Growing up doesn't really end at age 20, so why should young adult fiction stop there? The New Adult genre, a growing subset of young adult lit, aims to give voice to the post-high school experience and its implied transition to independent living: college, moving away from home, traveling, starting first jobs and even sex. The content may be darker and more mature than what is traditionally found in YA, and the protagonists range from late teens to early 20s, but the stories offer many of the same kind of identity challenges and coming of age narratives as their YA brethren.
Goodreads' Elizabeth K. Chandler has a post today about the genre sensation that's sweeping the Internet nation: New Adult, which generally features characters who are "mostly college-age, who seem to have lots of sex and rarely see their parents."
Chandler looks at the debate around the genesis of this type of fiction. Did it always exist, just without a label? Is it a byproduct of a sluggish job market for college grads who find themselves with time on their hands? Or is this simply a logical extension of self-publishing's democratization of the market?