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Where are the romance novels with college age characters?

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Showing 101-125 of 171 posts in this discussion
Posted on Apr 24, 2012 7:54:51 PM PDT
Just got a copy of Surviving Passian by Maia something. The heroine is 22, so far, the book is really good.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 10:55:21 AM PDT
one book that was awesome-------------BEAUTIFUL DISASTER BY JAMIE MCGUIRE

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 10:55:50 AM PDT
i totally agree with this series also

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:35:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 12:50:39 PM PDT
lOl, any other books beside Beautiful Disaster? Already ready it.

I've been looking in the YA/teen (mostly high school) section. *sighs* I keep wondering if they'll create a new heading for college-age books, 'cause that would make things soooo much easier. But I can't think of what it'd be called, since YA is already taken, lOl.

Read somewhere that a couple of years ago, MacMillon (or something and others) tried to call it "New Adult," but it didn't take off... college kids don't read, don't have time to read (studying and social life priorities), and have no money. Being in college myself, I sort of agree, but it gets tiresome reading about high school and thinking it was da bomb. I'm sorry, but college is where many more interesting things can happen before, between, and after classes. Op, there goes my rant. D:

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 3:07:53 PM PDT
Iowegian says:
The book Slammed (Slammed Series #1) is really good, the h is a senior and the H is 21. In the sequel they are both in college Point of Retreat (Slammed Series #2). Also the series Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1) some of the characters are college aged, especially the later two books.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 4:40:44 PM PDT
KarenH says:
Thoughtless and its sequel Effortless (Thoughtless #2) are what you read if you loved Beautiful Disaster. Both books feature the same couple - she is in college and he is the same age but in a band.
Also, Take This Regret both are seniors in college
Across The Hall both in college

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:44:20 PM PDT
St. Martin's Press has a team that is specifically trying to find, publish, and promote "New Adult" lit (which they are defining roughly as protagonists 18-26 transitioning out of childhood and into adulthood) but yeah, it's still relatively young and unestablished, and there is a lot of debate as to whether or not it will succeed.

Personally I think there IS a niche audience/market for it -- I mean, just look at all of us on this thread who want to read those stories, right? But I don't know if it will "take off" or not.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 6:48:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 6:48:41 PM PDT
Iowegian says:

Just want to mention how awesome it is to see you on these threads, contributing your knowledge in an ethical manner. Also helping to corral those who are self-promoting. Thank you. I've not read your books, but based on your recommendations and comments, am definitely planning on buying one to try!

I have kids who will shortly be heading to college, but enjoy reading this age group occasionally as it makes for new stories and different conflicts.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 7:11:28 PM PDT
Wish I could private message you to say more, but since Amazon doesn't have that feature, I'll just say thanks. :)

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 3:09:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 3:11:26 AM PDT
read4fun says:
I don't think anybody mentioned Slammed and its sequel Point of Retreat (Slammed Series #2). Beautiful story! In book #1 h is a senior in High school and H is in college and in book #2 they are both in college. Don't pass these books up. I just finished reading them and I loved them, especially Slammed. I can loan them too :)

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 7:13:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 7:13:53 AM PDT
I can't recommend this one enough - Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park. The protag is a college freshman. My all-time favorite read.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 9:02:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:04:22 AM PDT
Some of my favorite "college age" romances are parts of series that show the characters grow up. An example is "Pick a New Dream" by Lenora Mattingly Weber it's book #11 in the Beany Malone series, & while not just romance, it certainly qualifies. Beany is a college Freshman in it.
I must say that it might be a bit "old fashioned" for some readers having been published in the '60s but a great book.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 9:50:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:51:31 AM PDT
read4fun says:
I second Flat-Out Love. Loved it!

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:52:53 PM PDT
jemlem82 says:
I started reading The Morganville Vampires, Vol. 1 (Glass Houses / The Dead Girls' Dance) last year. The youngest character is a freshman in college and the other three main characters seem to range from ages 18-20. Obviously, from the title, it's a paranormal series. It contains romance, though that is not the sole driving force of the story. I read a lot of YA titles for quick, fun reads, too, and these books definitely fit the bill. I think there's 12 books at this point, and several are available in paperback volumes with two books in each.

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 6:38:40 AM PDT
C. Hall says:
A Lady of High Regard (Ladies of Liberty, Book 1)

Deep in the Heart

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 9:35:54 PM PDT
J. Park says:
Lavyrle Spencer's Separate Beds would fit the age range. If you like contemporary fantasy with a romantic twist, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr is great.

