From my finished (!) contemporary YA, Outside In, a Christmas moment:
“From my mom, pajama pants and sweatpants for her lazy, chubby failure of a daughter. And a Moleskine notebook, maybe so I’d take even more notes in class.
Courtney got piles of Ann Taylor sweaters, size two. I knew they’d fit her exactly, because everything always did. Sweatpants vs. clingy sweaters—kind of obvious what my mother thought of us. I slumped off to put my presents in my suitcase.”
Okay, okay, I admit it! I don’t always read YA and classics and Oprah book club-y books. Sometimes (okay, every time a new one comes out, which is, like, every week) I read (eek!) James Patterson. Do you still respect me?
I was thinking about this, and why it seems so embarrassing to admit I read him when I’m talking to other writer types. His prose isn’t great, and I want to take out my teacher’s pen and edit him (in a kind, teacherly way).
But here’s the thing. His books are compulsively readable. I started this one on Friday and finished it Saturday. 448 pages, but I couldn’t stop reading it.
I guess it’s like the literary equivalent of potato chips. You know they aren’t “real food,” but you can’t stop eating them once you start.
The premise of this one was that an evil madman (Cronus) and his three Furies target the Olympic Games in London. It’s a pretty cool premise, since the games are this summer in London, and security is always an issue. But the whole Cronus/ Furies angle – although connected to the Olympics through Greek mythology – was a little much to me, even though I was a Classics major in college. It was almost like he was trying too hard to make it all fit in.
ANYWAY, back to defending myself. His books are fast-paced, have lots of funky ways to die, and I love the short chapters (easy to put down but also easy to pick up if you only have a minute).
MY NAME IS LISA AND I READ JAMES PATTERSON BOOKS.
Here’s six sentences from a new novel I’m drafting. In a school play, Rachael is playing the part of Elizabeth, a timid bullied girl, and is trying on the character during the normal school day.
“She focused on Elizabeth and in a moment she was Elizabeth. Elizabeth, not Rachael, looked up words in the dictionary. Elizabeth glanced at the teacher every so often to make sure that he wasn’t looking at her, that she wasn’t going to get in trouble for anything. She also didn’t work as quickly as Rachael had. Elizabeth double- and triple-checked the definitions before she wrote them. Even Elizabeth’s handwriting was different; Rachael’s was loose and straight up and down, Elizabeth’s slanted and narrowed.”
Desiree (Desi the Blonde) has won a copy of both Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak! These YA books both blew me away and I’m hoping she’ll like them too. (Desi, I emailed you.)
Thanks to everyone for participating in the blog hop! It was lots of fun visiting so many other websites.