what were YA thinkin? — fever

Riddle me this, Batman. What do you get when you mix talented photography, makeup artists, costume/set designers, and really weird direction?


I have tried multiple times over the past ten minutes to come up with some coherent and non-rambly sentence that could adequately express my sincere confusion in regards to this cover. I keep trying, but failing miserably.

I haven’t read the first book in DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Wither, and I’ve heard excellent things about the novel’s insides. And I didn’t rage against the Mandy Moore cover, either. When a blogger friend of mine sent me Fever’s cover art some months ago, I remember looking at it incredulously — but then probably got distracted by something shiny and never gave it a second thought.

It’s not the tired SGiPD cover art that bothers me about this cover. I love the branding, the typography and the design elements that make this series cohesive, sure. But what makes me scratch my head in wonder (not the good kind) is this girl’s pose. What on earth. I mean, really?

If you’ve read this novel, please do enlighten me on what is happening all over this cover art. It looks like someone got a little too drunk at last night’s New Year’s Eve party/Founder’s Ball on the set of The Vampire Diaries and fell asleep sitting up.

26 thoughts on “what were YA thinkin? — fever

  1. I understood the first book cover. Beautiful girl imprisoned in a marriage she doesn’t want, disappearing under the glamor of her own made up loveliness. I got it, and it worked. One of the few sad girls in pretty dresses cover that actually WORKED. The main character gets dolled up, stuck in pretty dresses, made to look like the perfect wife. Got it, I’m there, beautiful cover that finally makes sense.

    This one confounds me too. I don’t want to give anything away about Wither, but we’ve kind of moved past the imprisoned song bird thing. I was hoping for a more powerful looking main character, not one who appears to be sleeping through her short life. I mean, in the end she makes decisions for herself and that’s a big deal. This doesn’t seem to speak to that at all. In fact, if the cover is any indication, it would seem like we’re going to be right back where we started at the beginning of Wither. And this cover lacks the emotional prettiness of the first cover, so I don’t know.

    • I asked a few folks at work to review the cover, and based on first impression, one of the designers said that her “cracked out” face DID look feverish. So it does have THAT going for it. But yeah, no emotional prettiness happening. At all.

      • Ok have you ever seen the movie 13 Going on 30? If so, you know how the two editors, the main character and her bitchy anorexic friend, go head to head to create the new design look for the magazine? And the bitchy anorexic friend dubs her design “heroine chic” and it’s really druggy scary anorexic dark glamor horror? That’s what this reminds me of. It’s certainly memorable, just doesn’t make me feel thrilled like Wither did. I look forward to reading it though. I really enjoyed Wither. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

  2. I can’t tell, what’s she holding in her hand?
    Also, the thing that I don’t like is the dress. It looks like she’s in an attic or something, but then she has this fancy dress on? Maybe she found it in the attic and it just happens to fit her perfectly… hmmm.
    Anyway, I’ve never read this either, but may have to find a review on Goodreads for some enlightenment.

  3. Ooh! I have a few thoughts…

    First, even though BOTH covers are a bit awkward, they are beautiful and memorable. They totally stand out in my head, so shout out to the branding/marketing team. I don’t quite think Fever adds up to the beauty of Wither, but there is probably something to that that I can’t comment on because I have yet to read the series.

    The details of both covers – the circles, the font, the multidirectional type – are SO incredible to me. Plus…there’s the extension of the circles, squares, and lines on the actual inside pages, which makes my heart pitter-patter wildly. THIS is just the kind of thing I look for in a book that gives it that something extra…like an extension of the cover art on the inside. I’m no industry professional, but I just think it makes it POP.

    The pose is indeed sort of strange, and reminds me more of a magazine ad than a book cover. I just wonder if we’re supposed to look beyond that here and see the meaning behind it rather than just the SGiPD…The total package as a whole is bigger to me than the awkward pose. What I mean is, my eye isn’t drawn to it right away…

    So memorable to me, these covers. I can think of a couple more that are maybe as memorable, but these – to me – are incredible even in their awkwardness. So, hooray for juxtaposition?

