I’ve been looking for more “new adult” books with that awesome, old-school “college/new adult” feel. There are so many in the new adult genre, from super-heartbreaking, to super-dark and everything in between. But to me… that one to the left? That is a recent “new-adult” book with that delightful “old-school’ feel.
You know the ones… Beautiful Disaster (<— although that one is super heartbreaking – LOVE!!), Easy, Flat-Out Love, Rock Me, Slammed… you get the picture. And they don’t have to be jocks (this isn’t a sports star romance list, although that’s coming, too!). It’s about the “feel” of the writing, the storyline and the characters, their dialogue and connection, and not so much, the “trope”.
That witty writing and realistic story-flow, with relatable characters, believable dialogue (inner dialogue, too!), romance-angst, and personal dilemmas that have depth. That we connect to (but nothing too outrageous or over-the-top). But best of all, that “besties” feel and even “strangers-to-friends”, the hilarious moments and goofy hijinks that have us laughing out loud, and clutching our e-reader to our chest with glee. And swoons.
That’s THE PERFECT read! And we want more!!! So I asked:
Maryse: What books did you love that had a “The Deal” (by Elle Kennedy) feel? Doesn’t have to be sports guys, but I’m looking for more “new adult” stories with that witty, awesome writing and hilarious dialogue and funny situations, and of course… romance angst (but not too angsty). You know… not too much drama. For me, I’d say: “Undecided“, “Cocky Bastard” and “The Year We Fell Down” are absolutes!
Jessica: I was going to suggest Undecided lol. I stayed up most of last night reading it.
Maryse: I LOVED it. I want another! LOL!
Jessica: It went on my top reads so far this year
Sali: Ohhh. Following this post
Sam: I LOVE these lists! They are 100% how I discovered your blog, and book blogs in general. I had just finished reading the latest in the Lux series and was in a major hangover state so I googled what to read next and I found your blog! And you were all “you must read Beautiful Disaster!” So I did! And it was amazing! So I then proceeded to read every recommended book in that list and basically my book obsession was born, lol!Maryse: Oh I LOVE knowing this, Sam!! I’m so glad you’re a part of our awesome reading group, and that you’re loving the books like we are.
Trish: Thanks for the list, Hun!
Maryse: My pleasure! This will be a list I will pick from often. :D
Trish: Me too! I saved it!
Yep! “Undecided” definitely prompted this list! I LOVED it like crazy and I just KNEW you guys would love it too. Actually, many of you here knew I WOULD love it, ’cause I loved “The Deal” (and the subsequent books in that series) and I’m SO thankful for this recommendation. Now that I’ve devoured this latest one, I realize, it’s time for this list. Because I want MORE!!!
So let’s make the list, shall we?
Right off the bat, EVERY single book in Elle Kennedy’s “Off Campus” series (the two after The Deal) are must reads. In fact, the third one is my favorite of the bunch!
- The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) <— (my review)
- The Mistake (Off-Campus Book 2) <— (my review)
- The Score (Off-Campus Book 3) <— (my review)
Anne: “I am reading Undecided and LOVING it!! So good!! Maryse it does have an Elle Kennedy feel to it, which I appreciate so much!”
Teri: I just finished Undecided by Julianna Keyes and Loved It! I am glad to see another mention of her on here because she is def a new favorite author and I’m on to Going The Distance!
Robyn: I’m halfway into Undecided! You’re right Maryse, it has that “feel” to it. I’m love it and can’t put it down. I love the giddy and squirly feelings….love! This is what I look for in most books I read.
Cocky Bastard by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland <— They’re out of college at this point, but the feels, and the interaction and the silly moments, and the romance-angst is JUST right for this list! A must read for sure! (my review)
Amy: I’m still working on Cocky Bastard and LOVING IT!!!! Holy moly, that unexpected twist after Vegas and the *why* of it…wasn’t expecting that! Chance…oh my, I’m in love with that guy right now. And that goat. How. Freaking. Cute.
Cristina: I finished Cocky Bastard last night and all I can say is, THAT my reading friends is how you fight for your girl!!!!! Chance had me *sighing and swooning* loudly during the last half of the book. His fighting spirit had me crushing on him so hard!!
The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen <— Sweet and angsty, but again, in a fun and relatable format. Both characters live in a handicapped-accessible area in the dorm due to injuries they’ve received as star-hockey players, and while hers are permanent, and his are just temporary, they forge an incredible friendship. And more… but insecurities abound. (my review) and Arwen agrees!
Arwen: “I really liked the Year we Fell Down also!”
Jean: I LOVED The Year We Fell Down….. will never forget it.
Cheryl: I thought The Year We Fell Down was a sweet story too. Great book! I specifically read it because the heroine was in a wheelchair, because my daughter is special needs too and I wanted to read a positive story about the heroine having a “normal” life in college despite her “disability.” Heartwarming!!
PUCKED (The PUCKED Series Book 1) by Helena Hunting <— Sunny’s recommendation! “I loved Pucked by Helena Hunting.”
Cindy: Just finished Pucked and never laughed so hard!! Great book and loved the outrageous things that came out of Violet’s mouth – especially in the epilogue. Thanks for the great recommendation!!
