I wanted to say Catching Fire Catches Fire. But Publisher’s Weekly already said that…
At BEA Friday, the ARCs were hard to come by, but I was lucky. I’m taking a break at the moment, a third of the way through this book which has, so far proved worth the buzz… YES, you gotta read this! (Yesterday!)
My purpose here, however, is to talk about the covers, not what’s between the them.
I loved the cover of Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games (Scholastic 2008). It isn’t drastically different from the crowd, but it embraces a few of the conventions I’ve noted. Most particularly what I pointed out a couple of months ago in my post about what Liza Gilbert’s teens liked. “A real focal object, and a mysterious atmospheric quality. Mostly good type treatment… Good hooks.”
The Hunger Games: Focal object? CHECK. Mysterious atmospheric quality? You could say that. CHECK. Type treatment? Yeah – looks very futuristic. Probably a good hook. CHECK.
The way I interpret book #1’s jacket, which is to say, I think it fits the story (another CHECK), is this: There’s darkness in the land. Each circle marks one of the 12 districts (here linked, but with walls? blocking the links?). And there’s hope. A golden mockingjay pin marks the spot.
And here’s Catching Fire (Scholastic, 9/2009). Some brightness radiating out, with more light coming from District 12. No walls. The arrow has disappeared. Does that mean something?
And… what’s that? The mockingjay has come alive! Here’s another assessment of the symbols.
I love this cover, and I hope Scholastic sticks with this for the paperbacks (I beg you, Scholastic, do not put people on the paperback issues). I strongly dislike the UK (Australian?) Hunger Games cover. I’m not at all convinced that making the book look like 90% of the other books out there will hook readers. Here’s hoping that they stick with BUZZ and a great matching cover for the third book.
If you’re not as convinced as I am that this was a good choice, what do you think of the UK cover of Catching Fire? And do they really need Stephenie Meyer‘s name to boost sales? (Caveat: Amazon UK shows the U.S. cover so I’m not sure this is what they’re really releasing?).
Don’t miss this article at Publisher’s Weekly that flashes Hunger Games book jackets from around the globe.
Hunger Games: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place. (CIP) Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Trailer. Videos of Collins talking about the Hunger Games.
Catching Fire: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. (CIP) Ages 12+. Reviews: 1, 2.