New poll - YA Fantasy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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?
- Yes
- No


Prateek said...

Yep i do read YA fanatsy books.
I've finished His Dark Materials trilogy and liked the series until i got to the ending. Also i've read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series and C.S. Lewis is an amazing writer.

Yiota said...

Yep i do...i think...i have problem with the term as well. Brent Weeks is YA? :O
And i thought Narnia and HP are middle confusing...
anyway..i read almost every fantasy genre out there ^^

Steely J said...

Not really. HP and Narnia aside, the only YA I have on my shelves is the occasional YA novel that an author of non-YA fiction might put out. Example: I'm a huge China Mieville fan, so I do have a copy of his YA Un Lun Dun.

I do, however, have a guilty pleasure in pulp tales. Robert E. Howard and other sword and sorcery tales.....that sort of thing. It is sort of YA with it's simplicity, and since I think the main audience back in the day was younger boys.

hippogriff said...

I read it and review it. I'm not impressed with the Dark Material or Harry Potter books, but I certainly enjoy Narnia, and also the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander.

I have reviewed both the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and the Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. The books can be hit or miss for me, but they are a nice break after I've read 1000 pages of epic fantasy.

Joshua Lowe said...

I really don't distinguish much between YA and Adult ... the Obernewtyn series, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials are all amoung my favourite books and I find them no less sophisticated than other series. In fact some of the material strikes me as very adult-like in content.

Chris G. said...

I'm a fantasy fan in general, though I will confess it's been some time since I've swung into the YA side of the genre. Like you, I'm not really sure quite when that transpired...though for me, it honestly may have been around the time I finished the second Inheritance novel. That series may get a lot of hype from a lot of corners of the market, but on my end, at least, I can honestly say I've never been a fan. Gave it a try through the second one...but I just couldn't go on.

I do recall enjoying the first of His Dark Materials, though, and Narnia certainly brings me back...

NoOne said...

Nope, I'm 34, way too adult for the YA scene! But I did of course read Narnia the first time around, as a kid :)

Hannah @ Dragons and Whimsy said...

Of course. There's no such thing as being too old for a certain bracket of fiction, and I've always thought that people who avoid it purely because of who it is marketed towards are missing out on some fantastic fiction. *shrug* Their loss.
Personally, I love fantasy. So long as it's well written with unique ideas, I'll read it. :)

Doug M. said...

I think the term YA is mostly imaginary—invented by the industry, really.

But for the most part... no. I don't usually read works that are clearly intended for an audience that's much younger than I am.

Just like I don't go to high-school parties, fight over girlfriends, spend inordinate amounts of money on jeans, or succumb to long bouts of angst, either. I'm an Old Adult, and it wouldn't be appropriate. ;)

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