I was lucky when I started to read New Adult a few years ago that there were many reviewers that steered me in the right direction, so I want to do that for you now. There are important things to consider when jumping into NA for the first time:
Don’t go hardcore or extreme right away! This might put you off NA forever. NA deserves a gradual entry, one should start with novels that tow the line between NA and YA. My recommendation for someone’s very first NA book is…
Slammed tells the story of an eighteen-year-old girl who moves to a new city with her mother, after the death of her father. She meets her new neighbour and he asks her out for dinner. The two of them have a wonderful time on their date and are looking forward to pursuing this relationship further until the first day of school arrives and the protagonist discovers her new neighbour is her English teacher.
This story is a great introduction to central ideas explored in NA, as the protagonist deals with issues larger than high school angst. This book is highly emotional, I cry every time I re-read it. This is such an essential read and the gateway drug into all the other Colleen Hoover novels. CoHo is a pinnacle of the NA world, she is beloved by some and despised by others. You are not really an NA reader until you pick up some CoHo.
The next thing you should take into account are the tropes you might want to read. NA is all about categorizing the stories into general concepts. I am such an easy to please reader that I love so many tropes, but I do fall into cravings of certain tropes every once and a while. There may be a day I wake up and I need to pick what I want to read next and for some reason, I’m craving hockey romance.
These next two books are both by Cora Carmack, another super popular NA author. Both of these stories should help demonstrate to you what you like and want more of.
Both of these books take place in universities, a location that you should figure out if you like. All Lined Up has a football element, and as someone who does not enjoy watching sports, I would understand this fact turning people away from the story. I actually love reading books with sports elements, Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series is my fave for football. Most of my favourite ones happen to be the hockey ones (probably cause I’m Canadian). Sports is never front and center, but it throws in interesting problems for the characters to solve. Losing It is one of my absolute favourites this one is much artsier, the protagonist is a theatre major. It conveys emotion phenomenally, and I re-read it constantly.
The next thing you should consider is how much time and energy you want to put into a series. NA is both very standalone and series based. Often an author has written a series of standalones. So you can read them individually in any order you want, but the most rewarding way to read it is in publication order.
Wait For You was one of the first long-haul NA series I read. This series is now six books, I started it when there was only three, but I knew there would be more. NA series like this one brings something really special to the table, the ability to see how characters you love are doing years down the line. The couple from book one will continue to appear in some shape or form in the next instalments allowing you to check up on them. This luxury doesn’t really exist in a YA series, where you might just follow the same couple for three books and then have to say goodbye. Some NA series are in the double digits now as readers have fallen in love with a world, and the authors are satisfied with continuing to write in it.
Finally, despite my first warning of going in slow if you want something that pushes your limits a bit look no further than this Katy Evans book…
There are thousands of NA books about wealthy businessmen with broken pasts (because Fifty Shades of Grey was a phenomenon), but my personal favourite of the trope and the one I compare any new back to is Manwhore. If you want the truest NA expirence you should pick this one and any of Katy Evans’ other books, just like the others authors I have mentioned so far she is renowned in the genre.
I hope these recommendations can guide you into the NA world, as always reach out to me if you want any tailored recommendations. I am more than happy to place an NA book in your hands that you would fall in love with.
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