Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monthly Recap: July 2012

Books
This month, I read Auracle by Gina Rosati (4 stars), Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (4 stars), The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan (4 stars), Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn (4 stars), Variant by Robison Wells (5 stars!), Blood Red Road by Moira Young (4 stars), A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (4 stars), and The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman (2 stars).  My favorite was Variant.
Books read: 8   Average rating: 4.375

Writing Links
Here's a post on an easy way to outline your plot, a post on what makes a memorable character, a post on why you should get out of your own head (it's great advice, really), a post on your inner editor, a post on how less is more when it comes to scenes, 10 questions your reader should never have to ask, how NOT to write a good pitch, ways to find a publisher "through the back door",  and the difference between a query and a pitch.  I blogged about 5 ways to free yourself when stuck on a scene.

Other Links
The MN Zoo has two baby tigers, and you can see a live cam right here.  They're really cute.  Ahem.  I posted 15.5 things to do with a library receipt.

Song of the Month
"Science and Faith" by The Script

What did you read this month?  What cool links did you find?

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Monday, July 30, 2012

US vs. UK Covers Part 2

In Part 1, I compared several UK covers to their US counterparts.  Since the post got longer than I intended, I split it up.  Here's the second half. 
US vs. UK

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I like the US one, but the UK one wins, in this case. That girl definitely has an I'm-going-to-start-a-revolution look to her.


US vs. UK

Fire by Kristin Cashore
I like both covers here, again. My problem with the UK cover is that it's too similar to the UK cover of Graceling. It would be too easy to get them confused. The colors are too alike. US wins.


US vs. UK

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
On the UK cover, Bitterblue almost looks like she's floating or something. Look at her feet! There's some weird photoshopping going on there. US wins.

US vs. UK

Divergent by Veronica Roth
I love both of these. The hawks are cool, but so is that fire. Tie.

US vs. UK

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I love the green of the US cover, and the tree. US wins.


US vs. UK

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I like the tagline on the UK cover, but the US one is definitely more intriguing. US wins.

US vs. UK

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Both of these are awesome covers. The UK one is very unique, and I like the simplicity of the US cover. Tie again.


US vs. UK

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
The guy's expression on the US cover bothers me. I love the purple of the UK cover, and how the author's name is on the book. UK wins.

US vs. UK

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn/The Two Pearls of Wisdom by Alison Goodman
Not only does this book have a different cover in the UK, it also has a different title. Both titles fit well. Eon is very to-the-point, and the UK title is a bit more...sophisticated. Still, I like the US cover better. Not only do I simply like the design more, but it fits the book better. The girl on the UK cover looks more contemplative than anything else. The girl on the US cover looks like someone who is ready to take down some bad guys.

US vs. UK

Eona: The Last Dragoneye/The Necklace of the Gods by Alison Goodman
US wins, easily. The US cover is one of my favorite covers of all time. I love it. It's even cooler in real life. Again, as with Eon, it's all about the cover model. The girl on the UK cover just looks like "I'm going to kill you", but the girl on the US cover looks like she's ready to take a stand against some evil powers, take down some armies, and overthrow a few tyrants.

And the final score (from both posts)....
UK: 5
US: 15
(ties not counted)

What are your thoughts on US vs. UK covers?

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

US vs. UK Covers Part 1

I'm fascinated by the differences in book covers.  Whether it's UK vs. US covers, or paperback vs. hardcover, I like to compare, and try to figure out why the designers made the choices they did.  Here's a look at just some of the books with different US and UK covers.

US covers are on the right, and UK on the left.

US                vs.                UK

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
At first glance, I thought the UK version was much, much cooler.  Now, when I have the US version sitting in front of me, I'm not so sure.  It's hard to tell from a screen, but if you look closely on the US version you can see some reddish splotches.  It looks like somebody spilled something on it, which has an interesting effect.  I like the US one better, as it has more of an old-fashioned feel to it.

US                vs.                UK

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
There's no question on this one.  I love the US cover.  The UK cover is almost a bit dull, and just doesn't have the same feel to it that the US one does. 

US                vs.                UK

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
For me, this is another no-brainer.  The US cover screams "READ ME RIGHT NOW!", and the UK cover just doesn't have that.  The US cover is super-awesome, no? 

US                vs.                UK

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Yet another no-brainer.  I especially like how the US cover for this one matches up to the US cover of its prequel, Incarceron.  It's so easy to tell that they go together.  The UK cover for this is a bit better than the UK cover for Incarceron, but US still wins this one.


US                vs.                UK

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This one is tough.  I definitely like the UK cover, but it has two big points against it.  The first is the emphasis on the Stephanie Meyer quote.  If I'm on the line about whether or not to read a book, the authors who are quoted on the cover will make or break the deal.  And I'm not a SMeyer fan.  The second point is that the US cover is much more boy-friendly.  It's hard enough to get boys to read about a female main character, and I don't think they like to walk around with a book featuring a girl on the cover.  So, US wins.


US                vs.                UK

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Again, I like both of these covers.  UK wins in this case, though.  I love the purple background, even if it does have the exact same SMeyer quote as the first.

US                vs.                UK

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Again, another SMeyer quote.  At least it's a different one.  US wins, though, because I like the colors more. 

US                vs.                UK

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
I don't care for either of these covers.  The US one is a bit too creepy for my taste, though it's more boy-friendly.  The UK one is nice, but not very unique and easy to forget.  Tie.

US            vs.            UK          vs.          Australia

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
I had to pull in the Australian version of this (at least, I think that's the right one.  I might've mixed them up).  All three are pretty, and the UK one is a bit creepy.  I mean, why does she have white hair.  Still, I think the US one wins.

US                vs.                UK

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The US cover wins easily here.  While I like the stuff around the title on the UK cover, the sword is cooler.  And I like the lettering, too.  US wins.
 
US                vs.                UK

Gone by Michael Grant
US wins again.  The tagline is cool, and it's more interesting all around. 

US                vs.                UK

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
I like both of these, but the UK one is cooler.  The sword is more interesting, and it has a hint of magic to it.  UK wins.  Interestingly enough, the UK editions for the next three books in the series are the exact same as the US covers.

US                vs.                UK

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
I like the US cover, and how you can barely see Yelena.  It's mysterious.  I also like the UK cover, though.  Yelena has this I-just-went-through-an-entire-war-without-showering look, but I like the bottles in front of the open book.  It's cool.  UK wins.

And the score....
UK: 5
US: 3
(ties not counted)

For these books, at least, it looks like I much preferred the US covers.  Interesting. 

Stick around for part 2!

What about you?  Do you agree/disagree with my votes?  What are your favorite UK/US cover differences?
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