November 22, 2016 9:45am to 12N at the Nevins Memorial Library at 305 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844 (978) 686-4080
Assignment for November 22, 2016:
New Adult Fiction Benchmark: Everyone reads Colleen Hoover’s Slammed
Appeal to be read for November 2016 meeting: Focus on all the appeal factors, but really think about character, tone, and plot.
Choose a second title from the list below and, please post your 2nd title in this genre on our blog under Submit 2nd Title Info.
RESOURCES: Brookover, Sophie., et al. “What’s New About New Adult?” Horn Book Magazine. Jan/Feb 2014. P. 41-45.
Cart, Michael, “YA or NA?” Booklist. August 2014. P.10-11.
Engberg, Gillian, et al. “What is New Adult Fiction?” Booklist. August 2014.
McCartney, Jennifer. “An Emerging Readership.” Publishers Weekly. 082715 p.15-16.
McConnel, Jen. “The New Kid in Town Grows Up.” Novelist. 090816
Wetta, Molly, “What is New Adult Fiction, Anyway?” Novelist. 090816
“What is New Adult?” NA ALLEY. (www.naalley.com) 071916
NEW ADULT FICTION: SUGGESTIONS
This list is representative – not exhaustive.
August, Noelle. Bounce.
Berg, J.L. Forgetting August: #1 Lost & Found trilogy
Brown, Laura. Signs of Attraction.
Carmack, Cora. Losing It.
Crownover, Jay. Better When He’s Brave.
Glines, Abbi. Breathe: Sea Breeze series.
Hart, Emma. Dirty Lies.
Lynn, J. (Jennifer Armentrout) Wait for You.
Kade, Stacey. 738 Days.
McGuire, Jamie. Beautiful Disaster.
Raeder, Leah. Cam Girl.
Sanghani, Radhika. Virgin.
Sorensen, Jessica. The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden.
Tucker, K.A. Ten Tiny Breaths.
Webb, Tamara. Easy.
Wilder, Jasinda. Falling into You.
Feel free to bring your own suggestion to the meeting as your second title.
Fearsome – Wolfe, S. A.
Appeal Factors: Fast Pace, Very basic character development, rural vs urban archetype narrative, formulaic
Jessica Channing, a overworked and underpaid New York City IT wage slave, discovers that she has inherited her long forgotten Aunt Virginia’s house in tiny Hera, NY. Off she goes to Hera, NY where besides finding her new house, she begins pursuing and being pursued by two brothers Dylan and Carson. Dylan and Carson are the classic opposites. Dylan being the outgoing gregarious one and Carson being the strong silent type. The story revolves around Jessica trying to choose between Dylan and Carson and between a Rural or Urban lifestyle.
The story is fairly formulaic. Character development is very bare bones. Even what we know about the main character is dribbled our on a need to know basis. This may actually be an asset for this genre. If the goal is for the reader to see themselves in the characters there is no pesky character development to get in the way. The main conflicts are the archetypal story of the main character, in this case Jessica, choosing between an urban lifestyle and a rural lifestyle. This same conflict is also plays out metaphorically in Jessica the choosing between fun brother Dylan (urban) and steadfast brother Carson (rural).
There are couple graphic sex scenes although not very good ones. As one of the Amazon reviews said, its like the author has never had sex. This would not be a good book for someone who’s in it for the sex.
The relationship dynamics between the secondary characters have some appeal. Jessica develops friendships with various residents of the town. There’s the lawyer Archibald Bixby, the elder gentleman who is Hera’s initial contact with the town. He almost never leaves Hera (which seems rather impossible when you consider Hera is only supposed to have about 350 people in it) who always insisted on old fashioned manners. Also there’s Bonnie who runs the local dinner and makes the town’s famous Bonnie Burgers (I have to confess I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more about the Bonnie Burgers).
In short not a great book but for a person looking for that particular formula it might be a winner.
