Hide Me, Quick!

When I was three years old, my dad took me trick-or-treating for the first time. I loved candy. Even so (the story goes), when I got home I dumped all my candy on the rug and separated it into piles, like with like. I couldn’t eat it until it was all sorted out.
This may have been the first hint that I would ultimately end up being a librarian. I loved categorizing and sorting things. Couldn’t play with them (or eat them) until they were in their proper order.
I’m guessing this is the same compulsion that pushes me to categorize book covers. The brain is a mysterious organ.
So I present you with another set – another mini-trend. It is a sly way to do the partial face thing – make the face unrecognizable by hiding a part of it behind a book (or a notebook, or a letter). The books: Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley (Wizards of the Coast 2008), The Rule of Won by Stefan Petrucha (Walker 2008), Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? edited by Marissa Walsh (Clarion 2008), and You’ve Got Blackmail by Rachel Wright (Putnam 2009).

I rarely see a book review blogger comment much on the cover, but a 20-something reviewer of Rule of Won had this to say: “I’ve always made a concerted effort to not judge books based on their jacket art, but I’m ashamed to admit that the cover of The Rule of Won is so uninspiring that I just couldn’t help it.” This reviewer was turned off by the brown-ness of the cover but is “happy to report that the contents of the novel are more appealing than falling in a puddle of sloshy mud.” (My advice to the reviewer: No need to be ashamed. Everyone does it…).

For some reason, whenever I pick out a composition that is used on teen book covers, I often find it used on books that refer to teens as well  – parenting books usually, but in this case, a book about writing for them. The stock photo here is the same as the one used on Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?

Sucks to Be Me: When sixteen-year-old Mina is forced to take a class to help her decide whether or not to become a vampire like her parents, she also faces a choice between her life-long best friend and the boy she has a crush on versus new friends and possible boyfriends in her mandatory “vampire lessons.” Age 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Book Trailer. Interview with the author 1, 2.
Rule of Won: Caleb Dunne, the quintessential slacker, is pressured by his girlfriend to join a high school club based on The Rule of Won, which promises to fulfill members’ every “crave,” but when nonbelievers start being ostracized and even hurt, Caleb must act. Age 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Author interview.
Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?: Short stories by popular teen authors. Age 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3.
You’ve Got Blackmail: When she discovers that her loathsome English teacher is being threatened by an unknown blackmailer, Loz gets caught up in the mystery, with consequences both comical and truly dangerous. Age 12+. Reviews 1, 2.
Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks (Sourcebooks 2009): “Everything you need to know from crafting the idea to landing a publishing deal.” Reviews 1, 2.

One Response to “Hide Me, Quick!”

  1. thedotdotdot Says:

    My favorite half-obscured cover is from L.K. Madigan’s Flash Burnout. I just adore the kid’s eyebrows, and I think it adds character to what is usually a generic cover treatment.

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