I just finished a novel that seems to be firmly in the newly coined genre "new adult." At this moment I am feeling too lazy to look up its actual definition, but from what I have read and can remember, this genre is for the high school graduate and maybe even college graduate who is not yet ready to leave behind YA themes of finding oneself and making a place in the world, but is not yet ready for the world of "adult fiction" a genre title I cannot help but equate to "adult films" when they are NOT REALLY THE SAME AT ALL.
Anywho, the book I have just finished is Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. The chapters alternate between two girls who have just found out they will be college roommates. I can see how this is different from YA: the issues are different, the approach to sex is much less ridden with angst, there is an element of "fresh start" to the whole story. That being said, I am not sure this needs to be a whole different genre, which implies a separate shelf at the place where you get your books. I think high school age students who are looking forward to college could benefit from stories about this limbo time and beyond, just as adults, who are flocking to YA more and more anyway, will read these for the same reason: they are engaging stories no matter the age of the reader. So I have arrived at no conclusion. How do you feel about "new adult" as a separate genre?
The book itself is nicely done. While I have grown a bit weary of the alternating chapters concept, this one works well because the writers are different. Too often the difference in voice is difficult to detect. This particular time in my life was difficult. I sometimes deal poorly with change, and I loved high school. This novel spends almost no time dwelling on the horrors or joys of high school, but focuses almost entirely on "What do I do in the time I have left in my old life?" and "What is my new life going to be like?" Whatever the genre is called I like it! I like it a lot!
I have received a recommendation to read another book by Sara Zarr called The Lucy Variations. While I am looking forward to the book based on my recent reading and the recommendation, the best part is the cool story I have to tell: When I read the "Acknowledgements" in Roomies, I noticed a familiar name. This is not someone I know well, but I have in fact spoken to her in person on more than one occasion and exchanged e-mail (prior to the one I am about to discuss). After seeing her name, and figuring it probably is indeed her as she was an editor at the book's publishing house, I wrote to confirm. And YES she is in fact the person acknowledged, and she is also acknowledged in The Lucy Variations. FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a book nerd, I love to meet authors, but we are not likely to be friends. However, I am pretty thrilled to actually know someone who was acknowledged by real, published authors in actual, published works.