It is so nice to once again look through review journals and publisher catalogs at work. I’ve been at it for a couple weeks now and have noticed a few cover lookalikes – some identical twins, some merely siblings – that are fun to analyze.
First up are a pair of twins. The Revenant by Sonia Gensler was published in 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers and features a girl in the late 19th century who goes to teach at a school in Indian Territory and gets caught up in a ghost story. Presumably, she’s the girl on the cover. The transparency of the background image gives the book a ghostly feel, and I think it works. Sweet Madness by Tricia Leaver and Lindsay Currie is a forthcoming YA novel from Merit Press (September 18) about the real historical person Bridget Sullivan, an Irish immigrant who takes a job as a maid for the Bordens – yes, those Bordens – and becomes fast friends with Lizzie, their sweet daughter. I’m not sure if that’s meant to be Bridget or Lizzie on the cover, but knowing that it’s a book about the Lizzie Borden murders makes the girl’s interlaced fingers and very slight smile take on a very different tenor than that of The Revenant.
These next three books aren’t identical to each other, but every time I see one of them, I think of the other two. Perhaps falling girls is a mini-trend for book covers? It’s certainly better than the dead girl cover trend which I want to go away forever. The Accident Season by Moira Fowler-Doyle is being published by Kathy Dawson Books on August 18 and features a family who becomes accident-prone at the end of each October, like a yearly curse. I read The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee when it was published in 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers and quite liked it. It’s realistic fiction with a dreamy sort of quality to it, not quite magical realism. I think this cover really works because the dress is the focal point of the story and it pops on the cover. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is an adult novel from 2010 that I don’t know much about, but its cover reminds me a lot of the fan-made minimalist movie posters/popular book covers that are so in right now. Are there any other falling girls on covers that I missed?
Here’s another pair of close relations. The stock images are different, but the ominous trees, color schemes, and creepy figures standing in the distance, bathed in light of unknown origin, are the same. Unsurprisingly, both of these novels – Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough, published by Candlewick in 2012, and Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, forthcoming September 22 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers – are horror novels. While these covers certainly get the point across, I’d like to see some fresher imagery for horror.