Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cover Story: Tagged

I recently received and read Tagged by Mara Purnhagen, which will be available in March, (review to be posted shortly) and thought the cover rather curious. See what you think.


Kate is just as confused as her best friend, Lan, when she arrives at Cleary High School to find the building's been "tagged" with a life-size graffiti mural. Could the culprit be one of their friends or classmates? And is the king-of-amazing creation really vandalism, or a work of art? She's tempted to atay out of it--mostly because, as the police chief's daughter, she's worried about being labeled a snitch. But when the same mysterious graffiti starts appearing throughout the state, putting more pressure on authorities to catch the vandal, her investigative instincts kick in.

Now Eli, Kate's favorite coworker at the local coffee shop, is MIA. With Lan preoccupied with her own boy troubles, Kate needs to figure out some things on her own. Like why she can't stop thinking about Eli. And what she will do when all the clues about the graffiti point to someone she's close to...

The issue I have with this cover is that it is so incredibly distant from the atmosphere of the novel. It sounds like it should fit. I mean, it's a book about graffiti, right? Except it's not. It's about an average girl in high school, with average high-school-girl problems and dramas, whose life is briefly interrupted by the appearance of a mural--not graffiti--on her school. The mural is actually not the biggest issue in the book at all. And neither is the romance. So why create a cover with a graffiti style with a guy and a girl so obviously in love on it? I think this gives the completely wrong impression and appeals to the wrong audience. The bright colors of the cover contradict the mellow atmosphere of the book. The model's clothing, also, is entirely inaccurate, at least according to my impression.

What is your take on covers that misrepresent the novel or appeal to the wrong audience?

Click HERE to go to Mara Purnhagen's site.

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