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 10:01:30 PM PDT
It is interesting to think about why there are not any romance novels with college age characters. Partly I think this is due to the fact that public libraries will buy books for a teen collection and buy books for older adults, but university libraries are struggling to buy expensive specialized texts and to build collections that support students school work. Couple this with the fact that college students are on tight budgets, and their book money goes to very expensive text books ... and they never have time to read for pleasure, and you can see why college age romance novels are out.

The reality of college age romance is either pretty boring, or pretty horrifying. Boring, as in you know a couple is serious when they are studying together every night in the department reading room. Horrifying as in date rape, peer sexuality counselors telling people "if that is going on, you _really_ do need to see a doctor" and relationship confusion "I trust my boyfriend not to sex other girls, but that does not mean he can not flirt with them or kiss them ( and this from a reasonably intelligent college student). Also couples have to make hard decisions about what they can live with, and when to walk away from a relationship they just can't live with.

Realistic novels about romance in this age group would be painful and hard to read and while there is always some room for that in literature, it never sells well.

Just my thoughts, it will be interesting to hear what other people think.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 5:39:13 AM PDT
I agree that college students may be too busy reading for school rather than leisure (I certainly was) but studies show that people (especially young people) tend to "read up," so I think some of the target audience of college-aged romance is actually high schoolers. And of course, that audience has proven to be voracious in their reading.

I guess I just see "New Adult" stories as a logical extension of Young Adult. It's the next stage.

"The reality of college age romance is either pretty boring, or pretty horrifying."

I don't see how it's any more boring, horrifying, or painful than romance at any other age... And the issues you discuss -- the pressures, the confusion -- aren't those important to portray? Aren't those exactly the kinds of conflicts and tension that make other stories thrive?

(Not trying to argue, just show the flip side of the coin.)

Also, "college-aged" doesn't have to mean "set in college." There are lots of 18-26 year olds who are not in school, but who are still transitioning into adulthood, and their stories are worth telling too.

For example, I recently read THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, which is just gorgeous and magical and oh so heartbreaking, and the protagonist is an anti-social 18 year old emerging from the foster care system and learning how to take care of herself. It's not written in a YA style, but I think mature young readers would enjoy it.
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In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 11:01:39 AM PDT
all the wrong reasons and the sequel vicious circles by jl paul both of these are great books also

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 12:24:13 PM PDT
VAL-B123 says:
I posted this in response to a question about YA fantasy novels but u may also enjoy the books- The Vampire Academy series by Michelle Mead ...someone posted asking if it was like Harry Potter but with Vampires and my response was :
It is only like the Harry Potter books in the sense that the students that attend are not (in Harry Potter terms) Muggles! In fact the only humans referenced in the storlines are called "feeders" and are basically blood donors. All of the students and staff are either Vampires or Dhampirs (half vamp half human), who are training to become a Vampire Guardians. The series also deals with more mature themes than the Harry Potter books including sexual tension leading to intimate relationships and addiction. The main characters are 17 years old in the 1st book, but as the series progresses, they get older and face more adult situations than when they were Academy Students. The series is one of my favorites and I would give it 5/5 stars

Posted on May 3, 2012 7:03:28 PM PDT
I just didn't like Beautiful Disaster. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't. I love her Providence Series though.

Posted on May 9, 2012 7:03:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2012 4:41:40 PM PDT
Nancy Lee says:
If you don't mind historicals --
Daddy-Long-Legs (Puffin Classics) - heroine is in college, hero is not
Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career (Signet Regency Romance) - hero and heroine both are college students

Posted on May 29, 2012 11:56:28 AM PDT
MOM2JTV says:
I just read EASY by Tammara Webber and I loved it! Definitely fits this category. Both the H and h are in college.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 5:35:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2012 7:34:31 PM PDT
Avid reader says:
Yes, they do exist. They are called NA, or New Adult genre books. The publishers are resisting, though, because they don't think there is enough of a market. Write them and tell them you want this genre. Support existing NA authors by purchasing their books. Tell your local bookstore you want to see NA shelf space. "Where's your NA section? ...You know, New Adult." And visit NA Alley. [wrong link removed] Oops. That was supposed to be

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:12:14 PM PDT
I have to agree that publishers are resisting the college-age range. Which means editors and agents are, too. I had one editor and one agent tell me to change the college setting of my novel to get it published. I'm hoping you're right, and there is a market emerging for this age range.
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Discussion in:  Young Adult forum
Participants:  112
Total posts:  171
Initial post:  Aug 10, 2010
Latest post:  Feb 22, 2014

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