Okay, so I may be cheating a bit here. The following cover art work of genius has been categorized as fiction by its publisher. I’ve seen it shelved as YA on Goodreads, and have read a few reviews categorizing it as both YA and adult.
Whatever. I’m categorizing it under Covers: Awesome.
Before I dive into why I love it, let me show you a picture of how I pulled August out of its package when it arrived in the mail last week:
It FREAKED. ME. OUT. In the very best way. I immediately turned it right-side up, flipped it upside down, right-side up again, and then I’m sure I did something just plain stupid like coo, gasp, or let out a melodramatic sigh. Then I texted a picture of it to Lauren because I can’t possibly hold in things like great cover design and she lovingly puts up with my incessant book-texting.
So. Onward with the fangirling.
It’s covers like August’s that make me want to tell publishers that they don’t have to put a sad girl in a pretty dress on a cover to capture someone’s attention. (Besides, there are enough of those SGiPD covers to field a legit prom dance floor AKA your nearest bookstore’s shelves.) What better way to pique a potential reader’s curiosity than to encourage him or her to pick up your book because they’re thinking, a) “What on earth? What do these words say?” or b) “Those people are in a car? What the? Oh.”
You simply have to pick up the book. Artwork that almost immediately requires a tactile response just blows my mind. There’s a certain psychology behind it (oh, and hey, the book’s a psychological thriller, imagine that) and it’s that type of thinking that swells this heart with the purest of cover love. The weird scientist in me wants to set several copies of this book out in my local bookstore just to see who picks it up. Just a few minutes ago, I handed the book to my husband and watched with sheer glee as he turned, flipped, and rotated it, both puzzled and intrigued. And then asked WHAT IT WAS ABOUT. <Insert heart exploding here>
Furthermore, this cover reminds me of the cleverness behind Chip Kidd’s design for Dry, one of my favorite covers of all time.
And get this: there’s an actual car accident in the story. Those two characters pictured? They’re actually in the story. It’s commonly known that cover art can sometimes play the gimmick card, pulling you in by throwing something out there that’s not really relevant to anything. But August takes that card, swallows it whole, then says, “Thank you, may I have another?”
I don’t know exactly how it all came together between illustrator Guy Shield and Text Publishing cover designer W.H. Chong, but it certainly goes without saying that the final design is nothing short of brilliant.
Thank you to my dear friend Adele for sending me August. She included a sticky note that read, Thought you’d like this cover. Adele, you could not have been more spot-on.