27 February, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town - Review and Giveaway (US/Can, ends 3/6)

Publication date: 12 Feb 2013 by Egmont USA
ISBN 10/13: 1606842641 | 9781606842645

Category: Young adult mystery/suspense
Keywords: Murder, schizophrenia, color-blindness, family
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
Source: ARC for review


They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.


Kate Ellison lets spots of color and light shine through Notes from Ghost Town's bleak and dreary premise. The main story revolves around the murder of Stern, Olivia's best friend, whom her unstable mother admits to killing. Ellison touches on all the nuances of love: kindness, friendship, family, first love, and even love turned to hate, to make this a moody and tender read. The settings sometimes seem contrived, missing flavor and making Miami seem like just any other locality, but enough of the characters and their occasionally surprising interactions are relatable enough to keep you reading.

Some readers might find Olivia's brattiness intolerable, but I felt invested enough in her heartbreak to want to know what really happened to Stern. I liked how she interacts with her soon-to-be step-sister, despite really hating the fact that her dad is remarrying so soon after divorcing her mother. I was hugely annoyed whenever she took unnecessary risks or behaved like a spoiled child, but I think it was mostly because I was starting to like her and wanted her to succeed, to heal, and to change for the better. Most intriguing of all is her worry that she has inherited her mother's condition and is herself headed for a psychotic break.

It's hard to articulate what I felt about this book. It's not so much that I enjoyed reading it as that I wanted everything to turn out ok, and so I kept turning pages. Fans of fast-paced mysteries should go look for another book: this one is slow, misty, and contemplative. I think this would make a great mostly-black-and-white movie.

If you like this book, you will probably also like:

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit www.kateellison.com and follow the author on Facebook.

You can enter to win both Notes from Ghost Town and The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below. US/Canada only; I will randomly choose a winner after March 6. Thanks so much to Egmont for sponsoring the giveaway.

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US & Canada only.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  3. One set of entries per household, please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. 
Good luck!

20 February, 2013

Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop (US ends 2/27)

Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop
February 21st - 27th

Featuring young adult books with paranormal elements

Today we are giving away Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.

From Goodreads:

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners -- and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage -- in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Author's website
Add this book on Goodreads
Buy this book on Amazon | Bn.com | BookDepository | Indiebound

If you're not entirely sure it has paranormal elements, consider this:

Aside: I recently won Gail Carriger's dress in an eBay auction. I can't wait to get it and hem it (she's a little taller than me) and probably take in the bust a bit. Ahem.

On to the giveaway!

The winner can choose the book in one format: hardcover, audiobook, or Kindle edition

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US only.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  3. One set of entries per household, please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. 
Good luck!

Remember to check out the other giveaways!

The Monster Review-a-Thon - Challenge

Date: February 22-25
Goal: To review as many books as you can.

I am going to try to review

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci
Snorkeling with Sea-Bots by Amy Lemke
Luz Makes a Splash by Claudia D'Avila
Cow Boy by Nate Cosby
Moby Dick / Pride & Prejudice by Cozy Classics
Change the World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Eek! I'm scared just looking at that list. But it will be nice to finally post feedback on Netgalley. I'm terrible at it, apparently.

More info here.

16 February, 2013

Stacked (6)

Stacked is our sister site's mailbox sharing weekly feature.


Click here to view Harken on Goodreads

Got an email from Kaleb Nation last week offering his eBook, Harken, for review, but I figured it's only $2.99 on Kindle--may as well get it!


I keep saying I'm not going to get much off Netgalley, but Brent asked me nicely so I got his new book. The first novel in the Russel Middlebrook series, Geography Club, is now in production under Huffington Pictures.

I'm going to try not to get anything else this week because omg SO much book buying last week. 
What I need is some time to read. 

What's in your mailbox?

14 February, 2013

Beautiful Creatures - Not Really a Movie Review

Beautiful Creatures - Movie Tie-in Edition

Release date February 14, 2013
Directed by Richard LaGravenese
Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis,
Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson
Alcon Entertainment/Warner Brothers

First, let me start out by saying I am deeply biased when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations, especially if I liked the book a lot, which I did in the case of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I tend to set my standards pretty low for book-to-film adaptations because I think there's so much print that needs to be reinterpreted to fit into a 2-hour audio-visual format; you will necessarily lose some things in translation, but gain others. 

