Do Boys read YA?


I’m posing this question because as a guy who has his debut YA urban fantasy hitting bookstores in October, I have to admit that when I wrote POLTERGEEKS, I wasn’t thinking about who would be reading it.

You see, I’m not entirely convinced that boys read YA. While we can’t paint everyone with the same brush, I think that if boys are reading at all, it’s probably something else entirely or possibly something surprising. So the purpose of this posting isn’t for me to pronounce that “more boys need to read YA”. I suspect that some are. I suspect some publishers out there would kill for a commercial phenomenon that is attractive to teenage boys in the way that The Hunger Games or Twilight are a phenomenon fueled by massive numbers of teenage girls.

So, what do you think? Are boys reading YA? Aren’t they? If they aren’t, what are they reading or are they even reading at all.

And a final question: what do you think boys want to read. (I have a theory about what they’d like to read and it might raise a few eyebrows. That’s for a blog posting at a later date. First, I want to hear from you.)


7 comments on “Do Boys read YA?Add yours →

  1. Does Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys count? I read a load of those as a teenager. Like a TON. Some of my favourite books ever. Was never really exposed to YA fiction as it is defined today in the mainstream. So I’m not sure.

  2. I’m forty-four. YA didn’t exist when I was a teenager. I read Stephen King, John Saul, Peter Straub, true crime, and of course, skin mags.(I hope that’s not offensive to anyone.)

    1. Hehe, that’s one way of looking at it. I read the aforementioned stuff, some stuff from Black Library, a lot of Star Wars, Star Trek. Read Goosebumps too but didn’t like it. Tolkien, Dune, Animorphs (this was FANTASTIC) and a lot of other things. I didn’t even know there was an actual term, Young Adult fiction, as a genre, until only a year ago! And I’m 25!!

  3. I read YA myself, though not as frequently as my female friends do.

    As for what I like to read, well the stuff that I’ve really liked has included The Laws of Magic by Michael Pryor, Harry Potter by Jk Rowling, The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix and Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy all of which is fantasy (and one case of Steam Punk).

    They’re also much more on the ‘action-y’ side of the board with a higher percentage of fight/action sequences and bantering characters rather than a lot of what I see my friends reading.

    As for what I think boys like to read, it’s not something I’ve ever consciously thought about and I tend to find that a good book will shine through regardless of who it’s aimed at.

  4. One of my nephews is reading To Kill a Mockingbird (for school) but reads political and other nonfic for fun and interest. The other is reading Flyboys for fun. They are both 15. A 13 year old ESL student went to a bookstore after enjoying HATCHET (I’ve never met a boy who didn’t) and was recommended THE LORD OF THE FLIES! He gamely read it (a rather strange kid) but, really Chapters clerk?

  5. I have two girls (16 and 11) the older loves the horror, the younger loves Hunger Games type things. Neither liked Twilight My husband read all the Tarzan books when he was young.

    Maybe because boys/men are more visually stimulated (hence all the skin mags ) so books without pictures aren’t appealing. They like comics, video games, and TV or playing sports.

    With adult books, there is a big difference in Urban Fantasy written by men vs women. One is more emotional driven and the other action. I love both, and if you can balance them in one book…BOO-YAH!

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