What is New Adult?

What Makes a Book New Adult

New adult (also sometimes known as coming-of-age) is a fairly new genre of novel that was first introduced in 2009 by St. Martin’s Press. The genre bridges the gap between young adult and adult audiences. The age group of this genre general ranges between 18 and 25, but can be extended to age 30. Characters of new adult are often exposed to new situations and introspective challenges, such as:

  • The coming-of-age experience;
  •  Mental health;
  • Physical, verbal, and/or mental abuse;
  • Politics;
  • Social issues;
  • Sex and sexuality;
  • Emotional growth; and
  • Relationships.

Though these themes also appear in young adult and adult fiction, what separates new adult from the rest is its perspective. New adult is often about someone being thrust into the responsibilities of adulthood (i.e. taking that step from depending on one’s parents to living alone). However, like the fiction categories of young adult and adult, new adult fiction can be combined with all genres and subgenres, including science fiction, urban fiction, horror, paranormal, dystopia, historical, etc.

Popular authors of new adult: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Katy Evans, Colleen Hoover, Sarah J. Maas, and Tammara Webber.


  1. Wikipedia. (Unknown) New adult fiction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_adult_fiction
  2. Goodreads. (Unknown) New Adult Books. https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult
  3. Kristen Kieffer. (2017) What is New Adult Fiction? http://www.well-storied.com/blog/what-is-new-adult-fiction
  4. Kelsey Ketch. (2018) New Adult: A Reader’s/Writer’s Perspective. http://kelseyketch.com/2018/02/01/new-adult-a-readers-writers-perspective/