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Blogger We Believe In: Capillya of That Cover Girl

5 Jul

We are excited to welcome Capillya of That Cover Girl to Love YA Lit this month to share some of her YA faves. In addition to loving her blog and her focus on cover art, we also follow her book reviews on goodreads and suggestions on twitter and run to the library/bookstore to check out any book that gets her stamp of approval. While she’s still not quite sure she’s a legit blogger (since she doesn’t own any animals nor has ever watched Friday Night Lights), her love of design and reading inspired her to create a blog dedicated to awesome (and awful) YA cover art. Her producer job helps finance her unhealthy spending on sneakers, baked goods, and of course, books.

First off, can I say how honored I am to even be on Em & Nora’s blog talking about a few of my favorite books? It’s an interesting breath of fresh air to not pick apart a novel’s cover art, that’s for sure. I’ve spent so much of my time just looking at design, typography, negative space and texture. I’ve gotten distracted by die-cuts and debossing, so much so that it’s a little awkward to talk about a novel’s real story. I hope I give these few books the respect they deserve without completely turning you off by my incessant fangirling.

I’ll start with this gem of a novel:

I didn’t understand what authors meant when they talked about “voice” until I read Marcelo in the Real World. I was immediately taken in by the sweet and gentle Marcelo, a teenager living with a form of autism. At its heart, Marcelo tackles the harshness of the real world as experienced by a perspective that was completely strange to me — Marcelo didn’t understand the greed, selfishness, and heartlessness outside his safe boundaries of his home and school. He didn’t understand how that translated within his father’s law firm and spread throughout his social circles. It was so different just being inside his head, and I loved every minute of it. I loved Marcelo so much that I wanted to know more about the characters and where they would journey to after I finished the last page.

As someone who generally doesn’t like faces on covers, I named Ally Carter’s Heist Society one of my top covers of 2010. And while I don’t feel like the Katarina Bishop on the cover represents the character within its pages, it did absolutely nothing to tarnish the story inside. Heist Society is exactly what its title states, a story about a group of con artists — professional (teen) art thieves. Katarina Bishop is one of my all-time favorite characters. She’s quick, calculating, discerning, and her brain is always on fire. What’s more, she heads up an amazing ensemble of characters, each written completely differently yet fitting perfectly within the group. And most people who are fans of this book will ooh and ahh over Hale. Well guess what? I’m a card-carrying member of that fan club, too.

Oh, Parker Fadley. Your story was one of the grittiest ones I’d ever read in the YA realm. You are the queen of the mean girls, and yet I couldn’t help but love you in the end of this novel. Yes, Cracked Up to Be was the debut brainchild of the talented Courtney Summers, folks. It was this novel that put her on my insta-buy list from now and forevermore. Cracked Up to Be is a no holds barred story about a girl with a messed up past, trying to make sense of the messed up present, and where as a reader you’re trying to decipher her messed up future. There’s a mystery element to it, and while I realized what was happening pretty early on in the story, it didn’t repel me in the least — Summers’ razor-sharp writing kept me turning quickly from page to page.

Every time I see this cover it makes me cringe, but the story of Meg and John kind of makes my heart want to explode. It’s an interesting feeling, that’s for sure.

The first Echols novel I’d read was The Ex Games, which I enjoyed. But I wasn’t sure what to think about Going Too Far when I first picked it up (especially when I saw that hideous cover). Shortly after reading it, I declared Echols the YA queen of dialogue, tension, and storytelling all rolled into one person. Both Meg and John are driven by two completely different motives throughout this novel and yet they molded so perfectly to each page. Curious that not a lot of things actually happen in this story, but the way the characters are written and how they interact — you never want to see them apart, ever.

I couldn’t agree more with Jaclyn Moriarty’s blurb on the front of this silly-lookin’ cover. Every time a blogger likens an upcoming novel to Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen, my eyes go all wide, full of expectation and hope. With one of the best summaries I’ve read on the back of a novel, Dairy Queen is one of those stories that hit close to heart because swimming around in its soul is the essence of family. It also hits close to home because my husband’s grandparents are small-town dairy farmers, and D.J. Schwenk is freakishly similar to how I envision my mother-in-law was at her age. I just loved D.J. as a person. She’s hard-working and no-nonsense, but also still a realistic teen with her worries and attitude. I still haven’t brought myself to read the other two books in the series because I loved the way this novel ended.

Be sure to visit Capillya over at That Cover Girl! You will not be disappointed!