Just a reminder that you have ONE WEEK LEFT to enter our giveaway. I will indeed be selecting 2 winners — the first winner will receive After the Moment along with a book in their preferred genre and the second will win one book in their preferred genre. There are only 10 entries so far, so your chances of winning are good! You can comment here or on the other post following the rules.
Although we’ve all heard the adage that you shouldn’t judge a book on its cover, I beg to disagree. I think that the cover is indeed an important attribute to a book and that you will judge it before reading it. Obviously, some covers will tell you more and some will tell you less (or nothing, as is the case with hard cover books missing their jackets). And not only do you judge the book, other people who may see you reading judge the book, too.
This isn’t something I thought about too much before taking my young adult materials course. We were reading Judy Blume’s Forever . . . which is one of those “classic” titles of teendom. Within my class of about 11 people, the currently available copy of book had three covers, and each of these covers portrayed something entirely different about the book.
What does this cover suggest? To me, it’s reminiscent of many titles currently on the market. It reminds me a lot of the Sarah Dessen or the Jennifer Weiner covers in particular. Sweet with a definite bent for teens or young adults. When I shuffled through the used books at the bookstore, this was the copy I chose because it was most appealing to me (and as I found out, probably most relevant to the story itself).
This one’s pretty basic as well. It’s very similar to the recent cover from Sarah Dessen’s Lock and Key (seen here). The cover doesn’t tell you much about the story, but it’s also discrete enough to carry around anywhere and no one will really know what sort of book you are reading. The first cover, on the other hand, definitely looks like it’s a teen book or a book for the younger 20-something crowd. This one could scream romance, I suppose, but since there are no pictures of people or places, it isn’t too obvious. Moreover, the benefit of a cover like this is that it allows the reader to imagine everything for themselves; the publisher hasn’t given us an idea of what the main character looks like. The downfall, however, is that the book’s physical appearance isn’t memorable.
What says steamy romance more than the trade paperback size, red cover, and envelope with a lipstick kiss? Talk about a totally different message than the first book cover; in fact, this cover screams everything that the first cover doesn’t — this isn’t a sweet romance but rather a hot and heavy lust-driven book. Obviously, that sort of cover appeals to an entirely different audience than the first, even though the book is the same. It seems to me that inevitably, one group of readers will be disappointed to discover that it’s not what they were lead to believe it is based on the cover.
The cover images, the font (notice the first doesn’t capitalize Blume’s name and the second uses a teen-ish style), and even the size of the book really do impact the reader’s sense of the story. Notice, too, how a cover often changes when the book goes from its first release in hard back to its second life as a paperback. I would love to ask people who read books that have different covers what impact that had on their reading.
I’m willing to bet that readers of Forever . . . see and appreciate the value all three covers have. For some readers, the story really can be a steamy romance like the third cover suggests while for others, it’s a sweet story like the first portrays. But which do you think that people would feel most comfortable checking out from the library? Bringing to a busy lunch room on break? Reading on the train? What do YOU prefer when it comes to a cover?
Janssen has convinced me that it would also be worth including these two covers still readily available at the library:
This one just looks very, very dated. I’m a big believer in the notion if the book’s circulating and still on the shelves decades after it was published, it might be worth spending a few dollars to replace it with a more current look. It might seen an entirely new life, too. This particular cover just reminds me of those Lifetime movies that came out back in the early 90s.
While Bill Murray may have been the star in the hit film Groundhog’s Day, it is Amanda Ellerby and Leo Fitzpatrick who play the lead role in Wendy Mass’s 11 Birthdays, which follows the two as they replay their 11th birthday over and over.
Amanda and Leo were born on the same day, just hours apart in a hospital in Willow Falls. Angelina D’Angelo, a woman who had lived in Willows Falls since the beginning of time, admired the two lovely babies as their parents first saw them in the infant room at the hospital. Angelina commented that she hoped those two would forever celebrate their birthdays together. And through a mix-up at a party location on year later, the tradition of Amanda and Leo celebrating their birthdays together began.
