Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paint It (anything but) Black

Hello readers! We thought we'd start occasionally talking about how a book LOOKS, not just how it READS. Because, honestly, we all DO sometimes judge a book by it's cover. So, today, we're tackling the Red, White, and Black elephant in the room: the Twilight-inspired trend in book covers. I just feel like they're all out of some wanna-be-1950's Diner.

Ah, the "Paint It Black (and Red and White.)" Twilight started the trend but please, oh please, can it stop now? I mean, it's all fine and great but do you have to recover the classics in this style?


Photo credit:

Oh, that reissue cover made me throw up in my mouth a little. I'm torn between thinking "Well, maybe now some teens may discover a classic..." and thinking "What the hell ever, I 'discovered' that classic on my own WITHOUT Bella and Edward mucking it up!" I wonder how many teens WON'T read it now, simply because of it's association with Twilight? I know for a fact that I avoid anything with the big "Oprah's Book Club!" sticker simply because I feel like it's being shoved at me.

Ah, *happy sigh* now ::THIS:: this is the Wuthering Heights version, I prefer. Sorry Edward and Bella and thank you, anthropologie:


Ooooh - pretty! I would read that again, just for the cover! (Even though I truly detest WH. Yeah, I said it.) And why does everything on the anthropologie site make we want to whip out the credit cards? *smacks own hand*

I think the What's-Black-and-White-and-Red all over re-issues of classics are the ones that drive me crazy. Imagine the shock of someone opening up Pride and Prejudice and realizing Mr. Darcy is not a vampire?!? Oh wait, there is that book -- Mr. Darcy, Vampire. When will the Twi-comparisons end so we can move on gracefully???

Uh, I'm pretty sure gracefully was a few reprints ago. How about just moving on?

There are SO many books out there that are using that color scheme and I always sigh and think, "Original much?" I actually pass books up sometimes that have covers in that style.

Well, just browse Amazon or Barnes and Noble's "New and Noteable" Teen Reads sections and you'll come up with a ton of books that fit this subject. See? I even screencapped it! That doesn't mean I don't love, or WOULDN'T love, these books. It's just that it's getting hard to tell them all apart.


The other day I couldn't find a book in my bookcases. Don't laugh! My bookcases are black and so are most of my book spines. I have them categorized in my own haphazard Dewey Decimal way -- no, there's not a shelf for Hot Boys with Swords, not yet -- but it took a while to find the book. I'd love to sort my books by color like in the anthropologie catalogue but, yeah, black would dominate. Hey, publishers, can we "paint with all the colors of the wind"? Please?

Oooh! Do you categorize them based on supernatural creatures too? What? I do!

I think this whole cover controversy is why I was so excited to get Linger. I could have ordered the iBook (as I am now loving reading books on my iPad), but I just HAD to have Linger's amazing cover in my hands. And green font? Hello, beautiful. I think all the books (so far) in the Shiver series are amazing in their simplicity. They are so far from the red/black/white, and that makes them all the more attractive. That being said, the Italian cover of Shiver did not stray from that theme. And neither did the UK - for both Shiver and Linger. This time, I think the US version is by far the best.


Well, I think there's this trend right now towards minimalist covers, as well. Some people seem to equate that with the Red/White/Black theme, but the US Shiver/Linger covers illustrate a way to do minimalist but still stand out.

I agree. *frowns at UK Linger/Shiver covers*

*hugs her green-covered-Linger close* So, readers, what do you think? Are you over the Red-White-Black-Minimalist covers, or do you think we're being nitpick-y? Let us know!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

You all know I'm a big fan of the Percy Jackson series, yes? (If not, go here for the rec!) I finished the last book while en route to Africa, and it was a perfect ending to the series - loved it. I also watched the movie ("The Lightning Thief") on the plane - and loved that too!

Okay, moving on to today's topic... Since I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series so much, I thought I'd give Rick Riordan's new book The Red Pyramid a try.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs

Just like with the Percy Jackson series, The Red Pyramid (or the Kane Series) is rooted in mythology. But, this time it's Egyptian mythology - which was great fun for me, as I'm kind of clueless when it comes to that. (I should mention that I've read a goodreads review that goes OFF on Riordan's lack of knowledge on Egyptian Mythology, so perhaps don't take the book too seriously.)

I loved the characters in this book. Sadie and Carter, who alternately tell the story, are siblings who don't know each other all that well. In fact, they don't even look like siblings. One of my favorite things about this book is that the main characters are from a mixed-race background. Their mom was white, their dad black. Carter looks like his dad, and Sadie her mom. (And here is where I get a little self-indulgent...) Having kids who look nothing like me (and I often get questioned whether I'm their 'real' mom), I loved reading about a family facing the same kinds of issues. I think Riordan did an excellent job. Also, YAY! for a minority main character in a YA book! Leigh and I often discuss that there are not many, and why... oh, but that's a whole other post.

Okay, back to why I love the characters. Sadie is a total smart-ass and she made me giggle throughout. Her brother is much more serious and reserved, but he begins to loosen up as the book progresses. I like how this book is just as much about their relationship as it is about the action. Seeing the two of them learn from each other, and about one another was a high point for me.

And, the action. Riordan knows how to write action scenes. I love LOVE the crazy creatures, the new and amazing abilities Carter and Sadie have, the scary villains, and the drama. Just like the Percy Jackson series, this book was FUN. I laughed, even cried a little. It's a great summer book! Have you read it yet? Are you planning on it? Let me know what you think!

P.S. I also want to give a shout-out to our friends over at Mystical Lit Lounge! I won one of their fun contests recently and they sent me a big old box of great stuff - including an Eclipse poster. I'm already thinking of creative ways to use it for the Eclipse DVD Release Party. Pin-the-Wig-on-the-Bella perhaps? Thanks ladies!!