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Book Recs | New Adult

Posted August 28, 2021 by Kait in Book Recommendations / 0 Comments

Happy Saturday! Kait’s Book Recs is a new bookish feature on Kait Plus Books where I talk about books that I think you should add to your #tbr! Today I’m sharing ten New Adult titles that I’m really excited about with you!

Something I’ve been wanting to do for years is have book recommendation posts be a regular feature on Kait Plus Books. And yet six and a half years into my book blogging life, I have posted exactly one of them. But today I add to that with the post I was planning on posting first!

new adult

As a twenty-something edging ever closer to being a thirty-something, I often find myself wondering why I’m still (mostly) reading books about teenagers. The main reason is that I’m not going through the same journey as the characters in a lot of contemporary adult fiction. I’m not married (nor am I going through a divorce), I’m not a parent (nor am I ever planning to be one), and perhaps most importantly, I have absolutely no interest in reading sex scenes.

There’s a great article I read on Book Riot recently about how New Adult was supposed to be for people entering college, and hit on those milestones. I don’t have a really clear idea on why I put this here, but I wanted to note that I’m not the only one still bummed about about the fact that New Adult didn’t take off as well as YA did.

And now without any further ado, I present to you TEN NEW ADULT BOOKS (that aren’t just code for “sexy romance and erotica”)!

Book Recs | New AdultOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published on June 1, 2021 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, New Adult, Queer, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 422
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Book Recs | New AdultAn Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Series: The Carls #1
Published on September 25, 2018 by Dutton
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Mystery, Neurodivergent, New Adult, Queer, Science Fiction
Pages: 343
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The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Book Recs | New AdultThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Published on October 6, 2020 by Tor Books
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, New Adult, Paranormal, Queer
Pages: 442
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A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Book Recs | New AdultSecret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund
Series: Secret Society Girl #1
Published on May 1, 2007 by Dell
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Adult
Pages: 293
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Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to be tapped into Rose & Grave. She isn't rich, politically connected, or . . . well, male. So when Amy is one of the first female students to receive the distinctive black-lined invitation with the Rose & Grave seal, she's blown away. Could they really mean her?
Whisked off into an elaborate initiation rite, Amy awakens the next day to a new reality and a whole new set of "friends"--from the gorgeous son of a conservative governor to an Afrocentric lesbian activist whose society name is Thorndike. And that's when Amy starts to discover the truth about getting what you wish for. Because Rose & Grave is quickly taking her away from her familiar world of classes and keggers, fueling a feud and undermining a very promising friendship with benefits. And that's before Amy finds out that her first duty as a member of Rose & Grave is to take on a conspiracy of money and power that could, quite possibly, ruin her whole life.

Book Recs | New AdultSloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Series: Jessica Darling #1
Published on August 28, 2001 by Broadway Books
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 298
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“My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? I don’t see how things could get any worse.”
When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?
A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

Book Recs | New AdultHow Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason
Series: The Thorne Chronicles #1
Also in this series: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge
Published on October 8, 2019 by Daw Books
Genres: Fantasy, Futuristic, Multiverse, New Adult, Queer, Retellings, Science Fiction
Pages: 408
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she'd inherit her father's throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.

Book Recs | New AdultThe Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Published on January 5, 2021 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, New Adult, Retellings, Thriller
Pages: 290
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Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

Book Recs | New AdultThe Brittanys by Brittany Ackerman
Published on June 15, 2021 by Vintage
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Queer, Romance
Pages: 272
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They're not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys.
Brittany Rosenberg: drives her golf cart around her subdivision to meet boys.
Brittany Gottlieb: insists you can't lose your virginity if you haven't gotten your period. (She heard it somewhere!)
Brittany Tomassi: is from New York.
Brittany Jensen: once threw her tampon into a stranger's swimming pool. A brash, bold, unapologetic tomboy. And the greatest person in the whole wide world.
At least as far as the fifth Brittany--our narrator--is concerned. Even within their friend group, she and Jensen are a duo: with their matching JanSport backpacks, Tiffany chokers, and Victoria's Secret push-up bras, they are unstoppable. And now that they're finally growing up, they're going to do everything: dye their hair, attend no-parent parties, try pot . . . maybe even lose their virginities. 2004 is totally going to be their year!
Except Jensen's interests may be diverging from her friends'. And within our narrator's own family--in the lives of her exhausted mother and beloved, genius older brother--life-changing events may be taking shape. Events that only years later, looking back, she has the perspective to see.

Book Recs | New AdultIf the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Series: Meant To Be #1
Published on August 3, 2021 by Hyperion Avenue
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Retellings, Romance
Pages: 304
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After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.
Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn't expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's time to design your own.

Book Recs | New AdultThe Throwback List by Lily Anderson
Published on October 5, 2021 by Hyperion Avenue
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 400
Add to Goodreads
Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

Welcome to Sandy Point, Oregon: a sleepy beach town that's home to a giant anchor statue, a sometimes-karaoke-bar, and Frosty's questionably legendary Sunday Sundae Surprise. A town Jo, Autumn, and Bianca thought they'd left far behind when they graduated high school, finally moving on to greener pastures than the midway point for tourists heading to the Goonies house. But life seldom goes according to plan.
Bianca Boria-Birdy, former prom queen and valedictorian, has always been an overachiever. As she juggles managing the family tattoo parlor, caring for her grandmother, and adjusting to a new marriage, Bianca's schedule becomes stricter than ever, with no room for disruption. What she really needs is a vacation, but not even Bianca Boria-Birdy can achieve the impossible.
Autumn Kelly used to be an actress. Now she teaches drama at Sandy Point High. She may have had to kiss her movie-star dreams goodbye, but molding the next generation of performers has given her life meaning in a whole new way. Until the sudden reappearance of her ex-best friend throws everything off-balance.Jo Freeman has it all together. With a cool job in Silicon Valley, connections at the trendiest fitness studios, and a down payment on her dream condo, she's well on her way to reaching every one of her goals before thirty. Or she was, before she got fired and landed right back home with her parents and teenage sister.
When Jo finds an old bucket list in her childhood bedroom, it sets the three women on a path that brings them closer to one another with each task. And it just might lead to a life none of them could have planned.

What are your thoughts on New Adult books? Have you read any of these books yet? Did you add any to your tbr? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous week!

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