Read This, Then That: New Adult Fiction for the Literary Set

June 3, 2015

New adulthood is a very turbulent time for many young men and women. You’re dealing with friendships and relationships; post-secondary education and/or possible careers; as well as seeing your parents in a new light. These years are fraught with emotions but not quite the same ones you were dealing with as a teenager.

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Read this: Carafola by Christine Miscione (Mansfield Press)

Then that: The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You by Sean Trinder (NeWest Press)

New adulthood is a very turbulent time for many young men and women. You’re dealing with friendships and relationships; post-secondary education and/or possible careers; as well as seeing your parents in a new light. These years are fraught with emotions but not quite the same ones you were dealing with as a teenager.

While quite different in tone, both Carafola and The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You have main characters that are situated in this time of their lives and they are struggling to find a direction in which to move forward, or anywhere really.

In Carafola, we follow along the hyper-aware consciousness of our nameless narrator as she is dumped by Boyfriend, contemplates why her friend John doesn’t love her, and moves back home to her childhood bedroom. In a story told with multiple outcomes, the narrator know she needs to decide what to do next but most of the time showering feels like a burden, a responsibility she didn’t ask for. In raw, frank prose, she confronts death and rejection and finds a way to come to terms with these feelings through writing.

Much lighter in tone, we follow Brendan in The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You, who, you guessed it, pumps gas in a small prairie town. A job typical for high school students but not so much when you’re in your early twenties. Feeling stalled in life, surrounded by friends he’s outgrown and a father pushing him to become a laborer, Brendan signs up for a writing class. This small change shows Brendan that he may be good at something besides pumping gas and maybe, just maybe, there is a way to move forward.

New adult fiction for the literary set, both Carafola and The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You talk sex, exes, and that dreaded question of what next.

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