The Power of -Controversy

I was just talking with a friend about the Liar controversy – conversation during which I said I thought Bloomsbury would do something in response to the uproar. At the very least, I guessed they’d do a new paper jacket with a more fitting cover. And I came home to this (thanks to the author)!


So what do you think?

UPDATE:  8/7/09. For Tanita (see comments): I agree with you – and I’m actually about a third of the way through the book. I love the face on this cover. I wonder if it isn’t a little closer to what you would have hoped for Liar (except for this woman is absolutely beautiful).

Hot girl

Hot Girl by Dream Jordan (interview with the author)

8 Responses to “The Power of -Controversy”

  1. I like it, and I think it bears a strong resemblance to the cover of Sovay by Celia Rees (also published by Bloomsbury).

  2. Having not read the book — and all of my comments must be seasoned with this truth, I think:

    It’s gorgeous. What large, lovely eyes she has. What marvelous hair. What clear, beautiful skin. What sex appeal.

    How thoroughly unlike the character she looks.

    Having perused Larbalestier’s blog during this whole thing, I read that the character had “nappy” hair — curly. We got that, check. I also read that she was UGLY, and able to pass, at times, for a boy. Ummm, no. But, it’s a brown face, and that’s what the original dispute was about. People who protested probably feel mollified, Larbalestier is happier, and the world can go on.

    Of course, this isn’t touching on my personal bias: she’s very …close to the Eurocentric Ideal. She has lighter skin, and a fairly straight, narrow nose. She looks like a model.

    While I don’t have a personal hang-up with this, it’s kind of Same Song, Second Verse. It’s not that most YA covers actually resemble, in any way, the characters therein, but I have observed that there’s a bias toward lighter skin, more Eurocentric features, and sort of middle-of-the-road appearance. That’s a long-standing pet peeve of mine anyway. I think this was a nice offering, but it’s back to the standard, you know? Airbrushed perfection.

  3. – sorry, I should have said,

    “I have observed that there’s a bias toward lighter skin, more Eurocentric features, and sort of middle-of-the-road appearance in ethnic minority cover models.

  4. Tanita: in the book, she’s 3/4 white and 1/4 black. And she embodies the white belief that blacks are just whites with suntans; her experiences, her cultural references, her language, etc., is all white.

    I find it fascinating that the identified problem with this cover was so, er, skin deep. There’s a bigger issue here. The author wrote a white girl, then added ‘nappy hair’ and pretended she was black. Because that’s what blacks are, you see–whites with dark skin and nappy hair.

    • Frank: WHOA.
      WHOA. I continue to reserve judgment until I read the book, but boy howdy does your comment raise the brows!

      • Reserve judgement? What’re you, -responsible-?

        Yeah, that’s a good idea. You are wise.

        I’m not, though, and it kinda burns me up, this idea that it’s somehow a ‘black girl YA’, when the girl is written as white by a white, and just wears sufficient blackface to claim some sorta ethnic diversity badge.

        Taking a deep breath now, and emulating the wisdom …

  5. Hey – what a great cover for Dream Jordan (what a great name, too!). I’ll have to look this book up.

    And yes, the cover model is closer, perhaps, in terms of pigment shade. But “Hot Girl” was never said to be actually ugly, was she? It’s all part of what we can and cannot believe, as the “Liar” in question is definitely an unreliable narrator!

  6. I love the cover of Hot Girl, and its a great book.

    My interview with the author

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