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In recent years, the literary category “New Adult Fiction” has taken the publishing world by storm. So much so that more and more authors now seek to represent the voices of those post-adolescent-yet-not-quite-adult characters through emotionally intense stories often laden with sex and romance.
Although often mistaken for contemporary adult romances, New Adult Fiction focuses on the new range of emotions and experiences of life beyond the teenage years—college, moving out, or life after graduation. These stories have inspired a large following, contributing to the success of the genre.
If you’re new to New Adult Fiction or just looking for your next read, here are 10 books that the Manila International Bookfair 2017 (MIBF) recommended during their run last September 13 to 17, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick. Hilarious and riveting, Gorgeous is about Becky Randle, an unsuspecting teen presented with the opportunity of a lifetime by Tom Kelly, one of the world’s top fashion designers and an old friend of her late mother. Transformed into the most beautiful woman in the world with three gorgeous dresses, Becky now lives the life she dreamed of as Rebecca. However, the dream does not come for free and Becky must fulfill one little task to keep her new fairytale.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. More than the racy content that defined the genre, New Adult Fiction also deals with the growth of the characters as they try to maneuver their way into adulthood—exactly what Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl tells us. Cath is thrown out of her comfort zone, shipped to college, and left alone by her twin sister. When faced with the need to leave her fandom life behind, the family she held on to in the midst of her mother’s death, Cath asks herself: “Am I ready to start living my own life?”
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski. With adulthood comes some newfound freedom. Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had it all figured out, until she did the unexpected. With no destination in mind, she packed her bags and boarded a Greyhound bus to find herself. But she found Andrew Parrish instead who teaches her to succumb to her desires and live in the moment, embracing life on the edge.
Easy by Tammara Webber. Jacqueline gave everything up for her long-time boyfriend, even her dreams to attend music school. Carrying fresh scars from a recently ended long-term relationship, Jacqueline is reluctant to allow a new love into her life because she has learned the hard way that trusting someone is anything but easy.
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker. A survivor of a car accident where she lost her parents, her boyfriend, and her best friend, Kacey Cleary wants to leave her past behind and start anew with her 15-year-old sister Livie. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey keeps everyone at a distance, until she moves in next door to Trent Emerson. Fighting in a constant tug of war of emotions, little do they know that their paths are more intertwined with a tragedy from the past that will change everything.
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan. A daring romance, this tells the story of Jeremey Samson, bored, fresh out of high school, and waiting for the days until he leaves for college. His boredom, however, is quickly resolved when Emmet Washington comes into his life—a handsome genius afflicted with autism, with a double major in math and computer science. Together, they both discover that friendship is a healing force and love knows no boundaries.
Social Skills by Sara Alva. College is a social universe, ever difficult to navigate. And in the eyes of the awkward and shy Connor, it is impossible to fit in. However, an unexpected hookup with his polar opposite, college football star Jared, introduced him into a new realm of emotions, experiences, and ways of intimacy. The masterful exploration of the heroes’ sexuality, the nuances of a first relationship, and the journey into adulthood lands this book a special mark in the genre.
Don’t Tell My Mother by Briggite Bautista. Compelling, moving, and brave are only some of the words often used to describe this book by local author Briggite Bautista. Don’t Tell My Mother is a story of 19-year-old Sam who was raised in the Christian suburbia by her religious mother. Still learning the ropes through adulthood, she meets Clara, the village’s social outcast and her widowed neighbor. In this journey to acceptance and self-love, Sam is forced to examine the life she has led and come to terms with her identity.
Maybe Forever by ILURVFALLENSEE. From Pop Fiction’s set, this is a story of change and choices. Olivia is about to leave everything behind—her family, her friends, and her ever-present boyfriend Kit—to fly to the US and study in New York University. Before she leaves, Kit asks her a question that will change their lives forever, maybe now, maybe forever.
Sounds like Summer by Six delos Reyes. Growing up under the pressures of an environment that encourages nothing but perfection, Lux Castelo snaps, books a getaway to a music festival, and enjoys the sounds of summer when she meets Micah Jacinto who challenges her to find herself. An eye-opening book that tackles depression, self-discovery, and self-love, Sounds Like Summer is definitely more than just your romantic weekend getaway tale.
The MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas Publishers Representatives’ Association of the Philippines. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, e-mail email@example.com, or follow @ManilaBookFair on Twitter.