For the "cover parade" sneak peeks we've been giving you, we've mostly been sharing spring 2011 books, as those are just being finalized for galleys and catalogs, and we're seeing them for the first time. Fall 2010 books have generally had their covers set for awhile now.
But there are always exceptions, usually when something changes. This is the case with Elizabeth C. Bunce's second novel, StarCrossed, which will be released in October by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic. We had a cover, and that cover was on the galleys that went out to reviewers—but at Scholastic they decided they wanted a slightly different look, and voilå! New cover!
Isn't it gorgeous? (You can see the former cover on Elizabeth's blog here.) Same model, entirely different cover and mood. I had great fun at ALA last month when the Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee was discussing StarCrossed and one of the committee members commented that she understands the book has a new cover, and others made intrigued noises. At the end of each book's discussion, the chair would invite members of the audience to share anything pertinent, and Arthur A. Levine stood up at the end of the StarCrossed discussion to confirm that there was a new cover—and I held up my brand-new iPad with the new cover on gorgeous display so the committee could see it in all its glory.
What sorts of images and story do the two covers conjure? Check your imagination against the description in this first review the book has received, from The Horn Book: "This captivating yarn set in a romantic, snowbound fortress takes place in a pseudo-Renaissance period, ornamented with Dutch, English, German, and Spanish flourishes, with nods to Shakespeare, Tamora Pierce, and Robin McKinley. Escaping from the murderous police after a botched robbery, Digger disguises herself in an elegant gown and is rescued by a boatload of young nobles. Identifying herself as Celyn, daughter of a respectable jeweler, she's taken on as lady's maid to Merista Nemair, whose parents establish Celyn in their home. But as friends gather to celebrate Merista's coming-of-age party, Celyn's past as a thief catches up with her. She's blackmailed into spying on the family, and soon realizes that they're not only users of magic and science, which is illegal, but that they're planning an uprising against the oppressive ruling monarch....[T]his is satisfyingly stuffed with plots and subplots, towers and hidden chambers, genteel pastimes and death-defying feats. Celyn is a strong, imaginative heroine-more than the generic 'feisty girl,' and the rest of the female cast also show noteworthy fortitude and inventiveness. An entertaining lark.—Deirdre F. Baker"