I had every intention of putting together another trends in 2012 post, but while browsing through covers, I came across a double take. This one made me look more than twice. I’m about as certain as I can be they’re the same image, just with different treatments.
Coming out in March next year from Orion Books (a UK publisher) is the second book in Mia James’s paranormal romance series, Darkness Falls. Stop and study this one a second. At first glance, the model’s eyes look closed to me. But a closer inspection reveals they’re open. They’re just the same color as her skin, making them eerie. We know something is up with this girl. The cover on the whole is dark and fitting for the paranormal genre. It’s not entirely unexpected or noteworthy.
Suzanne Young’s A Want So Wicked will come out from Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins) in June of next year. I’m not a big girl-on-the-cover fan, but I love the bluish purple treatment on this one a lot. It’s stand out to me, even if the girl herself isn’t necessarily memorable. But look at her closely. It’s the same girl as the cover above, but the treatment is vastly different. Rather than have the haunting eyes, this pair of eyes looks strong and powerful in a different way. I think she looks slightly wicked in a different way, and I get that from not only the gaze itself, but how pronounced her eyebrows are.
Both covers feature the same face, the same make up, and the same hair, but it’s incredible to me how different these are, simply by the use of color and light on the model and on the background. There’s a softness to Young’s cover treatment that doesn’t undermine the power in the girl, as much as the darkness intensifies the power in the James cover.
That said, I prefer Young’s cover because of the lightness it has to it. The color stands out on shelves, and the slight glitter sheen to it only helps. The James cover, for me, is almost cliche within the genre; for many readers, though, that’s its selling point.
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).