For those of you who don't know, New Adult is an (slowly) emerging genre. It's older than YA but younger than Adult. Say, college age, about 18-24 (varies of course). Themes differ from both YA and Adult novels. The subject matter probably isn't as serious or explicit as Adult, but neither is the character experiencing a bunch of firsts as in YA. But the character probably is experiencing a new avenue in life.
Now, I haven't read many New Adult books yet (though really, there aren't many out there), but Diana Peterfruend's Secret Society Girl series does stick in my head. Also, Sarah Dessen's Along For the Ride can be considered New Adult, but it's on the cusp of YA and NA (the main character has just graduated high school).
So the question a reader posed to me was, if you're pitching a New Adult novel and you can't find any agents who say they represent New Adult, who do you pitch?
Excellent question. And really, my answer goes for any genre that may be difficult to pitch. Firstly, go to your sub-genre; I mean, if it's contemporary, then hit the contemporary agents. YA agents are going to be your best bet, but don't rule out agents who look for contemporary adult novels (especially on the light side--again, look for sorta-comps for your book). Secondly, query the YA agents, unless they say they are not looking for New Adult.
Here's the thing: as agents, we do not like to rule out certain things because we never know when we might fall in love with something. I might say that I'm not looking for New Adult, it doesn't sell, it doesn't appeal to me, don't send it. Then I might pick up a manuscript that is New Adult and fall in love if it has: good writing, captivating voice, relatable character, unique plot. Because, regardless of genre (for the most part) good writing sells.
That said, yes I'll take a look at New Adult.
Also, anybody have any recommendations for great New Adult books to read?