Trish Doller is the author of Where the Stars Still Shine, a young adult contemporary novel about Callie, a 17-year-old girl learning about family, forgiveness, and love after having been abducted as a child by her mother. Where the Stars Still Shine was written with a teen audience in mind, but the book (as well as Trish’s first young adult novel, Something Like Normal) is a great crossover for fans of new adult fiction.
New adult fiction exploded onto the market and it looks like it’s here to stay--and that’s a good thing, because clearly there’s an audience hungry for those tattooed bad boys and the girls they’ve set their mind on wooing. I love a sexy romance, but I also enjoy stories about tender first time love. College stories. Boys whose voices linger in your head. Quirky girls. These are books that feature all my favorite things, but could easily appeal to fans of both new adult and young adult fiction. As such, I’d recommend these titles for older teens and adults.
First Time Love: The Infinite Moment of Usby Lauren Myracle The Infinite Moment of Us captures the rush of first love––and all that goes along with it––between Wren and Charlie in a way that’s both breathless and realistic. Myracle has never shied away from controversy. In fact, at least one of her books has been on the most challenged books list for several years. But that’s the wonder of Myracle’s writing. She takes readers on real––and not always easy––journeys. While Wren and Charlie have just graduated high school in The Infinite Moment of Us, I think anyone who can remember the heart-pumping adrenalin rush of first love will be able to connect with this incredibly lovely book.
Broken and Beautiful: Raw Blueby Kirsty Eagar Kirsty Eagar is an Australian YA novelist whose work has just started gaining notice on this side of the world. Carly is a young woman whose solitary existence revolves around surfing. But she’s harboring a terrible secret that takes Hannah (her Dutch salsa-dancing neighbor), Danny (a 15-year-old boy with the ability to perceive numbers, words, and people as colors), and Ryan (an attractive surfer with secrets of his own) to draw Carly out of her exile and back into life. Eagar’s writing is smart and moving, and––I’m not even going to pretend otherwise––Ryan is totally swoonworthy.
The College Experience: Secret Society Girlby Diana Peterfreund A fictional Ivy League campus (which bears a striking resemblance to Yale) is the setting of Secret Society Girl, a novel that throws readers headfirst into the world of secret societies. When Amy Haskel is tapped as one of the first women to join the prestigious Rose & Grave society, she has to contend with alumni members who don’t want women in their club, pranks initiated by rival societies, and a suddenly complicated love life. College isn’t just the backdrop for this book, it’s part of the experience. I recommend getting all four books in the series right away because once you get tangled up in Rose & Grave, you won’t want to stop reading.
From a Guy’s Perspective:The Piper’s Sonby Melina Marchetta Thomas Mackee’s favorite uncle was killed in an explosion in a foreign country and in the aftermath of his death, Tom’s family has exploded in its own way. Nineteen-year-old Tom has quit school and turned his back on his friends, his music, and even the one girl who means something to him. When he hits rock bottom and his roommates kick him out, Tom moves in with his pregnant aunt. There he must try to fix everything that’s broken in his life, even when he’s not sure how. Melina Marchetta is another Australian YA novelist whose work just stuns me with its quiet brilliance, and Thomas Mackee is one of those characters who stays with you long after you’ve closed the book. At its heart, The Piper’s Son is a family drama, which makes it a really lovely addition to the world of new adult fiction.
Quirky Girls: Carrie Pilbyby Caren Lissner Carrie was a child prodigy who skipped three grades and graduated at 19 from Harvard. She understood academia but doesn’t understand the world around her. Because Carrie sees life in black and white––and can’t relate to people who live in the gray––she spends most of her time alone. But when her therapist challenges her to complete a list of challenges, she’s forced out into the world. Carries meets people whose moral codes bump painfully up against the rigid rules she’s set for herself, but slowly she learns how to compromise without sacrificing her principles. I discovered this book about a decade ago, but as new adult fiction has put down roots, I started thinking about how perfectly the book fits the category.
For Your Wishlist: Roomiesby Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr Coming out in December is Roomies, the story of two college-bound girls who have been assigned as roommates. Through a series of email exchanges between Elizabeth and Lauren, we follow the heartbreak and hopefulness they experience in the summer before their freshman year. I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of this book and I was knocked out by the authenticity. Elizabeth and Lauren could be any girls from any towns in any part of the country, getting ready for their first year at college, and having just moved my own college freshman into her dorm, it made my reading experience even more special. Pre-order this one now. You won’t be sorry.