Saturday, November 1, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #133: Sublime, by Christina Lauren


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
simply go HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

Hardcover, 336 pages
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
October 14, 2014
Fantasy, Gothic Fiction, 
Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

As I was browsing in a local Barnes & Noble store the other day, I came across this book, and promptly bought it. My initial impression was that it was just stunning; the dynamic composition, the ghostly girl's trailing hair and flowing drapery, the trusting way the boy is reaching out to her, even though he seems to be asleep, were all very strong visual elements that caught my attention right away. 

This image is made even more effective and compelling by the joining of the couple's hands in the middle of the cover, with the letter "S" intertwined through their hands. This is a stroke of genius! The font is a classical, simple one, which is perfect for the cover, as it does not distract the eye from the image.

I also like the thin line border placed all around, as well as the fact that the images of the girl and boy overlap it.

I think there might be a slightly sinister feeling to  this cover, though, as it seems the girl is pulling the boy toward her. It's as if she wants to exert her influence on him. However, this could also be interpreted another way, as the single-minded concentration of someone totally in love with another. The pull is certainly hypnotic and powerful!

On closer inspection, there is something about this cover, besides its slightly sinister feeling, that bothers me. The girl's makeup is overdone; it looks like it's caked on. Also, she doesn't appear to be ethereal enough; she's supposed to be a ghost, after all. The photographer should really have used some technical trick to make her look less solid.

I still think this cover is stunning, but it does need some tweaking to make it really outstanding. The artists who created it are the photographer, Ali Smith, and the designer, Lizzy Bromley. 

Ali Smith has had a varied career -- as a ballet dancer, musician, photographer, and photography teacher. In 2002, she published a book of photos and essays, titled Laws of the Bandit Queens, and her second, titled Momma Love: How the Mother Half Lives, was released in 2013. She has worked on many other projects, as well, including YA book covers for major publishers. One of her recent, gorgeous covers is the one for The Winner's Curse, which I featured on Shelf Candy Saturday #111. At the time, I had not been able to find out who the photographer was.

Lizzy Bromley is a graphic designer living in New York City. She has been designing book covers, especially for the YA genre, at Simon & Schuster for the last 8 years; she is, in fact, the Executive Art Director there. She holds a BFA degree in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in California.

Online Links

Ali Smith


Lizzy Bromley

I'm wondering what all of you 
out there think about
this cover!
What's your take on it?



  1. Though I am not sure if it matches what the book is about, I find that the impression given by the girl is striking. As you mention, it is clear that there is a lot of make up on her. This, as we discussed gives it all a grotesque, very showy feel. I actually think that as a work of art, this works. It conveys a certain kind of feeling that for me is valid as well as powerful.

    Though it may not be for the reason that the photographer intended. I do like this cover.

  2. Hry, Brian!

    I originally found this cover very striking, but once I took a good look at the girl, my enthusiasm diminished considerably. I suppose it still works, but in a very macabre sort of way that lessens my enjoyment of it.

    Thanks for the nice comment!! : )


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