cover love: where things come back

There are people who can pick out a prominent city skyline because that’s their hometown or their favorite place in the world. City skylines like Paris, Tokyo, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. We recognize Mickey’s silhouette because of his bubbly mouse ears, or Michael Jordan because of his dunk.

And then there are people who recognize an ivory-billed woodpecker on cover art because they live in Arkansas.

Guess which camp I belong in.

I first saw the cover art for Where Things Come Back over the summer when Jordyn and Kelly read and rated it on Goodreads. It could be argued that this cover doesn’t look like a YA novel. (Clue #1: “No SGiPD present.”) Which is totally fine, because I’m in complete agreement. This cover just radiates a literary vibe. Its wood-grained illustration and complementary colors seem like gatekeepers to some mysterious story I need to know about. Kudos to S&S designer Michael McCartney and illustrator Grady McFerrin – it’s executed brilliantly.

Just like its paperback cousin.

When I first saw the paperback cover on Twitter, perhaps there was a brief moment where I stopped breathing. That’s a bit dramatic, but I can guarantee there was a moment of stillness, because the combination of color, silhouette and simplicity is nothing short of striking. The talented Joel Holland is the artist responsible for illustrating WTCB’s paperback counterpart. Even more cheers for its typographic elements, with the Hopkins blurb fashioned into the design and not stickered-on as an afterthought.

I’m told that the blue is even more vibrant in person, as well. From who? you may be asking. Oh I’m so glad you asked! This post marks the beginning of a three-part series featuring author Corey Whaley and designer Michael McCartney, who will be stopping by the blog tomorrow and Wednesday to talk more cover design. You may even see an alternate cover. But trust me, you won’t want to miss these interviews.

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17 thoughts on “cover love: where things come back

  1. Oh how I love me some WTCB!! Looking forward to the upcoming posts :) The original hardback cover caught my attention first because it was something different. It stood out among the crowd of other YA titles. It was refreshing. But THEN when Corey released the cover art for the paperback cover, HOLY CRAP. I’m pretty sure I did a lot more than stop breathing. I’ve already tagged it as my favorite cover for 2012 & 2012 hasn’t even started yet!!! haha

    And now I go forth to pimp this blog post b/c well… that’s my job ;-) haha

    • Thank you for the pimping, Ginger! As a prominent book pusher of WTCB, you need to give yourself a MAJOR pat on the back. So many have read it because of you!

  2. These covers are beautiful! I can’t help it, I keep staring at the first one. Something about it is mesmerizing.

  3. There has been so much ‘cover controversy’ over WTCB. Either you love it or you hate it, it seems. I LOVE IT. It speaks of a more mature teen reader, a Cullen Witter if you will. I am going to have to repurchase all of my WTCB for my branch libraries in paperback too because I am in love with both covers.

    Beautiful design for an amazing debut novel. I look forward to many more from Corey!

    • There is nothing but love abounding here on TCG. So far, no one has come out of the woodwork (see what I did there?!) with any naysaying. But not like we’d tar and feather them if they did, right? (Oh, I did it again!)

  4. I feel like I’ve heard of this book somewhere… maybe a fellow blogger who lives in Texas mentioned it once or twice before? Hahaha I seriously need to read this book!

  5. I really love the paperback cover, although I did find the hardback cover to be wonderful as well! but that pb is quite striking.

  6. I haven’t read this book and I don’t know much about it except for what I’ve read here, but the “look” of the paperback cover seems to be popping up recently in YA, particularly the black on blue with all the text in white filling in the black. It’s very dynamic, but I’m kind of fidgety wondering how many books like this we’re going to see in the coming future. I like these few that stand out from the crowd of SGiPD, but I don’t want to see these become the next sad girls.

    Right now I’m thinking of The Fault in our Stars by John Green, but I know I just recently saw two others and thought “These remind me of the cover for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” I just can’t remember what they were.

    • Were the covers YA or another genre? I know Green’s upcoming novel and Palacio’s Wonder all have a similar look and feel, too.

      • They were YA. I was hitting up some book blogs this weekend and saw them. They are upcoming releases. I’ll try to squeeze their titles out of my memory :-)

  7. I recall one other book having a woodpecker on the cover on a pack of cigarettes I believe. It was “even cowgirls get the blues” by I forget now ? robbins

  8. y’know not only does this book have a pretty rocking cover but it gots some words too! inside! and they’re just as amaze.

  9. Pingback: authorthoughts: corey whaley & where things come back |

  10. I feel like the hardcover suits the story far more. BUT I prefer the paperback as I’ve always been a bit more of a minimalist and liek things that are striking.

  11. I will preface this by saying I never, ever buy a book based on the cover alone. I’m quite the book snob in that I have to know what it’s about and it usually has to come recommended with good references. I know, I’m like a persnickity employer. Anyway, I have to admit I totally bought this book JUST BECAUSE. I saw it in the book store, and was like, OMG I need this cover on my bookshelf STAT! :)

    • Nothing snobby about that at all, Liz! Let me know what you think when you read it! — preferably in postcard/letter form. ;)

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