Cover Judge is a semi-weekly feature that spotlights the covers of upcoming YA novels. I know some people say "you can't judge a book by its cover," but with covers as pretty as this, it's hard not to.
Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving and lacking a single memory of the accident that landed her there. What she can remember, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the accident.
As she takes us through her transformation from invisible girl to on-trend Girl Who Dates Billy Nash (aka Most Desirable Boy Ever), she is left wondering: Why is Billy suddenly distancing himself from her? What do her classmates know that Gabby herself does not? Who exactly was in the car that night? And why is Gabby left alone to take the fall?
Putting the pieces together will take every ounce of Gabby's strength. As she peels back the layers of her life, she begins to realize that her climb up the status ladder has been as intoxicating as it has been morally complex...and that nothing about her life is what she has imagined it to be.
Cover: There are some covers that are so reminiscent of others that you just can't help but assume that was the publisher's intent. This is one of those covers. As soon as I saw it, my mind immediately went to The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Sandy beach, brown-haired girl, freckled face, pure white background - there was no denying the similarities. So, of course, I quickly added the book to my "To-Read" list on GoodReads. Clearly, the publisher's plan is already working. I mean, they even put a quote from Jenny Han on the cover. If that isn't a marketing plan, I don't know what is.
Now, I do feel slightly bad writing this post on the similarities of this cover and that of Han's book. This is a separate cover, for a separate book. It is not its fault that it looks like another, and it deserves its own special attention. After all, anyone can see how pretty this cover is. The light is stunning and the girl's countance - both thoughtful and proud - makes me want to learn more about her. Had I never read Han's series, I definitely would have picked this book up in the bookstore. The clean white look suggests a contemporary feel, which I love, and I especially like the fact that, though the beach is pictured, the girl is not in a bathing suit or doing something summery. It suggests that there is more going on in the book than simply summer fun. All of these things constitute a book I would enjoy, successfully piquing my interest. The fact that the cover is also reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite series is just, as they say, the icing on the cake.