Warning: if you don’t like to look at scary imagery, I highly suggest skipping this post.
I have a little secret: I don’t do scary. Not movies. Not books. NOTHING.
It’s interesting that as a woman in my late twenties, the smallest inkling of anything that might potentially strike fear into my heart sends me screaming in the other direction. This is interesting because as a 5th/6th grader, I had my head ducked behind book covers that looked like this:
Long story short, I quit the scary/horror scene after watching Saw II in the theater. I just couldn’t take it anymore. (The nightmares didn’t help either)
In general, there are few categories that YA covers can fall into. For me, they’re either beautiful and awesome, awful and silly, or they just kinda blend in with all the others and don’t pop out in any particular way as a whole. This doesn’t make any of those covers bad or good, just not eye-catching.
And then there are those that make it incredibly difficult to look at long enough to even say what in particular scares the pants off of me. May I present to you, Exhibit A:
Look at her eyes! Oh wait, there are none! She’s a friggin ghost!
While the bottomless eye-pits are the creepiest thing about this cover, the spidery ink-webs that she’s floating through are incredibly unnerving and make my skin crawl. There are also illustrations that open up each chapter by Patrick Arrasmith that can be found on Dunkle’s website. Arrasmith’s portfolio is amazing, but I honestly couldn’t handle putting any more creepy images on this blog.
However horrifying, I must give kudos to the designer, April Ward, and the novel’s publisher, Henry Holt and Co. There’s no doubt in my mind that they set out to create one eerie-lookin book. They definitely achieved that goal. But if I saw this novel in a bookstore, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Now…here’s hoping I can actually go to sleep tonight.