Stay With Me – Jennifer L. Armentrout writing a J. Lynn
Appeal Factors: soap opera plot, erotic romance – lots of sex, fast-paced easy read
Calla Fritz has a scar that runs from her eye to her lip. That’s just the one you can see. She has many other scars both physically and mentally, and they are stopping her from finding love. At twenty-one she’s never had a boyfriend and she’s never been kissed. Calla is in college and she has her three “F’s” – finish college, find a career in the nursing field, and finally reap the benefits of follow through. All this gets thwarted when her down in the dregs, alcoholic, addicted mother spends Carla’s savings which causes her tuition check to bounce. Desperate, Carla returns back to “home”, a place she hoped never to return to and goes to the bar her mother owned, Mona’s. At the bar she meets gorgeous, hunky Jax the bartender – and well you can figure it out from there – but not before Calla gets kidnapped, and shot at, all because of that good-for-nothing mother of hers. In the end though, love is in the air along with the hope for a better future.
Signs of Attraction – Laura Brown
Appeal Factors: Likeable characters, romance, emotionally engaging
Carli is a hard-of- hearing college student who meets and falls in love with Reed, a deaf graduate student. Although the setting is not overly important, it’s worth noting that it’s set in Boston. The narrative goes back and forth between Carli and Reed’s point of view. The characters are likeable, the romance fairly explicit, and the description of the deaf community is fascinating (the author is deaf). This book is part of a new trend of characters with disabilities in romance novels.
The Court of Thorns and Roses (series) – Sarah J Maas
Appeal Factors: Characters; Story line; Tone; Pace
His shipping business destroyed and his knee permanently damaged by moneylenders collecting on his debts, Feyre’s father willingly concedes all head of household duties to his youngest daughter. As her older sisters do not have the skills to provide for their family, Feyre spends the bulk of her time hunting in the woods, where she slays a wolf stalking her. The consequences of this one act changes the course of her life: She has killed a faerie, and, according to their rules, must give hers for the one taken. Intrigued by her courage and determination to keep her sisters safe, Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, agrees to let her live so long as she remains within his borders, effectively cutting all ties with her family and the mortal world she knew. Feyre agrees, and is unwittingly drawn into a lethal battle between the five Courts of Faerie and Amarantha, the masochistic High Lady of Prythian, who rules them all.
In the first novel of the Court of Thorns and Roses series, Feyre is nineteen years old, but having long since shouldered the responsibility for the well-being of her family thinks and acts as though she has seen several more decades of life. Similarly, though the greater cast of characters may appear to be early twenty-somethings, they are of course several centuries old. The story, then, is weighted by the accumulation of time, and with a hard won maturity imbued in the characters that is often absent in YA fiction.
The novels in the series, and there are two to date, tackle various issues, including several forms of negligence, abuse of power and emotional abuse within a romantic relationship, and rape (of a man, in this case, and while it is without doubt an utterly distressing story line, the act is not carried out on the page, but recalled in dialogue, with most of the details left unsaid). The characters have frank discussions about sex and birth control, and while there is a single sex scene in the first book, there are several, more explicit scenes found in the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury, which also happens to be my favorite of the two for many handfuls of reasons, not the least of which being Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court.
While this series may not actually belong in the YA section, it can be found there, most likely due to the fact that Maas is well-known within the category for her other series, Throne of Glass.
Easy – Tammara Webber
Appeal Factors: CHARACTER/PACE/THEMEATIC MATERIAL
Although Weber’s story has all the elements of New Adult fiction, I think it is first and foremost a tale of female empowerment. Told in the first person point of view with all the soap opera and romantic elements, Jacqueline begins her story with her sexual assault/attack and subsequent rescue by a brave stranger. As the story unfolds, this mystery man (stalker almost) becomes unmasked, they fall in love (hot, passionate) and both their back stories come to light. What makes a difference from the usual fare for me was the consistent encouragement that Jacqueline receives to elevate herself from victim status, emotionally, mentally and physical with self-defense courses. It was easy to read, paced very well with lots of dialogue and internal thoughts. The epilogue lists resources for assault and rape victims—again emphasizing female empowerment. This book was one of three in a Contours of the Heart trilogy: Breakable, Sweet)
RED FLAG: Graphic violence but not gratuitous