The Cover Wars

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?

Janet: Oh, clever! The cover places the reader right in an art gallery with Dessa. I like the colour slide and the scratch-out white lines. The back sounds a lot like a Sarah Dessen novel; there’s a clear target audience. Sounds like a fun read.

Nafiza: I really like the cover and the back copy seems intriguing. Janet’s right. This does sound like a fun read.

Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.

But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.

As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.

Janet: I don’t know how to read “the only moment… when she lost control entirely”, and the rest of the back doesn’t give me clues. Is this emotional control? Physical control – was someone else involved? That aside, the back is a tad predictable, pulling on the heartstrings a little too plainly. (On the other hand, its nice not to be launched into a dying child narrative without warning.) The cover is Mariko Tamaki-esque gone minimalist. More detail/setting would be nice.

Nafiza: I really enjoy the cover though it alone would not prepare me for the back copy. It is rather young and honestly I was expecting something MG. However, unlike Janet, I don’t find the back copy predictable so I’m super intrigued to know what this one moment in Vivi’s life is.


The inspiring true story of Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist and the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, from debut author/illustrator Lina Maslo.

When Malala Yousafzai was born, people shook their heads because girls were considered bad luck. But her father looked into her eyes and knew she could do anything.

In Pakistan, people said girls should not be educated. But Malala and her father were not afraid. She secretly went to school and spoke up for education in her country.

And even though an enemy tried to silence her powerful voice, she would not keep quiet. Malala traveled around the world to speak to girls and boys, to teachers, reporters, presidents, and queens—to anyone who would listen—and advocated for the right to education and equality of opportunity for every person. She would shout so that those without a voice could be heard. So everyone could be as free as a bird.

Free as a Bird is the inspiring true story of a fearless girl and the father who taught her to soar.

Janet: The cover is pretty, the back is tidy; my big question is if Malala had any say in this picturebook biography.

Nafiza: I’m pretty certain she did actually. This is an automatic yes for me.

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Janet: Wait wait wait, that’s a video recorder Twinkle holds? I thought it was a camera from the 50s or something. When Dimple Met Rishi was funny and full of twists, and From Twinkle, With Love sounds just as laugh-out-loud a read. Tbr.

Nafiza: *flaiiiil* YASSSSS.

Janet: This looks lovely lovely lovely and I can’t find a synopsis for it. Not that that matters, does it, since this is going on my tbr list. I love their determined expressions and that the women look right back at you, aware and unafraid of whoever is watching, and I love that their clothes are marked with equations, visually showing how intrinsic and natural advanced mathematics were to their lives, how they are dressed in their genius.

Nafiza: Everything Janet said and also a little squee because the cover is so darned beautiful. It’s so empowering.