Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Did I Notice Your Book?


Hallo, fine friends! I'm in three blogfests this week, which is groovy. This one is hosted by the Amazing Super Ninja Alex Cavanaugh  and Ciara Knight  and builds on a regular blog theme Ciara has: Did I Notice Your Book?

If you'd like a full list of participants, it's here

This is about judging books by their covers... about what draws us in enough to look further. I thought it was a fun opportunity, too, to analyze what works for me and what doesn't quite as much, so for you to understand THAT, you maybe need to know what I LIKE. I read and write mystery and suspense. I also really love dystopians, thrillers, and a little fantasy and paranormal (even some horror). I'm NOT a romance reader and tend to shy away from 'sweet' or personal journeys unless they are highly recommended. I read both YA and adult. So the books that draw me strictly on cover are pulling at THAT kind of person.

Process: I went to the Goodreads YA 2012 list and browsed. I figured that was a good smattering. They have over a thousand and I gotta admit I only cruised the first 200. But the ones that caught my eye were these...

[I will expland on WHY I love these circa 6:30 am Eastern, but wanted the WHAT I noticed posted on time.]

Ashen Winter (Mike Mullen)

It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.

My Assessment:  Here it is two things:  The contrast--red on white with that bleak background, and the emotion the reaching hands pull from me.

Surrender (Elana Johnson)

Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....

My Take:  You will notice a blue theme as we go... I may have pulled out three of them, but they caught my eye so much because there weren't a lot of them. I also like to two-tone here, and the white ON blue. 

Thumped (Megan McCafferty)

It's been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. Since then, their story has become irresistible to legions of girls: twins separated at birth and living different lives, each due to deliver sets of twins . . . on the same day In a future where only teens can "bump," or give birth, babies mean money, status, and freedom.

Married to Ram and living in religious Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once loved and believed in. But she can't seem to forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell in love with under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything she always wanted: a big, fat contract and a coupling with Jondoe, the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.

Cursed by their own popularity, the girls are obsessively tracked by their millions of fans, who have been eagerly counting down the days to their "Double Double Due Date." Without a doubt, they are two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and there's only one thing they could do that would make them more famous than they already are:

Tell the truth.

My take:  Another white on blue, but the egg also made me REALLY curious.

This one breaks my heart
Gone Gone Gone (Hannah Moscowitz)

It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.

Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he’ll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.

Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable...and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.

This intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer is a poignant look at what it is to feel needed, connected, and alive.

My Take:  Honestly, I think this is my favorite (I just posted them in the order I found covers that grabbed me). It reminded me of the 6 word story: Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.  Shoes alone like that are so LONELY.

Destiny and Deception

The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakovas fighting to overcome their biggest challenge yet.

With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

My Take:  Again, nearly two-tone, but this one in fire colors. It really stood out and that eye was what cinched it for me.

Pure (Covenant 2)

There is need. And then there is Fate

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

My Take:  White on blue again, but this one looks like magically achieved white. It has a spooky feel, but a pretty result so it seems like there is maybe something good from the bad or something bad from the good and I like that idea.


Reached (Allie Condy)

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the "New York Times" bestselling Matched Trilogy

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising--and each other--Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 "New York Times" bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

My Take: I like all the covers in this series. The gray background with the BRIGHT central feature. I just really am drawn to it.


You'll note the most COMMON YA feature (a teenage girl's face) is not on ANY of these. I don't honestly WANT to to have a look for the characters before I read. I engage further if my imagination is allowed to do the conjuring. I am not the target market and they must know something.  And there ARE exceptions (Scott Westerfield's Uglies series draws me in spite of faces). But mostly, those all run together for me.

34 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

Some great recommendations here!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You noticed all sorts of books! I know the second one well. And the first has an Alex. Now that's cool.
Thanks for participating in our blogfest!

Siv Ottem said...

A lot of books there and some nice covers :)I have read surrender but the others are unfamiliar :)

Old Kitty said...

Gosh!! What fabulously NAKED choices!! Take care
x

Susan Roebuck said...

Of them all (and they all look compelling) I might decide for "Thumped" - I love the cover and the blurb. On my tbr list!

Tara Tyler said...

so many to like! thumped caught my attention most...but the others sound great too!

L.G.Smith said...

At first glance, I thought that first cover was bones and muscle, like from an anatomy drawing. Ha! And I have to say, living in Colorado that Yellowstone eruption has me a little nervous. :P

Laura Eno said...

You had me with super volcano. I love disaster!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm glad you picked out colorful covers. So many YA are black and red only since Twilight. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry Ellis said...

I haven't yet read Reached. It's on my list!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow, a whole list of good books!

Marta Szemik said...

Those are some great covers! I love Ally Condie's Matched Trilogy!

E.J. Wesley said...

All amazing covers! Lessons in deep simplicity, I think. :-)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Yay! Someone else picked more than one book! Excellent choices.

LynNerdKelley said...

The hands reaching for each other makes for an awesome cover for Ashen Winter. Sounds like an intense read, too.

I want to read Surrender. I enjoyed Elana's first book.

Ciara said...

Great picks. I know several of them. Thanks for participating. I hope all the authors find their books.

Nancy Thompson said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who did multiple books. It's just too hard to choose to one.

Southpaw said...

Lots of good books here!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I've actually heard of Ashen Winter, but the other ones are new to me. All the same, it looks like more stockpiling is to be done for my TBR list!

S.P. Bowers said...

So many books to read! Thanks for the recommendations.

Misha Gericke said...

Wow, the colors and imagery of Ashen Winter's cover really grab me. If I walked past it anywhere, I would turn the book over to see what it's about.

Christine Rains said...

Wow! Some awesome books here. Thanks!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Destiny and Deception's cover is gorgeous.

J.L. Campbell said...

The one I like most is Gone Gone Gone. It's poignant in its simplicity.

Ink in the Book said...

Oh! Such great choices. I was excited by all of them. Of course a couple of them was already in my list of already read, but still, the covers are amazing!

Alison DeLuca said...

I'm with you - I love the shoes! Ashen Winter's over is incredible too. Oh, I'm just a total cover slut.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Wow! The first one really got me...that cover is amazing and then the blurb. I am total survival story fan. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, wanted to come back and say thanks for your comment. I think you're right. That's why I write the lighter, funner space opera stuff. It reflects my experiences.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Ooh, these look good! Thanks.

The Golden Eagle said...

I love blue in covers, too. The cover for Pure is so ethereal!

Erin Kane Spock said...

I don't actively sit around waiting for the Yellowstone caldera to erupt, but it's one of my weird little fears. Love the cover on Ashen Winter.

Rusty Webb said...

Those are some great looking covers. My favorite was the very first, But they're all pretty awesome.

Helena said...

Hart, you are so generous to promote not one but several books in this blogfest. But for me it's after midnight and my eyes hurt, so I'm print off your post and reading about these good reads tomorrow when I'm more lucid.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart ... Ashen Winter looks devastating ... but obviously a good read - not sure I want to think about the caldera blowing ... interesting premise - cheers Hilary