Archive for September, 2008

Standout

Posted in best book jackets, book covers, color on September 25, 2008 by Jacket Whys

I have been thinking about which book jackets will make my top ten list this year. One of the big trends that has come along with the huge increase in the publishing output of young adult titles, has been book covers that look less distinguishable from those that are designed for books published for adults. This fits firmly in that category, and I’m still thinking about where I stand on that.
Still, Planet Pregnancy by Linda Oatman High (Front Street, October 2008) has a real standout cover design. Black and white jackets seem to work pretty well in general, and this one is simpler than most. Without the title, I’m not entirely sure it would be as obvious. But the title says everything. The simple line created with the white and black shapes is startling in how clearly it says “pregnant.” Yet it’s all so understated. For me, this is a real winner. I wonder if it will attract teens as well?
Is the change in how YA books are represented visually a conscious effort to make books that are cross-marketed? This one targets “Ages 14-17″ according to Front Street – but I’m guessing bookstores could shelve it in an adult section and browsers wouldn’t suspect it was published for the teen market.
(My apologies, if you are looking at this right on the blog. I haven’t figured out how to put a line around a black book to break it away from the blog’s black background.)

Planet Pregnancy: Sixteen-year-old Sahara struggles with an unplanned pregnancy, and all its conflicting emotions, in this novel told in free verse.

Fantasy Loves Circles – Part 2

Posted in book covers, symbols on September 11, 2008 by Jacket Whys

Another way a circle is used on fantasy titles is as a frame. On Chalice by Robin McKinley (Putnam’s 2008 ) and Riding the Storm by Salamanda Drake (Scholastic 2008 ), the circular frame doesn’t quite contain the subject within.  The woman and the dragon extend into the the space between the frame and the viewer.
On this cover for Runemarks by Joanne Harris (Knopf 2008 – this may not be the jacket used on the final cover) and
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas (HarperCollins 2008 ), the circular frame is more like a porthole, granting the viewer a peek into the story.  The Magic Thief reminds me of something you might see in a Harry Potter film. I almost expect the characters to start moving.

Chalice: A beekeeper by trade, Mirasol’s life changes completely when she is named the new Chalice, the most important advisor to the new Master, a former priest of fire.
Riding the Storm
: Breena’s determination to secure a position with the guard flight by qualifying for the Island Championship pits her against her best friend, Cara, and damages the Trustbond she has with her dragon, Moonflight. (Dragonsdale #2)
Runemarks: Maddy Smith, who bears the mysterious mark of a rune on her hand, learns that she is destined to join the gods of Norse mythology and play a role in the fate of the world.
Magic Thief: A young thief is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery Flinglas, who has returned from exile to attempt to reverse the troubling decline of magic in Wellmet City. (The Magic Thief #1)

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