Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fortnight of Old Favorites Update (3)

Day 10 of the FOOF challenge. 

Books finished:
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett (click for review)
Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett (click for review)
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George (click for review)
Princess Ben, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittany Ryan (click for review)
Rapunzel's Revenge, by Shannon, Dean, and Nathan Hale
Calamity Jack, by Shannon Dean, and Nathan Hale
I know the last two books were not on the original list, but they definitely count as old favorites. When I have a hard day, these books are often the only thing I want to read.
Books in progress:
Here Lies Arthur, by Philip Reeve

To read next (subject to change):
Peter Pan in Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean

Features related to FOOF:
Judge a Book by Its Cover - Wintersmith
Illustrations in Old Favorites
Judge a Book by Its Cover - The Goose Girl (coming soon!)

Are you participating in FOOF? 
Let me know how your challenge is going in the comments!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: The Legend of Holly Claus

by Brittney Ryan
Start Date: 27 August 2011
End Date: 28 August 2011
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published September 21st 2004

Summary (from Goodreads):
Santa Claus is the King of Forever, Land of the Immortals. When one special boy writes to Santa asking what no other child has ever asked, a miracle occurs: Santa and Mrs. Claus are blessed with a daughter. But the birth of Holly Claus also brings about a terrible curse—from an evil soul named Herrikhan. Holly's heart is frozen, and the gates to Forever are locked, barring exit or entry.

As she grows into a beautiful and selfless young woman, Holly longs to break the spell that holds her people hostage. With four faithful and magical animal friends, she escapes to the wondrous world of Victorian New York, where she will face countless dangers, adventures, and a miracle all her own.

My Review:
The Legend of Holly Claus was so sweet and so lovely that I couldn't help but enjoy every minute of it. The illustrations by Laurel Long are are incredibly beautiful and they perfectly complement the story*.

I wish the romance could have been fleshed out a little bit more. I didn't really understand why Holly fell in love when she did (trying to stay spoiler-free as much as possible). It seemed like there needed to be one more chapter in the workshop with Christopher after the opera (spoiler, highlight to view), but Ryan didn't include one in order to keep the story moving, as the climax is rushing on at that point and I admit it would have been a little out of place to have another chapter developing the romance. Even still, I wish Ryan could have found some way to put it in, because the romance fell a little flat without it.

I wanted to know more about Christopher. I feel like I got just the barest glimpse of arguably the most important character in the entire novel. (Spoilers for the rest of this paragraph, highlight to view.) I couldn't believe that his demeanor in the first three quarters of the book (excluding the prologue) was caused entirely by the box with the dark vision of the future. And why did he fall in love with Holly? I just don't understand his character nearly enough. That said, he is so sweet once he falls in love with Holly that I forgot all about my objections until after I finished the book. (I admit, I might be am biased by the illustrations. Long brilliantly portrays him as the perfect romantic hero.)

In fact, I think many if not all of the characters could be expanded further. We get some of Herikkhan's backstory, and the details of his own curse, which I loved reading about, but I'm sure even Herrikhan has more depth than the pure evil he shows while trying to ensnare Holly. As Ryan says, "It [Herrikhan's condition] had not always been this way. Thousands of years before, Herrikhan had walked out of the stars, a fair young man, and stepped into the mortal world... The elders of the universe... had so admired his strength, his courage, and his ability that they did not send him back to his celestial home" (Ryan 47).  He slowly became greedy, arrogant, lazy, and eventually, evil. But I can't buy that there is no trace of the  goodness he once had, especially during the climax when Holly forgives him. And by the way, why did that destroy him? It's never really explained. It it an extension of the curse, where he has no power in the face of love? (Spoiler, highlight to view.)

Even though the story was told from Holly's perspective for the most part, looking back after this reread, she is no longer my favorite character. While I was reading, I was swept away by her goodheartedness, but now that I have finished, I realize she didn't have very much depth. Then again, this isn't the type of story that calls for much character depth, so it didn't matter as much as it would in other books. Also, Holly was without a doubt my favorite character when I was younger. I didn't notice her lack of great depth until this time around.

