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The Writing’s On The Wall: Hello Girls

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title Hello Girls
Author Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
Pages 336 Pages
Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary
Publication Date August 6th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Thelma and Louise gets remade in this powerful, darkly funny teen novel from acclaimed authors Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry. Two teenage girls who have had enough of the controlling men in their lives take their rage on the road to make a new life for themselves.

Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.

Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and a lifetime of barely getting by.

One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. One hour later, they’re armed with a plan that will take them from their small Michigan town to Chicago.

All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible can’t hurt.

Chased by the oppression, toxicity, and powerlessness that has held them down, Winona and Lucille must reclaim their strength if they are going to make their daring escape—and get away with it.

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to It’s Me, Simon and Connary Fagen Type Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Sixteen Book Cover Re-Designs I Adore

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Sixteen Book Cover Re-Designs I Adore.

Earlier this month, one of the prompts for the Top Ten Tuesday series involved an exploration of the topic of book cover re-designs. Cover re-designs are admittedly a controversial issue, particularly when they’re undertaken in the midst of an ongoing series, but more often than not I really enjoy them. Whether it’s a new design for a special edition or simply because of the transition from hardcover to paperback, I find it endlessly fascinating how artists are able to bring their own unique interpretation and perspective to the project and can often breathe new life to an otherwise familiar story. While I wasn’t able to participate in the aforementioned Top Ten Tuesday at the time because I had other posts scheduled, I couldn’t stop thinking about this topic, and I thought it might be fun to touch on it today. Below, I’ve shared sixteen of my favourite book cover re-designs. What are some of your favourite (or least favourite) re-designs? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

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For fans of Sarah Dessen and John Green, this is a breathtaking debut about a couple who fall in love…twice.

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. Then Sawyer disappears without a word, leaving a devastated — and pregnant — Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter. Reena’s gotten used to life without Sawyer, but just as suddenly as he disappeared, he turns up again. Reena wants nothing to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said his being back wasn’t stirring something in her.

After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

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Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, believes “will stay with you long after you put it down.”

We’ve lost everything…and found ourselves.

Loss pulled Autumn, Shay, and Logan apart. Will music bring them back together?

Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who’s struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

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This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.

Then Noah → gets hypnotized.

Now Noah → sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Subtle behaviors, bits of history, plans for the future — everything in Noah’s world has been rewritten. Everything except his Strange Fascinations…

A stunning surrealist portrait, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is a story about all the ways we hurt our friends without knowing it, and all the ways they stick around to save us.

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Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

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Adrift after her sister Bailey’s sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby — Bailey’s boyfriend who shares her grief — and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs…though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.

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A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch…she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

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That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I’ll go wherever you go. But by dawn Ingrid, and her promise, were gone.

Ingrid’s suicide immobilizes Caitlin, leaving her unsure of her place in a new life she hardly recognizes. A life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy that she shared with her best friend…But Ingrid left something behind. In words and drawings, Ingrid documented a painful farewell in her journal. Journeying through Ingrid’s final days, Caitlin fights back through unspeakable loss to find renewed hope.

Hold Still is the indelible debut that launched Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of We Are Okay. LaCour’s breakthrough novel brings the changing seasons of Caitlin’s first year without Ingrid to the page with indelible emotion and honesty.

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Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he’s going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they fit together – even though she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

Jacqueline Woodson’s work has been called “moving and resonant” (Wall Street Journal) and “gorgeous” (Vanity Fair). Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, and including a new preface by the author, If You Come Softly is a powerful story of interracial love that leaves readers wondering “why” and “if only…”

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“I’m not saying this is Sawyer’s fault,” the prim and proper one said delicately. “But.”

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life – her father’s identity – she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

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I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna’s life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It’s bad enough that she has to leave her friends behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love — a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide means that nothing — not the sea glass that collects along the shore, and not the truths behind Anna’s mother’s death — stays buried forever.

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No one is more surprised than Leigh when her father buys a graveyard. Less shocking is the fact that he’s too lazy to look farther than the dinner table for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she becomes great at predicting headstone choice (mostly granite) and taking notes with one hand while offering Kleenex with the other.

