My last poll was about the embarrassment felt by some readers when reading fantasy in public. The results are in and hopefully, 90% of the readers actually embrace the genre publicly. However, the specific reader that brought up the idea of this interrogation to me wrote a comment that ought to have made me reconsider the question from another perspective :
It's not so much as I don't want people to see me reading fantasy, I couldn't care less about that, it's when the cover is so Ugly, even I don't want to see it. People come at you and say, hey whatcha reading? I kinda have to show them the cover. I tell them the book is way better than it looks but it's always harder to keep them interested.
So... alright Dom, the cover itself, not actually the genre is probably the cause, I will stop teasing you with that! :)
Now, on to the next question.
It's been a while since I read a YA Fantasy novel. I think it was Harry Potter and I picked it up mostly because of the stellar hype. I'm not sure why, but it seems that I'm avoiding this kind of novel without coherent reasons. I think that in the future I will try not to turn my eyes from books identified as YA novels. Someday, I hope to take the time to look at Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, C.S. Lewis' Narnia series or Christopher Paolini's Inheritance. Should bring back some good memories of my early readings.
I have to be careful when speaking about YA novels since the term is slightly misused, maybe even by me. From my perspective, Spellwright by Blake Charlton or The Ways of Shadows by Brent Weeks are not YA Fantasy books. Even the Thief-Taker's Apprentice by Stephen Deas which is advertised as YA is more often than not reviewed as a non-YA novel. It looks like if you main character is a young adult and that your story is not too "harsh", your book will be categorized as such.
But then, that's not really a problem. I'm a hundred percent positive on the fact that I probably have missed very good titles more directed toward young adults (or the whole family) than simply adults. An epithet for a book should not be a justification whether or not to pick it up. I would like to have your input on this and if it's possible, take the Harry Potter phenomenon out of the equation.
Do you read YA Fantasy?