The Cover Wars


Lettie Peppercorn cannot go outside. Ma told her so right before Ma disappeared forever. So Lettie’s house is on stilts, and she is stuck with only the wind and a pigeon for a friend. Nothing exciting has ever happened to her until the night a strange merchant appears.

He claims to be an alchemist the greatest that ever lived and he is here to sell Lettie his newest invention. It’s an invention that could change Lettie’s life and the world forever. An invention called snow.

But snow is not the only secret he holds. The alchemist knows where Lettie’s Ma is. And Lettie will do anything to get Ma back even if it means risking her own life.

Join the brilliant and resourceful Lettie Peppercorn as she sails across the world to reunite her family and discover the truth about herself.

Steph: Ok, I was with you until the last line. Why did you have to throw in the last line? Now we totally know that she goes outside! And that she probably does it fairly  early on in the novel . . . *sigh* The cover is great, I was thinkings pirates or ghosts, but this promises (potentially?) a mish mash of both and more. The only problem that I foresee is that our Lettie is going to be a ferociously brave soul . . . but if that’s so, then why hasn’t she gone outside already to try and find Ma? I’m worried that there will be logic issues with our character. I might not mind in the reading, but it might just make this book a little too similar to all those other feisty girl stories.  

Janet: I like the cover’s background and the contrast between the warmth of inside the house with the cool and shadowy shades of outside. I don’t like the merchant – he looks like he was borrowed from one of those shape-shifting Miyazaki villainous henchmen – or Lettie’s perfectly bland, bog-standard face. Like Steph, I have reservations about the back copy. There isn’t quite enough detail to grip me.


On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

Steph: This both is and isn’t my cup of tea. I like fantasy and intrigue stories, but this one promises drama-love. I mean the Romeo and Juliet kind of love that won’t end in such a depressing way (probably). Since the cover, with the girl in a flowy dress, signals this plotline I probably wouldn’t pick it up. And, if I did pick it up, once my eyes hit the “she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have . . . ” I’d put it right back down again.

Janet: The cover is okay except for, you guessed it, the blurred figure of a girl in a dress. I have to snicker a little at “lifelong plans” juxtaposed with “seventeen-year-old.” The suggestion that the queen is deceptive and the king desirable repels me. Is this seriously presented as justification for adultery?


I’m not crazy.
I’m not.
Engaged to gorgeous, wealthy Matteyo “Mattie” Dillinger, ours was a love so powerful, so real, I physically ache now that he’s gone. I hate the judgement I see when I tell people about Mattie. Disbelief. Pity. Fear. Skepticism. I need no reminder he was murdered. I was there. I watched him struggle to take a breath—felt the last rise and fall of his chest. And it changes nothing. Everything I’m saying is real.
It has to be real.
Doesn’t it?
I’d know if I was losing my sanity.
Wouldn’t I?
Mattie’s death has torn my world apart. He left me everything, but nothing is what it seems. The more I learn, the more I believe he’s been lying to me all along. I’m tortured by visions of him whenever I close my eyes. He’s in the twilight—some mysterious place between sleep and wake. He needs me to find him, because if I don’t, we’ll be divided forever.

Steph: What is that on the cover? Small intestine? Cotton candy? Then we get to the back copy and I am immediately turned off–it’s just so . . . full of hot air and drama and nothing emotions. Anyway: I’m a big ol’ nope.

Janet: The front cover says nothing, and the back cover… No. Please tell me this is a joke. So much anguished purple prose can’t be real.


Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

Steph: Hmm. This has potential. If I do, purposely, pick up a love story it is generally the realistically “kooky” kind. I kind of love that the pairings that are listed aren’t necessarily the true pairings of these comic figures–if could be Archie and Betty, and where is the more common Mary Jane (in place of Gwen Stacey). This is some great foreshadowing and great back copy writing. I think . . . including the fun (vibrant and yet depressing) cover, I might just be in.   

Janet: The cover has a lot going on. I think it does kinda work, even if it’s not for me. I’m not so sure about being in love from eight years old on, but I like that Graham’s favourite comic has a female protagonist. Oh. And on second glance, there’s something off with each of the pairs listed, at least, with the two that I am familiar with. Nice foreshadowing.


Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb. As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn’t have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has “meh” feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren’t exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.

Steph: This is clearly taking it’s lead from books like The Zombie Survival guide and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies–oh, and all of these are most certainly taking advantage of the seemingly neverending contemporary preoccupation with apocalyptic and dystopian lit. So, of course, I’m in. However, I do not  like the cover because I don’t like the character I’m getting from it. Curvy, Starbucks wielding millennial–I probably won’t like the main character, what I’m hoping is that I appreciate the humour of our narrator.   

Janet: I’m put off by the title (sorry) and by the character. It’s trying to be funny, but I can’t care for a character who doesn’t. Nope.


Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

Steph: The cover is pretty cute actually but I don’t think I agree with any of the back copy’s philosophies at all . . . and I’m not sure if that’ll make an interesting read or a frustrating one. I leave this one to reviews first.

Janet: The cover is surprisingly cute. I like how tidy the various figurines and tokens are, sorted into their particular shelves. The back copy is quietly charming until the sentence about Eph, which is much too obvious. I disagree entirely with the final sentence, however. The text posits this particular heartbreak as requisite for growing up. Strange. Why is it necessary to let go of that child-like fearlessness?

6 responses to “The Cover Wars

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