Part of the reason I loved Holly Claus is Ryan's writing style. It is much like the illustration in that it is intricate and beautiful. It is written as a tale for all ages rather than a specifically MG book, but a MG reader could easily lose themselves in Holly's world. Ryan perfectly captures the wonder of 1890s New York City and the fairyland of Forever. Flipping around the book, I found a passage from when Holly first arrives in New York City that shows a tiny bit of this wonder:
She could feel it before she heard it: The great city awoke. Suddenly the atmosphere began to crackle with the electricity of over a million lives. Sounds, isolated at first, grew and blended and formed the chorus of the day. Horses' hooves hammered against the granite streets, the early risers shouted greetings to each other, streetcars rattled, silverly sleigh bells jingled, children whooped, windows slammed shut against the cold, and machinery hummed to life once again. The first bundled and muffled pedestrians began to hurry through Central Park toward Fifth Avenue. Not one of them lifted his eyes to see the girl who stood, coatless, atop the Terrace, watching the scene before her as though se could never see enough. (Ryan 255)
Even though The Legend of Holly Claus is a Christmas story, there nearly no religion in it. I would happily recommend this book to friends who don't celebrate Christmas. The land of Forever, over which Nicholas "Santa" Claus and his wife Viviana reign, has its own unique mythology.

Overall Thoughts: The Legend of Holly Claus was lovely and enchanting. Although the book is very thick, there are lots of pictures as well as large font, and it goes very quickly. It's a perfect book to read during the holidaytime, but I love to read it any time (even in the middle of August). When writing this review I wanted to pick it up and read it all over again. I'm so glad I read this for FOOF. I reminded myself why I liked it so much before, and it will definitely be on my short list of favorites from now on.

*Even if you're not planning on reading this, go to the library and just look at the drawings. They are absolutely amazing and are a large part of why I enjoyed Holly Claus so much.

Click here to see some examples of Laurel Long's illustrations in Holly Claus.

I read this book for my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.

Teaser Tuesday, 29th Edition

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I am doing a slightly different version of Teaser Tuesday. Since I go through books so quickly, I'm going to put a quote from any book I've read in the past week.

"'What do you think you're doing?'
     'Chopping wood,' I say, my voice on the narrow line between matter-of-fact and rude." - The Near Witch, by Victoria Schwab

"'Take her away!' ordered Lieka again. 'Lock her up somewhere dark.'" - Zombies Vs. Unicorns, excerpt from "The Highest Justice," by Garth Nix

"'Are there any Feegles in here?'
     'Ach, no,' said a voice from under the bed.
     There was some frantic whispering and the voice said: 'That is tae say, there's hardly any o' us in here at a'.'" - Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett

"'Really, Amalia, this is childish,' the duchess said. 'If you deprived every person whose shoes you liked of their footwear, half of the King's Seat would go barefoot.'" - Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George

"I stuttered through an explanation. My powers of reasoning – of fibbing, if truth be told  – were creaky with disuse." - Princess Ben, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

"Herrikhan grew fat and indolent; his desires were constantly satisfied, and his pleasure was law. Larger than his bloated body was his monstrous pride; as the years wore on, he grew discontent with the monuments and palaces that had been erected in his honor." - The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittany Ryan

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: Wintersmith

by Terry Pratchett
Start Date: 21 August 2011
End Date: 23 August 2011
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2006

Summary (from Goodreads):
Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to winter — she does what no one has ever done before and leaps into the dance. Into the oldest story there ever is. And draws the attention of the Wintersmith himself.

As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions? Even with the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Nac Mac Feegle — the fightin’, thievin’ pictsies who are prepared to lay down their lives for their “big wee hag.”

Wintersmith is the third title in an exuberant series crackling with energy and humour. It follows The Wee Free Men and Hat Full of Sky.

My Review:
Wintersmith was, most of all, a fun read. It was funny throughout, made me laugh out loud, had great characters, and was exactly was I was looking for when I created FOOF. I had a great time returning to this book and I really enjoyed reading it.

