Probably one of the most cliché adages I could mention on this site, being a book blog, is:
Don't judge a book by its cover.
While this phrase is generally used in application to interpersonal relationships, I'd like to take a moment to examine its barebones meaning, as well: don't judge a book by its cover. I will admit that I am guilty of wandering idly through a bookshop, finger and eyes both trailing across a sea of spines and titles, and I tend to gravitate toward the aesthetically well done. Meaning, they have a nice design, well-chosen and placed typography. Sometimes a title can affect things, but personally the title is the last variable in the haphazard equation whose result ends in my either buying the book or leaving it on the shelf.
Occasionally I can bypass this by being intrigued enough to flip through and read the first chapter - it's my rule of thumb that if I go into a bookstore and leave with a book I didn't intend to buy, I read the first chapter there to see if I'm hooked - and if I like it, I pick it up. Otherwise if a friend has discussed the title on their blog, Twitter, or at work, I can circumvent ignoring a book that I might have never read of my own accord.
Why does this even matter? As many of you probably know by now, the new covers for Stephanie Perkins' books have been revealed and I find myself not-so-secretly pleased by the new look. For the longest time I held off on reading ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS on the basis of two factors: the pastel, curlicue font, and, in ANNA's case, its title. The ANNA I created in my head every time I looked at the book was far different than the reality that I know and adore. I couldn't get past it. And then I finally read the book, holed up under the covers during Hurricane Irene, and I got it. I loved this book, I love its characters. I understood its title and I was incredibly grateful for finally giving it the chance it deserved.
Still, when it was announced not long ago that the series would be receiving a makeover I was part-thankful, part-hesitant. I believed that a cover change could be beneficial in helping draw in a crowd of readers that, unlike me, may not have a group of people surrounding them telling them to give it a chance. While I won't post the new covers for ANNA and LOLA, as EW has that exclusive, here is the similarly themed cover for LOLA from Goodreads:
It is everything I love. Simple, bold font choices. Even-spaced typography and a beautiful sky-colored ombre. The rose? Almost a harken back to the old design, most likely intrinsic (like the heart and star) to the main characters involved. The most important thing ANNA (and, perhaps more aptly, LOLA) taught me, though, was to look beyond the design. It is the words, the emotion bottled between sentences that make the story come to life. The cover is just the doorway to Narnia.