Starting with what I’ve seen too often lately: the James Patterson commercial for his new book and the Nook reader. Yes, he’s a writer, not an actor, but he’s so wooden that it’s painful to watch. Also, is anyone at all talking about the author insertion or acting as a character with respect to Patterson? In the commercial, he’s dressed in a trench coat, he kicks in a door, and later he appears to be abducted by masked men, which suits what his protagonists might do but has nothing to do with his reality as an author. It makes me cringe as much as romance author imitations of their heroines does.
What I’ve read is much more interesting for the most part 🙂
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta — This is slightly older, Australian set YA fiction. Aside from setting, it’s fairly average in a lot of ways (teenager dealing with first love, change of schools, family issues) but the writing was engaging and it was a very fast read.
The Evolution of Ethan Poe by Robin Reardon — YA GLBT fiction. I saw this on a Best of 2011 list and it appeared to have been nominated in multiple categories. IMO it deserved the nominations. The protagonist is a gay teenager, and that’s one of the story arcs, but the more central arc is a local school board election in which evolution and intelligent design proponents clash. Excellent, excellent book, will be on my personal list of Best of 2011.