One of my favorite things to do during the lulls at work- especially if I’m at the cash register and all the calls have been made- is to play through the upcoming releases in the computer. I’ll get lulled in by a title or author, and I’ll read the description, but sometimes- even if I have absolutely no intention of reading the book- I get sucked in by the cover. So much time and thought and effort and attention goes into designing these covers, and their purpose is to get people intrigued enough to want to pull them off the shelf and take a closer look. Say whatever you want about don’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest: the cover is the barker outside a faire show. If someone isn’t doing something to catch your attention, you’re not going to head that way unless that was your purposed destination.
So today I’ve gathered some of the interesting covers I’ve seen lately. Some of these will be out in the next three months or so, a couple won’t be out until next spring.
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter, due out March 2012.
I don’t think it’s been any secret that I adore the Gallagher Girls series. I rec them all the time at work, especially to girls whose parents are concerned about the level of violence/language/angst/smut of some of the other selections on the teen wall. I’m not saying the teen wall in inundated but I don’t think anyone would deny that there are certainly books that fit that bill. Especially for the younger teens and tweens who are just bridging onto the teen wall, the parents like to know there’s an employee who can steer them towards the books they (the parents) are most comfortable with. The GG books aren’t completely fluff, but they definitely start out light-hearted and ease the characters and readers into the heavier issues that come along with the pulse-pounding action of the later books. And I love the covers. We get basic descrptions of Cammie, so what we see of the girl of the covers fits that well enough, but I love that we don’t see her entire face. It’s not just that it lets us keep the image in our mind but that it also fits with her nature as the Chameleon. The titles are fantastically punny but also applicable (and an absolute bear to come up with, if you follow her Twitter feed), and the ransom note letters keep some of the light-heartededness out in the open. They’re unique, they fit well as a series, and it makes them easy to find and recognize on a shelf.
A Million Suns by Beth Revis, due out January 2012.
True science-fiction is fairly rare in teens, and this cover puts it out there immediately: THIS IS SPACE. The colors are soft, true, but it’s the blurred edges of a nebula cluster or Oort cloud, the shifting pinks and purples and lighter blues of birthing suns through gaseous fogs. We have two people standing close together but with a slight gap between them, and a strategically placed reflection that makes it difficult to determine for certain whether or not they’re holding hands. They’re standing in a bubble, looking out at the vast endlessness of space- but a bubble, no matter the material, will always appear as an inherently fragile object, so despite the wonder and the beauty of looking directly out into the uncharted expanses, there’s also a clear warning of danger. This cover takes everything intriguing and promising about the book and puts it out there to lure you in deeper. It also fits really, really well with its previous title. I know there are some people who couldn’t care less, but it really bothers me when the books of a series don’t look like they belong together in a series. It’s not just a personal thing, either- when the covers look like they’re all along the same theme, or at least the same style, customers can recognize them as belonging together. This does a fantastic job of being easily identifiable with its predecessor.
Fever, by Lauren DeStefano, due out Marchish 2012.
Wither has an amazing cover, one that- if you examine it very closely- actually tells a lot of the story. Its sequel does much the same. The cover is lighter- not just in content but in color- and the girl isn’t slumped down in her own misery surrounded by the cages, but rather looking upward, loose in the body and relaxed in stance. The things that surround her still tell an alluring story, but their symbolism is different. The carousel horse, the card, they bring you in to something entirely different than the previous book, but still along a cohesive story. The sharp lines and circle that cross and intersect are eye-catching but they’re also intriguing- there are sharp lines in Rhine’s world, but lines can be crossed. The cover makes you promises without giving you the immediate explanation.
So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev, out September 2011.
I love the covers for this series. They’re gorgeous and fun and this one reminds you right where the previous one left off: Bertie is somehow married to two guys, which is a problem that Must Be Fixed. You have the fairies in there (the fairies are my favorite characters, no lie), you have the hint of stage curtains, and frankly, I just think it’s gorgeous. It’s something that wouldn’t be out of place on a canvas on someone’s wall and that appeals to me. There’s not as much analysis in this one, I just love this cover.
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel, out September 2011.
I’ll be honest, I know nothing about this book, because every time I almost get a chance to read the description, someone comes up and needs something, so now it’s gotten to the point where it’s a game for me to come up with theories. I’ve pretty much decided to wait until the book comes in so I can read the jacket and see how many of my theories, if any, are correct. It’s the little things. But this cover caught my attention immediately and continues to hold it. In some ways, it’s a very simple cover. The fanciest thing about it is the font, which stands out not just for its ornate and intertwined aspects, but for the fact that it’s the only true color on the cover. It’s a dusky robin’s egg blue, which stands out sharply against the greys, black, brown, and white of the rest of the cover. The title sends chills down your spine- there are a number of things that can come after obsession, but none of them seem particularly comforting- and the girl floating perfectly horizontal? Clearly something paranormal going on, but the possibilities are endless. I love the way the black shreds and spatters at the edges of the dress, like it’s shadows and ink rather than fabric. It’s a tiny detail, but it’s intriguing. I have no idea what this story is about, but when I see the image on the shelf, I’m definitely pulling it down to take a closer look.
Last for this week, but certainly not least, Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, out October 2011.
Lauren Oliver’s Middle Grade debut first presents like an old, beloved, and slightly dangerous book, with elaborate scrollwork along the edges and the appearance of a clasp/lock in the middle of the right edge, like the several-centuries old illuminated leatherbounds. In the center, surrounded bya tangle vine of ominous or curious figures, a little girl stands with a strange little creature, almost like a dog, on her shoulder, both of them with a corona of ethereal light as they stare down at a glowing book in the girl’s hands. Right off the bat I’m thinking ghost story and fairy tale rolled into one, along with a thread of danger, but one of the figures in the tangle vine has a kind smile, so I’m relieved that there’ll be some goodness in people, and the boy looks cautious, which makes me worry for him, but the other three adult figures, the ones that surmount the knots, are all threatening in their own way, which tells me there’ll be intrigue and adventure and danger. I haven’t even opened it yet but I’m already hooked.
Want to be hooked on Liesl and Po? I’ve got an extra ARC, and I’m going to give it away to one of you lovely people! For my birthday, one of you gets a present, so you have through Saturday August 27th to leave a comment below. Tell me about a cover that’s really captivated you recently, preferably one that hasn’t come out yet, and what it told you about the book. It doesn’t matter if your theories are proved true or not, just tell me what the cover made you think about the book. Then, on Sunday the 28th, random.org will assist me in choosing a winner and I’ll make a special trip to the post office on my birthday (see how much I love you?) to mail it out! So, leave a comment and spread the word!
Until next time~