Whilst most people are loving this new category (including me!) some people haven't been won over yet for various reasons. One of the biggest complaints I overhear about New Adult books is "they are all exactly the same! Read one and you have basically read them all" or "I don't like contemporary romances and that is all you get in NA lit". In a way these people kind of have a point (said by a huge lover and supporter of NA) as the majority of the bestselling NA books at the moment are contemporary romances.
However the bad boy sweet innocent girl love story with a steamy sex scene or two set against a contemporary backdrop is not a necessary plot line for a New Adult book. Like all categories NA will have trends (eg. the Twilight inspired YA trend of books about vampires and werewolves that occurred a few years ago) but that doesn't mean those books are all that the category is. NA books that are different and of wide genres are out there, you just have to hunt a little to find them. The amount of non-contemporary NA books available is increasing and will most likely continue to increase. Jamie McGuire, the bestselling author of Beautiful Disaster has recently announced her next release Red Hill which is set against an apocalyptic backdrop.
Whilst I love the type of NA novels that are currently popular I have also read some amazing novels that break the current trend and may possibly affect what genres will become popular next. These are some of the best, different NA novels that I have read. I hope that if you haven't yet fallen for New Adult these books may make you.
Stitch by Samantha Durante - One of the best books I have read this year with twists and turns that make your jaw drop. This genre blend of paranormal and dystopian in a way that no other book has is what makes it so unique. Stitch also proves that NA books don't have to have sex, or even steamy make out scenes and it is in fact "cleaner" that the average YA book. (Review).
Bane by Tara Brown - Now this is actually book two in a series but the first book Cursed is more of a dark YA (and is currently free on Amazon along with books 4 and 5!) so I am just mentioning Bane - which also happens to be my favourite in the series. The series is a paranormal featuring a variety of creatures. The main character in this book has the ability to with a touch make someone have made a different choice at some point in their life. This leads to a pretty complex but amazing plot.
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking - This book follows kick-ass 19 year old Remy as she hunts to find her younger brother during a zombie apocalypse. The main character has a "pet" lion. Enough said :P(The book description says it is YA but I think it fits perfectly into the NA category. It also says for 16+ only and was published before the term NA came into common use). This was the first book I EVER read on my kindle and therefore possibly the first NA book I ever read.
Strength by Carrie Butler - An awesome NA paranormal romance. When Rena befriends the college outcast who is rumoured to spend the evenings screaming in his room she finds herself dragged into a world of people with supernatural powers. (Review)
Born by Tara Brown - A dark, gritty dystopian/post-apocalyptic about a girl who has lived alone in a cabin with only a wolf for company for 10 years finally re-joining what is left of society. The post-apocalyptic backdrop combined with the unique main character is what makes this book so different.
Slumber by Samantha Young - An NA fantasy novel that is loosely based on the tale of sleeping beauty. But don't let that put you off if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea. The main character is pretty awesome and powerful (her best friend is the sleeping beauty like character) and the book is much darker than a fairy tale.
Secret for a Song by S.K. Falls - This is a contemporary novel so theoretically I shouldn't have it in the list but it is so different and unique I have to include it. The main character Saylor suffers from Munchausen Syndrome which means she has a near compulsive need to pretend to be ill and try to make herself sick. The book follows her growth and self-discovery after she befriends members of a terminal illness support group. This book is astonishingly beautiful. (Review)
Promise by Kristie Cook - Another permanent amazon freebie! This is another of the first NA books I ever read back before the term became widely used. It has amazing romance with a great paranormal twist.
Vampire Seeker by Tim O'Rourke - This is an entertaining blend of paranormal with a bit of time travel thrown in. Whilst hunting for a brutal murderer of young women in present day London Samantha Carter suddenly finds herself in a new place, a new time. Tim O'Rourke never fails to write excellent books and many can be considered NA so be sure to check them out.
Captured by Erica Stevens - This series is amazing and this book, the first, is a permanent freebie on amazon! It is a paranormal dystopia, Vampires rule the world and Aria is a human rebel who is caught and sold as a blood slave as punishment. I like that these Vampires are "real" Vampires, they are cold, cruel and drink human blood.
Drip Drop Teardrop by Samantha Young - A short NA paranormal romance novella. 19 year old Avery makes a deal with a Reaper in order to save her Aunts life. This is a short read but is also a complete, satisfying story. This is another amazon freebie.
KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh by Katie Hamstead - This is perfect for any fans of historical novels who want to give NA a try. Naomi (whose name is changed to Kiya) is taken to be a wife for the Pharaoh in the hope that she will bear him a son. Kiya is such a strong character and the book also gives a glimpse into a world very different to our own.
Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert - Set in a sinister near future this book is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic/paranormal romance/mythology mix. I really loved the world the book was set in and the mystery surrounding everything.
Blood Singers by Tamara Rose Blodgett - Another permanent freebie! 20 year old Julie finds herself trapped between two mythical species after it is discovered that her blood is the key to their salvation. All these authors books are always so incredible and most are NA with some form of paranormal twist.
There are also several books that I plan to read soon that also look pretty amazing. These are all on my tbr pile and I already have several downloaded to my kindle (others I just really wish I owned!). Some I plan to read during the New Adult Readathon I am hosting in just over a week (there is a button at the top of my blog if you wish to sign up).
Quite a lot of the books mentioned above are currently free. If you click on any image or link in this post you will be taken to the books Amazon page.
I really hope this post encourages you to try NA books or if you are already a New Adult fan to try something a little different. All these amazing books deserve to be well known. Let me know if there are any non-contemporary NA books that you would recommend :)