Friday, March 25, 2016

Before I Read Be Good Be Real Be Crazy

Before I read a book, I look at its cover. Despite the old adage "Don't judge a book by its cover," a book's exterior often offers insight into the story inside and can even convince me to pick up a title I may not have otherwise read. I love talking about covers almost as much as I love talking about novels themselves, so I started a feature to spotlight these essential works of art.

Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by Chelsey Philpot

Release: October 11, 2016 from HarperTeen
Three teenagers. One road trip. Countless detours. From the author of Even in Paradise comes a compelling story of self-discovery that is perfect for fans of Paper Towns and Mosquitoland.

When Mia first waltzed into Homer’s small corner of Florida, her bold approach to life changed Homer’s entire world. It wasn’t long before he was hopelessly in love.

Now Mia is moving away—and Homer and his younger brother, Einstein, are helping her drive hundreds of miles to her new home. This is Homer’s last chance to tell Mia how he really feels. And with so many detours in front of them, anything could happen.

In the tradition of Let's Get Lost and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Be Good Be Real Be Crazy is a story about love, friendship, and finding yourself.
I love road trip books—in fact, they are one of my favorite sub-genres of contemporary. Not only do I appreciate seeing several different settings as the miles fly by beneath the plot, but the character and relationship development that can take place while trapped for hours in a car is incredible. I've read all but one of the books mentioned in this blurb (plus many, many more), and I'm sure Be Good Be Real Be Crazy will earn itself a competitive position on my list of favorite road trip books—because its cover promises a brilliant tale of travel, romance, and more.

I'll start with the title font, an imperfect-yet-precise handwritten-style work of art that unassumingly captures the feeling of a road trip story. The bold, blocked half of the lettering features cracked, inconsistent color that evokes the look of lightly-worn lane lines and makes me want to go somewhere. Meanwhile, the black outlines seem almost like an afterthought to the more-noticeable white letters, giving the cover the same air of spontaneity that I love to see in books about travel. Combined with the title's actual words (what should a trip with friends be if not good, real, and crazy?), the typography choices make me want to both read this book and embark on an adventure of my own.

The cover's other prominent element, the small car perched under the title, also pulls its weight. It is just bright enough to stand out against a dry and dull background, but just dingy enough itself to suggest that the characters' journey will not run at all smoothly. Even better, its miniature size and childlike appearance add a hint of innocence to the cover. By displaying an image of what appears to be a toy car, the designer portrays the characters as young, with lessons to learn and experience to gain—all of which will surely occur within this book's 272 pages. I have seen this technique executed before (most notably in the genius cover of The Vow by Jessica Martinez), and I find it incredibly clever and eye-catching when done properly.

Especially when considering my adoration for Chelsey Philpot's debut (I described it as The Great Gatsby meets We Were Liars), this one is sure to be fantastic. I'll be first in line for a copy in October.

1 comment:

  1. the increase of road trip books lately reminds me that I still haven't read one. ugh. I love the title of this book && its use of a toy car in the cover!! It really stands out for me. I'd love to read what you think of this!


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