Today, I'm featuring Young Adult and New Adult romance books :) Two genres which have really surged in the past few years. In blogland, NA seems to have somewhat eclipsed YA... probably because of our ages LOL. I think it's easier to relate to characters who are in their early to mid-20s than teens :P However, I think a reason why NA is so popular is the flexibility of the genre as well. Teens have to attend high school, not much they can do about that. And if they don't, well the situation is weird... and there are just so many weird situations we can read before getting tired of it. NA though is meant to be the beginning of adult life with many, many possibilities :) Therefore, bigger window for wowzers :)
Without further ado, here are my picks for YA and NA:
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Only Thing Worse than Me is You by Lily Anderson
I love, love My Most Excellent Year. It's just a great fun book. It's a lot more than high school... it's about discovering yourself and families, the one that you have and the one that you choose :)
Letters to Nowhere was very refreshing because the heroine is an elite gymnast. So instead of going to school, she trains and therefore, offers a different perspective/lifestyle. She also deals with the loss of her parents in an accident... at a time where she really needs her parents' support.
Pivot Point is my only non-contemporary YA suggestion. Well actually, it is contemporary, but it has a twist - heroine has a psychic power that allows her to see the two outcomes when she has to make a choice. In this case, her choices are to stay with her mother in the psychic compound or go with her dad in the normal world. I loved the writing, the parallel storylines and the romance was very sweet :)
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is one of the books that made me fall in love with the YA genre. It showed me that there was a lot more to this genre than books about high school drama. That a contemporary YA book could be deep and fun at the same time :)
I think the reason I love Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg and The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson is the same: the characters don't go to a regular high school. In Take a Bow, they are at a performing arts high school and The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, a school for genius. It's interesting to see how teens deal with so much pressure and refreshing because they have something else to focus on than who's the most popular and so on.
The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen
A Shattered Moment by Tiffany King
Wasted Words by Staci Hart
A good romance story doesn't necessarily mean a man and a woman. Love happens to couple of same sex too and it was a pleasure to see Wes and Jamie's love story unfolds in Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy :)
Sport romances in NA aplenty. When I think NA and sports romance, three names come to mind: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy and Kristen Callihan. Ms Callihan is the one who delivered one of my favorites: The Friend Zone. A womanizer football player trying to be friends with a girl who has nothing in common with him... Is it possible? :)
Ms Bowen is now one of my auto-buy authors. The series that made her so popular is The Ivy Years and my favorite book is The Understatement of the Year. However, since I've already chosen Him, also a m/m romance, I chose my second favorite book, The Shameless Hour. It's rare to see heroines who are so confident in their sexuality and who assume their choices... Even more rare is for these heroines to be likable and that's exactly what Ms Bowen pulled off in The Shameless Hour.
Teens spend years planning what their life after high school is going to be, what they will do in college and after... but what happens when tragedy strikes and those plans change? That's what happens to the heroine in A Shattered Moment. On the night of graduation, her and her best friends are in a car accident... and she's one of three who survives.
Finally, I chose Wasted Words because not all NA are about college students :) The main characters in Wasted Words are out of college and starting their adult lives... This is a sweet and light romance :)
And there you go, my Romance Starter Kits. I do hope that one day, they will serve someone :) And that even romance readers will be able to find new "precious" with these posts LOL.