Red & Black & White = Crime/Murder

Take the same three colors, emphasize the red instead of the black, and instead of the horror genre, you get stories of crime and death (ok – a different kind of horror). The zeros and ones embossed (I think) on the jacket of Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (Harcourt 2007, c2005 and see the British cover) hint at the computer hacking of the book summary. The lightning bolt is effective, but I wonder why a lightning bolt? Guns and catsup make sense for a book that features a robbery in a hamburger joint. The title text of Holdup by Terry Fields (Roaring Brook 2007) grabs your attention, both with it’s size and orientation. I didn’t notice the burst of deeper red emmanating from the gun until I started writing this. I like how the author’s name is shot from the gun. Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder (Razorbill 2006) and Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt 2007) include murders. Remembering Raquel is probably a stretch for this category (accidental death by motor vehicle). And the paperback of Pretty Little Devils is pink – which completely alters the mood.

Evil Genius Holdup

Pretty Little Devils Remembering Raquel

In an article in Publishing Trends, “Cursive on the Cover Spells Romance,” it mentions purple as a trendy color for romance (in books for adults). I will be looking for purple covers – but I can’t think of any. I wonder why not red for romance? And is red an often used color for crime and murder for adults as well as for teens?

Evil Genius: Child prodigy Cadel Piggot, an antisocial computer hacker, discovers his true identity when he enrolls as a first-year student at an advanced crime academy. (Age 12+) Jacket design by Kelly Eismann.
Holdup: Diverse teens each react differently to a busy shift at a Phoenix, Arizona, Burger Haven on a hectic Saturday night that culminates in a show-down with two armed robbers. (Age 12+)
Pretty Little Devils: Life seems rosy for the Pretty Little Devils, the most popular girls’ clique in high school, until its members begin to experience threats and assaults. (Age 12+) Jacket art and design by Jason Ralls.
Remembering Raquel: Various people recall aspects of the life of Raquel Falcone, an unpopular, overweight freshman at Quail Run High School, including classmates, her parents, and the driver who struck and killed her as she was walking home from an animated film festival. (Age 12+)


One Response to “Red & Black & White = Crime/Murder”

  1. I have got to pay better attention to book covers! Some really great observations. I don’t think this is true with JF and YA books, but with Adult Fiction…has anyone noticed that author’s names are huge these days? Usually in a much bigger font than the actual title of the book.

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