You come to the crossroads, you’re faced with a decision. Which book do you choose?
The first thing that drew me to Brenna Yovanoff’s debut novel The Replacement was the cover. It was dark, it was mysterious and it made me feel uncomfortable. The cover matched the tone of the novel perfectly. It reflected the fairy tale elements and the constant sense of unease. The tagline: everything can be replaced except human love”, paired with the baby carriage invokes familial love instead of the usual romance. When I first saw the book my mind began racing with questions. Does this mean there are deep dark family secrets? Are we sacrificing babies to the witch who lives in the woods? Or maybe is this just a 343 page long explanation why keeping babies away from sharp things is a good idea?
This is a novel that plays on your paranoia. As the story develops everyone seems to be in on some big secret except for Mackie (your whiny protagonist) and you. The cover is distinct and reflects this sense of mystery, but once you’ve finished the book it makes sense. The Replacement was a decent book. But I never would have stumbled upon it if it wasn’t for the cover. I know that sounds horrible. But it was just so eye catching.
To my dismay when the book was released as a paperback it was given a new cover. Instead of a dark creepy cover, they went with Mackie, our awkward protagonist offering us his attempt at an alluring gaze while he shoved his hands into his pants. The publishing house clearly wanted to cash in on the other paranormal romance/vampire fiction/my-boyfriend-is-mysterious books that populate the Teen Fiction section these days. The cover is so generic and forgettable it just blends in with everything else on the shelf.
So my questions to you dear readers: what makes a good book cover and if you could redesign a cover for any book what would it be and what would it look like?
Check out our Review on The Replacement here.