With Write to Publish 2014 coming up next term, one great way to prep for the New Adult Revolution is to start tackling the mountain of New Adult books that have been published in the last year or two.

As one of the co-managers for Write to Publish, I thought I would set up a mini book club over the next month with New Adult titles. Here at Ooligan, we have come up with our working definition of New Adult: genuine and authentic stories about and targeted toward 18-to-26-year-olds experimenting with identity as they transition into adulthood.

 All three of the books on my to-read list touch on just that.

  • Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell—If there ever was a book made for the inaugural Tumblr Book Club, it’s Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (St. Martin’s Press, September 10, 2013). Not only does it feature a geeky fan fiction writer as a protagonist, the cover art was designed by none other than Tumblr-famous artist Noelle Stevens. The story follows Cath and her sister Wren, who have been inseparable since their mother died. Now that they’ve moved on to college, Wren is looking to try new things while Cath still clings to fandom in her obsession with fictional Simon Snow (a sort of homage to the Harry Potter saga). Being a proud geek myself (I got to attend Leaky Con this year and loved every minute of it), I’ve been looking forward to reading this since it came out.
  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh—Oregon’s own Allie Brosh and her crass MS Paint comic-filled blog “Hyperbole and a Half” emerged in book form earlier this year (Touchstone, October 29, 2013). With many stories from her childhood (the famous “God of Cake”), her dogs (Helper Dog and Simple Dog), and her personal struggle with depression that resonated with millions of readers, the book includes both pieces previously published in her blog and new material. Her blend of humor and real human vulnerability shows what it’s like to be a new adult and not have any clue what is actually going on. I have to admit, any time I read about Simple Dog, I tend to lose my composure, and I look forward to many more similar stories.
  • Lunatic Fringe, by Allison Moon—My last pick is a book by one of our keynote speakers, Allison Moon. Lunatic Fringe (Lunatic Ink, September 29, 2011) is a tale of lycanthropy, love and lesbians. Lexie Clarion, a college freshman, falls into a pack of werewolves on her first night away from home. And really, what else does a reader have to know to want to pick it up? Ever since hearing about the series from a friend, it’s been on my to-read list.

Over winter break, I’ll be reading all three of these books and posting my thoughts on Write to Publish’s Facebook page. If you’re so inclined to join me in investigating this new genre, read these three along with me and leave me a message on the Facebook page, or come find me at Write to Publish on February 15!

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