The Cover Wars: New and Upcoming I

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Janet: She’s anorexic. I’m not impressed. Unless that’s what the story’s about. In which case it is acceptable.

Yash: This looks interesting. Despite the real person being pictured on the cover, I actually am intrigued. If I were in the mood for depressing real life stuff (rather than depressing fantasy stuff, you know), I would probably pick this one and read it. I bet it has to do with gossip and popularity and how to survive high school. I guess the cover has served its purpose? That’s good, right?

Nafiza: You’re right on the money, Yash. It deals with probably rape, I think. The synopsis isn’t that clear but I agree with Janet. The model is either too thin or photoshop has helped her achieved that state of thinness that seems unnatural and distracting.

Steph: The thinness, but also the odd proportions of her body – her neck looks off too. Aside from the terrible photoshop which will have girls wanting to look like something that isn’t even possible – it looks like it’s going to be a depressing realistic fiction. Not always my gig, but if it’s really good, I’ll hear about it and have to read it. In the store, I wouldn’t read the back – while that’s not necessarily the cover’s fault, it also doesn’t grab me enough to change my attitude.

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Janet: This has potential. Unless the whole story is about romance. In which case I’m out. The play of leaves on stone in the central object is pretty neat.

Yash: I am trying to tell if this fantasy or science fiction? Looks like a portal. I do like that. But the title is a bit too dramatic. (Not that that has ever stopped me before, *cough-cough* Why We Broke Up *cough-cough*.)  But it doesn’t tell me enough. I guess I would read the back.

Nafiza: It’s fantasy so I’m going to check this out. I don’t know if I like the title. It is a bit too dramatic but I can be forgiving of that. Besides, no people on the cover is always a plus for me.

Steph: It looks like that Eona cover we did a little while back – really dramatic fantasy. However! It could be dystopian – one of those post environmental apocalypse things where the weather changes and it snows and volcanoes erupt and then – it’s hard to live. But if that’s the case, the title is really literal and I only know the setting and nothing else about the story. I might read the back, but the cover makes me giggle at it’s intensity and the title’s oddness, so I might not take it seriously. (Sorry to the author who may not have gotten to choose any of that!)

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Janet: Not more silhouettes. This has been done!

Yash: Love silhouettes! I wonder if shining a light on those letters actually would cast that shadow. I mean, there are some incredible art instalments that have a jumble of wire and metal that actually cast the most beautiful shadows, so I am wondering if this was an actual photograph? Very cool, in any case. I like the title. And am curious about the two very different faces of (presumably) the same shadow. UPDATE: I just read the summary and it reminds me of The Lost Girl which I dearly enjoyed and actually has a non-white protagonist. This one has to be very, very good in order for me to pick it up. Although. In a way, I have already picked it up since I kinda read the back!

Nafiza: This cover freaks me out enough that I would be scared to pick it up. It’s just so eerie. Ahhh. Yeah.

Steph: I can’t tell if this is going to be heavy realistic fiction about mental health – or a dystopia which centres on cloning. I like the shadow play, and the title has me curious enough. I think I’d read the back.

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Janet:Why? Why must Dorothy die? The removal of Dorothy’s body-self and the sole remnant of her (her clothes)… ominous. It has the weird effect of making what was originally a child into more of a sex symbol. Perhaps what must die is the idea of Dorothy? I’m still not clear on why. Also, why are the ruby slippers blanched and de-glittered?

Yash: I have to admit that I am not huge Oz fan. Well, I like this Oz. But not so much the classic. The cover is compelling and … is it written by the Witch? I am curious enough to read the back. However, I feel like the story and the references may be lost on me. I am also intrigued by why they don’t have her body on there- the reason could be incredibly sexist or incredibly liberating. If Nafiza and/or Steph give it a good review, I would maybe give it a go? Overall, I like the cover.

Nafiza: I’m probably going to read this. Probably am. Really. The cover intrigues me but the title does even more and now I must find out why Dorothy must die. I did not like her anyway. I’m an Elphaba fan!