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to quit this stupid after-school job. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her gravedigger. Can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?

Funny and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl surrounded by death will change the way you look at friendship, love, and life.

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The more things change…

As far as Haven is concerned, there’s just too much going on.

Everything is changing, and she’s not sure where she fits in.

Then her sister’s old boyfriend shows up, sparking memories of the summer when they were all happy and everything was perfect…

But along the way, Haven realizes that sometimes change is a good thing.

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Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable story about how even the best-laid plans sometimes need to be rewritten.

What’s the only thing that could derail overachiever Jules’s perfect senior year? Alex Powell – former member of boy-band sensation Chaos 4 All and newest transfer to Eagle Vista Academy.

Alex seems cool enough when he starts spending time with Jules. In fact, he turns out to be quite the romantic (not to mention a killer kisser). And after getting over the initial shock that someone like Alex might actually like like her, Jules accepts that having a boyfriend could be a nice addition to her packed schedule. That is, until Alex commits the ultimate betrayal, which threatens to ruin her high school career, and possibly her entire future.

This. Means. War.

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Some summers are just destined to be pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer – they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

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She annihilates standardized tests and the bad guys.

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from Hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate — right down to the furry tail and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 115: Middle Grade (Part 34)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens (Cover design by Nicole Hower, Cover art by Levente Szabó)
02. Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim (Cover art by Jennifer Hom)

03. The Unicorn Quest: Fire In The Star by Kamilla Benko (Cover art by Vivienne To)
04. The Chaos Curse by Sayantani DasGupta

05. Scavengers by Darren Simpson (Cover art by Tom Clohosy Cole)
06. Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Cover art by Paola Escobar)

07. From The Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Cover design by Laura Mock, Cover art by Mirelle Ortega)
08. We Could Be Heroes by Margaret Mary Finnegan (Cover design by Karyn Lee, Cover art by Alexandra Bye)

09. The Fantastic Frame: Beware! Shadows In The Night by Lin Oliver
10. Sunnyside Plaza by Scott Simon

11. How To Make Friends With The Sea by Tanya Guerrero (Cover art by Christine Almeda)
12. How To Disappear Completely by Ali Standish (Cover art by Yaoyao Ma Van As)

13. King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Cover design by Baily Crawford, Cover art by Tonya Engel)
14. Stone River Crossing by Tim Tingle

15. Into The Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon (Cover design by Debra Sfetsios-Conover, Cover art by Victo Ngai)
16. The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay

17. Worse Than Weird by Jody J. Little
18. Stella Diaz Never Gives Up by Angela Dominguez

19. Chirp by Kate Messner (Cover art by Christopher Silas Neal)
20. Mindy Kim and The Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee (Cover design by Laura Lyn DiSiena, Cover art by Dung Ho)

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Middle Grade covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

Cover Reveal: The Wolf of Cape Fen by Juliana Brandt

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week! Hooray! Today on Pop! Goes The Reader I’m so happy to welcome author, Juliana Brandt, to the blog as we share the exclusive cover reveal for her 2020 middle grade debut novel, The Wolf of Cape Fen! Coming to a bookstore and library near you April 7th 2020 by Sourcebooks Young Readers, The Wolf of Cape Fen follows the story of Eliza, who embarks on a journey to save her sister from an enchanted wolf by breaking a magical bargain in their winter-cloaked town of Cape Fen, only to discover that her sister’s life may not be the only one at stake.

When Juliana first shared the cover of The Wolf of Cape Fen with me, I could hardly believe my eyes. The cover’s design by Nicole Hower with accompanying artwork by Jana Heidersdorf is absolutely breathtaking, and offers a beautiful, haunting glimpse into this magical middle grade tale. I’m honoured to have been able to help share it on Pop! Goes The Reader today. Juliana has been kind enough to share an illuminating author’s note about both the writing and cover design process, so please read on to learn all about The Wolf of Cape Fen!

