This one just handed itself to me!
First, Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft, published December 30, 2008 by HarperTeen. This book follows the fledgling actress Carli as she prepares for her new role as a boarding school student and leaves her family and friends behind. Of course, she meets interesting characters in her new life and that leads to a number of interesting adventures. The story’s told through shifting narrators.
Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers was published just a week before Dirty Laundry, on December 23, 2008 by St. Martin’s Griffin. The story follows Parker Fadley as she becomes secluded after a horrible event has left her feeling bad about herself. Although the description doesn’t give away a whole lot, it sounds a bit reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.
Cover-wise, both fit the story descriptions. They’re a little bit different, but again, being published a week apart from one another and with such similar covers, it’ll be hard for either to stand out on their own. Both covers feature the girl in her school uniform lying down (with her head to the left) and both feature a stack of books on her stomach. The cover for Dirty Laundry, however, doesn’t showcase the girl’s head or face at all and instead features her feet and shoes. The uniforms on both covers are different, even though they feature the same style of a plaid skirt, polo shirt, and cardigan.
So … which one did it better?
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian turned editor for Book Riot. She's the author of IT HAPPENS: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader and the forthcoming Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, Spring 2017).