The Cover Wars

Dark-Shimmer-Donna-Jo-Napoli

(Weirdly, I couldn’t find a synopsis to go with this cover. But the tagline and the mirror leads me to believe a Snow White retelling?)

Janet: So I hate the tagline. And I’m not much impressed by the cover, although the broken mirror glass is kinda cool. Buuut this is written by Donna Jo Napoli. So I’d pick it up.

Nafiza: Janet pretty much sums it up. Neither the cover nor the tagline is appealing. However, I have enjoyed Donna Jo Napoli’s books immensely (most recently Skin) so yep, I’d read this.

Yash: I don’t know anything about Napoli. The title isn’t my favourite (though if it was the name of a lipstick, I might be inclined to buy it) and the tagline kinda reminds me of Fairest. But I must say, I am curious. I do love the “evil queen” (mostly because I so don’t love Snow White) and I might read this someday.

Dead-Upon-a-Time-Elizabeth-Paulson

It’s a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she’s given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles — and if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate’s world. She’s not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother’s house in the woods — and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can’t get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what’s happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention — even though the girl’s stepmother would rather he didn’t. It’s up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that’s far from happy.

Janet: That cover is fascinating and gross. And the synopsis promises a lot of gruesome death. Kate sounds like Red Riding Hood, but despite the obvious fairy tale references I don’t get enough of a sense of the story itself to want to read it.

Nafiza: The synopsis makes this tale sound like a conflation of a lot of fairytales and I’m not sure how that’d work. However, I like neither the cover not the title. So someone would have to convince me to read this.

Yash: The cover is interesting. I actually think I like it because the last time an apple was used on a cover, it wasn’t creepy at all even though that was a vampire story. I don’t like the title but I really love how there’s a kidnapper behind this. This book has the chance to be gruesome and awesome … or just another setting for a heterosexual couple to experience the joys of “true love”. I am all for romance, but if it’s heavy in this book I am not sure I’ll love it. (Of course, this means I intend to read it at some point …)

Dumplin-Julie-Murphy

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Janet: Am I the only one whom the cover reminds of the Keep Calm And Carry On posters? Bwahaha. Anyway, the synopsis is hilarious. I am excited to read a book with a fat protagonist who is comfortable with her size. Will seems gutsy and confident, and the synopsis makes me smile.

Nafiza: I love it. Both the cover and the synopsis. This seems like it will be fun, heartwarming and have some substance too. A candid look at beauty standards and issues of self-esteem especially when these issues are rooted in perceptions of your own and other peoples’ bodies.

Yash: I AM SO IN!

Eden-West-Pete-Hautman

Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace’s sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob’s contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob’s faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Janet: Oh, these Capitalized Words. So. There’s nothing on the cover that appeals – the illustrated part looks like someone spilled iron filings over it (unless that’s just my computer screen? It might be), and the title is really too big to focus on. The synopsis itself made me laugh a little, but only because of the Overwrought, Histrionic Capitalization. Unless someone can tell me that this story is not as bizarrely didactic a (false) doomsday-cult apocalypse as it sounds, I shall quirk an eyebrow at it and move on.

Nafiza: I actually like the cover. There’s something about the colour palette that appeals to me. I don’t see why the title is so huge though (unless it is to use up the space). But it seems like Jacob is part of a cult or a group of religious people. This could be interesting for the interested reader but unfortunately, it doesn’t Appeal to me.

Yash: I like the cover. It has red in it– what’s not to like. I don’t like the summary exactly for the reasons that Nafiza stated above. It isn’t for me, though I can see it selling rather well. 🙂

Everything-Everything-Nicola-Yoon

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black–black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Janet: Gorgeous cover. I like the doodles, the white space, the wonderful blue of the first “everything,” the psychedelic colouring. And (swoon) the tagline works. The narrator-protagonist has a distinct voice, and she has a sense of humour. (Also, the description of Olly contrasts wonderfully with the colours of the cover, which, I surmise, is meant to look as though our narrator has drawn it herself.) I would like to read the first few pages. And then maybe the rest as well.

Nafiza: So! *beams* I just got an ARC of this and le swoon, you guys. It is so purrrrty. And the narrative is interspersed with pictures, charts and other paraphernalia (i don’t know if that’s the right word to use in this instance, i just wanted to). I like both the cover and the synopsis. And I shall let you know how this book is.

Yash: Yeah, I am going to have to hassle Nafiza to lend this one to me. It really is beautiful. It has a riot of colours and it has the potential to be overbearing but it looks beautiful and inviting and yes, okay, a little much– which I believe is the point, given the summary. I feel like I am gonna cry over this one …

Extraordinary-Means-Robyn-Schneider

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it’s easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

Janet: Tempting and knee-jerk as it is to be cynical about dying teens falling in love, and despite this boring/depressing cover, the synopsis is slightly intriguing. How do you fail breakfast, for instance? And how do you manage to break rules and sneak around when you are dying and (presumably) hooked up to IVs and regularly checked on by nurses, doctors, and other caregivers? But. The cover and the whole dying-teens-in-love thing… unless someone can tell me that this is an exceptional tale, I’m not tempted.

Nafiza: The cover is gorgeous and I think there’s a gif version of it where there’s a falling star which is even more gorgeous. I’m not reading this though. Dying teens, deadly diseases–nope. Nope. Someone braver will have to take this challenge.

Yash: I’m not a fan of this cover. I think the tagline could have been used as a title. Or just give us the title. I don’t like the green and I don’t like the fonts. BUT! This is all a matter of taste. I suppose there’s nothing really wrong with the font. I don’t love the whole dying-teens-in-love but I read that plotline before simply because John Green wrote it. I think I want to know what else is it out there. And judging by the “failing breakfast” comment, I might like this one. On my TBR pile.