The Cover Wars

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?

A book that intertwines horror elements and retellings, with humor and darkness.

Janet: The cover looks almost Las Vegas? Not sure if that makes sense. Anyway, the cover falls flat for me. Back copy is jaw-droppingly dead on the nose. I’ll pass.

Jane: Wow, that is a TERRIBLE summary. Not at ALL engaging. Yikes. The cover is kind of interesting, in sort of a Tim Burton-esque way. But it’s just not doing anything for me at all.

Nafiza: Yikesss. That is a superbly bad summary. It tells me nothing and in fact goes further and actively makes me not want to read this. The cover is intriguing but with a summary like this one, I might be putting it down anyway.

Ever since his dad left, David Cray has had anger issues. So after he beats up school bully Jake Bragg, his mom grounds him in their creepy new house. Bored, David discovers a secret room with an old-fashioned desk, a chest, and a carving of a raven. Suddenly he’s having strange dreams about the room and the house, and violence seems to follow him wherever he goes. Who is the Raven who is taking responsibility for these violent pranks? And why do the pranks resemble Poe’s stories?

Janet: The cover is mildly absorbing and mildly overwhelming. It might just be me. The back copy is, again, dead on the nose with little to no feel for the characters involved. I’ll pass.

Jane: Oh dear, that cover is just way too busy for me, my poor eyes can’t focus on a single thing! And another dry back copy – yeesh! The back of a book should be like a movie trailer – giving you just enough information, in just the right way, to hook you and draw you in. This just isn’t doing it for me at all.

Nafiza: I can’t with this cover. My head hurts. My eyes don’t know what to do. Ahhh. And the back copy, though better than the previous one, is not quite compelling. So this will be a pass for me.

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Janet: Ai, what a beautiful cover! The lines and pattern allude at once to paintings and to woven or embroidered fabric. The cover makes me want to pick this up at once. The back copy is messy, though. I’m left wondering if this is part retelling of Sleeping Beauty, or purely contemporary YA romance. The final paragraph promises family and friendship, but the rest of the synopsis is almost entirely romance. Guess I’d have to glance inside to decide.

Jane: Oh wow, that cover is beautiful! It looks like a journal I’d drool over at the stationery store. 😉 I’m not quite sure about the story, though. Is there a magical significance to her name, in that if someone knows it they have power over her? Or is it just that she’s very self-conscious about the name Bernice? Which, I mean, I get, but the book seems to build it up with such drama and intensity, and I’m just not quite sure what it all means. I  don’t know who Stephanie Perkins or Morgan Matson are, though, so there’s also that.

Nafiza: I think we are appreciating the cover a lot more after the travesty of the previous one. Haha but it is soothing on the eyes. Unfortunately, the back copy does nothing for me so I’m going to have to pass on it.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Janet: The cover strongly reminds me of a few others we’ve seen on Cover Wars, the titles of which elude me at the moment. Anyway, I like this one and how it straddles the beauty and peril of fairy tales. The back copy is a solid yes.

Jane: I like that this is a family story – Alice must rescue her mother, not a love interest, and while there is likely going to be some romantic element with Ellery, romance doesn’t seem to be the driving factor here. I have nothing against romance, but I do appreciate it when female characters have other motivating factors, and are given their own initiative.

Nafiza: Yessss. The cover, the back copy, all of it brings a resounding yes from me.

If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

Janet: The large flat white of the title and author name doesn’t quite fit, but the main of the cover is so pretty, all those coloured leaves of different kinds springing from one bush. The back copy, however, gives information with little feel for the characters involved. (Also, why is it always America and always New York?) I’ll pass.

Jane: Interesting premise – in a funny way it reminds me of the Hamster Princess books (Harriet knows the date when she’ll fall victim to a curse, so she considers herself pretty much invincible until that date). The cover just doesn’t seem to mesh with the back copy all that well, though. Is there some significance to the tree?

Nafiza: My apologies, this turned out to be literary fiction which may explain the synopsis. I like the cover and I’m somewhat intrigued by the back copy so I will be giving this one a try.

There is no place in Avery Kohl’s New York for a girl with mysterious powers. Avery knows this fact all too well—she remembers when the men in crow masks came for her mother all those years ago; she remembers when they locked her in an asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. So Avery denies the signs of developing power in herself, choosing to focus on getting through her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her bereaved, inventor father out of trouble. She’s content to keep her head down in Brooklyn, hearing secondhand tales of adventure and rebellion from her best friend Khan, an ex-slave with a penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But Avery’s powers, just like her mother’s, refuse to be contained. And when she causes an unexplainable explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the gypsy gang of mystics hiding in dark corners all across the city.

In order to free herself from persecution, Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield them with the full extent of their power. If she fails, she will not only join her mother in the Tombs—she’ll doom Khan and an entire hidden community to death.

Deborah Schaumberg’s gritty debut takes readers on a breathless trip across a teeming turn of the century New York City in upheaval, from the shipyards of Brooklyn to the gypsy camps outside the city to the seediest corners of the Lower East Side, and asks the question: can you ever truly hide in a city that wants you buried?

Janet: The cover feels like too much, somehow, as if the border and swirls are pressing against the reader. The back copy – G-slur, New York yet again, dubious logic, sentences a tad too expected – is a no.

Jane: This back copy just goes on, and on, and on. Why should I bother reading the book at this point? I do generally like historical fiction, but this just doesn’t appeal to me, pretty much for everything that Janet said.

Nafiza: Oh man. This summary is bad as well. The G-slur, “Khan” as a slave, ex or otherwise, nope nope nope nope. Keep it far from me.