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  • Writer's pictureTantra Bensko

Are New Adults Really This Self-Absorbed?

When a young woman named Tate meets an airline pilot named Miles, they don't expect or want a relationship but they do pursue their sensual desires together, trying to keep it simple. He first makes her agree to refrain from asking him about his past.

I bought this one because of my interest in New Adult novels, partly because the characters in Floating on Secrets and companion stories about the siblings are in their early twenties. I love watching New Adult vlogs by enthusiastic young ladies and they invariably list Collen Hoover as their favorite. So, I feel I'm learning about readers of this genre, which are mostly female though men also do read Romance, and which are mostly young but older people also do read NA.

I read Without Merit, which I felt was not entirely perfect, but still unique and big-hearted, memorable, with lots of characters in the inventive family. I'm not personally drawn to the common tropes of Romance, so I thought I'd see what such a creative author would do with a book that was described entirely in terms of a generic trope. In fact, the book is made up of many of the most popular tropes all mixed together. So that probably makes it a beloved book for fans of this genre.

But it didn't really thrill me, though I was able to finish the novel. I'm honest, sometimes brutally so, in my blog here, as it's about my own journey through books I'm currently reading in genres related to my Seductive Psychological Suspense. And I would be more gentle with less popular authors but someone like the famous Colleen Hoover surely couldn't care less what I write about her books.

Like Without Merit, it left me feeling strange about the characters because they were so intensely focused on themselves and everything arising from basic biology - like sexual attraction. But in Without Merit, there was a whole family involved, whereas in this one, the field of interest was even narrower. The characters never seem to watch the news, care about current events, history, the arts, philosophy, learning new facts about psychology. They don't care for animals, look at the trees and flowers around them, get playful and goofy or have any kind of intellectual thoughts of any kind. And that seems so limiting that it also affects their romances.

I don't see interesting discussion in their relationships about what songs they like or helping each other write poems or exploring avant-garde movies through history or playing tennis together or whimsical dreams at night or spiritual expansiveness or anything at all other than the continual white hot breathless statements about the other's hotness and their unavailability, continually repeating the problem of the trope of wanting to avoid relationships. I'm not sure why such repetition is necessary or interesting.

But I still have a lot of respect for Hoover and for the NA genre and expect to see them grow more mature year by year.

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