Analyzing Book Covers

Quick catch-up: after a mostly great months reading novels I’m in a not slump but everything that I’m reading is okay.  They are in that ugh middle ground of being neither bad or amazing. Bummer.

So a couple of days ago I randomly analyzed a book cover which was really fun so now I want to do more. All of these are from my goodreads to read shelf so I know at least a little bit about them making this not a just based on cover alone thing.

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Monday’s Not Coming

First thoughts: The cover is atmospheric the red color makes me think of an alarm blaring. Look at her facial expression and body language. She doesn’t have her hands around her knees but it still looks hectic with the color.

Second Viewing: A couple of things I did not notice or know how to pinpoint- I did not notice that the red is not just a background that the character is sitting on top of it is lighting her skin, shoes, and clothes (I know there is a word to describe what the red is doing to her but I can’t think of this exact word/wording).The red lighting makes the white  words stand out even more. I did not notice that the words are basically white chalk.

Further into her facial expression which I couldn’t pinpoint. Looking at it now it seems like she is distracted, her mind is somewhere else. This probably ties into her being distracted thinking about her missing friend.

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Princeless Short Stories Vol. 1

Black girl riding a light pink/purple dragon in the air. She looks like she is ready to go into battle seeing as she has her knife out in the air. She and the dragon are not going angry or sadly into battle but happy. The warrior princess is very in line with the Princeless series.

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Babysitter IV

Tagline: Her life is still on the line…

She is obviously in the kitchen on the phone. This is the fourth Babysitter but she has the window opened…drapes opened…(Or the blinds are those type of drapes that cannot be closed).  Also, she has her back turned to the window with all the aforementioned things… Definitely can tell it is the 80s-90s because she is on a cordless phone (side comment: some people say the cellphone killed a lot of horror trappings). It is midday about to turn to the darkness of nighttime so she is doing all of this when it is about to be dark out.
Her face is scared and she is holding the cord on the phone tightly. It makes me think of Scream since I sampled (but did not finish) the script and saw the movie trailer. I feel like a scary movie character wore the exact outfit the main character wears on the cover but I have not seen enough scary movies to really tell.

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Tooth And Talon

Don’t remember what this is about so this is going to be interesting?

The main character has a high tech suit in a forest. What does that mean? Is the forest she is going into dangerous? There are red leaves that look like feathers so is the “Talon” referring to a bird she is trying to get to? Look at how huge the leaves are they are almost taller or are taller than her. What is the blue-ish bulbs on the leaves?

The woman pictured has a look of searching that blank what is going on look.

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The Legend of Shadow High

Tagline: Ever After High meets Monster High!

Mirror: The broken window in the middle I’m assuming signifies the portal between the worlds. In the mirror is the forest which is usually something you see in Ever After High than Monster High.

Sides: From monster high there is Frankie Stein and Draculaura, from ever after high Raven Queen and Apple White (these are  usually the spokesman from both worlds which ugh since I don’t like Draculaura and Frankie Stein but that is another conversation)

Anyway, the emblems around the mirror incorporates monster high skull (bottom) and ever after high girl with hood (top). On the top above the ever after high emblem is the two skull crests leaning on each other. All of the emblems and lining around mirror are in gold and black.

Background: There is a grey symbol that starts off big then gets smaller. The symbol is distinguishable at the top until it all bunches all in together at the bottom.

The overall style is something that Ever After High first series by Shannon Hale does which makes sense seeing how the story is set in Ever After High and written by Hale.

It would be interesting next time analyzing covers of books I know absolutely nothing about or have already read.

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Netgalley Reviews: Fairy Tale Retellings

I did not plan for this random fairy tale theme actually.

(I received these for my honest review from netgalley)

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass

9/5/17

12%

Why DNF? The way the writing was set up (the two main characters stories paralleling each other) was confusing. So I would keep mixing up Lynet and Mina. Where are the fantasy elements? The story was slow going and barely had any fantasy which as a personal preference I do not like in fantasy unless the characters are really compelling.

Like:  idea of the fantasy elements (glass heart), idea of exploration of snow white and evil queen relationship

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Little Red Wolf

10/3/17

Art: artistic (play around with color and style), reminiscent of fairy tales, font fits what would be in a fairy tale book

Story: I liked the twist on red riding hood and how the story captures fairy tales essence well. It captures the brutality, whimsicalness, and the beats without it being an average fairy tale story.

Netgalley Reviews: Good Batch

(I got these for review from netgalley)

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Children of Blood and Bone Excerpt/Preview (Chapters 1-6)

3/6/17

Cover: is actually representative of what is in the novel. The colors are so eye-catching and vibrant.

Pros

  1. Fantasy world- it’s not clunky/info-dumpy, it is interesting to have a world that is majority if not completely filled with black people
  2. How it deals with the problems of the world- the greatest thing about having a world with majority/completely filled with black people is that the story can be intraracial issues such as colorism. It also does a good representation of systematic oppression ( there is even some commentary about misogynoir )
  3. Brutal- the stakes are high and real

I really did not have anything I did not like about it so I’m ready  for it to come out. I’m actually a bit annoyed at myself for sampling something coming out next year in March.

