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'New Adult' Genre Features Sexy Novels for Older Teens

A growing genre of books being called "new adult" has bookstores wondering whether the steamy stories belong on "adult" or "young adult" shelves. reports:

The book industry is in a post-"Fifty Shades of Grey" state of mind, and some publishers and authors say they won't be shy about including steamier bits for older teens in a budding genre labeled "new adult" fiction.

The category contains stories for the reader who might be too old for "Twilight" but not quite ready for "Fifty Shades." A typical "new adult" heroine is an 18 to 24-year-old coming to terms with the trials and tribulations of young adult life away from the security of home. Several of these stories have already found success as e-books or on sites like, which has over 20,000 titles on its new adult "shelf."

"It's about that time in your life when you're trying to assert your maturity and forcing yourself to grow up against the odds," Cora Carmack, author of the new adult novel "Losing It," told

And then there's the sex.

"Young adult has a certain perspective to it. If there is sex, it's behind closed doors," Pamela Spengler-Jaffee, a spokesperson for HarperCollins, told "New adult is going to help teachers classify books that have that same heightened level of emotion, but with an open door policy."

Image: Teenager reading, via Shutterstock