What is New Adult? It’s a new genre (or category) of books with twenty-something protagonists facing life after high school. It’s one step above Young Adult and one step below Adult fiction.
New Adult has quite literally taken Amazon kindle charts by storm. If you scroll through the bestsellers nowadays, there’ll most likely be a New Adult book snuggled nicely in the top ten. And they’re not moving, mind you. The staying-power of the college-aged genre is why it’s lasted thus far.
My list began with nearly fifty debut authors. That’s how many people have come out of the woodwork (myself included) this year. And readers devour the books with such eagerness and passion that it’s very easy to be swept into the New Adult frenzy.
I want to stress that I have not read books from all of these authors. They were chosen based on ratings, rankings, overall hype and popularity. Feel free to leave a comment if I missed your favorite debut author of the year! And weigh in by voting on the poll below.
So here we go (in alphabetical order)…
Emma Chase (Tangled series): If you’re looking for a hilarious, fun romance, look no further. Emma Chase balances the sexy and the witty, and “Tangled” has found a place in many bookish hearts, reaching the New York Times Bestsellers list. “Twisted” (Tangled #2) releases March 25th, 2014.
Claire Contreras (Darkness series): Contreras weaves heartfelt romances with mysteries. Her debut “There is No Light in Darkness” received high praise from bloggers, and with each subsequent book (“Catch Me”), she continues to impress! Her next novel, “Prisoner,” releases Spring 2014.
Penelope Douglas (Fall Away series): With over a thousand reviews on Amazon for her debut “Bully,” Douglas has quickly made a name for herself. Her companion “Until You” reignited fans’ love — and if they’re not reading about it, they’re most likely talking. Highly rated and highly recommended. Douglas is not an author you can easily miss. “Rival” (Fall Away #2) releases Summer 2014.
Katy Evans (Real series): Possibly the most recognizable name on the list, Evans’ debut “Real” launched a much-talked about series with a hot, hot, hot male lead. Readers will scream his name (Remington Tate) from the top of their lungs, from mountain tops, on beaches, on chairs and couches and the floor. That type of passion comes once in a blue moon. Evans has many, many people hooked on this New York Times Bestselling series. “Ripped” (Real #4) releases July 29th, 2014.
Kimberly Lauren (Broken series): Lauren’s edgy debut “Beautiful Broken Rules” became hyped in a very short amount of time for the swoon-worthy guy and angst-ridden premise. Her anticipated sequel “Beautiful Broken Mess” lived up to readers’ expectations, reviewed well and quickly charting bestseller lists. “Beautiful Broken Promises” (Broken #3) releases in 2014.
Gail McHugh (Collide series): With over two-thousand reviews on Amazon for her debut “Collide,” McHugh has stamped her place within college-aged romance. She’s now a New York Time Bestselling author, and “Pulse” (Collide #2) was released September 17th, 2013 by Atria.
Jay McLean (More series): McLean entered the bookish world like a stealth ninja, and as more and more fans raved about Jake — a lovable alpha male — more and more people kept devouring McLean’s debut “More Than This.” Her male POV’s are said to be top-notch, and the third in the series, “More Than Him,” releases February 2014.
Leah Raeder (“Unteachable”): Raeder’s debut is considered one of the best teacher-student relationship novels of all-time by many readers. Her beautiful prose has a broad reach, appealing not only to romance readers but to young adult fans and beyond. Her next project is untitled but may be released sometime in 2014.
J.B. Salsbury (Fighting series): Salsbury penned an MMA romance series that’s been highly rated on Goodreads, and fans and followers have already gobbled up the sequel to “Fighting for Flight” called “Fighting to Forgive.” Her third novel in the series, “Fighting to Forget,” releases in 2014.
Mia Sheridan (Sign of Love series): Sheridan writes steamy emotional reads that will have your heart torn to pieces and glued back together again. Her debut “Leo” reunites two childhood friends eight years later. Also in the series — “Leo’s Chance” and “Stinger.” The fourth in the series, “Archer’s Voice,” releases February 2014.
Now it’s your chance to weigh in! Take the poll below.
— Becca Ritchie