Cover Judge is a semi-weekly feature (I'm human, I forget, sue me) that spotlights the covers of upcoming YA novels. I know the people say "you can't judge a book by its cover," but with covers as pretty as these, it's hard not to.
The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
Release: April 17, 2012
It’s a long way from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory. But Zora Stewart will go any distance to put the tragic events of her sixteenth summer behind her. So this city girl heads to the tiny frontier town of West Glory to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going.
When another Baltimorean shows up in West Glory, Zora couldn’t be more surprised. Theo de la Croix made the long trip out west hoping to court Zora, whom he has long admired from afar.
But Zora has developed an attraction to a rather less respectable fellow: Emerson Birch, a rough-mannered young “sooner” whose fertile land is coveted.
As Zora begins to suspect that there may be more than luck behind Emerson’s good land, she discovers an extraordinary, astonishing power of her own: the ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a “springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land.
Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living.
Cover: I liked the cover for The Vespertine well enough. Pretty dress, nice sepia tone, an all around nice cover. If I saw it in a bookstore, I'd probably pick it up and leaf through it. The Springsweet's cover, on the other hand, I adore. For some reason, I have a deep love of pretty dresses in grassy fields. (You should see my senior portraits.) Thus, the cover for The Springsweet is right down my alley. The contrast between luxury and nature is stunning, in my opinion. Speaking of contrast...I love how different the two covers are in this series. In The Vespertine's cover, Zora is running and fearful. In this cover, she looks strong, peaceful, and free. The wide open blue sky contributes to this sense of freedom and possibility. Though I've never read The Vespertine, I assume that this change in attitude fits the direction of the story in this new book.