If you haven't read the first two Tiffany Aching books (The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky), you will likely miss out on a few of the jokes and a lot of the references, but it's not too difficult to pick up the story just from Wintersmith. It works as a stand-alone, but when you finish, you'll be looking for more of Tiffany's adventures. The first time I read Wintersmith, I thought it was a standalone and I had no trouble with it at all. (However, when I first read Wintersmith, I was much better at just accepting whatever happened even if I didn't completely get what was going on. I suspect that was one of the reasons I loved  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass so much.)

All of the characters are wonderful and unique, from Tiffany to Miss Treason, and from Granny Weatherwax to the Wintersmith himself. Although it's much easier to appreciate all the quirks of each character and how developed they all were if you'd read the previous books, again, it is not at all necessary. Everyone is plenty fun in Wintersmith alone.

This time around I paid much more attention to the character of the Wintersmith. I had never found him all that interesting before, just another character in the story, but now he stands out to me as one of the most interesting characters. He spends much of the story trying to find out what makes someone human, as he is trying to become human himself, as to catch Tiffany's affections (It's kind of a long story - you just have to read the book). I'm including the following passage from when the Wintersmith creates a human body for himself. I never thought much of it before, but now it's one of my favorite passages.
The Wintersmith spoke. That is, there were a variety of noises, from the roaring of a gale to the rattle of the sucking of the surf on a pebble shore after a wrecking storm at sea. Somewhere along them all was a tone that sounded right. He repeated it, stretched it, stirred it around, and turned it into speech, playing with it until it sounded right.
     He said: "Tasbnlerizwip? Ggokyziofvva? Wiswip? Nanananana…Nyip…nap…Ah…. Ah! It is to speak!" The Wintersmith threw back his head and sang the overture to Überwald Winter by the composer Wotua Doinov. He'd overheard it once when driving a roaring gale
around the rooftops of an opera house, and had been astonished to find that a human being, nothing more really than a bag of dirty water on legs, could have such a wonderful understanding of snow.
     "СНОВА ПОХОЛОДАЛО!" he sang to the freezing sky.
     The only slight error the Wintersmith made, as his horse trotted through the pine trees, was in singing the instruments as well as the voices. He sang, in fact, the whole orchestra, making the sounds of all the singers, the drums, and the rest of the orchestra all at once.
     To smell the trees! To feel the pull of the ground! To be solid! To feel the darkness behind your eyes and know it was you! To be–and know yourself to be–a man! (Pratchett 335-336)

I also liked the parts where Tiffany helped Miss Treason and Nanny Ogg with their "witchcraft" in the villages they took care of. The witches, rather than doing fancy magic *ahem*Annagramma*ahem* were in charge of taking care of people, and helping out where help was needed. Another of my new favorite scenes was when Tiffany and Nanny Ogg went to visit the man with all the traps for death. I'm not even sure why I like it so much, but it's the one I keep thinking back on.

And of course, no review would be complete without mention of out favorite Wee Free Men. The Feegles are the source of much amusement and are as funny as ever on the reread. Wintersmith, as with the other Tiffany Aching books, begins with a Feegle Glossary, adjusted for those of a delicate disposition, which includes such entries as "Boggin': To be desperate, as in 'I'm boggin' for a cup of tea,'" "Cack yer kecks: Er, to put it delicately... to be very, very frightened. As it were," and "Ships: Wooly things that eat grass and go baa. Easily confused with the other kind." Happily, Rob Anybody, Daft Wullie, Billy Bigchin, and the whole Feegle gang play quite a large part in Wintersmith.

And so, just for fun, the one quote I remembered as my absolute favorite from the last time I read Wintersmith:
And so the Feegles sailed home. Apart from Billy Bigchin they couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, but that minor problem was dwarfed by the major problem, which was that they didn't bother with the idea of singing at the same pitch, or speed, or even with the same words. Also, minor fights soon broke out, as always happened even when Feegles were having fun, and so the sound that echoed among the rocks as the log sped toward the lip of the waterfall went something like:
     "Rowaarghgently boat ouchgentlydoon boat boat boatiddley boat stream boatlymerrily boatargh... CRIVENnnnnns!" (Pratchett 371-372)

Overall Thoughts: Wintersmith was lots of fun, with plenty of humor, and great characters to keep the story moving. I am looking forward to rereading the first two Tiffany Aching books.

