I’m sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. I’ve been buried in my writing cave. But I have a treat for you today. Alessandra Thomas has a new book out, Picture Perfect. And it looks super good. Check it out:
PICTURE PERFECT Synopsis:
Fashion design major Cat Mitchell has a closet full of gorgeous clothes – and not a single thing fits. After two years of runway modeling for easy cash, an accident shattered her lower leg bone and her self-esteem in just one swift fall. Ten months of no exercise, prescription steroids, comfort eating and yoga pants meant returning to campus as a size twelve instead of her former size two. When her gorgeous long-time friend with benefits sees her for the first time after her accident and snubs her in front of all her friends, Cat’s self-image hits rock bottom. Her sorority sisters all insist that she looks gorgeous, but all Cat sees is the roll of her stomach when she sits down, or the dimpling at the back of her thighs that wasn’t there last year. Cat’s therapist prescribes something radical to stop the downward spiral – nude modeling for a nearby college’s human form drawing classes. When Cat faces her fears and bares it all for the class, she realizes that she’s posing naked in front the most gorgeous, buffest guy she’s ever seen in her life. He asks her out after the class, and after one steamy night together, Cat’s absolutely smitten.
Nate’s pretty close to perfect – he takes Cat rock climbing when he discovers that it makes her feel strong and becomes a great chef after he learns that the perfect pesto sauce makes her swoon. Cat starts to feel like her old self again – confident and beautiful – as long as Nate’s around. Even when he discourages her from entering the Real Woman Project, a design competition for plus-sized apparel, she reasons that he’s just trying to prevent old body image wounds from splitting wide open again. But when Cat goes home with Nate for Thanksgiving, she discovers something shocking from his recent past that proves that he hasn’t always been so encouraging of women of all shapes and sizes. Cat has no idea what to think, but she does know one thing – this might destroy their relationship before it’s even had a chance to get off the ground.
Before Cat can figure out whether the real Nate is the sensitive, adoring guy she fell in love with, or an undercover asshole, she’ll have to finally feel comfortable in her own skin – even if it means leaving him forever.
Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she’s not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and
girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.
And… Alessandra was so kind as to do a guest post for me today! Woohoo! She’s here to talk about New Adult fiction- and what the fuss is all about.
NA – What’s all the Fuss about?
By Alessandra Thomas
When I heard that Courtney wanted me to answer “New Adult – What’s All the Fuss About?” I realized just how strange it is that publishing/readers didn’t realize just how awesome this genre is a long time ago. There are so many uniquely awesome things about New Adult characters and plots.
There’s a different kind of responsibility
New Adult characters usually have a greater sense of perspective than those in YA, but more innocence than adults. A lot of times, they have to make adult decisions, but they feel like kids, which is relatable to many of us. Much of the teen drama and angst of high school is gone, but at the same time, the societal expectations of “being a grownup” aren’t in fully force for characters aged 18-24.
College is the first time people are figuring out who they are outside of contained peer pressure. It’s just plain fascinating to watch what characters are going to do when they’re virtually free of social pressures and constraints of their hometown. They could literally turn into anyone.
In some ways, the stakes are higher. No one’s there to automatically catch you when you fall, and the point is to learn to navigate life on your own – and everyone’s learning.
There’s a different kind of freedom
If the characters have sex, the author doesn’t have to close the door in the reader’s face. There’s been a lot of discussion about whether New Adult is “just” sexed-up YA. That’s certainly not all it is, but it is kind of nice that if it feels natural or fitting for characters to be doing the Deed, we don’t have to shut the door or gloss over the details because the target audience are minors.
If you’re talking New Adult romance, the subgenre I write, a Happily Ever After ending doesn’t have to consist of marriage or moving in together. The commitment can be less intense because people usually don’t move in with or get married to their college boyfriends or girlfriends.
…And then there’s total freedom.
If your NA protagonists are in college, they don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves on a day to day basis. If they live away from home, there are no parents to answer to, no curfews to obey. Usually, there are no children to take care of. The most responsibility someone aged 18-24 has is usually a roommate or a pet.
For readers, it’s an age group sweet spot.
A lot of adults love YA because it makes them feel younger and nostalgic for a time when emotions were so raw and things were perhaps simpler, yet the possibilities of what a character could do with her life were basically endless. But those same adults may feel creepy reading about high school relationships – specifically, swooning over minor “book boyfriends.” After all, the love interests in YA are usually sixteen and seventeen-year-old boys. And, to be honest, adults often don’t like to admit that their favorite books are children’s, especially when they’re trading book recs with snobbier peer friends. Teens are often curious to read about what their lives and relationships might be like in the next phase of life, and for new-adult aged readers, reading about their peers feels just right.
I guess what I’m saying is that New Adult represents a whole range of human experience – being in that in-between of after high school but before 9-5 jobs and families – that readers are hungry to visit or revisit. I’m so glad that I’m one of the authors writing it, and that readers are loving the rise in the trend.
There you have it! Thanks for being here today, Alessandra!