I'm even more biased when I know the authors. I was so thrilled years ago when the first book of the Caster Chronicles came out and Kami and Margie agreed to come and talk to a tiny book club we had gathered at Borders Glendale. We ate Milk Duds and popcorn and sat in a little circle beside a giant pile of books (which they graciously signed--and of which we sold every last copy). It's hard not to be biased when I have so many fond memories of talking to Kami and Margie and getting excited about how much their characters loved to read, talking about our favorite books, and brainstorming about how to engage readers. So I'm just warning you now, I was predisposed to like the film, because I loved the book, and this is why I say it's not really a movie review. I'm just gushing.

So, on to the movie. 

The cast really holds up this film. I've lived in Los Angeles too long not to scrutinize things like sound design and sets, but give me a great, committed cast and I'm hooked no matter what. Viola Davis as the fierce and maternal Amma, Jeremy Irons as Lena's Uncle Macon who is a Dark-turned-Light Caster, and Emma Thompson as the fearful and possessed Mrs. Lincoln anchor the drama. Alice Englert makes a fine Lena Duchannes, but Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate is a real scene-stealer and my favorite by far--cheeky, sweet, and sincere. Thomas Mann, who plays Ethan's best friend, Link, isn't in there nearly enough, but he looks just about right. Those who haven't read the book might be a little confused by Emmy Rossum and her over-the-top costuming as Cousin Ridley. Don't worry--I read the books and I was a little confused, too. I think we either lost something in editing, or I might have been too preoccupied with Ehrenreich's charm and Thompson's balls-to-the-wall performance to figure out what the heck was happening in the movie theatre alley. 

The other great gain in this project: LaGravenese's screenplay. I loved the dialogue and the pacing. Seriously, if they were to publish the screenplay I would buy it--there's so much to differentiate it from the source material. The adaptation brings the novel's themes to the fore, boiling it down to just the bones and the broth--the essence of the book with all the description stripped out and translated into what we see and hear. The film also seemed much more humorous than the book, a huge point in its favor. 

Fans of the books might be disappointed at all the missing characters, particularly Ryan, Ridley's little sister who is a Thaumaturge or healer. I, however, felt all the omissions were necessary to keep the plot nice and tight--like Ethan's dad (Sir-not-appearing-in-this-film). Didn't miss him for a moment. 

The only things that particularly annoyed me were the special effects: fake-looking vines or veins creeping up walls and across people's skin, fireballs exploding out of nowhere and just looking physically wrong, as well as the unsubtle amber eye-glow of the Dark Casters. I wish they'd toned down Dark-Lena's eye makeup and instead let (a probably very capable) Alice Englert emote the evil. Also, I loved Emmy Rossum's va-va-voom vampiness, but some of Ridley's costumes just seemed too trashy and desperate. I liked her yellow dress best, in the scene where she's claimed for the Dark--simultaneously conveying both her innocence and the loss of it. 

There were a couple of music cues from the trailers that I wish had been in the film--or maybe they were and I was too busy swooning over Jeremy Irons?--anyway, it appears I'll have to do some research to figure out what they were. 

All in all, I felt that the production captured the heart of the story, which is ultimately about change, choice, and the power of love. I liked the ending, but worry that its finality means there won't be more movies. I look forward to seeing Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert in future films, regardless of whether they're for this franchise or not. 

Our Beautiful Creatures giveaway ends today, so hurry up and enter!
For more giveaways and news about the movie and books, visit CasterGirls.com 

Have you seen Beautiful Creatures? What did you think? No spoilers, please--leave a comment below.

13 February, 2013

Author Event - Breathless Reads at Mrs. Nelson's

Earlier this week, Read Now Sleep Later had the awesome honor of being the official bloggers for the Breathless Reads Tour stop at Mrs. Nelson's Toy & Book Shop in La Verne, CA. RNSL's very own Alethea moderated the Breathless panel the day before at B&N and told us how great it was. Kimberly and I were super excited to cover this stop on the tour. (Note that this is going to be a pretty long, picture heavy post.) I (Thuy) will be posting in black while Kimberly will be adding her comments in blue.