Click here to judge this book by its cover!

I read this book for my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.

Fortnight of Old Favorites Update (2)

Day 7 of the FOOF challenge. 

Books finished:
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett (click for review)
Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George (click for review)
Princess Ben, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Books in progress:
The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittany Ryan

To read next (subject to change):
Here Lies Arthur, by Philip Reeve

Features related to FOOF:
Judge a Book by Its Cover - Wintersmith
Illustrations in Old Favorites

Are you participating in FOOF? 
Let me know how your challenge is going in the comments!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In My Mailbox, 9th Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
Participants are encouraged to talk about anything bookish they received during the week.

Amulet Book Four: The Last Council, by Kazu Kibuishi
I actually didn't break my book-buying ban with this one. I had pre-ordered it months ago, back in April, when it first was available for pre-order. You can read my initial ordering thoughts as well as get some information about the the book here. I gave my copies of books two and three away to a friend who I knew would love them, so I'm debating whether I should pick up book four right away or wait until I can get my hands on the previous books. In any case, I'm probably going to make myself wait until I've finished FOOF, since that is going a lot slower than I thought it would. Also, because of how slowly FOOF is going, and because I still have a ton of books on my to-read shelf that I got right before I started FOOF, I'm probably going to extend the ban. Maybe just to the end of September. I hate not being able to get wonderful new shiny books, but I have a lot to read already, so I want to see how far I can last until I run out. When I've finished all of the FOOF books and most of them on my to-read shelf, I will start buying books again. Or at least, that's the plan.

What's in your mailbox?

Review: Dragon Slippers

by Jessica Day George
Start Date: 23 August 2011
End Date: 24 August 2011
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 29th 2008

Summary (from Goodreads):
Many stories tell of damsels in distress, who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor, and swept off to live happily ever after.

This is not one of those stories.

True, when Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it's Creel who talks her way out of the dragon's clutches. And it's Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the king's city with only a bit of embroidery thread and a strange pair of slippers in her possession.

But even Creel could not have guessed the outcome of this tale. For in a country on the verge of war, Creel unknowingly possesses not just any pair of shoes, but a tool that could be used to save her kingdom…or destroy it.

My Review:
Dragon Sippers was wonderful this time around. It was the perfect FOOF book, lots of fun and very sweet. From the first line - "It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon" - I knew I'd love rereading it. And I was right. It was just light enough for me to pick up whenever and be happy, but well-written and never dragged.

All of the characters were great, not necessarily because they had enormous depth (a la Thirteenth Child) but because I felt like I was revisiting old friends. Creel, the main character, was absolutely lovely. She's someone I would love to be friends with in real life, and she seems like the person everyone wants to be a little more like. And Luka was super sweet. He is also on my list of characters I wish I could meet in real life. My two favorite Luka moments were when he followed Creel on her rescue mission and the very last scene (the best!). I loved the characters of al the different dragons, especially Shardas and Feinul.

Some of my favorite parts (which I had forgotten about for the most part before this reread) were the descriptions of Creel's embroidery. She managed to make something that most likely few readers had personal experience with sound amazing. It certainly made me want to try my hand at it. I could easily visualize Creel's beautiful embroidered creations.

I don't rememeber much of the two sequels, Dragon Flight and Dragon Spear, so even though Dragon Slippers is a wonderful stand-alone, I'm looking forward to rereading them as soon as FOOF is done, which is one of the thigs I was hoping FOOF would do - remind me of other books I can reread even after this challenge.

Overall Thoughts: Dragon Slippers was a delightful MG read that older readers will enjoy as well.

Read my review of one of Jessica Day George's other books, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow.

I met Jessica Day George at the Super Author visit back in April, and she is so nice. She also did an interview on The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl mostly about her books Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass, but a little bit about her other works as well.

