Monday, January 3, 2011

Cover Review (7): The Replacement

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms where a beautiful cover is featured each week for all of us to admire. I am going to use my Cover Crazy posts as an opportunity to review a book cover I love or review any cover (even the ones I don't love) from a book I've read. This week's Cover Crazy is for a cover I both love and have read the book: The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff

Previous Cover Crazy posts:
More of my Cover Crazy posts. 

I’m a person who likes pretty things. If you look back over my previous Cover Crazy posts, you can see they’re filled with all things pretty.

The cover for The Replacement is decidedly not pretty. There isn’t a gorgeous dress, jewelry I covet, or beautiful flowing hair. It’s dark, depressing, and oppressive. 

Yet I love it.

While many words can be used to describe this cover, the best one I can think of is evocative. I look at this cover and immediately I start feeling things. I feel uneasy, like I should be looking over my shoulders and picking up my pace. I look at that cover and I think, “Something bad is coming.”

I look at that cover and feel instantly transported there. Like I’m trapped in a horror movie, tension is high and I can almost feel the cool, damp mist wrapping itself around me and obscuring the dark things that prowl just beyond my vision. I can feel the crackling crunch of the leaves beneath my shoes. I can hear the ominous tinkling of the metal objects stirring in the wind. I’m drawn to the old-fashioned carriage, wondering what I will find inside. Will it be an innocent baby in grave danger? Or will there be something horrific nestled inside just waiting to spring out at me?

With all of these questions I of course want to read the book and find out what Big Bad is lurking within the mist or crouching within the carriage! I want to find out the significance of the baby carriage and why in the world those objects are hanging over it. They are sharp and dangerous. Hanging over the carriage as a morbid mobile poses great danger to whatever is lying inside. The points of the scissors and knife, the heavy file and horse shoe, and all suspended on thin strings scream danger.

But why are they there? Why those objects? The only similarity I see is that they are all made of metal. I wondered at the significance of this. I also wondered, are these objects there to endanger a baby, or are they perhaps in place to protect us from whatever waits inside?

Having read this book, I can tell you how all of these features tie into the book. But of course I won’t. I will tell you that the cover is stunningly representative of the book. The objects all have meaning, but more importantly, the atmosphere evoked by the cover is pitch-perfect for the story. That heavy, ominous feeling of something dark and rotten simmering just beneath the surface completely captures this book. If you want to read more about my thoughts on the story, you can check out my review of The Replacement.

After seeing this perfect cover, I couldn’t be more disappointed with the UK edition. The picture looks sort of spooky, but mostly it’s generic. Generic woods and a generic guy. He could be anyone or anything. Actually, looking at this cover, I would have pegged this one as a werewolf book, which couldn’t be further from the truth. 

This cover is ok, it’s not ugly or offensive, but it just doesn’t stand out either. I also really dislike that hair style, so I don’t even find the model attractive (and why is there a spotlight on his butt?). 

Having read the book, he is way too buff and strong looking to be Mackie Doyle. I keep waiting for him to rip off his shirt to reveal a round tattoo, develop a tan, and jump into the New Moon movie posters with Jacob and his pack. Seriously, just make the whole cover brown-toned and take off his shirt and he could be Bella’s new wolfy protector. Does anyone else see that, or is it just me? Nope, this cover just doesn’t work for me at all, especially when compared with the awesome US edition.

What do you think about this cover? Do you like it? Dislike it? Does it make you want to read the book? Anyone prefer the UK edition?

Interested in covers? Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious and a cute cover comparison post by Nina from Brush Up On Your Reading


  1. That's a really cool cover! I definitely read that book just by looking at it. But I have to agree that the UK one isn't nearly as interesting.

  2. I don't understand what the UK cover designers were thinking with this one. More often than not, I like the UK cover versions better than the US ones but there really is no competition here. Yeah, I dislike that hairstyle, too.

  3. I love the US cover and that's actually what made me interested in reading the book. If I'd just seen the UK cover, I probably wouldn't even take a peek at the back to see what the book was about.

  4. Much more a fan of the US cover. It does get you thinking about what is going to happen and it is nice to have a cover that appeals to both guys and girls. Unfortunately over here in Australia we get the UK edition.

  5. I totally agree about the UK one! Should of stuck with the USA one, stands out much more.
    Have this on my kindle to be read!

  6. This cover is awesome. That is one reason why I had to read the book. It look creepy yet it captivated me.

  7. But I like the US one better. Once you read the book, you understand the cover more.

  8. US cover. The UK cover just bores the crap out of me...colour me petty ;)

  9. Love Love Love this cover, one of my favorites from 2010. I didn't like the UK cover either. We joined in on cover crazy this week here is our post

  10. I love the US cover. I loved it the moment I saw it. You can immediately feel the mood and it is deliciously creepy. A cover that is great without needing a person on the cover. The imagery, colouring, and text all come together perfectly. Maggie Stiefvater's blurb on the front is also great.

    What I really did not like about the UK cover besides the generic image (makes me think of Fallen) was the text. The text imo ruins the cover, not just the font but the placement of the partial blurbs. If they had just used Maggie's full blurb like in the US cover and placed it above or below it would have been better.

  11. This cover definitely screams creepy and dangerous. I have this image of some sort of monster baby! And after reading the summary, I get the metal reference ;]
    I think the UK designers figured that putting a young guy on the cover in the midst of a shady forest would attract the female readers?? I'd probably check it out but I like covers that also have some connection with the actual story.

  12. I really like this cover too! Even though it's not exactly pretty, it does have this sort of creepy vibe and probably really explains so much more about the book than the UK cover. I definitely like the US cover better because the UK cover actually looks kind of boring...

