I think I’ve written and re-written this post’s intro paragraph approximately 27 times. I wanted to say something witty and clever, something to make you laugh. I wanted to say that this cover art was both breathtaking and beautiful. Perhaps I could have started with my excitement about how more and more illustrated work is creeping into the YA cover scene — and how that’s a very, very good thing.
How about I just show you the cover instead?
The cover art is absolutely fitting for the premise of J.J. Johnson’s debut novel: it’s different. This is one of those covers that I could easily envision in a gallery somewhere, illuminated by dim track lighting. It would be mixed-media art, so you could see it in three different planes. I’d slowly sip my wine and hover around it, looking at it from various angles — I may even throw in a sophisticated phrase here and there to try to look cool.
I think that there’s something achingly familiar in a title called This Girl is Different. There’s a part of me that’s drawn to it because I was that teenage girl, and I am that twenty-something woman who feels/wants to be different. Just its title alone has the ability to pull in any pair of eyes — teens and adults alike. It has that dizzying feeling of whimsy, from the desaturated earth to its beautiful set of hues and tones covering the centerpiece — the rain cloud. It’s like the imagination of the protagonist, Evie, has spilled out from inside its pages and onto the cover. If a cover can be described as quirky and surreal in the same sentence, This Girl is Different does it effortlessly.
Well, I say effortlessly, but we all know that’s not the case. Luckily, author J.J. Johnson and designer Mo Withee from Peachtree Publishers will be stopping by the blog over the next two days. Stay tuned to find out the meaning behind the lightning bolt and how the Frankenstein effect plays a role in the journey of creating a striking piece of cover art.