So we bloggers as a whole spend a fair amount of time dissecting cover art and the pros and cons of US vs. UK covers, hard vs. paperback, originals vs. reissues. I get just as excited as the next girl about the latest and greatest--see my angel book cover post from a few weeks back. And most books go through a handful of different covers and styles over the course of their lives, some more attractive and more accurate than others. But how often does a book go through three, say four different covers and every single last one of them are made of win? Not that often, I'm afraid. Then yesterday I ran across the newest reissue of a book I have been in love with for almost seven years--Robin McKinley's Sunshine. This book has been just extremely lucky in the cover department, in my opinion.
Here are the first two U.S. covers (hardback on the left, trade paperback on the right):
I love them both. So much. They are perfect, they're both drawn from one of my absolutely favorite scenes in the book, and they evoke the exact feelings and emotions I have when I think of Sunshine herself and the events of the story.
And here are the UK covers:
Both also awesome in their Britishy, subdued yet slightly threatening way. And both feature allusions to some subtler themes in the book.
Completely different in tone, I love the blood dripping off the bottom of the N and the way it seeps through the curling vines below. I'm frankly delighted that they're marketing Sunshine to YA readers now. It's a book, as I've long said, that deserves a wider audience and I think many YA readers will love it. If you've never read it before, maybe this new edition coming out in just a few days will be the perfect time to try it out. And if the cover's not enough try reading Neil Gaiman's quote on reading the book for the first time:
I woke up too early, so started reading Robin McKinley's forthcoming novel Sunshine, in the bath. It's an astonishing piece of work. A gripping, funny, page-turning pretty much perfect work of magical literature that exists more or less at the unlikely crossroads of Chocolat, Interview With a Vampire, Misery and the tale of Beauty and the Beast. It's not quite SF, and it's not really horror, and only kind of a love story, and it's all three while still being solidly Fantastique. It also does that nice thing where the author assumes the readers are smart, and she treats us like we're smart, and we purr and get smarter and work harder for all that. It'll be nominated for awards, and win them; in the meantime I really hope it finds its audience, which is, potentially, huge.
So that's not three, not four, but five very attractive, very different covers for a single awesome book. I often find myself loving Robin McKinley covers, but I don't know if anyone's ever been this fortunate with that many covers for just one book and I just thought I'd share the love. I own the top two U.S. covers because (I tell myself) I've got to have a lender copy on hand. I would be delighted to own the two UK covers, but haven't ordered them yet because of pesky shipping costs. But I can already see myself in just over a week when this latest one releases, standing in the bookstore having a conversation with myself (and my bank account) and, for some reason, I have no trouble at all picturing me walking out with the book in hand.
Do you have any favorite single-title cover collections? Even if you haven't read or loved the book, which is your favorite Sunshine cover above? (I still love that original U.S. cover with the chandelier and the deep tingles it gave me back when all I knew of the book was it was Robin McKinley taking on vampires. But I really, really love the U.S. paperback as well because it's that scene.) And do you crave ownership of single-title cover collections or are you stronger than me and able to admire the pretties from afar?