I read this book for my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Illustrations in Old Favorites

I love reading books with illustrations. Not only are they pretty to look at, I think they create a whole new way to dive into the story. In hindsight, it is unsurprising that several of the books I am reading for FOOF have illustrations. In this post, I'd like to highlight some of the books I'm reading as part of FOOF that have fantastic illustrations.

First is Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (click for my review). I've already mentioned that I love how the illustrations are incorporated into the story. Not only are they wonderfully drawn by Brett Helquist, it is lots of fun to try to find the frogs hidden in nearly every picture. I love Helquist's illustration style. He has illustrated many well-known books, including the Series of Unfortunate Events (which I never read), the two sequels to Chasing Vermeer, and the cover of Fly By Night and Fly Trap (both of which I loved, and wished they'd had interior illustrations. Click to see my review of Fly By Night and of Fly Trap).

Visit Brett Helquist's website here.

I've picked out four illustrations from Chasing Vermeer that I particularly liked. I can find frogs in three of them. Can you find them all? Click on the pictures for larger images.

Another book I'm reading for FOOF with amazing illustrations is The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittney Ryan (EDIT: Click for my review). The art was created by the incredibly talented Laurel Long. Every picture is a beautiful work of art, and I am certain one of the reasons I look back so fondly on this book is because of the amazing illustrations. In fact, several years ago, when I had first read this book, my friends and I each chose background characters from Long's illustrations to pretend to be. In any case, the illustrations are absolutely magical. I wanted to feature many more here, but the only illustrations I could find online were these two, which are both amazing anyway. Click for larger images.

Visit Laurel Long's website here.

The third book I want to feature for its amazing illustrations is The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick (click for my review). I featured a few of the illustrations in my review, and I wanted to share a few more here. I don't know exactly how many illustrations are in this book (although I'm sure I could find out with a little searching), but there are hundreds, and each one is wonderful. Most of these don't enlarge, but they were the best I could find online. I tried to scan in some for my review back in April, and I decided that using images that were already online would work much better, so sorry about that.

As far as I could tell, Brian Selznick does not have a website (please correct me if I am mistaken!) but the website for Hugo Cabret can be found here.

As an extra treat, click here to see the opening sequence of Hugo Cabret.

Next, the illustrations in Peter Pan in Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean were some of the highlights of the book when I read it last summer. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a two-page illustration of some scene from the chapter. When I was reading the book, I found myself skipping ahead to see the picture for the next chapter before I went back to finish the chapter I was on. These fantastic illustrations were created by Scott M. Fischer. Click to enlarge the images.

Visit Scott M. Fischer's website here.

The last book I wanted to feature was The King in the Window, by Adam Gopnik. Unfortunately, I could not find any images online (well, only one, and I don't want to feature that one because it's one of my least favorite illustrations in the book). Every chapter begins with a 2½ by 2½ inch picture of a scene from that chapter. Although in this case, the illustrations are not the highlight of the book, they definitely add to it, and I'm very glad they are included. The illustrations in The King in the Window were done by Omar Rayyan.

Visit Omar Rayyan's website here.

By the way, if I manage to get an okay scan of any of the illustrations in The King in the Window, I'll edit them into this post.

What do you think of illustrations? Distracting? Improving? 
Do you care if they look different from how you imagine the characters? 
What are some of you favorite illustrated books?

This feature is part of my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fortnight of Old Favorites Update (1)

Hello, readers. I decided to write updates on my FOOF progress every couple of days, so here's the first one. I'm pretty sure I overestimated how many books I'd be able to read in the two weeks, so my new challenge is 10 books of my choice, and the other eight will go on my immediate TBR. I will finish all eighteen books before I lift my book-buying ban, even if it takes me a week or two into September.

Day 4 of the FOOF challenge. 

Books finished:
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett (click for review)
Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett

Books in progress:
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George

To read next (subject to change):
Princess Ben, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Features related to FOOF:
Judge a Book by Its Cover - Wintersmith (click for link)

Are you participating in FOOF? 
Let me know how your challenge is going in the comments!