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My Nana and Me

8/1/17

Art:  Black girl with black doll, good drawing black people, dream like different images that blend into one

Story: love between grandmother  and her granddaughter

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Sweet Dreams, Super Girl

2/1/18

Art: mix comic and picture book-transition for young superhero lovers, poc children

Story: takes everyday lessons and adds superheroes to it

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Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament

9/5/17

Art: colors bright, black people in background (different between black and white features)

Story: actually kinda funny, was history lession without me realizing its a history lesson (didn’t feel messagy)

280: The Duff

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Synopsis

Soon to be a major motion picture! Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. But things aren’t so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.  

Cover: This movie tie-in version is the best.

The Good

  • fun comparing it to movie (after a while I stopped comparing it to the movie because it is pretty different beyond the premise of the story)
  • main character voice-she is opinionated. People don’t like these type of girl teen voices (I feel she sounds like me as a teen)
  • the main character (Bianca) had a multifaceted voice
  • feminist (in ways)- sexually progressive  (allowing the main character to not feels shame for sleeping with someone casually)

The Bad

  • Last 70 or so pages felt like the last 5 episodes of a k-drama (or most Asian dramas)- filler city and prolonged problems between characters
  • lack of diversity (noticeable more since in the movie one of the friends, Casey, is Latina)
  • falls back on sexual progressive conversation (or shows internalized misogyny)
  • Her friends were a bit interchangeable

The Meh

All these young adult books are catching up with me. This one made me think about high school young adult reader me. It is interesting coming back to ya and reading something I feel I would not have enjoyed as an actual young adult.

I want to read essays about The Duffs feminism now but cannot find any.

Being An Adult In Y.A./Being A Y.A. Returner

  • Being conscious of that adultness.

There are a lot of discussions about how adults are taking over the young adult category. I am not going to get deep into my thoughts because it is a loaded conversation that needs its own entire post that I may write one day. Overall, it is a valid and needed conversation.

  • Adult listening to adults

A. I do not want to invade teens reading spaces.

I believe that I mostly follow adult y.a. readers which is probably because as a y.a. returner I have different expectations for the genre. Also, I feel kind of uncomfortable coming into a teens space.

B. Criticalness/Critique/Discussion

Part of the reason I am able to be a part of  the category is because of the discussions. I’m connected to people who discuss all the issues I have had with category since I left back in the day. Not to say that teens are not  part of these discussions but I think adults are mostly part of these discussions.

  • Past y.a. reader me

A. grew up with y.a.

Archie comics and Fear Street were the first books I really read.

B. having a blog/goodreads footprint of me with y.a.

I can look when I first read certain books and let go of y.a.

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  • Changes in y.a. then and now

A. Mass market paperback to mostly hardcover or trade paperback

B. Y.A. novels are bigger

C. More diversity

D. More voices hitting mainstream publishing  than before

Questions

If you are someone who has been around y.a. for a long time what are some things you have noticed change about the genre? How do you feel about the whole adults in y.a. discussion? What are some things you have noticed since more adults have come into the category?

Netgalley Reviews: Penguin Teen Game-Changers & Starswept & Picture Books

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Penguin Teen Game-Changers

Pub: 9/12/17

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Warcross

Pub: 9/12/17

The first five seconds into this one it was a hard no because of the main characters voice did not appeal to me.  I’m not engaged by this one.

+Older heroine who lives a different lifestyle

-pacing (which probably is because (I read a couple of pages of this and knew I did like it.)

Continue? Nope

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Jane Unlimited

Pub: 9/19/17

+different view of teens (dropout)

-voice of the characters it felt like they were trying hard to be quirky at times, it did not engage me

Continue? No

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Someone Inside Your House

Pub: 9/26/17

I wanted this to do well because I do want more horror non-supernatural young adult to do well.  It is readable. Emotionally I am just not into it.

+Main character is Hawaiian, it was readable (it did not feel heavy)

– It was not scary/suspenseful to me

Continue? No

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Things I’m Seeing Without You

Pub: 10/3/17

+Short chapters, different lifestyle (high school boarding school dropout)

-voice of main character

Continue? No

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Pub: 10/10/17

I like the description of this the most so I thought I will actually like this one. I was right.

+I really liked the mythology, pace, that it  showed early on it can be dark/gory (saying to me yes I can and will go there). The chapters were short which ties into the pacing and the overall good job she does with giving the world and mythology info.

Continue? Yes

Overall

It was an okay sampler, did not like 4 of 5 of the books. There was variety in terms of the characters lifestyles, and genre.

Favorite Cover: There’s Someone Inside Your House

Favorite Book: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Other Netgalley Reviews

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Starswept (DNF)

Pub: 8/29/17

4% (according to my kindle app)

Like: The setting being a music school in space

Why DNF? The info dump was heavy and I just was not engaged by it.

