New Adults (and the Rest of Us) Deserve Better

“So Tell me a Book That’s Like Your Latest Novel?”

I dislike that question because I sound completely inept and uninformed when I fumble the answer.  I know of very few “comparables” to Foreseen.  More correctly, I am aware of only one.  Tempest by Julie Cross is a decent novel although it doesn’t have a lot of substance and even less description of people and places. But very few people have heard of Tempest. So, I decided to do some research so that I could be better prepared to answer that question when asked.

With a few key strokes, presented me with a long list (12,977 entries) of New Adult novels – those with protagonists in the 18 – 25 age range that are suppose to appeal to readers at roughly the same point in life. I’ve read a couple of them, and I am happy to say that Foreseen is nothing like them. And from that, I can fairly conclude that Foreseen is not comparable to anything on the list, aside from Tempest.

How can I make that leap?  Because they are all the same! Nearly every cover  has a handsome young man tenderly kissing an attractive young woman.  Nearly every description is a minor variation of “Nice college girl meets tattooed and troubled boy and knows she should stay away from him.  But she can’t resist the attraction and sparks fly.”

Sex and relationships are important drivers at that point in a person’s life and need to be included in a novel about them, but New Adults have much more going on in their heads than who they are going to jump in bed with next.  And even if that is a realistic portrayal of the”stereotypical “college student, surely some of them want to read about something else!  This age group deserves better than these novels. They are adults.  They should be treated like adults rather than brainless bundles of hormones.

Yet, that is the state of the fiction written for this age group, leaving me once again with no comps to give someone when I am asked. But perhaps I am going about this wrong.  At a party this weekend, several people engaged me in conversation about the themes of unintended consequences and the ethics of controlling people that implicitly arise in Foreseen. They praised the novel for dealing with substantial ideas.  They loved the book.  And these individuals were not young college women. Instead, they were male, and over the age of 50!

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Foreseen doesn’t appeal to New Adults as well. The feedback I’ve received from that age group has been overwhelmingly positive. But perhaps I should look beyond the New Adult genre for comparable novels. Foreseen is written for adults – new or old – who like to think while being entertained. The standard New Adult novel doesn’t have that in mind.

Unfortunately, that still leaves me at a loss. How about this: Foreseen is like a fantastical Michael Crichton novel with a healthy dose of romance to balance it out.  Hmm… not sure that captures it either, but I suppose it is closer.


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