Vicious Little Darlings
The first thing I think of when I see this cover:
Pretty Little Liars
The second thing I think:
Erm, going back to the first, I really do think the strength of this book is the strong association to Pretty Little Liars. It’s ingenious, really. If I didn’t see the very tiny and easily overlooked author’s name at the top of the cover, I would totally think this was a new series written by Sara Shepard. Even knowing this isn’t written by Sara Shepard, I still can’t help but expect this book to be PLL with new characters…written by Sara Shepard.
This is a pretty plain cover and if it weren’t for the instant PLL connection, I’m not sure how interested I would be in reading this book. The hot pink is certainly eye-catching and I do like that it is tendrils of hair, but…is it enough? I’m not sure. I guess the reality is that it doesn’t matter. The PLL vibe is so strong they could have probably put a donkey on the cover and I’d read it expecting juicy lies and mean girl murders.
I do like how the hair makes me think of murder. First, it looks like a girl who has fallen because she’s, ah, well, dead. It also looks almost like how a drop of blood in water might look: slowly spiraling out into the water in smoke-like tendrils. This, combined with the word “vicious” gives this cover a sinister feel. The combination of sinister and hot girly pink really makes me think of PLL.
I also like the purple background. Black would have been the more common choice. That hot pink really would have popped against black, but black is just so…well, common. I think the cover wouldn’t stand out much among all the other YA books if they had gone with a black background. Dark purple, on the other hand, stands out. The pink still looks brilliant and the combination of purple and pink give an even girlier feel than pink and black alone.
The title font is great, except for those filled in spaces. I don’t really like that part of the title. The mass of hair at the top and the big, bold white letters at the bottom both help to draw my eye downward. This is another neat little trick to get you to look away from the author’s name. Very clever indeed.