Currently Reading will act as my check-in, letting you guys know what I’m forever reading at the moment, and what I’m enjoying about it. I’m not gonna discuss books that are on my priority October TBR list. Instead, I’m gonna talk about the books I picked up on a whim this month.
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
Why did I want to read Truly Devious? Truly Devious has things I love reading in books: private schools, True Crime, and early twentieth century. When you give me all three, I’m immediately on this train. I thought the story was intriguing; who isn’t fascinated by unsolved crimes?
What do I like about it so far? I love how mysterious it is. Maureen Johnson does a beautiful job setting us in this book where you feel this gloom as you read. I just want to learn more about this Truly Devious character and what made Ellingham Academy dangerous.
Let’s be honest, nobody follows the age-old cliché that tells us not to judge a book by its covers. If you say you do, I am side-eying you. Book covers are the first thing that attracts any of us readers to a book. Before you pick up a book, the cover can essentially make or break a book. If I don’t like a cover design, I won’t pick it up. Lucky for us, publishing companies publish different cover designs, especially when a paperback book comes out. Sometimes we like it, sometimes we don’t. Whatever the changes with cover designs, I will discuss it.
Today, we look at the cover of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.
Ever since Lori (or somebody else I can’t remember at the moment) said that the guy on the front cover looked like Abraham Lincoln, that image refuses to leave my brain! Every time I pick up this book, I get confused, thinking, “why is Abe Lincoln on the cover?” and assumed that this book will be a historical YA novel about the President as a teenager who somehow ends up in the 21st century and falls in love with a girl here. (I am actually laughing just imaging it.) It makes no sense because this book is about Jack the Ripper. Where is the mutton chop on this guy’s face? (That was the fad in 19th century, right?) I think the two things I like about this cover is the gold borders on the top corners and the atmosphere of the image. It certainly indicates that this book has the 19th century influences (ie. Jack the Ripper and all that).
The paperback cover is slightly better than the hardcover. I don’t think about Abraham Lincoln, so that’s good. I love the title’s font and the smudges (or whatever you call it) in the letters. In the picture, I do get a feeling that somebody is being stalked. (Y’know, parks are a renowned place for stalking. ;) ) I think my only problem with it is the greenish-teal color. I like it, but it make me think of an infectious outbreak, not Jack the Ripper.
What did you think of the cover design and the changes? Will you now think of Abraham Lincoln when you look at the hardcover design? (I hope you do. ;D) Is there anything you would change?