Hi everyone! Today we have C.M. Llyod recommending some diverse New Adult novels! She was kind enough to split up the post based on types of diversity so there definitely is something for everyone!
About C.M. Lloyd
C.M. Lloyd recommends New Adult books every Saturday on her blog at Lloyd Reads. She also features her favorite Young Adult reads on Sundays and randomly blogs about other books and graphic novels that make her excited. When she is not reading and blogging, she is writing, playing video games, or chatting on Twitter.
New Adult Books Featuring Diversity:
When you turn 18, you don’t have all the answers to life handed to you in a manual. Which sucks, because so much is going on at once. You’re on your own for the first time, you can see how your actions impact the future as well as the present, and your relationship dynamics with everyone noticeably shift. Your mind and body are still growing and processing all these sudden changes, and it’s easy to feel alone until you pick up a book and realize the main character is you.
New Adult literature tackles all the fun and scary parts of growing up, and there’s a main character out there for everyone, ready to validate your euphoria and your insecurities. I’m here to recommend some of the lovely examples of diverse main characters in NA through some three-of-a-kinds!
Leads with racial diversity:
“Radio Silence” by Alyssa Cole is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi M/F romance with a black heroine and a Korean love interest. Arden and Gabriel have sizzling tension spark between them while they try to solve the mystery behind Gabriel’s missing parents in a world where all modern conveniences like electricity have stopped working.
“Break Your Heart” by Rhonda Helm is a contemporary M/F romance with a black heroine and an Asian love interest. Megan and Nick’s relationship is forbidden – Megan is a senior in college majoring in math, and Nick is her new thesis advisor & cryptology professor. Their chemistry is goofy and tender and hot as they try to advance their relationship without getting caught.
“Get Real” by Tellulah Darling is an urban fantasy M/F romance featuring a snarky Italian Jewish heroine and a rebellious Venezuelan Catholic hero. Francesca and Rafael click instantly when they team up, although their goals are different – Francesca wants to prove her mettle as a detective who investigates magic-based crime, and Rafael wants to break free from his father’s shadow.
Leads with diverse sexualities:
“The Good Girls” by Teresa Mummert is a contemporary F/F romance following two girls who are thrusted into each other’s lives when Ellie is sent to live with her father and his girlfriend after her mother’s death. Ellie’s father’s girlfriend is a guardian for Cara, a girl shunned by her conservative family for not being “normal”. Ellie and Cara start off on the wrong foot, but their intense love for each other quickly blossoms despite their environment telling their romantic feelings for each other are wrong.
“Trust the Focus” by Megan Erickson is a contemporary M/M romance that highlights how wonderful and terrifying it can be going from friends to lovers. Landry has always been comfortable with his homosexuality, but his best friend Justin is having a tough time forcing himself out of the closet. When the two go on a road trip to honor the memory of Justin’s deceased father, Justin finds he is no longer able to resist his best friend.
“Black Iris” by Leah Raeder is a contemporary M/F/F thriller about three friends who band together to exact revenge on a bully from Laney’s past. Laney, Blythe, and Armin push each other to new highs and new lows, and the book itself challenges readers to relish the darker side of romance.
Leads with physical disabilities/impairments:
“Second Position” by Katherine Locke is a contemporary M/F romance about two ballet dancers whose lives were unraveled and relationship dissolved after a traumatic car accident. Aly’s mental health plummeted which exacerbated her eating disorder, and Zed lost his leg and ended up turning to the bottle to fill all the holes in his life. Four years of distance and therapy later, Aly walks into the same coffee shop as Zed, and they find themselves drawn to each other again despite the painful rift between them.
“The Year We Fell Down” by Sarina Bowen is a contemporary M/F romance between a heroine in a wheelchair who once had dreams of being a hockey player and a love interest who starts his school year with a broken leg. Corey and Adam are hilarious and smoking hot together, and their attachment to each other is obvious from the beginning. It’s just a shame Adam already has a girlfriend, and Corey doubts he would ever give up his girlfriend for someone like her.
“Maybe Someday” by Colleen Hoover is a contemporary M/F romance where Sydney finds her life falling apart after she discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend who is also her roommate. Enter Ridge – her neighbor she’s only communicated with via texts who plays the guitar on his balcony every evening. Ridge offers to let Sydney move in with him and his other two roommates, and Sydney soon discovers Ridge is deaf. His hearing impairment doesn’t prevent the two from bonding over music and falling hard for each other despite his perfect girlfriend.
Leads with neurodiversities:
“Anything But Broken” by Joelle Knox is a contemporary M/F romance between a girl and her dead sister’s ex-boyfriend. Hannah and Sean have electricity crackling between them from the first moment they interact with each other, but Hannah is using alcohol to keep herself together. The book heavily features alcoholism’s affects on everyone including the alcoholic, but it also discusses bipolar disorder with a respect not often seen in media.
“Addicted to You” by Krista and Becca Ritchie is a contemporary M/F romance about two friends who have been friends forever in a fake relationship to keep their families from discovering their dark secrets. Lily is a sex addict, and Loren is an alcoholic. They both know they have problems, but neither of them are willing to admit they are enabling each other until after they start dating each other for real and see how they hurt each other with their addictions.
“Carry the Ocean” by Heidi Cullinan is a contemporary M/M romance about two unlikely people seeing the best in each other when no one else will. Emmet is a college student with autism, and Jeremey is a high school graduate with depression so crushing he never wants to wake up again. The two must communicate honestly about how each other’s brains and hearts work in order to become friends, and they must rally to be accepted as a couple by their families when they fall in love with each other.
Have you read any of these NA novels? If not, are you going to be checking any of them out? Let’s discuss in the comments!