Last week I shared my satisfaction and joy (New Adult / Upper YA / Mature YA: Here, at last!) after reading two fabulous New Adult (NA) novels: Easy by Tammara Webber (which I will review in a couple of days) and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (for review, click here). Last night, I finished (at 1am) the touching Because of Low by Abby Glines. I just thought I would expand a little by giving some background to why I love reading NA and why I love writing it.
I dived into Harry Potter. I devoured Twilight. Now what?
I’m not a teen anymore (humm! haven’t been for a while). But in some unexpected, time-defying ways, I grew up with those heroes. They nurtured my thoughts, my dreams. I cheered for them, cried with them…. and fell in love with them (you, broody vampire, yes you!).
I’m now desperate for the next adventure, for the next step in my ‘growing-up.’
‘Coming-of-age’ doesn’t only happen in high school. A lot of the excitement, joys and heartbreaks also fill those ‘in-between years,’ when you’re legally an adult but don’t always know how to be one. Or why you should even try to be.
But hardly any book deals with this transition into the ‘big bad’ world, about these life-changing, earth-shattering ‘first-times.’
The first time we leave home, our family, our parents, the friends we grew up with, but didn’t always choose.
The first home, the first job, the first real love.
I want to write about those days, those years, and share the stories with you. You may be experiencing these emotions right now… or you lived through them some time ago and want to understand how and why they define who you are now.
I had fantastic comments last week both on this blog and on Twitter. They made me think and raised great questions. I have one for you and would be grateful if you could share your thoughts. Do you consider HIGH SCHOOL or COLLEGE the place for the ‘first times’? And why? It can be based on your own experience or what you observe (with your kids, for example).
Also, if you have read NA books you have loved, please let me know. I’m always looking for a new NA read and a book to review.
I know, I know, it sounds totally cliché… But I have to be honest here: This book really took my breath away. I hadn’t felt that way since opening the first page of Twilight (the first book in the Saga, let’s be clear). I read an editorial review describing the “breathlessness of the first kiss,” and this is exactly what Perfect Chemistry inspired in me.
Yes, the end is somewhat rushed and breaks the nice flow of the book so far. Yes, Alex and Brittany are star-crossed lovers who are paired up (against their will) in a chemistry class. Yes, you can’t help comparing some of the themes and overall context with works like Twilight or West Side Story, or even Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrmann’s movie will be closer than Shakespeare’s Verona tale).
But, hey, no story out there is completely new.
What matters (to me, at least) is the truth of the characters, and therefore the truth of the author who created them. You can’t miss Simone Elkeles’s sincerity in her written words, in particular those spoken by Alex. You can’t miss how much of her heart she put in telling that story. And I guess, that’s what makes a great book.
So hurrah to Simone Elkeles for creating something so breathtaking (without the help of any vampire or werewolf). And hurrah to the star of the show… Alex Fuentes!