Anne: I love Pucked! If you want funny and hot read it
Lisa: Pucked was snort laugh funny….just what the Dr ordered after my recent book blues funk. Think I have an ice hockey/football player crush going on……too bad we don’t have either in Australia
Jean: Guys, if you are looking for a light, funny read…. Pucked! I loved it! So funny and instead of a stuffed manatee, she has a stuffed beaver!!!! Lol!
Tessa: Finished Roomhate and one word, super sweet. I have to admit, I didn’t feel angsty throughout the book, just happy. However, I’m still smiling over it.
DG: Read RoomHate and LOVED it. Justin gave me the ‘queasy’ tingles in the beginning…but it was so worth it!
Lisa: RoomHate by Penelope Douglas!!! Wow!!! Talk about angst,anger & love!! Yup it was one of those days work read work read & sneak a lil more reading !! Good thing I work from home or I’d be fired!! Good thing my boss is my hubby or I’d be fired!! Shhh!! I was productive today!!
Bastard by J.L. Perry <— Trisha also recommends this one!
The Debt by Tyler King <— Jamie found us this one! “I recently read The Debt by Tyler King, it came out last week I think, and I thought that it definitely had that old school, new adult vibe going for it. Awesome characters, funny/witty banter, angst and heartbreaking backstories. I really enjoyed it!”
Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey <— Arwen loved these, too! “Two of my other faves are Scoring Wilder by RS Grey, and Baller by Vi Keeland.”
Anna: I just finished Scoring Wilder and totally loved it! Just a straight-up good college romance with a super sexy hot guy and a pretty kick-ass main character. Good stuff!
The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by VI Keeland <— Arwen also recommends this one and Stacy agrees: “I started this week reading The Baller and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s was amazing.” (and here’s my review)
Jean: Ok, I’m not screaming, but…..YOU ALL NEED TO READ TAPPING THE BILLIONAIRE!
DG: Jean is ABSOLUTELY right! Read Tapping A Billionaire! Like now. *putting my bossy hat*. Seriously….you can’t go wrong UNLESS you don’t like to laugh…you don’t like hottie all about the girl billionaires…you don’t like witty banter…and you definitely don’t like smexy scenes. Ask Linda or Grace…thinking they might agree with me….OH, and if you still haven’t met HIM….then you might need to one-click The Ending I Want while you are there…. you have to read Tapping the Billionaire! Definitely not like those other millionaire, billionaire books. Downright hilarious. In Tapping you get to meet not only Thatch but wait for it…..Bad_Ruck!!!!! *rolling on the floor hold belly giggling* the banter makes it so great!
Pia: Finished Big Rock a few days ago. A very sweet, fun, sexy and safe read – no angst here. But Lauren Blakely when she is best An awesome read
Anne: I loved Big Rock! So fun! I love when books are from the guys POV. They always crack me up lol
Game On Series by Kris Callahan <— Carrie insists!! “You have to include Kris Callihan’s Game On series!!”
Marion: The Hook Up is soooooo good like 5star good to me. If you liked The Deal you’ll LUV this one! On to Friend zone now!
Tessa: The Hook Up is seriously everything I love in my HEA books. Angst, no over whiny, happy twirling moments, sad moments that make you want to hug everyone. It’s just wonderful.
bev: I really liked her NA books The Hook Up & The Friend Zone.
Cheryl: Just finished The Friend Zone and I liked it more than The Hook Up. There was more angst and more of a slow burn with their friends to lovers relationship.
Lisa: Laugh out loud loving The Hook up. Cant wait to start Friend Zone next. Fresh fun and sexy.
Bowler University series <— JenM recommends these! “I love Megan Erickson’s Bowler University series starting with Make It Count. I read it just after I blew through Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series (The Year We Hid Away: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 2) is my personal favorite in that series) and I thought it had a very similar feel. Angsty, but not too much so, great characters, and realistic conflict.”
Forbidden Men Series <— Kennedy recommends this: “Linda Kage’s Forbidden Men series.”
Off the Subject series <— Trisha recommends TWO of this author’s series! “Denise Grover Swanks Off the Subject series. It’s college aged and perfect for this list …Definitely include them. Perfect amount of angst, romance and swoon worthy. I think “the wedding pact” series by Denise Grover swank would be good for this category. They r right out of college but it has the same angst and romance and I enjoyed these.
Blythe College Series <— Shelly recommends a bunch! “Oooooh, there are some on this list I haven’t read yet! Time to add some books to my TBR lol. I still have my #RushCrush from the Too Far books by Abbi Glines. I loved Sacked by Jen Frederick, too. And the Blythe College series by Rochelle Paige, especially Outside the Box.”
bev recommends these: I’m having a hard time thinking of any that have not been mentioned. Except for Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell. And Losing It by Cora Carmack. But if we can stumble off the NA line a bit then the Stage Dive books by Kylie Scott. They are older though. On the other side of the line Anna and the French Kiss and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins come to mind, but they are YA.
➜ “Elements of Chemistry” The book series
➜ “Bad Romeo”
➜ “Play with me (Grover Beach Team)“
➜ Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout and
➜ Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love Series Book 1) by Jessica Park.”