Kimberly: Did we mention we both took the day off from work to attend? No, day jobs! You will not get in our way! Onward!

We arrived a couple of hours early and were able to get our shopping done before the panel began. After a short break for dinner, we returned to the store to meet Beverly from Mrs. Nelson's and Kathryn, the moderator of the panel. Mrs. Nelson's always goes above and beyond for events and this was no exception.

Kimberly: For real. 

There was a candy station at the back of the room where guests could create their own survival packs filled with M&Ms, Skittles, and candy hearts. That's totally my kind of survival food.

Kimberly: I might, might, have eaten my weight in Skittles that night. Just saying. 

The turnout for the event was very good and everyone seemed very excited to see things get started.  

Kimberly: I'd like to state that I thought this panel was exceptional. All of the talented authors are articulate, charming and positive. There was real excitement in the room and when the panel started- Standing Room only!

After the necessary intros, we got right down to the questions (please note that I am paraphrasing so please don't quote me. Hopefully our audio recording of the panel comes out well and we can put that up at a later date). I am not going to recap all the questions, just some of our faves.

What was the biggest lesson or surprise you had when getting your first book published?

JK: Jessica was surprised by the sudden rise in esteem in the small town she grew up in. A teacher who always had to discipline her for fighting or reading during class called to ask her to come visit their school. Being a published author changed people's perspective of her. 

ML: Surprised by how much of a writer's job is not writing. There are events, interviews, Facebook and Twitter. Surprised by how solitary writing is for half of the year and the other half is extremely social.

BY: Surprised that writing her second book was not that same as writing the first book. She thought that after the first book, she had it down, but then realized that she had no idea how to write the next book. She learned that each book is different and she won't know how to write it, but she will learn and grow from each one.

AC: Agreed with Marie that the extreme dichotomy of solitude vs the world of social media for an author surprised her. She also learned how little most people know about the publishing industry itself.

If you could choose one author to have dinner with, who would it be and what would you ask them?

AC: Neil Gaiman. Andrea is a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and told a funny story of how she used to live across the river from him and had to sometimes tell herself that she was not going to go stalk him. She also said that she had a funny blog post from a long time ago where she talked about wanting to meet Neil Gaiman at the grocery store (I totally found it - here). She would ask him about world building and mythology.

JS: Jessica would love to meet fantasy author Lois McMaster Bujold. She would love to pick Lois's brain and ask her about how she writes such great characters.

ML: Though deceased, Marie chose fantasy author Brian Jacques as her dinner date. Marie would love to ask him about world building and about the food in his books. Apparently there are a lot of food references in his books and Marie wants to know if these foods are real and if Brian could make them for her.

BY: Brenna chose Christopher Pike to invite to dinner. Brenna read a lot of Pike's work when she was a young adolescent and she wants to tell him about the odd perspective his books gave her adolescence. 

kind of love this pic of andrea kimberly took

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

AC: Write the book. She quoted Neil Gaiman saying that the difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is that the published author wrote the book. Don't give up and keep writing.

BY: Don't tell yourself "No." People will tell you "No" every day but don't start to doubt yourself. 

ML: Write, even if the words are bad. Just get it out. Sometimes you have to write a bad scene to get through it, but don't stop. 

JK: If Jessica had to tell her younger, aspiring author self something, it would be to go out and do something. Live life. Find out who you are. It's so easy to get wrapped up in a book and imaginary worlds, but you need to get out there and experience life for yourself.

If you couldn't be a writer and had to choose a "normal job," what would it be?

JK: Casting director

ML: Fighter pilot

BY: Fashion designer, dollmaker, psychological profiler, forensic anthropologist

AC: Dancer or cowboy

Favorite literary couple:

AC: Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables)

BY: Peabody & Emerson (Amelia Peabody series)

ML: Phèdre & Joscelin (Kushiel's Dart series)

JK: Po & Katsa (Graceling series)

There were a few more questions after this, but then the signing started. We hung out near the end of the line because Kimberly and I both had a giant stack of books.

