When new adult books exploded a handful of years ago, writers jumped at the
chance to explore this new category. Most of these authors self-published and
became extremely well known. Then as other authors jumped on the bandwagon, many
did so thinking it might be a āget rich quickā scheme. Because of this, the
quality of new adult books went down. Readers became disappointed with the
overused plot lines that exist in a lot of NA. Even Iāve reduced the amount of
NA I read. Itās gotten a bad reputation, which is why almost no agents want
these stories and most publishers donāt either. Iāve also heard readers say they
donāt read NA because the stories are all the same: predictable contemporary
romance with lots of sex.
I might agree with the predictability of many NA plots. But I disagree when it
comes to claiming the NA category was created simply as a way to add more sex
into young adult books and āget away with itā. First of all, thereās sex in YA,
too. And not all NA stories include sex. (Imagine that!)
Iāve read tons of new adult books. (Most of them straight romance.) And yes,
Iāve grown bored with the overused plots that frequently occurāeven ones written
by my favorite authors. But how is this any different than the similarities
within YA books? Vampires had their run. So did apocalyptic/dystopian worlds. As
did the āchosen oneā stories. My question is this: why canāt everyone see the
need for the NA categoryāand the need for other genres of NA.
We have books for young children, middle-grade kids, young adults, and adults.
But what about the things that happen to you when youāre between eighteen and
twenty-five? A LOT. Do you remember that time in your life when you were first
set free from your parents and thrown into a whole new world all by yourself? Or
maybe youāre going through that stage right now. It seems unfair to say NA isnāt
sellable anymore when there are still plenty of readers buying them. Readers
need and want to experience all types of stories, with characters in every age
In my NA contemporary romance, THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS,
the main characters never have sex. Sure, they kiss and get pretty freaking
close to having sex, but donāt. Why? Because the plot didnāt require the
sexāthereās plenty of romance and other subplots going on. Iām not saying sex
shouldnāt occur as much as it does in NA books. Iām simply saying that to
believe NA is merely sexed-up YA isā¦well, not true. My story isnāt simply a
romance filled with sex scenes. I added in some plot twists and as much emotion
as I could pack in there because I wanted to write a story that explored more
than simply the romance angle. My book has romance as well as the characters
dealing with grief and loss, survivorās guilt, and extremely unique circumstances.
On too many occasions to count, I considered aging THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS down
to young adult. If I had, I probably wouldāve found an agent with it. (One was
even interested in representing me if I aged it down.) But aging it down meant
taking my main character, Audra, out of college, putting her back home with her
parents, and giving her āteenage issuesā. And none of those things wouldāve done
her story any justice.
And based on the early reviews Iāve received, Iām glad I kept it as a NA book.
One reviewer said:
āReading THE HEARTBREAK HYPOTHESIS is like hearing a new
voice that speaks out for teenage angst that's fully captured in its powerful,
moody glory. But the subjects that Lindsey Frydman deals with here are
difficult, heavy and weighed down with the solemnity of death, life and deception.ā
NA stories are necessaryāitās an important time in your life, and thereās so
much more going on than just a āboy meets girl, then they have lots of sexā.
Itās about discovering who you are on your own, dealing with new
responsibilities, and finding your place and purpose in life. Everyone
eventually goes through this stage, so why would we not want books that
represent this age category? I can only hope that readers and publishers take
another look at how important new adult stories can be.
Lindsey has been writing since she was nine years old, when she discovered
the awesomeness that is Harriet the Spy. Her books always include a romance,
though sometimes thereās an added sci-fi or magical realism twist. She lives in
Columbus, Ohio (where the weather is never quite right). Her BFA in Photography
and Graphic Design has granted her a wide assortment of creative knowledge that
serves as inspiration (and not much else).
When sheās not crafting YA and NA stories, you'll likely find her spending waaay
too much time on Pinterest, playing a video game, singing show-tunes, or
performing in a burlesque showābecause she enjoys giving her introversion a
worthy adversary. (Plus, it's the closest to Broadway sheāll ever get.) Lindsey
was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the
wonderful writing community. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel.
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