The Top 10 NA Books to Read When You’re Tired of YA

Young adult literature was once the highlight of my existence. But, one can only take so many love triangles, high school drama, and mean girls before being cursed to an endless array of disappointing book slumps.

My new obsession (and preference) is currently NA novels. The New Adult genre is a fairly recent explosive trend in book publishing. Novels in this category feature characters who are 18-30 years old and are most often set in college. USA Today describes the new book category as a “mix with the high-octane emotions of youth and the freedom of leaving home.”

As someone who grew up on Young Adult fiction—I admit that it was Twilight that first got me into reading—New Adult served as the perfect literary escape as I gradually grew out of YA novels. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some amazing Young Adult books out there that explore everything from mental illness to great fantasy worlds, all of which I still read with eagerness. 

NA brings the youthful nature of YA without filters or age restraints; it delves into mature topics and themes that are more relatable to my life as college student. Although, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some cliché and cringe-y novels floating around. There’s also the fact that many covers feature an abnormal amount of shirtless guys, but don’t let that fool you! I have been lucky enough to discover some New Adult books with hilarious banter and great characters that are awesome to read between classes or whenever you have some free time.

Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Richie (Goodreads rating: 4.26)

“I’m average. I’ve been average most of my life, but there are moments where I feel extraordinary. Invincible. Able to conquer any fear and step outside any box. There is no illusion, no fantasy. I can climb a forty-foot pole. I can fly eighty-feet in the air. I can be taller than tall. It’s a dream that I’m living. Every day. With him.”

Krista and Becca Ritchie are hands down one of my favorite authors. Amour Amour features a main character (Thora, 21) who has aspirations to be in the circus. Features: age difference, family themes, and moderate emotional angst.


More than water by Renee Ericson (Goodreads rating: 4.08)

“I’m surprised you don’t have any tattoos. I thought that was part of the artist uniform.”

“Who says I should be that much of a cliché? I’m naturally a masterpiece.”

I highly recommend this one. The romance and the witty banter is great. Features: FWB (Friends with Benefits) but the two characters have a real, genuine friendship before everything goes down. The main character, EJ, is a feisty, sarcastic college senior and I want her to be my best friend.


The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Goodreads rating: 4.31)

“Just out of curiosity,” she says, “after you wake up in the morning, do you admire yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?”

“Two,” I reply cheerfully.

“Do you high five yourself?”

“Of course not.” I smirk. “I kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

Kristen Callihan is the queen of humorous dialogue. The Deal is a NA novel I recommend to everyone. Features: banter, romance, and hockey players.


Fuel the Fire by Krista and Becca Ritchie (Goodreads rating: 4.49)

“There are rare people who will fuel the fire inside of you, who will awaken a dormant passion, who will push you and better you. She alone is my rarity.”

The whole Addicted series is a must read. Fuel the Fire has Connor on the cover which I like *winky face* Features: friends to lovers’ trope, exploration of family relationships, friendship, three swoony guys, mental health, and basically everything. The first book begins with the characters in their junior year in college and is a must read for those who love new adult. Some of my friends said it took them until book 2/3 to get hooked, but once you do you never go back.


Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino (Goodreads rating: 4.3)

“It was like the universe was teasing us; we saw each other just a second too late.”

Extremely sad and nostalgic and will give you all the feels. Features: second chance romance with plenty of flashbacks that provide angst. The main characters met as college students at NYU, but time and circumstances ripped them apart. They reconnect years later when they randomly see each other at a subway station.

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan (Goodreads rating: 4.22)

“The funny thing is, Ivy, falling in love with you was as easy as breathing. The best time of my life.”

The Friend Zone is a must read college sports romance that revolves around Ivy and Gray, two individuals who unpredictably begin an amusing friendship over text. Features: witty banter (great dialogue), football, slow burn romance, and friends to lovers’ trope.


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (Goodreads rating: 4.26)

“It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.”

Hate to love relationship in the office. The Hating Game is an extremely entertaining and humorous read that tells the story of Lucy and Joshua, two co-workers in their mid-twenties that have a serious office rivalry going on. Think messing with each other’s agendas type of petty. Features: hate/love, adulting, and a slow burn romance.


Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout (Goodreads rating: 4.19)

“You’ve been checking me out, haven’t you? In between your flaming insults? I feel like man candy.”

Wait for You was the first New Adult book I ever read. It’s a great introducer to the genre and features an emotionally packed plot that explores recovery from past occurrences. Avery, the main character, is a freshman in college who meets Cam, a cute, backwards-cap-wearing guy who calls her “sweetheart.” Features: college, sweet romance, and great banter.


Idol by Kristen Callihan (Goodreads rating: 4.11)

“A person can get…stuck, for lack a better word, in a life. It’s surprisingly easy, really. Hours bleed into days; days fade into months. Before you know it, years have passed, and you’re just this person, someone your younger self wouldn’t even recognize.”

Classic big time musician meets small town girl done right. The characters are in their early twenties. Features: music, small town, emotional angst, and fame.


Grip by Kennedy Ryan (Goodreads rating: 4.21)

“I fell for her before the beat dropped.”

This is an incredible novel about forgiveness, hope, and love. The writing is beautiful and poetic and tells the story of Bristol and Grip who are complete opposites. The first book is great, but the sequel Still is even better. Features: a slow burn romance (8 years in the making) and an interracial relationship. It touches on some significant issues such as race, class, and police brutality. A must read!