‘Fifty Shades’ Meets ‘Harry Potter’: The New Adult Genre

When you walk into a bookstore, you see shelves for fiction and for young adults. But these days, there’s a new genre developing that fits on both shelves: new adult.

As it turns out, sexier young adult fiction is experiencing a spike in sales right now. Thanks to popular young adult books that adults are now reading, like The Hunger Games and Twilight, and sexy books that teens want to read, like Fifty Shades of Grey, young adult fiction is starting to grow up a bit. According to The New York Times, publishers have labeled the steamier, sexy young adult novels as “new adult.”

It’s the fiction geared to an 18-to-25 age bracket, for those who like the emotional intensity of young adult fiction, but also want the sex of adult novels. Some authors have re-released their YA books, with new sexually explicit scenes included. Others are just starting to include sex in their stories from the beginning — unlike  Twilight for instance, which moves past the big Bella-Edward sex scene and doesn’t include any details about it.

Publishers are eating it up. Labeling the books “new fiction” has made it easier to market, and they’re continuing to see sales rise, as Leslie Kaufman explains.

The goal is to retain young readers who have loyally worked their way through series like Harry Potter, “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” all of which tread lightly, or not at all, when it comes to sexual encounters…Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.

Others say it’s just the publishers trying to find a way to make money.

What say you?




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3 responses to “‘Fifty Shades’ Meets ‘Harry Potter’: The New Adult Genre

  1. This is basically what fanfiction has been doing for years.

  2. Pingback: “New Adult” Fiction: Good thing or bad thing? | L.J. Vaughn

  3. Kylee

    I don’t agree with any of this. I am 18 and if I wanted to read erotica, I’d go buy Fifty Shades. I have always wanted an 18-25 book category, hoping that the publishers would grab stories about older characters in situations similiar to ones published for YA books. Essentially, I want to read the Hunger Games with 20 year olds. I don’t want all the sex in these books. It’s a nice added bonus when the anticipation between characters heats up through the pages, but I don’t want the main character to jump someone’s bones the first chapter. Publishers just want to make a buck, and sex sells. But if I were writing this article, I’d include some books that would definitely fit into the category with the erotic details, such as My Name is Memory, The Host, and The Night Circus. These three books show how characters move forward in life, with added YA storylines. I would recommend any of them to readers like me searching for that added element of maturity without the gory details. Yes, there is a little sexual content, but it only comes with the characters have grown closer and closer to each other. Nothing is revealed in the first few chapters.

    If publishers think this is really what college life is like, they’re absurd.
    College life is not sleeping around with everyone, doing drugs, getting raped, or drinking every night away. It’s about being exposed to an individual life, where you don’t have your parents to bail you out. You’re left to fend for yourself, left to decide how you want your future to be. It’s nothing like the movies portray, at least where I come from. And the people that do party all night, they end up dropping out and usually are left working at McDonald’s. I don’t want to read cliches. And, I won’t be buying any “New-Adult” books centered around this.

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