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From Far Away

Pub: 8/8/17

Like: Art, smooth transition, imagery of dark skin woman on cover, showing difficulties that a kid who is not from America would deal with (skeleton)

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Tiny Tale of little Pea

Pub: 9/5/17

Like: Ending surprised me (I thought this is what is going to happen, then this will happen, after that it will end like this), art, this is what a person who is the size of Thumbelina would go through (was surprised the cat did not try to pick with him)

Some Books I’m Looking Forward For Rest of 2017

In my quest to not do so many book reviews here is a tbr for future me. This TBR was  unintentionally science fiction and fantasy heavy.

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Miles Morales

August 1st

Genre(s)= science fiction, fantasy, ya

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

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Calling My Name

October 24th

Genre(s)= contemporary, ya,

Taja Brown lives with her parents and older brother and younger sister, in Houston, Texas. Taja has always known what the expectations of her conservative and tightly-knit African American family are—do well in school, go to church every Sunday, no intimacy before marriage. But Taja is trying to keep up with friends as they get their first kisses, first boyfriends, first everythings. And she’s tired of cheering for her athletic younger sister and an older brother who has more freedom just because he’s a boy. Taja dreams of going to college and forging her own relationship with the world and with God, but when she falls in love for the first time, those dreams are suddenly in danger of evaporating.

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Black Beauty

September 15th 2015

Genre(s)= fantasy

At Vista Apartment Complex, life drastically changes for few of its residents when they decide to do business with Crazy Jade—the supposed voodoo witch that can grant your wish, for a price.

Shemeya wants the confidence to stand up against the girls bullying her at school, but she soon has to choose between keeping her dreadlocs or living a normal life. After catching her boyfriend cheating, Latreece just wants to have the same curves as all the other girls. Ashley will do whatever she can to have “White Girl Flow”, but takes her pursuit too far when she steals from Crazy Jade.

Everyone who comes into contact with Crazy Jade soon learns the true price of her magic—and how horribly wrong it can go.

BLACK BEAUTY takes the reader on a journey through the point of view of five residents of Vista Apartment Complex, and how each of their horrors crash together in ways they could never have expected.

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An Excess Male

September 12th

Genre(s)= science fiction

From debut author Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male is the chilling dystopian tale of politics, inequality, marriage, love, and rebellion, set in a near-future China, that further explores the themes of the classic The Handmaid’s Tale and When She Woke.

Under the One Child Policy, everyone plotted to have a son.

Now 40 million of them can’t find wives. China’s One Child Policy and its cultural preference for male heirs have created a society overrun by 40 million unmarriageable men. By the year 2030, more than twenty-five percent of men in their late thirties will not have a family of their own. An Excess Male is one such leftover man’s quest for love and family under a State that seeks to glorify its past mistakes and impose order through authoritatian measures, reinvigorated Communist ideals, and social engineering.Wei-guo holds fast to the belief that as long as he continues to improve himself, his small business, and in turn, his country, his chance at love will come. He finally saves up the dowry required to enter matchmaking talks at the lowest rung as a third husband—the maximum allowed by law. Only a single family—one harboring an illegal spouse—shows interest, yet with May-ling and her two husbands, Wei-guo feels seen, heard, and connected to like never before. But everyone and everything—walls, streetlights, garbage cans—are listening, and men, excess or not, are dispensable to the State. Wei-guo must reach a new understanding of patriotism and test the limits of his love and his resolve in order to save himself and this family he has come to hold dear.

In Maggie Shen King’s startling and beautiful debut, An Excess Male looks to explore the intersection of marriage, family, gender, and state in an all too plausible future.

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Valley of Terror

August 29th

Genre(s)= horror

A mysterious “fear disease” is scaring to death the citizens of Longzhou, China. Literally. Victims go insane or die frozen in terror, while survivors rant maniacally about demons infiltrating the city. But what’s really behind the sudden epidemic? To find the answer, Chief Inspector Luo Fei teams up with a controversial historian and a brilliant psychologist to track down the true source of the illness and halt the wave of horror that threatens the metropolis.

As the trio ventures to the primitive jungles and mountains of Yunnan, they’re haunted by tales of a seventeenth-century general whose demonic soul, said to have been sealed away in a vial of his blood, has been unleashed on the modern world. Now, trekking deep into the legendary Valley of Terror, they find themselves being stalked by someone—or something—daring them to uncover the truth. And as superstition, science, and history collide, their discovery could be as heart-stopping as fear itself.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

October 10th

Genre(s)= fantasy

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

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Talon of God

July 25th (already out)

Genre(s)= fantasy, horror

The acclaimed actor makes his fiction debut with this enthralling urban fantasy in which a holy warrior must convince a doctor with no faith to help stop a powerful demon and his minions from succeeding in creating hell on earth—a thrilling adventure of science and faith, good and evil, damnation and salvation

Imagine that everyone you have ever known or loved was forced against their will into a state of demonic possession and spiritual slavery. Imagine an unholy cabal of the world’s richest and most powerful men directing this sinister plan in order to cement their unbridled control of the planet.

Imagine two heroes emerging from that darkness to do battle with the forces of evil.

Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is the action-packed adventure centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth.

But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land.

Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive?

Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.

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The Tiger’s Daughter

October 3rd

Genre(s)= fantasy

Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.