Recently, I've been doing reading some of the most successful authors who are publishing in New Adult. The two books I'm blogging about today are both rich and layered, and while they have mature content, they're both books that I think could fit into a YA space, with high school-aged protagonists and complex characters who overcome traumatic pasts.
THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY
So this book was pretty intense. There was some beautiful, poetic writing about the meaning of life and love. It's the kind of heavy, dark read that I'm not usually drawn to, yet I found it compulsively readable, engaging and powerfully uplifting. The characters are unapologetic, but they are ultimately survivors. I couldn't help hoping for their redemption, and the book didn't disappoint. While there were references to sex and sexual situations, this one felt like an older YA. I wouldn't hesitate to put it in the hands of an older teen. My favorite quote:
People like to say love is unconditional, but it’s
not, and even if it was unconditional, it’s still never free. There’s
always an expectation attached. They always want something in return.
Like they want you to be happy or whatever, and that makes you
automatically responsible for their happiness because they won’t be
happy unless you are.
But you don't have to take my word for it, over 5000 readers have given THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY an average rating of 4.67 on Goodreads.
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies...
Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that
rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her
she's never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the
span of one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel
sparks buried memories from a past she wishes could just stay buried.
to keep him at a distance knowing he's nothing but trouble, but Holder
insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his
unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn't at all who
he's been claiming to be. When the secrets he's been keeping are
finally revealed, every single facet of Sky's life will change forever.
So this book is not exactly a secret. It's currently the number one Kindle book on Amazon. It also as over 14,000 ratings and 4.68 average on Goodreads. Those are incredible numbers for book that's only been out since December 17. Hopeless is another love story involving two characters overcoming emotional trauma. As Sky and Holder grow closer, their secrets start to unravel. The building romance is enhanced by the mystery surrounding both them. I loved how so many of the characters in the story were interconnected. And, while this book was definitely on the sexy side, the sex didn't feel gratuitous, but was earned between the characters. The story also has some shocking violence, so I would say it skews much more on the adult side of New Adult. But it's also a sweet romance at heart.
My favorite quote is an exchange when Holder's introduced to Sky's friend Breckin:
Holder: "I thought Mormons weren't allowed to have caffeine."
Breckin: "I decided to break that rule the morning I woke up gay."
And, I love this swoony one, after Sky apologizes to Holder that he will not be her first:
"F*** all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers."
If you are thinking of checking out some New Adult titles, I'd suggest starting with these. How about you? Do you have any recommendations for me?