  13. I actually really like the original cover, it sort of reminds me of the Adams Family movies - which I love - and, like you said, it sort of puts on the mood for the book.

    :D I like pretty too, but this is kind of ugly-pretty as Tyra Banks would say :P

  14. I like the US cover on this one. From what I've read from the synopsis, a child is replaced when he/she is still a baby, which explains the baby carriage. So the cover is very spot-on. On the other hand, the UK cover wanted to present the 'replacement' as a grown-up, since the story revolves around him as a teenager. However, the UK cover does not tell as much story as the US cover does and that's what makes the US cover better than the UK one. I like covers that tell a story in itself, and you are right, just a cute guy standing on a book cover could mean anything. If I didn't know the story, I'd have him pegged as another vampire, not as the unique character that Mackie is.

    And by the way, thanks for dropping by my blog! I appreciate you not showing too much shock on my post (heh) great to know I'm not the only one who hasn't read a couple of those books. But let's promise to read them this year!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  15. I do love a cover that reflects the contents, as the US one does of this book. It is perfect for the story! That UK cover is very much something you could slap on nearly any paranormal young adult book.

  16. Ha ha. I asked my mom what she thought the UK version of the book was about and she said vampires. I agree I like the US version best. I loved the butt spotlight though. I can not stop laughing.

  17. I have wanted to read this one for a long time. Hope I can fit it in for the 2011 year. The US cover is a big draw for me. I don't think I'd even have looked at it twice if it was presented with the UK cover - boring!

    As for me when I look at the carriage I imagine an non-human child inside. The mobile is meant to entertain him/her. But I've never been afraid of the child inside. I think of him/her as more like an Edward Scissorhands-type baby. Weird huh?

  18. We are camping in our RV at the coast this week, so its taken me longer than usual to get me CC post up, but I finally did and here's the link:

  19. I haven't read this book yet even though I own it. Without reading the book, I prefer the UK book because I like having faces on a book, but I do love how interesting the US cover - different than your typical book.

  20. I totally agree with you!! Even though the US cover sort of gives me the creeps, I'd prefer that one over the UK cover - it lookst 13 in a dozen, if you know what I mean. Maybe it's indeed what is mentioned before, that they think a book will only sell when there's a somewhat Twilight vibe around it.

  21. Andrea, Isn’t it cool?! I love how different it is from so many other YA covers now (though I still do love the other YA covers)

    Aylee, I know! I guess they were hoping it would have a more Twilight feel to it? I’m not sure, but I think they missed the mark. THANK YOU for saying you dislike that hairstyle. I see it everywhere and I think it must be just me.

    A Canadian Girl, Me too. I might not have picked this one up if not for the US cover. I don’t think I’d look into it if I saw only the UK cover.

    Nic, That’s a good point. I can definitely see guys reading it based on the US cover, but definitely not based on the UK cover.

    Books For Company, Hope you enjoy it! I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

  22. Savannah, Creepy but captivating is a perfect description!

    Melissa, It bores me too.

    Pixie, It’s one of my favorites from 2010 too.

    Sandy, Yes, the mood really reaching out of that cover and wraps itself around you. It is great that so much can be accomplished without any cover models. I can see Fallen with the UK cover. I agree with what you’re saying about the placement of the blurbs and title. It makes the cover look very cluttered, I think.

    Laura, Me too! I couldn’t imagine what kind of scary baby would be in there (until I read the blurb and book). You’re probably right about attracting female readers. I like the covers to connect to the story too. I love reading the book and then finding all the new ways to appreciate the cover as I discover how it connects.

    Cleo, The US version really does explain so much more of the story. The UK one could relate to this story only because the main character is a guy.

    AnimeGirl, Haha, yes it is definitely ugly-pretty!

    Nina, Yes, the US one really relates to the story on so many levels. Haha, I totally intend to read those books this year!

  23. Melissa, Yup, you really could put the UK cover on a dozen other paranormal books now and it would work just as well. It’s a shame, too, because the story is so unique.

    Rebecca, Haha, yes, I totally see either vampires or werewolves! I would never, ever guess the truth.

    Gina, I’ll be interested in hearing your opinion if you read this one. Huh, yes, I can see what you’re saying about the mobile being there to entertain a non-human child. Mackie is kind of like an Edward Scissorhands-type, so, nope, not weird at all :) Link updated!

    Alison, Yes! I love hearing alternative viewpoints on things like this. I generally prefer faces too, but that face is not MY Mackie Doyle. :P

    Lvng.Books, Haha, it gives me the creeps too. I do know what you mean and I agree.

  24. I hope you won't mind, but I made a post similar to your cover crazy posts on my blog. I just found the Australian cover for Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and I really wanted to get the views of readers about which cover they prefer. You can read about it here. What I did is I gave my own opinion, then had ARGH give his own opinion and I'd see what bloggers think. I gave you credit for the idea.

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  25. I don't mind at all! Your post is so unique, and my posts here are not even my original idea. I'm participating in a cover meme. I loved reading your cover post. The more the merrier!

  26. I love the cover for The Replacement. I keep imagining there is some kind of monster in that carriage. One that looks like a baby, but when you bend over to pick it up, will jump at you and eat you alive *shivers*.

    The UK cover is incredibly weak in compare. It hasn't got the haunting quality the US one has at all. Your New Moon comparison made me laugh (:

  27. I love the cover of The Replacement. It has just the right amount of creepiness and intrigue about it. It's also very unique compared to others I have seen. I agree that the UK cover is an epic fail in comparision.

    Our Cover Crazy

  28. Celine, Haha, yes! I can totally picture that! Glad you liked the New Moon comparison. :P

    Andrea, I couldn't agree with you more.


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