Sunday, May 3, 2009

Double Take, Part III

I really don't look for this intentionally, but perhaps it just happens as a matter of looking at and reading so much material. This one struck me and not because the covers are so similar that it's an obvious double take.

The first book is North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley, which was published February 1, 2009 by Little, Brown Young Readers.



North of Beautiful is a coming of age story about Tessa who was born with a large port-wine stain on her cheek. The book follows her as she comes to terms with who and what she is while delving into the big themes of love, family, and abuse. It's been getting a lot of attention around the blogosphere, though I did not find it as exciting as the other reviewers. I DO really like the cover -- it's clean, fresh, and captures the essence of Tessa and one of the big themes in the book, cartography. You can't see it here, but the edges of the cover are a beautiful fresh blue color.

The second book is this one:


Evermore by Alyson Noel was published a mere two days after North of Beautiful on February 3, 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin. Evermore is the first book in a series by Noel that follows 17-year-old Ever after a terrible accident leaves everyone but her dead in her family. Of course, she falls for a boy in her new home who has magical powers, including the ability to produce tulips and disappear when he needs to.

Though immediately the covers don't look alike, look again. It's the same girl in both photos, but in the second one, her image has been mirrored. The hair is piece-y in both, the lips are full in both, and her eyebrow is distinct in both. Both covers show the part of her hair behind her ear with part tumbling down her shoulder. The lighter-colored strand of hair in the front is distinct, as well. In Evermore a tulip has been added since it's a crucial part of the story, but I can't help but wonder, too, if this was done to create more distinction with the cover. While the images are exactly the same girl, it is a big relief that the cover for Evermore is darker. It helps differentiate the two, particularly when both may be sitting on a shelf of new materials.

Who did it better? I like both of them, but I'm very bothered by both of them, as well. It makes me wonder how this sort of copying can happen. The publishing world is huge but so is the photography world/stock image world -- it seems way too coincidental for two books to have this image published two days apart. What's crazier is if you go to Amazon and look up North of Beautiful, you will be recommended Evermore. Wonder why?

3 comments:

  1. I really like the Evermore one better. I think it was a stock photo. I believe If you go to Alyson Noel's blog, she has a past post regarding this.

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  2. Oh, thanks for the tip! I'm definitely going to go look at her blog now (I didn't since I just stumbled upon this double take at chance).

    Justine Larbalesteir did a similar post on a double take of one of her books, as well: http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/04/14/cover-theft-you-decide/

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  3. Justine's post is funny - she actually did it as a prank and I believed it initially. I've noticed a lot of the YA stuff seems to be pretty similar - a photograph (or realistic imitation of a photo) of a pretty girl looking introspective. They all seem to blend together, even if the girls themselves look different from each other. A good example is Shannon Hale's first publication of "The Goose Girl" and the re-print. The first version is sort of impressionistic, with a landscape and an unfocused person beneath a tree. The second has a real girl on the cover who looks like all the other girls on every other YA book geared for teenage girls. I really prefer the former.

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