About Juliana Brandt

Juliana Brandt is an author and kindergarten teacher with a passion for storytelling that guides her in both of her jobs. She lives in her childhood home of Minnesota, and her writing is heavily influenced by travels around the country and decade living in the South. When not working, she is usually exploring the great outdoors. Her debut novel, The Wolf of Cape Fen, will be published by SourcebooksKids in April 2020. Her writing is represented by Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

The cover for The Wolf of Cape Fen exceeded any and all expectations I had and receiving it was a surprise in more ways than one.

I’ve never been much of a visual thinker. Of course as a writer, I imagine scenes plenty. They live inside my head, often like a three-dimensional movie. Usually, what fills that movie screen is made up of movement and feelings and dialogue. Rarely do I sit and picture the intricate physical details of a scene, and I’m certainly not an author who knows exactly what their characters look like. At most, I have vague impressions. This means that while I can often describe how a character might walk and move, how their facial expressions change and use their hands while they talk, I rarely know what their actual face shape is and I have to work hard to describe how they might dress.

This is one small reason why I’d never spent much time picturing or dreaming about what the cover for The Wolf of Cape Fen might look like.

After signing my book contract, I was encouraged by my agent, Natalie Lakosil, to send a concept board to Sourcebooks, something that would include images that had inspired me while working on the manuscript, along with other book covers I responded to and adored. I gathered the covers to books like Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi, The Voyage to the Magical North by Claire Fayers, and Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith, and collected images that spoke to the big themes of my story: two sisters holding hands with their back to the viewer, mysterious wolves, twisty ocean waves, a lighthouse, and the night sky. I wasn’t entirely sure what the design team might come up with after looking at the pieces I’d placed together, but I had confidence that while I might not be a visual thinker, the people who were working on my cover certainly would be. Surely they could come up with something beautiful!

Months later, I received the most marvelous email from my editor. A draft of my cover!

Entrusting your story to another person who will sum it up through a medium you have no understanding of is intimidating! But true to every experience I’ve had thus far with Sourcebooks, my story was treated as if it were priceless. The design team tapped into the heart of The Wolf of Cape Fen, transforming my story into a work of art. The cover was hauntingly lovely.

When you look at the cover, I hope you notice all the pieces I’d hoped it would include: the sisters, the wolf, the ocean waves, the lighthouse, and the night sky. But included too are pieces I never would have considered: the ocean foam, the bright beam from the lighthouse, the incredible font with the water swirling through, the snow on the edges of the cape setting, the magic that seems to live inside the wolf’s fur. All of these parts add up to create an atmosphere that speaks directly to the book I wrote.

The Wolf of Cape Fen, in many ways, is an ode to my deepest treasures in life. To have it so lovingly honored in the cover design and illustration that Nicole Hower and Jana Heidersdorf created is quite unbelievable. It’s more than what I had ever imagined.

And the added bonus is my name in clear script at the bottom of the cover. How utterly perfect is that?

Cover design by Nicole Hower, Cover art by Jana Heidersdorf

Title The Wolf of Cape Fen
Author Juliana Brandt
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date April 7th 2020 by Sourcebooks Young Readers
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First Frost has touched Cape Fen, and that means Baron Dire has returned. For as long as anyone can remember, Baron Dire has haunted the town come winter, striking magical bargains and demanding unjust payment in return. The Serling sisters know better than to bargain, lest they find themselves hunted by the Baron’s companion, the Wolf.

Then the Wolf attacks Eliza’s sister Winnie. They manage to escape, but they know the Wolf will be back, because the Wolf only attacks those who owe the Baron Dire. Winnie would never bargain, so that must mean that someone has struck a deal with Winnie as the price.

Eliza embarks on a journey to save her sister, but as she untangles the links between Baron Dire, the Wolf, and her family, she discovers a complicated web of bargains that cross all of Cape Fen. If Eliza can learn the truth, she might be able to protect her sister, but the truth behind the bargain could put her own life in danger.

A beautiful and magical middle-grade debut about sisterhood, sacrifice, and what happens when the dreams we hid within ourselves come to light.