Girls in Jeans

Or…. I think they’re girls :) They have no heads, no legs. How It’s Done by Christine Kole MacLean (Flux 2006), The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hants (Flux 2007), Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Delacorte 2007), and Snitch by Allison Van Diepen (Simon Pulse 2007) all show the torso of a jean-clad figure. The top two, both showing one hand behind the back seem to explore almost opposite subjects. Both are from the same publisher (same designer?). Usually when I find similar covers, they come from different publishers – so this is unusual. In both of the bottom books, the title appears as a tattoo. Reminds me of the fist books – title written or tattooed on skin. Magical tattoos and gangs are the subjects here.

How its Done Second V

Tattoo Snitch

These books join the trend of cut off body parts on book covers for teens that I’ve noticed and heard referenced by one art director. I wonder if this attracts teen girls?

How It’s Done: Eighteen-year-old Grace, raised in a fundamentalist home, makes a bid for personal freedom by becoming involved in an affair with a much older college professor, and soon learns she has traded in one kind of prison for another. (Ages 14+)
The Second Virginity of Suzy Green: After moving to Adelaide, Australia, seventeen-year-old Suzy finds that completely transforming her life — including joining a Virginity Club and running for class office — has its challenges, especially when a boy from her past recognizes her and asks her out. (Ages 14+)
Tattoo: When four fifteen-year-old friends share the temporary tattoos they bought from a mysterious woman at the mall, each develops psychic powers that will help them fight the ancient being who plans to wreak havoc at their school dance. (Ages 12+)
Snitch: This book explores the world of street gangs in Brooklyn, New York. (Ages 14+)


3 Responses to “Girls in Jeans”

  1. Hello-

    I acquired and edited both of the Flux books you mention in this post.

    I’d be happy to discuss the decision-making and design processes, if you’d like. Different in-house designers did both covers. We did sweat the similarities, but in the end decided that the audiences were different enough that it wouldn’t be an issue in the marketplace.

    This is definitely a design trend, and it does make a lot of sense (which would probably explain why it’s somewhat overdone). It allows you to give a sense of the character and the tone of the book without using a face, which, I think, can encroach on the readers’ imagining of the character. The drawbacks are many, though. For instance, there are certainly too many really skinny girls on these covers (one very perceptive teen reader took us to task on the fact that the girl on the cover of How It’s Done is much skinnier than the girl described in the book).

    Thanks for an interesting blog,

  2. Hiya,
    I *JUST* got a look at Lisa Graff’s The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower and it’s got a younger girl with her back turned and the ubiquitous crossed fingers! I thought of you immediately and smiled. At least it’s about a girl running a con game and directly to do with faking. On the cover of How It’s Done it never quite seemed to match as well.

  3. Hey Tad ~ Thanks for bringing this to my attention. One of my aims for this blog is to pull out ideas or trends, identify them and then follow them along. People start contributing their input and voila! eventually you get a body of knowledge? If that makes any sense. Life and Crimes looks like an interesting book and seems to be getting good blog buzz.

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