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Bad, Bad Cover

January 20, 2009

And I’m not talking about Tim Curry singing “Baby Love.”

As much as I would love to give you another post filled with vampire/high school drama, I cannot do it today.  I am way too tired.  I couldn’t sleep last night for the longest time–like, I heard my roommate’s alarm go off at 6:30am and I was still up.  Then I crashed out a little later, only to have my daughter wake me at 7:45am to tell me that my roommate had slipped and fallen in the driveway.  I drove him to the emergency room on about an hour of sleep to find that he’d broke his wrist in two places.  Poor guy.  So I spent a part of the day driving him to the pharmacy and such.  I did get a little nap (slept through Obama’s swearing in, oops) but not nearly enough to write a big post.

Instead, I give you this, the cover of the book that kept me from being miserable all last night:


Looks great, doesn’t it?  It definitely caught my eye.  I’ve read Lisa Jewell before–when I worked at a book store in Cape May, NJ, I picked up Ralph’s Party and absolutely loved it–but the cover is the reason I took it and not any other Jewell book off the shelf.

Now let’s talk about how inaccurate it is.

First off, the retro.  Retro is great; we all love retro.  (I, personally, would dress like Jackie-O* every day if I had the energy and didn’t think everything looked a bit itchy.)  But retro says two things: old-fashioned and cartoony, neither of which describes this book.   The story takes place in the ’80s, ’90s, and the ’00s.  The characters would be better off dressed as New Wavers in the main picture and hipsters in the smaller, present-day one if the cover wanted to portray the story accurately, but we’ll see that’s just not the point.

So, cartoony.  If this book were lighter, I’d agree the picture might just pass muster.  But it isn’t.  It doesn’t go to extremely dark places, but there are some shadows here and there.  I would have to say that “bittersweet,” a word used in a blurb on the back, is a good word to describe the book–not in the schmaltzy sense, but more of a balance between that which is funny/cute and that which is rather sad/not very cute at all.

Then you’ve got the physical details of the characters.  I’ve already spoken about the whole retro thing hitting the wrong decade, but the female lead in the book is a brunette and the male is the blond.  Um…so the images on the front are just coming off more and more ridiculous as the book goes on.


Sigh.  Ms. Jewell deserves better for her book, but I’ll get to that when I do my week in books.  Which will most certainly not be now because I need to go find something to keep me awake just long enough that I can go to bed early, but not so early that I wake up at 4am and start this cycle all over again.

*Well, maybe Parker Posey as Jackie-O in The House of Yes.

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