I love the idea NA and one thing that made me supportive of the genre is university. When I was a teen and slowly moving towards leaving home and living independently to further my studies I wish I could have had a few books focusing on a character moving to university. I had no idea what to expect and thought most of my coming-of-life experiences had passed and I missed it completely because YA makes out like all your coming-of-age experiences are in high school. But there were plenty of opportunities and even more at university.
For some it is, for some it isn't. But I think I really came into age when I went to university. YA is good for first experiences but it's those times between 19 and 25 where most people discover who they really want to be, where they want to be, and who they want to commit to. I know a lot of people who met their partner at uni.
I learnt to live by myself. There were more chores to do, food shops to think about and do, budgets to live on, and learning to live with other people. You were an adult who could start a relationship without dealing with curious parents for a while, who could go down to the local pub and have a pint with friends, vote, get to places yourself etc. You were creating your own rules to live by in your own, yet rented, homes.
And if uni isn't in a person's life they're still working towards finding out who they want to be. In the UK teens can go from college into jobs and work their way up like that. That's another coming-of-age experience. Finding the career they want to do. Teens can have dreams but I know from experience that a lot of of the jobs me and my friends all dreamt of doing didn't become the career most of us have today. I knew wannabe surgeons, lawyers, and then there was me the wannabe journalist. This changed to studying acting, being a freelance graphic designer, and other jobs completely different to their original dream. I ended up going from: 'I would NEVER work in a primary school' to 'I love primary school'. Seriously I never thought I would enjoy teaching and its completely pushed aside my dream to be a journalist. In fact I really didn't like what I saw when I did a local newspaper placement at university. It wasn't the job I thought it was.
So I'd love to see more NA. More books where young adults are really starting to find themselves and going down a path that may or may not have been the one they wanted. I think it's important for teens to be able to read about life after high school, to know what to expect, and read about stories that they could relate to as they take the next step into becoming independent adults.
How do you feel about the NA genre?