Here are the results after 200 votes (before I spread it more widely).
So 5% of readers think A Game of Throne is YA.
And 87% of readers think Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is YA.
And the YA content of Prince of Thorns vs Red Sister is 10% vs 12%....
Cleared that up! Job done :)
(with hindsight I probably should have included a "none of these" option)
I made the poll because I was interested by some of the comments on Red Sister.
"This is super YA" & "I love Mark Lawrance but that book was bad." from one reader.
"Lawrence took every grimdark cliché, amped up the blood to 11" from another.
To my mind these are examples of YA and GRIMDARK being used as pejoratives.
A previous poll showed readers considered Red Sister my least grimdark book. And this poll here shows that within the limits of statistical error there is no significant increase in YA content between Prince of Thorns and Red Sister. What has changed is the style and content, and when a reader is unhappy with that they may reach for more easily expressed condemnation.
There are definitely readers who see a change of style as a form of betrayal. They expect their authors to do the same thing each time. I guess I can see that. If they want romance or a crime thriller they will go to authors who write those. If they pay for the new Lawrence book they want some more of what they liked about Jorg... It's not entirely unreasonable. It's not a game I'm going to play but the punishment come with the territory of innovating. I've blogged on that before.
I said recently in a reddit AMA:
"I was once asked for a short story for an anthology, and at the time I had a whole bunch of unpublished ones so I sent them all and said to pick one. The guys running the thing wrote back and said they liked them all but couldn't believe they were all written by the same person."
To expect an author to only write in one style is like expecting an actor only to change costume between roles. While many authors do stick with a style so that you can reliably say "this is a XXX book" I suspect that in the majority of cases that is a choice rather than because they lack the ability to do otherwise.