when she feels a spark with a neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Lily can’t get him out of her head but Ryle’s complete aversion to committed relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

The Map That Leads to You by J.P. Monninger follows a girl (Heather) who meets a boy (Jack) during a whirlwind post-college trip to Western Europe. Heather is very ambitious, with a New York City banking job lined up for her after she returns home to America. She certainly doesn’t expect to meet and fall in love with Jack, a quirky, artsy guy who is retracing his late grandfather’s steps across Europe. The characters’ smarty-pants banter (nobody talks like that!) gets a bit tedious, and the novel is a bit too drawn out generally, but the latter portion will keep readers interested. It is a great choice for NA armchair travelers. There have already been comparisons made to Nicholas Sparks and The Fault in our Stars, which I think are apt enough.

On the steamier end of the NA spectrum is Abbi Glines. Her most popular series is called ‘Rosemary Beach’, starting with Fallen Too Far. It is the story of the 19-year-old named Blaire. For the past three years of her life she’s been taking care of her sick mother, who has since passed away. Since Blaire has no money left because of all the medical bills, she turns to her estranged father, who allows her to stay at his house in Florida. When Blaire arrives there, her father has run off to Paris with his new wife. Instead, Blaire is faced with her new stepbrother named Rush, a spoiled, condescending playboy. Sparks fly between the two, no matter how much they try to resist.

You can reserve any of the titles mentioned here from your branch of the County of Lennox and Addington Libraries or online at

Catherine Coles is the Manager of Library Services for Lennox an Addington County.

error: Content is protected !!