Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #24: Torn, by Erica O'Rourke

This wonderful book meme/blog hop
is hosted by
Stephanie @

The purpose of this feature is to display
a beautiful book cover,
with information, if available,
about the cover illustrator,
photographer, and/or designer.

For all the participation rules,
just click

Here's my choice for this week!

(Torn Trilogy #1)
Paperback, 336 pages
June 28, 2011
Genres: YA, Romance, 
Urban Fantasy

Why do I love this cover?

I was browsing in a Barnes & Noble bookstore the other day, and came across the second book in this series, Tangled.  I loved the cover, so I bought the book.  Then, of course, I had to find the first book, which I didn't see at B & N.  So I went to Amazon, found it right away, and promptly ordered it. 

If I liked the cover of the second book, this one absolutely floored me!  It's just stunning.  The composition is bold and simple; a young girl is framed in the center, her piercing stare making it impossible for a potential reader to pass up the book.  Her face is swathed in a white, lacy cloth that reminds me of the time of the Tudors.  In fact, this could pass for an undiscovered Old Master painting, perhaps done by Vermeer himself.  Amazingly, however, it's a photograph -- two, in fact.  One is the girl's face, the other is a door.  

The girl is looking through a hole in the door.  Her bangs serve to focus attention on her wide-open green eyes. Why is she staring so fixedly at us?  What urgent message does her penetrating gaze convey?  There is a mystery in that gaze.  Perhaps she is a prisoner, and is silently attempting to find someone to liberate her.  Alternatively, her message could be an entirely different, far more important one -- a defiant statement that nothing and no one can dominate her spirit, even if her body is imprisoned.  

Whatever the message is, I find that steady gaze very unnerving, and I want to read this book in order to discover what's behind it!  

I also love the overall dark purple shade of this cover.  It goes perfectly with the face, making its paleness stand out even more.  

The font used for the title has a decidely historical look to it.  It could be inspired by medieval script, although I am still inclined to think of the Tudor period.  

Every element of this cover is just perfect!  This is truly brilliant design!   

The highly talented designer
of this cover is
Kristine Mills-Noble. 

From the designer's page:

I am a graphic design professional specializing in book cover design. I have been in the publishing business for over 20 years. Working for and with some of the top publishing companies. Including Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Grand Central Publishing, Oxford University Press and currently on staff as the creative director for Kensington Publishing Corp.

You can find Ms. Mills at

I have also discovered
a fascinating online interview
with the designer,
which you can find at

One of the designer's recent projects
was the covers for
Kimberly Reid's Langdon Prep series.
You can find the article,
which includes a link for a video
of Mills at work on a
romance novel cover,

As I explained above,
this cover is a composite image.
The photograph of the door
came from
and the photograph of the girl
came from

So what do you think
of this cover?
What beautiful cover(s)
are you featuring this week?


  1. I love the color of her eyes contrasting the purple. You're right the stare makes it hard to look away. Thanks for stopping by my blog today =)

  2. Hi, Melissa!

    Yes, the purple does make her eyes stand out. I'm going to get to this book soon, I hope!

    You're very welcome for the visit! Thanks for commenting back!! :)

  3. I love this cover and am so glad that you chose it. There is something about it that reminds me of one of those old Victorian paintings. The veil may be a part of it or it could be the serious look on the models face. The intensity of the eyes is amazing.
    I was not familiar with Kristine Mills-Noble's work, so I am happy to learn about her now.
    Your descriptions are always a pleasure. I love all the artsy terms.

  4. Great cover! I really love the purple veil and the intense green eyes. They really play off each other well. I haven't heard of this series but will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!
    I love Shelf Candy Saturday!

  5. Hey, Steph!

    Oh, those eyes are really amazing, aren't they? I can also see the similarity to old Victorian paintings, now that you mention it.

    I'm so glad you have heard about this designer through this SCS post! That's what's so interesting about this meme -- discovering new and very talented book cover designers!

    Thank you for yet another wonderful comment!! I especially appreciate your compliments about my descriptions! I love to describe these covers, pointing out those features that make me adore them! And, of course, I also love art, so I do have to throw in those 'artsy terms'. That's why I LOVE Shelf Candy Saturday!! :)

  6. Hey, Kimberly!

    I'm so happy you love my selection!! I agree -- the purple really does set off the green eyes perfectly!

    I'm also glad you've discovered this new series right along with me! And I have a feeling it's going to be as terrific as these covers!!

    Oh, and I LOVE Shelf Candy Saturday, too!!! YAY STEPH @ FIVE ALARM BOOK REVIEWS FOR CREATING THIS MEME!!!! :)

  7. I like the colors of this cover. She looks so young which is a switch since a lot of cover models look older.

  8. Hi, there! I agree --- the colors are lovely, and she does look quite young. She reminds me of those very young princesses who suddently became queens, in medieval times.

    Thanks for commenting!! :)

  9. How had I never seen this book before? That cover is GORGE.

    I think I need to have this, like right now! I think I may be superficial and this to my TBR based on looks alone!

  10. Hi, Jessie! I know...when I first saw this cover, it like, TOOK MY BREATH AWAY!! And hey, you're not being "superficial" at all! I believe books should always have beautiful covers. Heck, I have been known to pass up an edition of a book because I didn't like the cover, and go with another edition with a gorgeous one! And, I don't care if the edition with the beautiful cover is more expensive!! Lol.

    This novel does sound like it's a great read, too, though. I'm glad you're putting it on your TBR pile.

    Thanks for the comment!! : )

  11. This book cover has a wonderful combination of striking colours, and together with the prominent features of the woman (green eyes, long elegant nose, snow white skin) serve to attract. It definitely would stand out on any shelf.
    From the few words written on the front, I find it intriguing enough to read it.
    I find that the cover of a book is a connection to the story itself, so the design is highly important.

  12. Oh, Cathriona, I totally agree! A beautiful book cover is very important indeed in getting a potential reader's attention. Although one should not really judge a book by its cover, a book with a badly designed cover will not motivate a reader to pick it up and investigate its contents.

    This young woman's face is certainly striking enough to attract attention! And of course, the colors in the cover contribute to its appeal.

    Thank you so much for your great comment!! : )


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