The new-adult machine has succeeded precisely because it found the sweet spot between those two established phenomena. Young adult books like The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars position teenagehood as an activation stage, in which the protagonists cross the barrier into sentience. It tracks all of the firsts—relationships, friendships, betrayals, failures—turning every moment into a momentous achievement. New-adult fiction replicates many of those emotional beats as characters face a new barrier: independence.

Never-Never Land

Don’t blame millennials for new-adult fiction