Steph: Ditto, Nafiza. I think the thing that actually hooks me is that the shoes are silver, just as they are in the book and not the Hollywood version. This person is going to have some fun intertextual play, and from the point of view of the witch to boot. I do enjoy the reversal of roles – I, however, was not a fan of Wicked (the book by Gregory Maguire), so this one has to do things differently, which I assume it will – I will read the back – but I think I will also just read it to see what the what is.

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Janet: There are so many bad private-school books out there that anything with the words “society” or “academy” has to look really good for me to consider it. The kids trying to look cool and the colour scheme are not promising. I wonder, though, how poets can be vigilantes, since poets (especially adolescent ones) are usually not highly regarded or powerful. So for that I might read the back. Maybe.

Yash: Haha! I love the title! And setting aside my annoyance for real people, I think the cover is quite funny because I mean, these guys just look like they are trying too hard to be Bad Boys. I don’t know if that was the intention or not, but it is enough for me to pick it up and read a page or two.

Nafiza: Okay, the cover isn’t the best but look at the summery. Look!

Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, For Art’s Sake, that is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts Academy, where each student is more talented than the next. While studying Ezra Pound in English class, the friends are inspired to write a vigilante long poem and distribute it to the student body, detailing the evils of For Art’s Sake. But then Luke—the creative force behind the poem and leader of the anti-show movement—becomes a contestant on the nefarious show. It’s up to Ethan, his two remaining best friends, and a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise to save their school. Along the way, they’ll discover a web of secrets and corruption involving the principal, vice principal, and even their favorite teacher.

Yep, definitely going to read this.

Steph: Well, it’s yellow. Private School Hijynx – realistic fiction, with a dash of world stretching (that gerbil, I just don’t know). I might read it – but it looks prime for movie making. Maybe I’ll wait for the movie. ^_^

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Janet: I like the bird made up of other birds (like small fish swimming so that they look like one large fish!), but the way the title is broken up is jarring and unattractive.

Yash: The title, the bird/s, and the tag line do not work together because they don’t tell me about one single idea, and instead suggest a bunch of things. Also, the colouring is bleak. It’s a dystopia/apocalypse story, isn’t it? Isn’t it?!

Nafiza: It’s dystopian. Possibly. The colour scheme, the chunky typography and the placement of the bird does not work. Yep. Nope.

Steph: WHY? Why do they keep equating female heroines with birds!! It’s annoying as crap. Obviously you can trust a flighty heroine who needs to be “chosen” or constantly told that she is brave. Birds. Do they symbolize resistance and purity all at once or something? Perhaps she’s just immune from the disease and that’s how she is chosen! Whatever. All these birds are annoying. I refuse to read it, (right now anyway).

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Janet: Interesting juxtaposition of all these tv screens, filming equipment, and (what is possibly real – or perhaps carefully constructed to look so) the couple. I’d read the back just to find out how truly this tantalizing play with reality and perception represents the book.

Yash: As a cover it works, I think. I like the old style televisions. Not a fan of the couple because I am like Godzilla and romance is like Tokyo. So. Yeah. I wonder if it is all about finding yourself via finding a non-fictional kind of romantic, heterosexual love? Not a bad thing, if you are into that I suppose. I’ll just … re-watch Pacific Rim instead, okay? Okay.

Nafiza: I like this a lot but the real life couple at the end spoils it all and I want to weep because otherwise it would have been inducted in my hall of really good covers. Okay not really but I wish it wasn’t there.

Steph: I agree – the couple there makes me think of The Truman Show – which I enjoyed. You know, life is fabricated, even love and the protagonist must navigate his/her way through perceived reality. I worry that the whole thing is going to be drowned in the love story, of if it’ll do the Truman thing, where, yes there is love and romance (that is part of real life), but the rest of his world is crumbling too. I’ll read the back, and I’ll hold my breath…