Monday, September 26, 2011


Janet Fox's Forgiven
(Speak, 2011)
There's something alluring about an abundance of taffeta and lace. Lately there have been many cover photos of beautiful girls wearing Victorian dress, wrapped in folds of luxurious fabrics that would have made the likes of Mary Todd Lincoln green with envy. These covers must sell--and I know my eye is always drawn to the images. I think these covers promise teens stories of faraway times and places, romance, fantasy, vulnerability, danger.

Here are just a few samples. All young adult novels.
Beyond the photograph. The designers of the next covers added art to enhance the image.

Note the finger-like roots and magical sparkly dust (is there a word for "magical sparkly dust"?) that set this cover apart. And oh, yeah, the sepia tones.

Chime by Franny Billingsley
(Dial, 2011)

Cool overlaid arabesques just above the title:

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Australian edition)
(HarperTeen, 2011)
Fantasy, first in a trilogy

I can't explain it, but I find the geometric lines and shapes on this cover irresistible. Is it steampunk-ish? The novel involves genetic engineering. I think it works.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
(Simon and Schuster, 2011)
Dystopian Fantasy, first in a trilogy

More is . . . more. It is safe to say that very few males will pick this one up:

Entwined, by Heather Dixon
(Greenwillow, 2011)


  1. I think Entwined was my favorite... the way the vines could be part of the dress; the curly, vine-like font; the gorgeous, poofy dress... all captured by the title "Entwined." The vines look like they are reaching toward her, trying to pull her back. And, I'm a sucker for prime real estate.

    Beautiful theme this week, Carol!

  2. love them! a book cover fashion show!

  3. Yeah! If I owned a dress like the one on Entwined I'd wear it everywhere.

  4. Someone give those girls dresses made from old flour sacks!! Good honest cotton!! Taffeta is so Keira Knightly - self-loving and stiff. Or so Housewives of Somewhere Cheesy.

  5. Very astute - I have the feeling you're right, Carol! Hmmmm - maybe that explains a few things about me.

  6. You would be amazing whether you're in taffeta or flour sacks, Julie.