    • One of my coworkers compared the Wither artwork to a vogue cover today, so I can definitely see that. And yes, I’d definitely describe them as memorable covers, but not the over-the-moon kind of memorable. It’s really hard for me to not focus on the awkward pose since she’s taking up a huge chunk of the cover art’s real estate. But I so appreciate your thoughts on putting a positive spin on this head-scratching cover.

  4. I thought I was the only one who wondered about the position of the girl in this cover. This is a head scratcher for me. Glad you brought this up.

  5. i liked the wither cover and this cover is definatley interesting…but i wouldnt want my friends to see me reading it. i dont know i mean in this book the girl is dying. they have to find a cure (and thats not a spoiler people is one fo the main elements) but i think that acctually seeing a girl looking really out of it…like shes just taken a gazillion drugs and is in pain…i dont know. i dont really like it. its a bit too much goth girl for me and it makes me think the book is just about her sloooowing down all lethargic and such.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Maia. It’s a bit bothersome that the cover art makes you want to refrain from showing it to your friends.

  6. I THINK I was the one who told you about this, but I don’t actually remember hahaha. BUT I do remember having similar thoughts. After Wither’s beautiful cover, I was expecting some consistency in this. BUT…. I was wrong. I have faith this is not indicative of the quality of the story, however :)

    • It was you, now that you’ve outed yourself. ;) I think you’re the one who told me Wither was great!

  7. Bahahaha. Oh dear lord. You just made me laugh like a weird person at my computer screen in the office! I think I missed the train on this one. I attempted to read Wither & then lost interest in it and never finished :-\ The cover of this one definitely doesn’t make me want to pick it back up, either. I think she may be one of those girls that Damon (or maybe it’s Stefan now?) brings back to their shindig.. where they’re drunk on vamp lovins.. and then decide they wanna pass out next to a rocking horse?!

  8. It looks like someone got a little too drunk at last night’s New Year’s Eve party/Founder’s Ball on the set of The Vampire Diaries and fell asleep sitting up.

    Best description EVER!

  9. It looks too staged too (especially with that horse and the card in her hand) – like a bad set at some photographer studio. And the photographer forgot to “smile at the parrot” to her so she fell asleep rather than smiling. Or was she on drugs? It’s hard to say.

  10. I’m not crazy about the face placement but here is what I think the cover represents.

    The card is her fate she keeps changing it and it’s one that hasn’t come up since the illness where everyone dies at a young age.

    The horse along with the stripped fabric she is sitting on I think represents the carnival in book 2.

    The ring well she got married in Wither and her father in law isn’t going to let her forget it.

    • Now THERE’S a connection. It makes a LITTLE bit more sense now.

      Gosh, I don’t like this cover at all. I hope it doesn’t put people off reading Fever.

  11. I’m really not sure and am holding off on judgement until I read it. I LOVED WITHER’s cover. It was brilliant. She wore something like that and all the images meant something. The interior is one of my favorites. Every single page is designed. This one doesn’t have the same feel atm, so I’m very indecisive!!

  12. I haven’t read the book but I love the cover. I love it’s weirdness and randomness.

  13. I haven’t read these books either, and I really am not a fan of the covers. Maybe I do need to read them to figure out what on earth is going on….

  14. Frankly I think she looks like a heroin addict all strung out. I liked the cover of Wither (which is a great book you should read by the way) because it was unique and fit the theme of the book. I can’t say that this cover doesn’t do the same since I haven’t read Fever yet but it doesn’t appeal to me as much as the other did.

  15. Ok. I wish I wish I wish the book was already out. Because I could explain the cover so easily to those who have read it ( I have ) Believe me it all connects in a wonderfully dark and twisted way (* if you like that kinda thing ) The Tarot card connects with a person in the story she meets who tells her of her future. The dress was given to her by one of the Antagonists in the story and connects with her new nickname from book #2. The rocking horse… I am trying to remember but it’s not clicking totally. The ring is well. THE RING. the wedding ring she hasn’t let go of. And her slightly strung out looking face. well it’s kinda just that. But not by choice. Seriously. When the book comes out. READ IT. It will all make sense :) And it is an amazing story!

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