I know in the past I’ve talked about book covers being a blank slate for the reader’s imagination, how leaving more things up to the reader makes for a more enjoyable read — like what the characters look like, or perhaps a certain setting. Though there are times when the publisher gives us a book cover with people on it (instead of the ones we picture in our head) and it just works. The cover for The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is one of those covers:
I mean, this cover just screams SUMMER to the reader. There’s the shine of the sun coming through one of the brothers — which one we’re not sure. Is that Jeremiah? Or is it Conrad? Only the reader will know for sure! What the cover tells us is that these people are close. Obviously, our main character, the girl on this cover who is to be Belly, is the one who turned pretty, and she’s maybe being noticed by her best guy friends in the picture? I love the stark white in the background and how it’s just so summery. It looks like a book I need to dig into, being the romantic that I am.
Of course, THEN the publisher wipes all of these images from our brain and gives us this:
While it’s not that bad to look at, it just doesn’t have the same effect as the first cover. I mean, there’s too much colour going on and it’s just not as eye-catching. I like that the author tried to remove any pre-existing images we may have had of the main characters, but this cover really doesn’t do the book justice. Maybe if it was less of an illustration and more REAL photography I would buy it, but it’s just too plain for my taste.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes having those images of certain characters on the cover of a book works out for the best.
Which one of these covers do you like best?