With the surprising success of The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (HarperCollins) last year, there’s a spike in photographs of young women in 18th & 19th century costume – complete with big hair – on jackets of books for teens.
Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but historical fiction just wasn’t so, um, hip before this book. The Luxe is set in 1899 and has repeatedly been compared to The Gossip Girls.


Saving Juliet In Mozart\'s Shadow

Now other, perhaps meatier, historical fiction is being released with similar cover photography. The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (Dial May 2008), set at the start of the French Revolution has this blonde beehive haired woman, very ornately dressed in light blue, set against a strangely dissonant drab green background. The little font title in a slash across her neck is a nice touch.
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle (Holt 2008 ) is set in 1837, sounds like a read-alike for The Luxe? Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors (Walker & Co. 2008 ) is set in modern day, but with a time travel twist back to the 16th century. Good anachronous hint with the bubble gum! And In Mozart’s Shadow by Carolyn Meyer (Harcourt 2008 ) is the only one here where you see the whole face, albeit it’s in shadow. And there are more! Not pictured here is the sequel to The Luxe, of course, due out in June. (And, the adult novel Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors (Dutton 2008 ) which I first mentioned here as a YA – read about how this cover came about)

The Red Necklace: In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution.
Bewitching Season: In 1837, as seventeen-year-old twins, Persephone and Penelope, are starting their first London Season they find that their beloved governess, who has taught them everything they know about magic, has disappeared.
Saving Juliet: Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford’s stage fright and fight with her mother on the closing night of Romeo and Juliet are nothing compared to the troubles she faces when she and her leading man are transported to Shakespeare’s Verona, where she decides to give the real Juliet a happy ending.
In Mozart’s Shadow: In eighteenth-century Europe, Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, a musician whose talent and dedication is overshadowed by that of her gifted younger brother, Wolfgang, struggles to win the notice of her father and patrons who might further her career, despite her gender. Age 12+. Jacket art Cliff Nielsen; Jacket design by Vaughn Andrews.
The Luxe: In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.


7 Responses to “Inf-Luxe”

  1. Thank you for mentioning “Mistress of the Revolution,” though it is not a YA novel. The cover, though, does show a teenage girl.

    I posted an entry on how we arrived at the final book cover.

  2. Thanks for the correction! Don’t know how I had the info that it was a YA. I’ve corrected the post, adding your link.

  3. i love these colors and am happy that historical fiction might be *cool* again.

  4. oops…i meant covers :)

  5. A lot of these historical titles include some sort of supernatural or fantasy twist to them, something that–along with their ornately dressed photographic covers–can be traced beyond The Luxe to Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I think really started the trend. In fact, AGATB photographer Michael Frost is also responsible for the cover photo for The Red Necklace.

  6. I’m glad that the covers are getting more appealling. I am a big fan of historical fiction, and even was in my younger years, and have always wondered why more teens aren’t. Maybe these vibrant covers will make a difference.

  7. Ah, yes! I totally forgot about A Great and Terrible Beauty! I think you’re right, Melissa.

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