Kimberly: And because we were having so much fun, even though it was getting kinda late, we didn't want to leave. 

All of the authors were really fantastic and fun. They signed all the books and posters and I think everyone had a good time. Here are a few last tidbits that I got while speaking with the authors during the signing session.

  • I got Jessica to give me a quick pronunciation guide to her book Origin. So Eio is pronounced Ee-oh (not Ay-oh as I've been saying it, though Jessica admits that she forgets sometimes as well). And Ai'on is said like Iowa. She also said that the Ai'on tribe is not a real tribe but is based on a real tribe from the Amazon.
  • Since Marie had expressed an interest in being a fighter pilot, I asked her if Kaede in Prodigy was her vicarious way of being a pilot and she said yes.  During the panel, Marie also mentioned that her editor named her baby Primo after the Elector Primo, who is named after her boyfriend. 
  • Brenna said that she loves all of the covers to her books (yes - so gorgeous!) but admitted that The Replacement might be her favorite because it was her first novel and the cover exceeded all of her expectations. 
  • I asked Andrea about her new adult series coming out this fall. She said that her publisher had approached her about writing an erotica novel and she came up with the idea for the series. She says that she is a very fast writer (she writes a book every 3 months or so) and says that she often comes to her publisher with ideas for new books or series. She also said that it would be extremely smutty (yay!).

Phew! And that was the end of the evening. Many thanks to Mrs. Nelson's for putting on such a wonderful event as well as the authors and Penguin for putting on the tour. Thanks to my co-blogger Kimberly for being my partner in crime. Kimberly recorded the audio for the panel. We're going to take a listen to it and hopefully it will be good enough to put up. We will definitely let you know if and when that happens.

Shout out to our friends who were also at the event - Crystal (Elegantly Bound Books), Nicole (The Reader's Antidote), Stacee (Adventures of a Book Junkie), Lindy and Ro (A Bookish Escape), and Lolly. I am sure there were other bloggers there as well. You should definitely go to one of the tour stops if you can. We had an awesome time. For more photos please visit our Facebook album for the event.

Kimberly: Also want to mention that Thuy and I did purchase some beautiful SIGNED books that night that we are planning on giving away to you, Lucky Readers! So keep an eye out on Read Now Sleep Later, and on our solo blogs Nite Lite and The Windy Pages.

You may also be interested to know that Mrs. Nelson's has signed books ready to be purchased! So if you missed the event, but still want a signed copy, visit their website or give them a call!

 Who's your favorite Breathless Reads author? Are you going to any of the events?


Stacked (5)

I know, I know. Super late. I have a good reason.

Stacked is our sister site's mailbox sharing weekly feature.


I just went to three signings in three days. 
My new Barnes & Noble member card has just paid for itself.

The one most likely to make me cry: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Also the book that has most consistently saved my life since 1999. The brilliant movie version is now on DVD & Bluray! (I bought one of each but have to wait until Aly comes over to watch the film again because I know I am going to cry a lot during. If you haven't seen it yet, get ready to feel ALL the feelings.)

The debut: Jessica Khoury's Origin which incidentally looks amazing with Thuy's hands. (ARC)

The sequel: Was Marie Lu's Legend this steamy? Because Prodigy is... whooo! (Bought)

The one I didn't want to put down even though page 70 is missing from the ARC:
Rift -- the sequel is Rise -- by Andrea Cremer. (Bought the latter)
I don't think I can actually read faster than she writes; she has 4 books coming out this year.

Missing from this photo: Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff because I already loaned it out.
The Space Between and The Curiosities made it home. Dunno where The Replacement went!
I think I loaned it out last year and never got it back. Maybe next time. (Bought PV)

And Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter. (Bought)
Now if I can just figure out where I stashed the first two books I'll be all set. -___-

Middle Grade:

Jungle Jenny by Jane Hancock (Ordered from publisher)
My English teacher from 9th grade--who inspires me still!

