I've talked about New Adult a few times before, but I really do believe there's much more room for it to grow and it can be more than just contemporary. But in order for that to happen, these things have to happen the way New Adult did - a few pop up and then more and more as people keep buying them, then they start getting recognized by the Big 5. I'm not saying it's the only way to make new things happen, but with something like NA, where it still is on this semi-shaky ground, it's going to be the most effective way. But it has to start with what's available being purchased to show there's an interest.
So...what IS out there?
Certain time periods have gotten a new life in YA - Downton Abbey read-a-likes, the Roaring 20s, WWII. Why should NA be different? Especially since, at least among the flappers and the people in WWII, most of them would have been around the NA age range?
Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow
The 1920s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O'Mara wants to be a part of it.
By day she works for her father’s smalltime bootlegging operation, by night she craves the sexy roll-your-stockings-down lifestyle of a flapper—until her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit's exploding organized crime scene, and it’s Tiny who has to come up with the ten-thousand-dollar ransom…in one week.
Suddenly she’s thrust into an intoxicating underworld of greed, lust, lies, and betrayal.
Enzo DiFiore is the son of the mobster holding her father hostage, but his sexy screen idol looks and dangerous charm leave her breathless. When the forbidden spark between them refuses to burn out, she tries to use their powerful chemistry to buy more time. And irritatingly handsome childhood pal Joey Lupo has the street smarts Tiny needs to make a quick ten grand, but he’s got his own agenda where gang rivalries are concerned.
Deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.
Temptation is everywhere. And anything goes.
The Heiresses by Alison Rushby
In Allison Rushby's Heiresses, three triplets--estranged since birth--are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone--least of all each other.
When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.
Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead
When Naomi’s sisters are snatched up to be taken to be wives of the erratic Pharaoh, Akhenaten, she knows they won’t survive the palace, so she offers herself in their place. The fearsome Commander Horemheb sees her courage, and knows she is exactly what he is looking for…
The Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi instantly, and strips her of her Hebrew lineage, including her name, which is changed to Kiya. Kiya allies herself with Horemheb, who pushes her to greatness and encourages her to make the Pharaoh fall in love with her. When Akhenaten declares Kiya will be the mother of his heir, Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Kiya.
Kiya must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. If she does bear an heir, she knows she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood.
The Star Thief by Jamie Grey
Stealing another galactic secret will get her arrested, but playing by the rules might just get her killed.
At twenty-three, Renna Carrizal is the most notorious thief in the galaxy. There's just one problem - all she wants is to get out of the business.
But after Renna rescues an injured boy on her final job, she finds herself on the run from the mob instead of enjoying retirement. She unwittingly becomes ensnared by MYTH, a top-secret galactic protection agency who offer her a choice - either help them on their latest mission, or spend the rest of her life on a prison ship.
Forced to work under the watchful eye of handsome but arrogant Captain Finn, Renna learns the former mercenary-turned-hero has a few dirty secrets himself. As Renna works to discover the truth about Finn's past and keep the tantalizing man at arm's length, she unearths a plot to create an unstoppable army. The target? The human star fleet.
Now Renna must pull off the biggest job of her career - saving the galaxy. And maybe even herself.
The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian
Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.
If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.
Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.
She doesn’t plan on making friends.
She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.
The Apollo Academy by Kimberly P. Chase
As the heiress to Titon Technologies, eighteen-year-old Aurora Titon can have whatever she wants—clothes, expensive gadgets, anything money can buy. All she really wants is to escape her pampered, paparazzi-prone life for the stars. Becoming the first female pilot to train as an astronaut for the Apollo Academy is exactly the chance for which she has been waiting. Everything would be perfect if it weren't for her unreciprocated crush on a fellow student, the sexy astronaut bent on making her life hell, and the fact that someone keeps trying to kill her.
The first in a four book new adult science fiction series, The Apollo Academy, is an action packed story of love, discovery, and survival.
The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.
What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.
Her Dark Places by Kelly Killarney
‘Veronica Mars’ meets ‘Felicity’ in this sexy, snarky, New Adult Romantic Suspense novel.
Jasmine “Jazz” Holloway gets more than she bargained for when she heads to Sutton College for her freshman year. A long-distance relationship with her high-school boyfriend is tough to maintain. Especially when Brennan, the cute boy down the hall, keeps flirting. And after someone starts threatening her roommate, Jazz enlists the help of Sean, a smokin’ hot upperclassman who runs a P.I. agency out of a darkened corner of the library.
Jazz has to fight her attraction to both guys as she works to uncover the stalker. But as the stakes rise and tension heightens, the hardest part for Jazz will be keeping her own secret...what she’s really doing at Sutton College. And that’s something no one can know.
I haven't read ANY of these, though I have a couple and I'm very interested in some others. But they exist for those who are wary of NA, but trust these non-contemporary genres!