Jonathan Friesen’s Jerk, California is the perfect example of a novel that I picked up at a bookstore because its spine (that’s right folks, right before I even saw the COVER) caught my eye.
Take a look:
It’s almost excruciatingly simple, no?
I had never seen Friesen’s book cover online, nor had I read any reviews. All I saw was the partial title on the spine (JERK), which is identical to the font on the cover. The book is a sort of medium blend of red and orange, and I mean, come on, the book said JERK. It’s as if it was calling to me, “Hey, you’re a jerk for not picking me up!”
But then…then came the texture. You can’t see it in the above image, and unfortunately the below photo of my copy doesn’t do it much more justice.
If you were to run your hands along the face of the book, you’d feel the debossing of the uppercase portion of the title. Where most covers are beautifully embossed (Beautiful Creatures comes to mind), debossing is the exact opposite; a crater is pressed into the paper rather than the reverse. JERK also has a nice shiny varnish. It’s like the perfect texture-lovers dream.
Simplicity aside, I’m a sucker for sans serif fonts, and because Friesen’s name is in white, it was the second thing I noticed. For those who are curious, it’s called Estilo Script by DSType.
The barrenness and large amount of unused real estate on this cover might be a bit overkill for some, but it didn’t bother me in the least. This book popped off the shelves because of the a) bright color b) uppercase letters and c) texture.
And eventually after I finished pondering the cover, I read that it was about a boy with Tourette’s. Sold.