Vanishing Acts by Leslie Margolis (Bought from Once Upon a Time)
(and I just realized I'm missing one)

The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell (Bought at OUaT)

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher -- not out until June! From the author.

The Fellowship for Alien Detection by Kevin Emerson (ARC from the publisher)

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner (Bought at OUaT)

These were all the amazing authors who were so kind to help us with our mystery event, Get a Clue!
The shop still has signed copies and will ship, so give them a call at 818 248 9668. 

Missing from this photo: The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
and its sequel The Magician's Tower because it won't be out until February 26.

But I want it now!

For review:

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

These look scrumptious. And I may have dropped a cat treat in their general vicinity.

Illustrated by Francesca Carabelli

This was, in fact, in my mailbox--if you review picture books and would like to be on the blog tour, please let me know! Email frootjoos at gmail dot com.

Downloaded from Audible:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Read by Rebecca Soler

Ok, I know I keep telling people I hated Cinder. I did! I threw my iPod across the room a few times. (Good thing it's so tough.) It was a good book though... and it had a good reader, so I'll listen to the sequel. 

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
Read by Shannon McManus

They had me at the title. I don't actually know what it's about. This better be good!

All right, I think I'm done for the day. What did you get in your mailbox?

12 February, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance - Review

The Goddess Inheritance

The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, Book 3)
Publication date: 26 February 2013 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN 10/13: 0373210671 | 9780373210671

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Keywords: Myths, Retellings, Series, Gods and Goddesses
Format: ebook, Hardcover
Source: NetGalley

cuppa tea, love

Kimberly's Review: 

Last year, I finally got around to reading The Goddess Test, book one. Which I LOVED, and immediately grabbed for book two. Then I had wait, like forever, to get my hands on book three, the final book. And I'm still not sure what I think about it.

This review will contain some spoilers from the first two books so if you haven't read books one and two, maybe you should stop reading now and grab a cup of tea.

Spoilers below

Without giving too much away, Kate has been captured by Calliope and held for nine months, waiting to give birth. Henry doesn't know anything is wrong and no one is searching for her. That is, until all hell breaks loose. Cronos is ready to blast through, starting a war he intends no one to survive. Not his children, not humanity. Calliope at his side has one goal, to make Kate miserable, and she plans on doing that by stealing Kate and Henry's baby.

There are some really wonderful things about The Goddess Inheritance. This book is a fast paced thrill ride. So much happens, I can't even begin to go into everything. Action packed. Calliope morphs into an even more sinister version of herself, and she is pretty terrifying and gross. We see Cronos a little differently in this book and get a closer look at his motivations. Together, these two are bent on destroying the world, and for most of the book, I really thought they would do it. No one is safe and it's hard to see who is on whose side and why.

There's also a lot of open questions at the end of the book and this makes me... happy! (See, you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?) I hope this opens the road for spin off books.

Now some not so great things. I liked Kate in books one and two, but that didn't hold true for me in book three. Kate whines a lot, complains, feels helpless and whines some more. A lot of the conversations between her and Henry are about sacrifice, who is willing to give up what. I love Kate's compassion and love, but halfway through the middle of the book, she becomes this wet mop. Where is the Kate from the beginning? Who passed the tests? Who fought for Henry's love? She's in there somewhere, but it takes a while for her to get back to herself so most of the book I kinda wanted to slap her across the face.

Another thing I loved in the series was Henry and Kate together. Their trials and victories as a couple, as a unit, facing real relationship problems and lack of communication. Their fights and struggles nearly killed me in the first two books. Killed. Me. That wasn't really evident in this book. Their problems were more circumstantial and the heat and love I felt between them earlier wasn't as strong. Don't get me wrong, I love Henry and Kate. But I was expecting more from them as a couple, and was disappointed by the course of their relationship.

Here's a non-spoiler for those who have read it already:

Yeah, that whole thing that happens on the island? and then there's little-to_no discussion about it afterwards? None? NONE? What?! One line? We get one line about not talking about it? (slaps forehead) I call foul!

Overall though, The Goddess Inheritance is a solid end to a captivating trilogy. I'm sad it's over, I still want more and while I'm disappointed by some of the events that happened in book three, I still think it's one of my favorite series out there and would totally read it again.