Judge A Book by Its Cover - Wintersmith

For this edition of Judge A Book by Its Cover, I'm judging the different covers of Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett. Fantastic book, by the way. Highly recommended. I am currently reading it as part of FOOF, and I will post a review of it in the next few days. In the meantime, take a look at these covers.

Summary (from Goodreads):
Tiffany Aching is a trainee witch — now working for the seriously scary Miss Treason. But when Tiffany witnesses the Dark Dance — the crossover from summer to winter — she does what no one has ever done before and leaps into the dance. Into the oldest story there ever is. And draws the attention of the wintersmith himself.

As Tiffany-shaped snowflakes hammer down on the land, can Tiffany deal with the consequences of her actions? Even with the help of Granny Weatherwax and the Nac Mac Feegle — the fightin’, thievin’ pictsies who are prepared to lay down their lives for their “big wee hag.”

Wintersmith is the third title in an exuberant series crackling with energy and humour. It follows The Wee Free Men and Hat Full of Sky.

I actually didn't know about the prequels when I picked this up a couple of years ago. It stands on its own very well.

Click on any of the covers for a larger image. 

Cover No. 1

Cover No. 2

Cover No. 3

Cover No. 4

Cover No. 1: This is the one I own, and the reason I picked this book up in the first place. I really like it because it doesn't show Tiffany's face, so I can imagine how she looks, and it has a Feegle (presumably Rob Anybody) in her arms, although I doubt any Feegle would let himself be carried like that. Her hands are a little strange, but her hair is really pretty, so I suppose those even out. I also really like the snowflakes and the placement of the title and author. All in all, I think this cover was very well done. It certainly made me pick it up.

Cover No. 2: This is the most fun and colorful of the covers. I like that is has both elements of summer and winter, since the other covers only have one or the other. The Feegles are a little fiercer than I imagined, but as fun as ever. And of course they're bursting out the snow, ready to fight anyone who dares to come close. This picture is actually from one of the first scenes in the novel, so I imagine some readers will be glad to have a visual right as they start reading. I like how the cover gets darker at the top so that Terry Pratchett's name can be in white. It balances out the cover very well. And I like how Tiffany's plant and the Feegles are the only spots of color in the black-and-white winter. I would certainly pick up a book with this cover, and I would guess it appeals more to both boys and girls, as more girls than boys would be drawn to Cover No. 1.

Cover No. 3: I like this cover because it has a lot of elements from the story in it. Tiffany holds one of the ice roses from the Wintersmith in her hand, and the floorboards are sprouting with the power of the Summer Lady underneath her feet. She is standing next to Miss Treason, crows and all, and is holding the Boffo catalogue in her hand. Behind her are Enochi and Athootitia and Miss Treason's black candles. All of these items are important within the first 100 pages of the book. Also, the general design and placement works really well, and your eye is immediately drawn to Tiffany because her dress is the brightest color on the cover (another important part is that Tiffany refuses to wear black even though she's supposed to, as a witch). This cover is a little bit spookier than No. 1 and No. 2. I might have been a little more hesitant to pick it up in middle school if it'd had this cover, but I think most readers would have enthusiastically picked it off the shelf.

Cover No. 4: This cover is very different from all of the others. Cover No. 4 does not look like the cover of a MG/YA book. It seems like an adult book to me, and although I think adults would enjoy it as much as teenagers, it is a perfectly wonderful YA. That said, I really like this cover. Perhaps on the other side of seeming like an adult cover, it seems much more sophisticated than the other covers, and its simplicity draws me in. I also think its interesting that it's nearly the same plant as the one on Cover No. 2.

My Favorite: Wow, I actually can't decide at all. All of the covers are great, and they all fit the book for different reasons. What do you think?

Which is your favorite? Judge this book by its cover!

Want to suggest a book for Judge A Book by Its Cover? Click Here for the form!

Click here for my Review of Wintersmith.

This feature is part of my Fortnight of Old Favorites Challenge.


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