Where I confess to never reading NA
So I’m just going to lay it out there. I have not read a single book that is classified as NA. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have several friends who love the genre (hi, there, I hope we are still friends after this), but absolutely nothing about the NA tropes are appealing to me.
These are the typical aspects of NA that seem to be prevalent based on multiple reviews I’ve read:
- The bad boy who is covered in tattoos that is actually really sensitive deep-down, but who totally slept around with a ton of girls until he meets the protagonist who changes him. Because she is just that special.
- Abuse in some fashion: the ex-boyfriend was abusive, the father, etc.
- Rape. I’m just not ok with rape being used as something that propels a story forward. There are some books that take an honest look at rape and recovering–that’s not what I’m talking about here. I find it absolutely sickening when rape is used a story device. Entertainment Weekly had a wonderful article about how TV shows often use rape to propel the story line (the author was not a fan). The article can be found here.
- Slut shaming. For real, when, as women, are we going to say that enough is enough? I don’t care how many men (or women) a woman has slept with. It’s none of my business. A woman should never be defined by her sex life–or lack there of. When I even see the word slut or whore I just get angry. Stop using those words to describe other women!
- Gratuitous sex scenes. Listen, no judgement here. It just isn’t for me. I’m not against smut, but I don’t like it in my literature. To me, graphic sex scenes just take away from the story.
- Cheating/relationships that start through infidelity. It seems like at least one of the main characters is already involved with somebody when the two meet. Although this isn’t always a deal breaker for me (one of my favorite books is Something Borrowed which is totally about a woman who cheats with her best friend’s finance which is such a despicable thing…but I still loved the story).
What I do like about at least the idea of NA is the age group in which it is aimed. I love reading about college-aged people. For the most part, I loved my college experience. I hated being dirt poor, but it is such an awesome time. You are out of your parent’s house for the first time and meeting all these new and awesome people. Nothing is yet settled. Your whole life is wide open in front of you. So, yeah, I love to read about this time period and wish that there were more books that focused on the college experience.