This happened regularly until their 10th birthday, when Leo made a comment that caused Amanda great anger. For a year, the two did not speak to one another. However, as their 11th birthdays begin, it will be a day that they relive over and over again — and it is only the two of them who realize this is happening.
11 Birthdays is a story that is tied deeply in family history and local history. Although the story sounds fairly simple, there are great layers buried within the events. Each of the small pieces of the first instance of Amanda and Leo’s birthdays ties in somehow to how they solve their mutual problems and come to each celebrate one of the best birthdays of their lives. It was enjoyable to see how each of them figured out what was going on when they kept waking up on their birthday, even after having celebrated it the day before; more enjoyable was the fact no one else around them seemed to have a clue what was going on.
11 Birthdays was much different than I initially expected, and it was much better than I anticipated. This is the second book by Wendy Mass I’ve read (the first being A Mango Shaped Space) and I found both of her books to be the same way — the jacket description and initial impressions were far surpassed when the story concluded. In fact, when I began this book, I was frustrated with how unlike an 11-year-old Amanda felt, but as the story progressed, I couldn’t help but think about how very much like an 11-year-old she really was. I thought the story as a whole was well-paced and did not kill the concept as it repeated itself. Each instance of reliving the day was unique and fresh, and I thought that the descriptions and scenarios were cute and silly enough without being over the top.
Without hesitation, I would give this book to girls 9-13 or so. It’s a definite tween title, and I think that it will appeal to those who enjoy Mass’s style. While reading it, I couldn’t help but think that Amanda and this story reminded me of Lina from Diana Lopez’s Confetti Girl — another title that definitely falls into this realm of squeaky clean, humorous, but touching titles that meld realistic fiction with an element of imaginary play.
A friend of mine recently bought a “reading ring.” Knowing that I’m an avid reader, she texted me about her purchase. But instead of being amazed, I was bewildered. A reading ring? Is this piece of related to a mood ring? Can it magnify text on the page?
Turns out, it’s a device that helps you hold the pages of the book open with your thumb. I found a couple of versions online, and one store advertises, “… great for commuters, especially if they have to read standing up.”
To me, it seems a bit strange. I can see how it would come in handy, especially when reading for an audience in storytimes. But I don’t need another item to lose. I can barely keep up with important items!
What do you think? Could you use something like this? Or is it just more junk?
The title of this post was originally “In defense of romances.” I am an unashamed lover of historical romances, and I planned on using this space to delve into the many wonderful things about them. So there I was, merrily surfing the web for the bits and pieces that would serve as my defense for the genre I love, when I got sidetracked. By this:
It’s the book trailer for Julia Quinn’s newest, What Happens in London, due out on June 30. I confess, I winced while watching it. Many words sprang to mind: cheesy, painful, embarrassing, funny. Where to start? The atrocious accent, the sepia-tone colors, the overly dramatic acting… I’ll still read the book anyway, since I know and love Julia Quinn’s writing (one of the few romance authors to garner a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly), but this trailer wouldn’t be the first thing I’d show to someone I was trying to convert to romance-reading. I can find it in my heart to love the trailer, much in the same way I love The Crawling Eye, but I can’t honestly say it’s any good.
I have a love-hate relationship with book trailers. Some of them are so well-done, even with minimal production resources, they make me want to run out and read the book immediately. Others…well, others make me want to say defensively, “Not all books are as lame as this trailer makes that one look!” Most books are decidedly un-lame, but you wouldn’t know it judging by a lot of the trailers floating around on Youtube these days.
I think book trailers have a goal in common with this blog: to “entice non-readers to think about reading in fun and interesting ways.” However, the quality of book trailers is so hit and miss that I wonder if they’re any good at it. I get excited about many of the trailers, but I also get excited just by seeing the cover of a much-anticipated new book. (My reaction upon seeing Shannon Hale’s newest book being given away at a conference: jumping up and down, literally.) Have people who aren’t avid readers been hooked by a trailer, or has it merely made them giggle? Am I totally wrong about the trailer above, thinking it’s terrible when it’s actually completely awesome? Do I just need to learn how to have fun and stop expecting book trailers to rock my world like movie trailers sometimes do?
A post in defense of romances (particularly my favorite, historical romances) is coming soon…