Don’t Judge a Book By Its (Really Great) Cover

One of the perks of being part of The Debutante Ball is being able to read advance reader copies of some wonderful books. It’s like being introduced to a whole new crowd of friends or tasty foods you might never have ordered or cities you’d never thought to visit. Elixir, by actress and author Hilary Duff (and co-written by Deb Elise) is a perfect example.

I’m well past “Young Adult,” age though I love and read all genres (except perhaps the goriest horror) so I might not have picked Elixir off the shelf at my local bookstore, despite the cover’s rich colors and exotic flower that practically demand you dip down and inhale its fragrance.

Ah, the cover. As in “don’t judge a book by its cover.” As an author, I can tell you that’s poppycock. We all judge books (real books, no metaphor here) by their covers. You haven’t sweated until a .jpeg hits your in box with your editor’s snappy little note, “You’re going to L-O-V-E the cover art that the art department has created!” Opening that email can be like Christmas morning, “Daddy! A pony!!” Or it can be like Christmas morning, “Auntie Ethel, what a lovely afghan made from recycled grocery bags.” Thud.

Elixir’s cover art is gorgeous. But the author name – well recognized certainly with the YA target audience – might raise an eyebrow. “Oh. A celeb book.”  Thud. I can tell you with assurance, do NOT judge this book by its cover. Hilary has written an engaging story that combines the best of history, intrigue, magic and young adult romance.

“Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world. But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea’s photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man—a man she has never seen before.

When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance, and they discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives—and their futures.”

It’s a real win. And our own Deb Elise scores the “assist” in helping Hilary craft this novel.

Do order Elixir for the Young Adult reader (age-wise or at heart) on your holiday list. It will be a lot neater than that pony and much more fun than Aunt Ethel’s afghan.

Congratulations, Hilary and Elise.

Deb Kim

5 Replies to “Don’t Judge a Book By Its (Really Great) Cover”

  1. Just went to the bookstore last night and bought a copy for my grandmother, who’s a YA junkie now that she’s into the Hunger Games. So much fun to see it on the shelves!

  2. I love YA. Heather Brewer’s Vlad Tod vampire books (with a male POV) are crazy good. And I love youth books too, like Chris Grabensteins fabulous ghost stories for kids. I savored A Wrinkle in Time on my Kindle recently and I often return to childhood favorite books. I’m happy for Hilary – it’s a big deal to see your name on a book cover. Well it should be!

  3. I think I’m the only Deb in the group who hasn’t yet seen her cover art, so I’ve been trying not to think too much about the issue. I hadn’t really considered the ELIXIR cover when I read it, but you’re right — it IS intriguing. Will someone send it back to me so I can sniff it?


  4. Just went to the bookstore last night and bought a copy for my grandmother, who’s a YA junkie now that she’s into the Hunger Games. So much fun to see it on the shelves!

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