Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cover Squee (3)

There are plenty of cover memes out there I could do, but I wanted one that was purely mine. So welcome to Cover Squee, a Saturday book cover memewhere I unleash my inner squeeing fangirl on book covers. Here's how it goes:

  • Three covers I love and my take on them;
  • one cover I dislike and want to give a good-natured poke to.
Past covers, covers of unreleased books, international covers--it makes no difference to me. I practice the equal opportunity squee.

But this time, I'm going to do a small variation on it by examining the redesign of the covers in one series. Very recently, I Glow and Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Like it so often happens, the cover for Glow was redesigned to fit a new theme and the sequel's cover was designed to fit that theme instead of the original one. This is hardcover's cover for Glow:

And these are the covers for the paperback of Glow and the hardcover of Spark:

When grading them solely on aesthetics and not how they relate to the book, I love the new covers. I love soft colors like the pink and blue of Glow and Spark respectively and I can see in my head exactly what work went into creating them. Stars on covers are one of my weaknesses because they almost always turn out well when I see them. While Glow's original cover is intriguing and makes you wonder what such a simple cover could be hiding, the new covers are more visually attractive to me.

Then it comes time to judge them based on how they relate to the book. In this category, the new covers are an astounding level of fail.

You would think from the colors and stars that it's not a deadly serious series, right? I didn't when I first saw the new covers, which was long before I gained any interest in the series. Then I actually read the books. Holy hell, these books are not nice and sweet like the covers imply. People are regularly dying, girls are stolen so their eggs can be harvested, Lord of the Flies basically plays out among the boys, and these children do terrible things in the name of survival and power. I may like the covers, but they do not represent the story. Covers really can put people off a good story and I'd hate to see someone pass up this series when they would otherwise enjoy it just because they thought those covers represented the story within.

The original hardcover of Glow had a more fitting cover. The simply black and the girl being enclosed in such a small circle as the letter O effectively communicate the dark, constricting feel of the book.

So what do you think? Love the new covers? Hate them? If you've read Glow (or Spark too, if got an ARC), what do you think of them in relation to the books? Tell me.