For more about the author, visit aimeecarter.com and tweet @aimee_carter.

You can find more reviews by Kimberly at The Windy Pages and tweet her @thewindypages.

08 February, 2013

Uncovered (3): Love in the Time of Global Warming

Hi, everyone! Welcome to Uncovered, a feature that I usually do over at our sister site Nite Lite Reviews. When I feature a YA cover, I cross post it here on RNSL so you all can join in the cover fun. Let's get to is, shall we?

This week I have Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. I've had my eye on this cover for a little while now and I love it more each time I see it. Butterflies and birds have been pretty popular on covers lately, but I can't complain because I really enjoy the sort of bursting forth imagery they are often used for. And indeed, it does look like something is bursting from the mind of the young woman on the cover. I also really like the woodblock style illustration on the lower half. At first it looks like just water but then I see the house, flower, and an eye, all of which intrigue me. The cover itself tells a story and it makes me want to know more about this book.

I would read this for the title alone (I am a fan of Love in the Time of Cholera), but the cover makes me want to read it even more. Love in the Time of Global Warming won't be released until Aug 27, 2013 (Henry Holt & Co).

Are you sick of birds and butterflies yet or do you love them like I do?

Real or Not Real? Cover Up - Tiny Rant (1)

So by now you've probably seen the Jezebel post about hideous new covers for some classic books like The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

If you haven't, click here and then come back.

So. Faber & Faber (The Bell Jar) I think is a Macmillan company in the US, and this is the UK cover. I actually kind of like the cover art, at second glance. It's not so much sexualizing the book as evoking the thought of a woman applying a mask, pretending to be happy, but the mask is slipping--and she's almost out of makeup. I don't like it as much as the US trade paperback cover (shown later in this post). 

The Breakfast at Tiffany's cover is from Viking which is a Penguin imprint. It's not so much pandering to a female buyer as it is, well, just not as classic as the first edition:


I feel you should only be allowed to tote that around in public if you look like this:

Image from Mac and Me

So that leaves Night & Day by Virginia Woolf, an Anne of Green Gables omnibus, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's feminist Herland. Here comes the rant! News flash: these covers were selected by not-real publishers. These are self-published, Print-on-Demand (or POD) titles from Createspace.com and Readaclassic.com. 

You know why there seem to be so many different copies of books like The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, or Moby Dick by Herman Melville? Once the copyright for a work has lapsed and no one holds license or title to it, anyone can go and reproduce it and resell it--this is called Public Domain. So someone had the bright idea to take this farm girl photo and slap it on Anne of Green Gables, never mind that the model in the photo is blonde and kind of skanky looking, while Anne is supposed to be a sparky redhead. And while big publishers once in a while mess up covers on a huge scale, I don't think any of them have quite let their standards fall this low.

So people, calm down. 

When you go to the bookstore, this is probably the cover you will see on The Bell Jar:

A lovely design from HarperPerennial

And this is probably the most common cover art for Anne of Green Gables:

Or some variation of this. 

Dover, who, yes, is a real publisher, and not some guy with a computer and Windows Paint, has these nice-looking thrift edition covers for Herland:

Kind of classic, really. 

And Night & Day by Virginia Woolf might look like:

Oxford World's Classics (above), Penguin Classics (below)

Very serious, indeed.

My favorite cover is actually this one:

From Vintage books.

So relax, people. These self-pub shops don't have oversight, no one to go, "Wait--I think Anne's supposed to be a ginger..." Most of the time this lack of oversight is why I refuse to read books from Createspace/Smashwords or any self-pubbed outlet. 

Also, while we're at it, stop complaining about Twilight-ized classics. As a designer and someone who works with book publicity, I actually thought that was a kind of clever marketing decision, and I'd covet them if I didn't already have like, 6 copies of Pride and Prejudice that have better binding than the cheap paperback one. 

Ok, truth: I covet them anyway. They are so pretty! If only the binding were sturdier. (Yes, I think about these things a lot.)


Do you have any covers you love, or ones you love to hate? Leave a comment below.