The Cover Wars

Top Ten Tuesday

Once again, we’ll compare the same book with different covers gracing it and we’ll see if our interest rises or falls due to the covers.

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Nafiza: I like this one. I don’t love it but I can appreciate the subtleties in it. The cityscape, the eye (pointing at the occult), the texture of the background harkens at the past. The elements come together to create a pleasing cover that is faithful to the story contained within the pages.

Janet: I’m not crazy about this cover, but there are a number of things I like. The eye looks like an actual eye, foe one thing. The subtle suggestion of secrets, a la the golden keyhole. The orderliness of the keyhole, eye, and colour scheme, juxtaposed with the suggestion of mystery and business in the cityscape. This cover would definitely draw my attention and consideration.

Yash: I LOVE THIS COVER! IT IS MY FAVE! I also have to add that the entire formatting of this hardbound book just works— the spine, the endpages, the chapter headings, everything! I love the bright lights of the city, I love the magic-y purple, and I love the fonts. I will say though that there is very little evidence that this takes place during the Jazz Age. However, that’s not really a bad thing– the occult and the menacing feel of the story comes through with the eye and the patterns around it. (Oh but “eye” reminds me of the most famous solitary eye in American Lit– the eye on the billboard in The Great Gatsby, which takes place in the ’20s. So. Yeah. This cover is perf. *snuggles book*)

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Nafiza: This one contains the same elements with the addition of a silhouette but somehow, it has an entirely modern feeling. Maybe it’s the highrisers in the background. I like the eye marginally better in this one though.

Janet: Way too flashy and suggestive of nightclub “glamour” to appeal to me. The eye in this cover is not nearly so real-looking, because of the ring of blue rays. I don’t like the lights or the silhouette.

Yash: I have to agree that the silhouette is not my favourite. (But having read the book and knowing that it’s Evie, does make me happy!) This does have more of a ’20s, Jazz Age feel though– and I love the tagline because it could mean many things, from the magic, to the murders, to the people and the city itself.

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Nafiza: Interestingly enough, this one focuses more on one character which is a bit misleading because in my opinion the book is equally about all the characters. There is also no hint of the supernatural unless the model’s heavily lined eyes are considered (ha). I don’t like the palette of colours used either though I do like the menace in the model’s pose–far from the coquettes that usually grace the covers of YA novels.

Janet: To me, the model’s pose is coquettish as she looks up through her eyelashes at an unseen person. The mini-map effect of the bottom quarter of the cover is interesting (I like how unusually 3D it appears), but I don’t care to have someone tell me what Evie looks like.

Yash: Wait, does Evie have black hair? I thought she was blonde? Or was that Theta? Ugh. My memory is so bad and I’ve lent my book to a friend so I can’t even check! Aaaannnyway, we all know how I feel about people on covers. I do, though, like the colour palette, love the font and the the glamorous feel of the cover. However, I agree with Nafiza– it is not all about Evie and I really enjoy that it changes POVs through the book. I also don’t get any hint of magic/murder from this one. Unless the title mentions something? Say, why is the title so long? *looks expectantly at more knowledgeable readers*

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Nafiza: This doesn’t even seem like the same book. What a drastic difference it makes when you change the model. Okay so we have the cityscape and the eye but the model is…what? She looks entirely too respectable and not at all like a flapper. She looks like one of those governesses in historical romances who find a happy ever after unexpectedly with a duke or marquis. Eek. The colour scheme too is blergh.

Janet: As with the previous cover’s model, this woman’s face is very carefully made up, which does reflect some of Evie’s character, in more than the obvious way. However, I agree with Nafiza about the governess look, and the handwritten letters just spell out romance. I like the title, though: Wrozbiarze sounds fantastic, and I keep reading the biarze part as “bizarre.” 🙂

Yash: OMG JANET IS SO RIGHT! I keep repeating this title over and over! What a wonderful sounding word! Um, so, the cover … yeah, I don’t know. I like that the eye is back! I like the spidery writing and the splatter-y red. The sepia is a little lacklustre though. And the model, though beautiful and dignified, is not like Evie. Maybe they wanted to portray her friend, Mabel? I don’t know. It’s not as attractive as the first cover, that’s for sure.

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Nafiza: Now this just may be my favourite. The detached arms holding the tarot card and the proliferation of the black works so well for me. I don’t mind that the cityscape is gone because the arms and the black background make such a statement on their own. Argh. So wondrous.

Janet: Definitely creepy, for every reason that Nafiza admires and names above. This is a very stylized, effective look, but aside from the title font, this is just not for me.

Yash: Nafiza nailed it. I still prefer the first cover but this is pretty intriguing and I’d pick it up even if I didn’t know anything about Libba Bray or The Diviners.

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Nafiza: SIGH. So many pretty covers in the world and this is what we end up with. I don’t like it. I’ll never like it and it kills me that the sequel is going to have a similar cover. Why do they do this? Who told them it would be a good idea to take away the smart, subtle cover and replace it with this? I’ll never understand how their minds work.

Janet: This looks like a Hollywood poster. Not natural, subtle, or representative. I like the purplish blue, but that is all.

Yash: WHAT?! THE SEQUEL IS CONFIRMED TO BE IN THIS STYLE?? NOOOOO! I mean, not that I won’t storm into Kidsbooks on the release day and buy it instantly … but still! This cover has elements that work separately, but together don’t really work for me– I love the cityscape, the ’20s car, the indication of more than one POV, but why did they choose the two male characters that they did? And *squints* is that a … horse cart? And tagline … well, “dark” and “evil” doesn’t work.

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Nafiza: This cover seems strangely disjointed, the elements thrown together too hastily without much thought given to how (and if) they come together with any sort of coherence and aesthetic appeal. The eye in this one is on the model, there’s blood and oddly a bridge. The half-face is disconcerting and not in a good way. The placement of the bloody whatever it is right beside the face is strange and forced and the colour scheme is too blah.

Janet:  I thought the cover immediately above was unfortunately, but this is worse. It says absolutely nothing about the characters, time period, or plot – at least the one above has those lovely old cars and a horse-drawn buggy. This one, on the other hand, has anachronistically frosted lips on a model-looking model. This cover has nothing going for it.

Yash: I kind of like how brazen the model/character looks and how she directly looks at us. I like the blood splatter on the side and the uncomfortable proximity to her face. I like the lights and the city. It’s weird. I think if it wasn’t Libba Bray’s The Diviners, I’d still be attracted to the cover.

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Nafiza: I quite like this one. The colour scheme, the illustration of the flapper (Evie!) and the eye. I like how balanced and symmetrical it is. It works for me!

Janet: Symmetry and order with the suggestion of human chaos and a flapper protagonist with a definite mind of her own. I wouldn’t necessarily pick this up, but Evie’s face would merit a second glance.

Yash: I like it too, Nafiza. I love the colour scheme and the busy cityscape and the not-so-busy title space, the hearts and clubs symbols, and the eye! It’s back! 🙂 Yeah, I like this cover.

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Nafiza: This one also works for me. The tarot card replaces the eye but the flapper model is shadowed in darkness but still sparkly. Oh and the tarot card being bloody is just the perfect detail. Yep, I’d have bought this one too.

Janet: Oh, urgh. Nice gold border, but that is it. The model, that dress, and the abstract/geometric cityscape in the background throw me right out.

Yash: No. It’s bad enough to have real people on the cover– it is worse when you have them disembodied, with only half a head. So annoying. I do, however, like the bloodied tarot card … but that’s about it.