Archive for May, 2010

Skin

Posted in book covers, stock photos, trends on May 23, 2010 by Jacket Whys

Many have commented on the “face cover.” Recently I’ve noticed some covers where one face is just not enough. Two faces – or more precisely, parts of two faces – are squeezed into the confines of a book jacket. It means that the two faces must be very close together. Most here seem to be moments of intimacy – Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson (Delacorte 2008), Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols (MTV Books 2009), Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala (HarperTeen 2010), Heartbreak River (2009) and Winter Longing (2010) by Tricia Mills (Razorbill).
In my circles of friends and family, we’ve had several discussions about the kinds of photos that teens like to post on their Facebook pages. They are often like the pictures I see here – particularly on My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (Henry Holt 2009). There is a physical closeness in photos that people of this generation are snapping, that people of my generation might have felt uncomfortable with.
So I wonder how these book covers fare with their target audience. I’m guessing they work well with the teen female audience.

Faces

Kiss Me Kill Me: Longing to be part of the in-crowd at her exclusive London school, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Scarlett, a trained gymnast, eagerly accepts an invitation to a party whose disastrous outcome changes her life forever. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Going Too Far: Forced to spend spring break in a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb riding along with an attractive rookie police officer on the night shift, rebellious seventeen-year-old Meg finds herself falling unexpectedly in love. Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Tell Me a Secret: Seventeen-year-old Rand’s unexpected pregnancy leads her on a path to unravel the mystery of her sister’s death and face her own more hopeful future. Ages 14+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4.
My Invented Life: During rehearsals for Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” sixteen-year-old Roz, jealous of her cheerleader sister’s acting skills and heartthrob boyfriend, invents a new identity, with unexpected results. Ages 14+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Heartbreak River: When her father dies while whitewater rafting, sixteen-year-old Alex feels responsible, but when tragedy strikes again she must face her deepest fears in order to reclaim her love of the Colorado river where she grew up–and of the boy she grew up with. Ages 14+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Winter Longing: Tundra, Alaska, high school senior Winter learns about love, loss, and starting over when her boyfriend, who has been her best friend since second grade, is killed in a plane crash the day after they declared their love for each other. Ages 14+. Reviews: 1, 2.

TMI & Emily

Posted in book covers, double dips, girls, stock photos on May 12, 2010 by Jacket Whys

These days by the time I see a double dip (or some call them lookalikes) it’s on someone’s else’s book cover blog. But here’s one I haven’t seen spotted. What amazes me about these is how similar the cropping can be. I mean… does this photo model have a really weird mouth or something?
And so often, the chosen background color is the same, too.
Brand-New Emily (by Ginger Rue, Tricycle 2010, c2009) is more tan than TMI (by Sarah Quigley, Dutton 2009). Hair and eye-color has been changed. I always wonder how hard it is to do that.  Which one of these pictures is closer to the real girl?

TMI: Fifteen-year-old Becca has the habit of revealing too much personal information about herself and her friends, but when her boyfriend breaks up with her and she vows to stop “oversharing,” she does not realize that her blog postings are not nearly as anonymous as she thought. Ages 11+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Brand-New Emily: Tired of being picked on by a trio of popular girls, fourteen-year-old poet Emily hires a major public relations firm to change her image and soon finds herself “re-branded” as Em, one of the most important teens not only in her middle school, but in celebrity magazines, as well.  Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4.

Great Collection

Posted in best book jackets, book covers on May 11, 2010 by Jacket Whys

Many bloggers have posted great collections of “best covers” – but this is the best set I’ve ever seen (the cover to the right is only one of the “86 Beautiful Book Covers“). They are adult book covers, not YA.
What I find delightful about this set is the variety in the design, color, and technique. I do not see this kind of variety in YA book covers. You may think it’s just because there are fewer of them, but I’m not so sure. I wonder if it’s because we (or the big bookstores, or the marketers, or whomever is ultimately responsible for what gets out there) peg YAs as a homogeneous group, easier to target because we think they’re pretty much all the same.
I’d like to call for more variety in the covers that are used to draw in the teen population. It’s time to treat them to the delightful variety seen in this group of 86.

An Exception

Posted in book covers, paperback changes, stock photos on May 3, 2010 by Jacket Whys

On the left, the hardback cover of Prism by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman (Harper 2009). On the right, the paperback cover to be released in June.  This is another one of those cover changes that make me wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the room this was discussed in… While the overall look from a distance is pretty much the same, let’s look at the changes. The authors’ names shrunk. The title font changed and moved. And there’s this girl’s face looking over the horizon like a rising moon.
What’s strange, is that I prefer the paperback better. I don’t understand why, because I rarely lean toward face covers. Especially partial faces.
Don’t get me wrong –  this won’t make my best of the year list – it’s still too busy for my taste. But I think more readers will be drawn to the paperback. The text change makes a big difference, both the change of font, and the shrinking authors. Maybe the names didn’t draw the teen audience like they might have drawn adult fans.

Prism: California high school students Kaida, Zeke, and Joy fall into a parallel universe in which all resembles their normal lives except that there is no medicine nor health care, which could mean big trouble for Joy, whose arm was injured in the accident that started their troubles. Ages 12+. Review 1, 2, 3.

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