Monday, April 4, 2011

Cover Crazy: The Julian Game

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 :  

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

Remember this cover? I wrote a book review for The Julian Game a few weeks ago where I also mentioned my initial dislike for this cover. I thought it made the book look too quirky and irritating. I didn’t think it was “my kind of book” at all. So I avoided it based solely on the cover. 

Then I had a total Oops Moment where I completely ate my words and ended up loving the book. As a result, I also gained an appreciation for the cover. There are so many elements here that relate to the story, and I always love it when that happens with book covers. I do still think the cover gives off the wrong vibe though. 

Look at the blue hair. My initial reaction was, “No.” That’s it. I liked the color, but I do not like those quirky characters who are “off-beat” and “unique” for the sake of being off-beat and unique. That’s what I thought this girl was going to be and I had zero interest in reading about her. 

As it turns out, the blue hair is a wig that plays a significant role that is both symbolic and concrete. If I had known the hair was a wig, I would have wondered what the girl was concealing and why. A wig only changes a person’s appearance slightly, so their identity is still there…but altered. In what way is this girl trying to alter herself, and is she successful? 

The second thing I initially noticed was her bright green gloves. They really stand out with that color, but her hand position also made me think she was putting them on to “Get down with business.” Her position made me think of a doctor preparing for surgery. Add in the tagline (Play or get played),and all of these elements combine to make me think this girl is up to no good. I’m thinking revenge in a major way. 

Only that’s not really what the book is about. Revenge plays a part, but it’s not the central focus of the book. It’s more the impetus that sets the stage for the events in the book than the climax this cover leads me to envision. The main character is not the quirky go-getter spearheading a revenge plot that this girl appears to be. 

The gloves, like the wig, do play a significant role in the book, but not at all in the way I assumed.  Looking a little deeper, it is the gloves and wig that really stand out. Without these splashes of color, the girl blends into the black and white background. I can’t say too much about this, but the symbolism here is extremely relevant to the book, though it’s something I did not pick up on until after I had read the story. 

The final touch here is the title. I’m both shy and live under a rock, so I do not have a Facebook account. Still, my rock lets in enough of the world around me for me to recognize the Facebook-ish font used for the title. This reference, combined with the fact that the title (Facebook) is obscuring her eyes and therefore her identity is hugely relevant. This feature speaks to many of the core issues touched on in the book, though I also completely missed this symbolism until I read the book.  

When you see this cover, what do you think the book is about? What are you assumptions about the storyline? What questions does it make you ask? Does it make you want to read it? If you’ve read The Julian Game already, how do your initial impressions of the cover compare with your feelings now that you’ve read the book?

Interested in covers? 
Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious.

Previous Cover Crazy posts:
More of my Cover Crazy posts


  1. I think I also disliked this cover initially but the more I look at it, the more I like. Especially hearing from you about how it relates to the plot. So yes, I would say the cover makes me want to read the book now. Well, the cover and your review of the book :)

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  3. I just love your Cover Crazies!

    I have to agree that the blue wig is what put me off of this book although your review forced me to reconsider. I originally saw the wig, went "No," and proceeded to look at other books.

  4. I think I'll have to read the book to understand the cover more but I do love the strong colors like the wig and the glove :) But over all I'm kind of in between....for now.

  5. The first thing I thought of when I saw the cover was aliens. I don't know why - maybe because of the blue hair and green gloves? Hmm...I don't really like the cover, but I'm definitely interested in reading the book now! Your analysis of how the cover relates to plot points is great - very intriguing.

  6. Well... I admit that I wasn't interested in this book until I read your review. It seemed, like just said, just TOO quirky, and quirky and unique for the sake of it is also one of my biggest pet peeves. So I stayed far away from it.

    At the beginning I thought it was something futuristic, maybe even dystopian - which aren't really two things that DRAW me to a book - so I just never paid much attention to it, until I read your review.

  7. Great cover post! I have to admit when I look at it, the cover doesn't inspire me to read it. The green gloves bothere me. Just looking at the cover and not having read the blurb I would think a game gone wrong that ended up with somebody dead. Off to read your review now :)

  8. It almost looks similar to The Liar Society book cover, except that this one does not have the sass that TLS has because of all those bright pink hues. Not really my kind of book cover but then, we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, right? So it's really enlightening that you discussed this one here and even remarking that it's a great read. Just looking at the cover would make me think otherwise.

