The Cover Wars

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Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other!

When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they’re scared at first. Really scared. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side. — [X]

Yash: This is such a bright and delightful cover. I mean, can that bear look any cuter? The answer is no. It is the cutest little bear in fiction. And the story sounds really sweet! I see myself picking this one up.

Janet: That cover is very cute. Too cute. The story sounds sweet… I guess if Yash recommends this, I’ll read it sooner or later :p

Nafiza: What they said? I just love the bear and just…ahhh gimme!

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When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul. — [X]

Yash: We’ve talked about this book in a previous Cover Wars, I think? This is a different cover. The paperback one? Neither cover, I have to say, impresses me. (The “knock knock” does freak me out, though.) BUT I have come across many good reviews of this book. Always mentioned alongside Courtney Summers, whose books are amongst my all-time favourites. This one is already on my TBR.

Janet: Have we seen this before? It didn’t make an impression. This cover I did not like at first. The more I looked, though, the more absorbing it became. (The “knock knock” was absolutely what scared me most, too.) I don’t read horror, but if I did, this would grab me.

Nafiza: I don’t think we’ve done this? Maybe? I don’t know. But yes, the cover is absolutely terrifying and the image of the flat prairie with nowhere to escape or even hide scares the heck out of me. This could be good. If Yash recommends this, I’ll give it a try.

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London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap? — [X]

Yash: This cover kind of reminds me of Cat Winters’ The Uninvited. It’s funny how just the addition of the stylized font and the lacy background made me think, “fantasy.” It’s an odd connection to make but … I think I’m right? Anyway, Nafiza has been asking me to read Goodman forever. I might just with start with this one.

Janet: Alison Goodman’s writing deserves better covers. This one, though, does establish the mood and setting quite well. But who am I kidding? I’ll read this sooner or later (hopefully sooner); Nafiza will ensure that.

Nafiza: This book was so interesting. I just finished this one the other day and it definitely deserves a better cover. I’m going to be reviewing this in a week or so. I have a lot to say about this book!

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Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell. — [X]

Yash: Okay, the title caught my attention and despite the silhouette, the cover is appealing to me. And the premise looks fantastic. I just hope these women are diverse and I hope their stories are based off of some research into the history of whatever communities they come from. Still, whatever my concerns, I am interested in this one.

Janet: Hm. I would want to know which authors are involved with this. The synopsis is appealing, though the cover isn’t terribly interesting. I would be more certainly attracted if the girls (and women?) were anything other than American. There are a lot of extraordinary American women, who deserve way more press than they get. But I want to hear about Canadian women, too, and about women from every country, particularly the non-western ones. Could this become, perhaps, a series? I would be all over that. But. This is intriguing even as it is.

Nafiza: I like how eye catching (eyecatching?) the cover is. The bright orange would certainly snag my attention in the store. The premise is promising too though like Yash I’ll wait to make up my mind after I see the authors involved and the kind of diversity in the lineup.

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Everyday reality is a drag™.

FUN®—the latest in augmented reality—is fun but it’s also frustrating, glitchy and dangerously addictive. Just when everyone else is getting on, seventeen-year-old Aaron O’Faolain wants off.

But first, he has to complete his Application for Termination, and in order to do that he has to deal with his History—not to mention the present, including his grandfather’s suicide and a series of clues that may (or may not) lead to buried treasure. As he attempts to unravel the mystery, Aaron is sidetracked again . . . and again. Shadowed by his virtual “best friend” Homie, Aaron struggles with love, loss, dog bites, werewolf pills, community theater, wild horses, wildfires and the fact (deep breath) that actual reality can sometimes surprise you. — [X]

Yash: Uh, the cover reminds me of David Tennant as the tenth Doctor … but I am guessing that is not a connection they wanted readers to make? (Both Doctor Who and this show is sci-fi, but beyond that they seem to have very little in common.) The cover is bright and eye-catching but not in the style I would have been drawn to. (Which is not to say the style is bad.) The summary doesn’t interest me very much either buuuuut then the phrase “werewolf pills” happened and I think I might read a little, if only to learn more about what that means!

Janet: The cover has no appeal for me – sorry, just don’t care for the style. The synopsis reminds me a little of Vivian Vande Velde’s immersive games MG books, soooooo I might take a peek.

Nafiza: I second Janet. The cover does not interest me even a smidgeon. The synopsis is somewhat intriguing but I’d have to read a page or two to see if it’s something I want to read.

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When Kaira Winters decided to go to Islington—a boarding school deep in the woods of Michigan—she thought she could finally get away from everything she has tried so hard to forget, including some things from her past that she refuses to believe ever actually happened.

Everything seemed great until the bodies of murdered students started appearing all over campus. The victims seem to have been killed in some sort of ritual sacrifice. And even worse, Kaira’s dreams are giving her clues to the killer’s identity.

Though she tries to resist, Kaira quickly realizes that she is the only one who can stop the violence, but to do so she must come to terms with her past. She’s going to have to listen to the voice that is buried deep within her…the one that claims to have unimaginable power…the one that claims to be an actual goddess.

But even if Kaira can harness the power within her, will it be enough to stop the darkness that has fallen over her school? And if it is strong enough, then what’s to stop the goddess from wreaking her own havoc once she’s released? — [X]

Yash: Did we talk about this one before? I feel like we did. I don’t think I like the cover a lot. I also feel like Nafiza chose it just to annoy Steph because *waves hand at cover* the birds. I don’t know what it is about the cover that I don’t like … which is so unhelpful of me. It just doesn’t draw me in? I do like the bird perched on her head, making it look like it is part of her hair. That’s a cool image. And the summary sounds interesting enough … I may be persuaded by some reviews to pick it up.

Janet: I’m certain we’ve seen this before, and (again) the only think I really like is the use of ink, which is SO COOL. Some advice for Kaira: goddesses seeking your help are bad news. If a deity is chained in some way, there is probably a solid reason for it. But then, whether or not you actually do anything to help this goddess, the rest of the pantheon will probably make your life miserable, very likely through their attempts to end it (see any story with Greek or Norse gods), so you might as well try to save people, I guess?

Nafiza: Okay usually? I’d be all over “the chosen one” trope but for some reason it rubs me up the wrong way here. Why is she special? Is it just a coincidence that she decided to go there? And how cliche is the setting…a boarding school deep in the woods…yea, why would you be surprised that something happens there? Nah, this is not for me. The cover is too close to the ones of that trilogy by Amanda Sun (Ink something, set in Japan?) and the synopsis just…doesn’t do anything for me.