Awesome book cover Friday: The Forsaken

Oh god, another busy, busy week. Today’s book cover pick is a little late — sorry! But I didn’t forget. :)

Check out The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse. Is this not the coolest thing ever?

Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse

The Forsaken, released on July 10 of this year, is the start of a new dystopian trilogy:

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway. (from Amazon)

Do you like the cover? You can read the author’s thoughts about the design at Unabashedly Bookish, the Barnes & Noble community blog.

Thanks, readergirlz, for the great find.

Awesome book cover Friday: The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy

Happy Friday! This week’s pick is The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin. Is it just me, or does this sound completely awesome?

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy — Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei’s favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?

It’s up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones — and might even pick them clean!

Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you’ve got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.

Awesome book cover Friday: The Artemis Effect

I’m SUPER excited for my fellow blogger Kasia James, whose sci-fi book The Artemis Effect is now on Amazon for $2.99!

I love her blog, so I know I’ll love her book, too. Needless to say, I’m bumping this to the top of my reading list. :) Big congrats, Kasia!

The Artemis Effect by Kasia James

Here’s the description:

Three comfortable lives are shattered when a wave of inexplicable events exposes the fragility of human society. With an unprecedented celestial phenomenon, devastating high tides, a breakdown in global communication networks, and the sudden appearance of violent ring-gangs swarming through cities and towns, Kimberley, Scott and Bryn struggle to understand the vast events unfolding around them. Will they survive the Artemis Effect? Will they discover the truth behind the collapse of society before it’s too late?

In a recent post, she talks about the 9-year journey to write and publish her book — it’s very inspiring, especially to someone like me, who understands how life takes hold even though you have this unstoppable need to write a book.

Kasia actually turned to self-publishing after numerous attempts to interest a traditional publishing house as an unknown. I’m glad she did — that means I get to read her book! — and she’s brave for doing it. That method isn’t any less easy; in some ways, it’s even more challenging and a lot more work.

Huffington Post has a great article about how even in the year 2012, we still have trouble discovering talented new writers. Why? Publishing houses take safer bets on people who come with advantages — and bypass those who don’t. They have to balance reputation and profit, but with self-publishing, opportunity is unlimited.

The article mentions Writer’s Bloq as a safe haven from that — and the ironic requirement that a book “conform” to what’s hot or standard in the present industry. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds that ridiculous.

Anyway — congratulations again to Kasia. :) This is great news.

Awesome book cover Friday: Drive Back the Darkness

Today’s pick is a shout-out to my fellow blogger Amy, whose first book, Drive Back the Darkness, debuts on September 14. You know I’ll be buying a copy, Amy! Congrats! Beautiful cover, too.

Drive Back the Darkness by Amy M. Newman

Here’s an official summary:

On her sixteenth birthday, Ellie Lyons discovers her entire life has been a lie. She’s kidnapped from her home and left in Alladon, a kingdom controlled by an evil man named Morfan, a kingdom that she was born to rule.

Ellie reluctantly faces the impossible tasks confronting her; like learning to control the magic that now roars through her and burns everything she touches, training to become a lethal warrior, or dealing with the fact that Devin, the guy she is irresistibly attracted to, is actually one of the assassins sent by Morfan to kill her.

Devin has a troubled past; he has spent the last five years tracking the person who murdered his family. He is dark, dangerous, and deadly serious, but Ellie can see the core of kindness shining deep within him, as well as the fear of getting hurt again that makes him push people away. Though Ellie knows her life might be at stake, she can’t seem to stay away from him, even as her feelings become strong enough that they begin to scare her.

Vance, the second assassin and Devin’s best friend, is the opposite of Devin; blonde, charming, seductive. But his heart holds a kernel of darkness, one that makes him dangerously unstable, especially after he realizes that he has feelings for Ellie, feelings he knows Ellie doesn’t share.

Ellie can’t let her emotions for the two men cloud her focus, her quest to remove Morfan from power. When Ellie discovers that the children of Alladon have been imprisoned in a secret factory, Ellie knows she can’t fight her destiny any longer. She must claim her rightful place as princess and fight Morfan, or surrender and be slaughtered. Will she be able to survive long enough to save her people from the Darkness?

Awesome book cover Friday: After the Fire, a Still Small Voice

Happy Friday! Today’s pick is After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by author Evie Wyld. I love this old paperback edition.

After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld

From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. One of Granta‘s New Voices of 2008, debut novelist Wyld chronicles the stories of two Australian men and the shards of trauma that have made up both lives. Frank and Leon live parallel lives: the narratives begin with young Leon’s father heading to the Korean War, and, 40 years later, with an adult Frank holing up in a decrepit beachfront shack. Leon’s father returns from Korea badly damaged, having been in a prison camp, and soon runs away, with Leon’s mother giving chase. Later Leon is drafted and faces in Vietnam horrors similar to those that traumatized his father. Meanwhile, in the present day, Frank is starting over after his girlfriend leaves him. Making do in the family shack, he befriends his neighbors and threads together a passable existence in spite of remembered tragedies, anger at his shadowy father and a spate of local children gone missing. The two narrative threads stay separate until the final pages, and, refreshingly, their connection isn’t overplayed. At times startling, Wyld’s book is ruminative and dramatic, with deep reserves of empathy colored by masculine rage and repression.

The book is Wyld’s debut and only novel, published in 2009, so she hasn’t written another since. That’s not from a lack of talent. The Telegraph named her one of Britain’s top 20 novelists under the age of 40, calling After the Fire “a haunting first novel set on the Australian East coat.”

Author Evie Wyld

Awesome book cover Friday: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This Friday’s selection is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Christopher is 15 and lives in Swindon with his father. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. He is obsessed with maths, science and Sherlock Holmes but finds it hard to understand other people. When he discovers a dead dog on a neighbour’s lawn he decides to solve the mystery and write a detective thriller about it. As in all good detective stories, however, the more he unearths, the deeper the mystery gets – for both Christopher and the rest of his family.

This version of his debut novel released in January 2010 courtesy of Gardner Press. It’s out of print now, but I like it a lot more than the current covers.

Awesome book cover Friday: Sense and Sensibility

This week’s pick was inspired by the wonderful blogger Tara, who featured a fantastic illustrated cover of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility on her blog. I’m not sure where she found that version, but I did dig up a couple other good ones.

First, a blue cover illustrated by Cassandra Chouinard. And second, a more girly pink edition that’s sadly out of print.

Which one is your favorite? Do you have an awesome cover of Sense and Sensibility that I didn’t include? Please share!

Have you read this book? Let us know why you love it so much!

Awesome book cover Friday: Moby-Dick

Happy Friday, everyone! Today’s book cover is plain in the sense that it’s black and white, but I love the style to it. Check out this vintage edition cover for Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Very tribal/ancient war scene, isn’t it?