Saturday, December 31, 2016

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 198: RoseBlood, by A.G. Howard

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

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

Here's my choice for this week!

A.G. Howard
Hardcover, 432 pages 
Amulet Books
January 10,2017
Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Young Adult Fiction  

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is not only a striking cover, but also an exquisitely designed one! 

Of course, the very first thing that caught my attention was the half mask on the young woman's face. So this is a modern, Young Adult, version of The Phantom of the Opera, with a female being "The Phantom", it seems.

Interestingly, while the book's synopsis refers to the Leroux novel, the young woman wears a half mask. In the original novel by Leroux, the Phantom wore a full mask. It was only in the Lloyd Webber version that he wore a half mask.

This book was written by the bestselling author of the Splintered series, so I'm expecting it to be a page turner when I get to it!

The next thing that struck me about this cover is the young woman's intense stare, which is totally focused on the viewer. Those eyes are so full of pain and vulnerability.... The image does have a rather disturbing feel to it, and this does give me pause. Of course, the original Phantom suffered greatly, as well. I feel so sorry for this poor girl. I still want to read this book, even if the cover does make me a bit uneasy....

As if emphasizing her inner torment, her face is framed by thorns, with roses at the bottom of the cover To me, this seems to be a metaphor of the power of love to overcome all suffering. I hope I'm right in this interpretation. 

The colors and tones in the cover also attract me, as does its boldness of design. I love it when an image or design fills up an entire cover. In spite of this, there's quite a bit of detail in this image, and everything is superbly done.

The font for the title is a slightly embellished classic one, and it effectively serves to focus the viewer's attention on that masked face. It also reminds me of the name "Rosebud". This was the name of the main character's boyhood sled in the film classic, "Citizen Kane". The name and the sled are symbolic of something -- perhaps the loss of innocence by the main character. I saw this film years ago, and would like to see it again, as I'm sure I'd be able to appreciate it more fully. I wonder if the two names are related -- "Roseblood" and "Rosebud". They both consist of two syllables, and are compound words. And both contain the word "rose". Hmmmm....this is definitely food for thought.

The brilliant artist who created this gorgeous, evocative cover is Nathalia Suellen, a Brazilian surrealist digital artist and commercial illustrator. She also creates fine art. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, and is entirely self-taught. For each commissioned piece, she uses a combination of photography, 3D, and digital painting. Her clients include musicians, photographers, writers, and companies such as Random House, Penguin Group, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Bloombury, and Harry N. Abrams Books.

My list of favorite book cover artists is growing!

Online Links

 What do you think of this week's cover?
Do you agree or disagree with 
my analysis?
Please leave a comment and 
let me know!


  1. AHHHH I am in love with this cover <3 And I totally agree with your analysis :)
    I also love how the woman looks both pained and hopeful; like she's enduring the pain of the thorns for a greater reward :)

    1. Hi, Amy!

      I'm so glad you love this cover, too!! YAAAAAY!! I'm also glad that you agree with my analysis of it.

      You're made a GREAT point -- the woman DOES look "both pained and hopeful". Your interpretation hit the nail on the head!

      I suppose you're eagerly awaiting the release of this book, right? I think that a LOT of us YA readers are! And I'm definitely one of them!!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Amy!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! <3 :)

  2. This is a striking cover.

    I agree with everything that you wrote. In addition, the wounds or scars on the woman; face, plus what appears to be a little blog dripping on the branches, adds to the affect.

    This may be a stretch but I get the impression that the injury and the blood may have been caused by the rose thorns.

    I think that the title might be a reference to "rosebud."

    Happy New Years Maria!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      It certainly is!

      I think you're right -- the scratches and blood were probably caused by the thorns.

      Glad you agree that there might be a connection between the title and the name "Rosebud". Perhaps the author of this book wanted her title to become as memorable as the iconic name in that famous movie.
      Thanks for coming by and commenting, as always!! Happy New Year to you, as well!! (Belated....I didn't have a chance to reply yesterday. But I do hope you're having a very nice New Year's Day!)


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