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  9. Don't you love those "oops" moments? I always like when a book I initially have no desire to read completely surprises me. Initially this cover held not interest for me either, but after reading your thoughts on it and how all the little elements play a role in the story, it becomes far more interesting:)

  10. When I first look at the cover I imagine the girl is about to pull off some sort of heist, which I guess is not too far from reality given the plot description. I do like the colours though, they draw your attention. After reading your review I do want to read this!

  11. I don't think I like the cover, at first glance. But it DOES have many creative elements. I sure would have missed the Facebook font, if you hadn't pointed it out. Nice touch. I'm guessing the symbolism here surrounds Facebook.

    On Facebook, a person can be someone different. Who really knows what the real person behind the page is really like? Its so easy to transform oneself into something you're not on FB.

  12. The blue hair and green gloves are the first thing I noticed when I first saw the book, too! I like the way the title font's color matches the hair.

    The cover reminds me a bit of a girl who would cosplay or be a big video gamer...but maybe that's the use of "game" in the title!

  13. hmmm... i definitely like the cover! i loved how the blue hair and green gloves contrasted with the black and white. whoever thought of this cover definitely deserves a round of applause from me! :D

  14. Aylee, It’s a shame the cover is so different from the book, at least in “first impressions” Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Bookworm1858, Thanks! I’m so glad you do. Haha, well at least I’m not alone in my initial NO based on that blue hair. The main character is very different from the image that blue hair gives off.

    Vy, You’ll definitely see so much more after reading the book. There’s so much depth and symbolism in this cover, but I didn’t see any of it until I read the book.

    Belle, Haha, I get a little alien autopsy-type vibe from it :P I think it’s the blue and green too. There’s so much more I’d love to pick apart with this cover and how it relates to the book, but that would include a bunch of spoilers.

    Alex, Ugh, that’s one of my big pet peeves too. Luckily that isn’t what this book is AT ALL! I’m so glad I posted a review of this book because it really is a good one.

    Nic, Thanks! I get that impression too (game gone wrong, someone dead), but that’s not this book at all. The green gloves bothered me a lot too. They seemed way too quirky, but they actually play a really important role. I have such an emotional response now when I see those gloves.

    Nina, Yes, this does remind me of the Liar Society cover (which I’m still sobbing over the redesign! I loved the cover with the girl and her glasses). You’re totally right though, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers and The Julian Game is a perfect example of why.

    Jenny, Ha, yep, I love those moments! The unexpected gems are the best. I wish I could go even more in depth over all the elements of the cover, but I don’t want to give spoilers. :)

    Laura, I definitely get the “heist” vibe, but there’s nothing like that in the book. :) I hope you do read it and enjoy it!

    Gina, I so want you to read this book because I just know you’d find even more symbolism with the cover. You always point out things I completely missed. For sure about Facebook, but…the flip side is that whatever is put up there is forever. Facebook makes it easier to be anonymous, but it also makes it harder to leave teenage mistakes in the past. The book touches on both of those points really well.

    A Backwards Story, I can definitely see a gamer vibe. My eyes are drawn to the bright colors too. That's so symbolic! Ah, I wish I could say why :)

    Yas, I'm glad you like it! Thank you for following, too. I hope you enjoy your time here :)

  15. The cover is sooooo important! I am not a fan of the blue hair I must admit!
    Have a pretty day!

  16. "I do not like those quirky characters who are “off-beat” and “unique” for the sake of being off-beat and unique" omg AGREED!

    And yes, I do remember chuckling to myself when you reviewed this and said you didn't like the cover. It makes me think of really badly done sci-fi that I would've almost read if I had some time.

    But once again, good thing you gave the book a chance instead of chucking it!!!

  17. Wow. I never would have noticed the font, but you're right! I think this cover makes way more sense after you read it, since you point out stuff that seems to make sense, but I just thought it was a girl with weird hair and gloves. :)

  18. Kristin, I’m not a fan of the blue hair either. I don’t really like colored hair like that, but I appreciate it a lot more now.

    Lazy Girl, I am soooo glad I read this book and didn’t completely write it off because of the cover. I do get that sci-fi vibe from it!

    Logan, It really does make much more sense now that I’ve read the book. Ah, I wish I could just babble on and on about all of the symbolism, but that would be very spoilery :)


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