Friday, May 13, 2011

*** Judging a Book by Its Cover ***

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~William Shakespeare

What's in a name? Apparently quite a bit according to Feiwel and Friends, who recently changed the name of Ann Aguirre's first YA book, formerly known as Razorland, to Enclave. The rationale, according to Ms. Aguirre's blog is that Feiwel wants her book (possibly the first in a trilogy) to have a broader appeal, hence they changed the cover art too.

I gladly read Razorland with its cool cover showing a pair of tough, punky, futuristic teens standing strong against all obstacles. Now would I have wanted to read Enclave? With its generic front cover and horror-bent, somewhat subtle claw-hand with nails dripping blood on the back? Hmmmm? I hope so, because Ms. Aguirre's book is a good read and I remain curious about her characters Deuce, Fade, and Tegan even now.
Soooo, I was waiting for Razorland to come out, because I knew that I'd recommend it to those readers like me who like dystopian tales, with kick-a-- characters (“For fans of Hunger Games,” per Publishers Weekly), but it eluded me. And if I hadn't randomly picked up a new copy of Enclave I would never have known what happened.

Still I wonder how Kit Reed feels about her recently released book title being co-opted? Her book came out in paperback to rave reviews (i.e. Connie Willis is a fan of Ms. Reed's writing) last August and it too deals with an edgy set of characters with an unknown future. I can certainly understand a publisher wanting their book to appeal to larger audience, but I wonder about the etiquette in choosing a name or names to use.

I definitely can get past all of this … and I recommend that you do too, so that you can make room to sink into the wild world, one distinctly different from our own now, that Ann Aguirre portrays.


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