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Color me confused

I spied this book on the New Releases table at my local B&N this morning, and was much taken by the cover, so I picked it up to see what it was about. (I thought it had been misplaced on the MG table, since it looked like a YA cover to me.)

And it sounds like an intriguing mystery with a dash of first romantic stirrings, involving an 11-year old girl named Felicity.

And I read the first two chapters in the store, as I am wont to do when making decisions.

But it's set during World War II. Correct me if I'm wrong, but little girls - especially little British girls - did not wear jeans then, nor did these sorts of sneakers exist AT ALL for anyone, let alone in these colors. Edited to add: It appears that the Jack Purcell model of Converse sneakers, which is what these appear to be, may have existed at that time. Colors were not introduced until the 1960s, and even then, I'm not sure about these colors.

To sum up:

Love the cover
Love the premise
Like the chapters I read

But the cynical part of me (and it's a relatively large percentage, by the way) cannot help but think that a modern cover has been wrapped around a historical novel in an attempt to disguise the fact that this book is actually historical fiction. And part of me resents that this cover was so very successful in catching my attention, given that it's false advertising.

Still, I'll probably buy it - if not now, then soon - because I very much want to read it.

Further edited to add: Roger Sutton flagged this issue over at his blog, Read Roger, and Betsy Bird called this book out in a round-up post about historicals dressed in modern-looking covers over at Fuse #8.



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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
beckylevine
Mar. 11th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
That is very, very weird. My mom was a little girl in England during WWII, and I'm pretty sure wasn't wearing jeans for another 10-15 years. And then they were probably denim pedal-pusher types.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
I know that some people were wearing dungarees by then (in rural areas in the U.S. - and the book is set in the U.S. - but they probably weren't styled like these), although I don't know that they specifically made them for girls. But this cover looks like it could be a YA romance by Susane Colasanti or something, and instead it's a MG historical, and I am perplexed, even though I like the cover.
patty1943
Mar. 11th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
My mom had "dungarees" from WWII that she wore in the summer at our camp in Maine. I think that kind of shoe was called a plimsoll in England. They wore them at the beach. Don't know about colors.
If you like WWII stuff, Connie Willis' Blackout and All Clear are about "historians" who time travel to the Blitz. I love the series and have read it twice.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
I knew dungarees existed, although I'm still not positive that's what these cover models are wearing (at least, style-wise). And research tells me that the Jack Purcell model of Converse was probably around then, although I haven't been able to determine if those colors were around then. Still, it looks like a YA contemporary romance to me, not a MG historical set during WWII.

I will look for those Willis books - thanks for the recommendations!
jandersoncoats
Mar. 11th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
As a writer of historical fiction, I join in your confusion and raise you some irritation. It would bug me if my work was given a cover that didn't reflect the content.

I wonder how the author feels about the cover.

Hi, BTW. I hope you don't mind that I friended you!
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC)
I am always pleased to "meet" new friends!

The thing is, I really love this cover. I just feel it doesn't look like a MG novel set during WWII.
chant_1
Mar. 11th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
I'd be right there with you, sharing that resentment. It's misleading to put that sort of cover on a historical fiction, and it sort of puts you off right from the start. It's good that you read enough to overcome that - other people might not be so forgiving. If I were the author I don't think I'd be too happy about it.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
It really is a beautiful, eye-catching cover, and it really did make me grab that book up to have a look, but it doesn't say "middle grade" or "historical novel" to me. *Still mulling this over*
kimberleylittle
Mar. 11th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
I actually don't *see* the cover you're talking about in this post (not showing up) . . . but I know EXACTLY what book you're talking about because I thought the same thing! It was paired up on Amazon last week with my book The Healing Spell and my very first thought was, "How odd that folks are purchasing this YA romance with my MG." The feet intertwined on the blanket, and the contemporary look made me think it was a boy and a girl on the cover, then I learned that it's MG WWII historical! Weird!!!
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Yep - it looks like YA, contemporary, and romance to me, not MG, historical and not-romance. Love the cover, but I remain unconvinced that it has anything to do with the contents. I guess once I read it, I'll know?
kimberleylittle
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the title does NOT sound like MG, either. Looking forward to your review!
kellyrfineman
Mar. 12th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
I didn't end up getting it today, so a review may be a long while off!
p_sunshine
Mar. 11th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
I can see your raised eyebrow. Great marketing, because it does make you want to pick it up, but... Tricksy, tricksy.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 11th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Tricksy indeed!
dotificus
Mar. 12th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
I don't have ANYTHING substantive to say about your post or the very interesting updates. I JUST LOVE THAT USER PIC. It made me laugh the instant I saw it.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 12th, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
I totally thought of you when I picked it. I have another one on my computer (but not loaded to LJ) that says "Smile like a maniac" and still another one with a full body shot and the words *swash* *buckle* and *sashay* on it. But alas, I "only" have 120 options, and I didn't need that many Jack Sparrows. If only I could have 200 or so userpics . . .
mostly_irish
Mar. 14th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
Ah, the old "bait-and-switch."

It's such a cute cover, too! Which, I suppose, was the point.
kellyrfineman
Mar. 15th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
It is indeed cute - but, well, you obviously see my point.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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