Back in December 2012 the New York Times published an article about the advent of a new genre in publishing, new adult. In simplistic terms they say new adult novels are young adult novels with sex. My own personal feelings, however, run a bit deeper. First let me say that this new genre is being marketed to 18-25 year-olds. Nobody doubts that being a teenager is hard, but so is coming into your own and becoming an adult. Those in the 18-25 age bracket are usually entering college/graduating college, thinking about sex, their future, taking care of themselves financially, mature relationships, and beginning life on their own two feet. As someone who can seriously relate to all of these thoughts, having gone through them myself fairly recently (I’m 26), I’ve been happy about the explosion of this genre. Books written with honesty and depth about the problems this age bracket faces are a welcome addition to the book world in my humble opinion.
With that as my introduction I’ll move on to tell you about the new adult binge I’ve been on for a good portion of April. Losing It by Cora Carmack was my first foray into the genre and WHAT a good choice! Plot from Goodreads:
Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible– a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
Right off the bat I was in love with this book. No, seriously right from the start. This line sold me “Somewhere between Saved by the Bell and Gossip Girl, it became unheard of for a girl to graduate college with her V-Card still in hand.” Sadly, it’s so true. Being a girl and completing high school as a virgin is an extremely difficult task. Imagine doing it all over again through college. Bliss is one of these girls. She feels an immense amount of pressure to lose her virginity, so much so that she’s willing to just find some random guy at a bar. I commend Carmack for choosing to write about this subject and the inane amount of pressure there is on girls about sex in general. My respect for her grew leaps and bounds when she had Bliss choose to NOT lose her virginity in a random one night stand. Bliss is actually a pretty awesome role model. As pressured as she feels by her friends to do what’s “cool” she knows what her own limitations are and ultimately makes decisions based on them.
Enter Garrick. I’ve decided he’s my new book boyfriend (well actually him and Jamie Fraser). Garrick is a suave, put-together guy who rocks confidence and sex appeal like no other. He’s a refreshing male hero in my eyes because he’s not obsessed with doing EVERYTHING for Bliss. He doesn’t want to feed her or pick out her clothes, etc. He wants her to be herself with no limitations. Even when he’s teaching her class, he wants her to reach her acting potential with her own inner confidence. He doesn’t tell her she’s good because they’re sleeping together, he tells her she’s good because she is. He recognizes her intelligence, her confidence, and her independence and respects her for it.
I mentioned earlier about the pressures this age group feels about sex, but for the upper bracket of the group, Carmack accurately depicts the anxieties that graduating college can cause. The fear of “what am I going to do now?” is definitely something a good chunk of post-college grads can relate to. I’m glad she highlighted these topics, as they give depth to the work as a whole. With her witty prose and excellent subject matter, Cora Carmack has sealed her fate as one of my top authors in the new adult genre. Losing It has earned its spot on my list of top ten reads this year as well as my favorite reads shelf. Make sure you read this book before book two in the series, Faking It, comes out June 4th.
5 out of 5 Stars
Losing It by Cora Carmack
Harper Collins Publishing (2012)
eBook: 228 pages