As I was browsing Amazon yesterday, this book--Everlasting by Angie Frazier--popped up for the first time as a recommended read. I hadn't seen it before, I know, because the cover caught my eye immediately and made me click through to read more. I learned that this is a historical fantasy for YA, a debut novel by Frazier. With a gorgeous cover. Even if you aren't as romantic in taste as this cover, it makes you look at it because it stands out from the crowd. I haven't had a cover catch my eye so wonderfully since Esperanza Rising many years ago now. I worked in the library then and that book was picked up and handled by many people on the rare occasion it wasn't checked out.
Here is the description for Everlasting:
Sailing aboard her father's ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn't love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession - a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the immortals. The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father's adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar - a handsome young sailor and her father's first mate - who is in love with Camille and whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows.
With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother's disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what - and who - matters most.
So it appears to be going against the trend of most of the recent YA fantasy and further catches my interest. Then there's the whole Australia thing which I'm a sucker for. Her next book, Susannah Snow and the Mystery of the Midnight Tunnel, is also set in New Brunswick, another sucker setting for me. That is not slated for release until Spring 2011 according to her website.
Anyway, the cover got me thinking about book covers again and their importance. Even people who know better than to literally judge a book by its cover, like supposedly me, are influenced. I'm still rather amazed that blue isn't used more considering it's a favorite color of so many people. I know the psychological implications are used in making those considerations, but an attractive cover that stands out from the crowd is a marketing advantage. I wonder how tempted Scholastic was to use a sepia toned version of this cover instead? With the ancient map theme, it must have been a consideration, but I'm glad they chose to avoid the cliche.
So what are your favorite book covers of all time? Or recent years? My favorite in the fairy tale realm in the last few months is Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse which I raved about last week. This week my husband spied it on the stack and picked it up to browse, so I'm not the only one drawn to it.
Finally, another question: Are the readers here interested in other fantasy reading popping up on this blog, since it is usually in the same realm of interest? There are many books I debate sharing here. I try to stay with the fairy tale and folklore theme overall, but I have many interests and things to share. I imagine no one really minds. Some of my slightly off topic posts receive the most comments and reactions online and by email, so I think I will offer some up every so often...