March 13, 2011

Cover Love 7th Grade Style: Sweet Venom

I love book covers.  Love them.  But what I always find interesting is how differently my students see them than I do.  A while back the cover for Sweet Venom was released and people were going on about how pretty it was, so I thought I'd get my 7th graders' take. 

Now when I do this I don't tell them anything about the book.  I just get their thoughts on the cover alone.

Here's what they said:

Dark and depressing
Pale and ugly
Her braid looks like it's alive
Venom is sweet???
Creepy but cool
I like it
I would pick it up to read it

Over all they thought it was neat but kinda odd.  The end of her braid really caught their attention for some reason.

Just in case you don't know what this book is about here's the summary from Goodreads
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain.


  1. Kids are so great. Love to hear what they think. Sometimes they see things in a whole different light. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So interesting. I've often wondered why publishers consistently put faceless or attractive YAs on the cover when they don't seem to communicate anything about the story. But your students reactions give perspective on this. Were the students who liked it girls?

  3. Yes it was the girls that liked it. But even then they weren't 100% sure on it!

  4. I adore this cover. I really do love TLC :)

  5. I like the cover. And the story sounds good. Thanks for sharing what your kids thought.

  6. The kids' perspectives are interesting! I especially like the comment "Venom is sweet???" I probably would not have come away with those ideas about the book.

    - Jackie

  7. It's great to see the opinion of the kids on the cover. Personally I would pick it up and leaf through it based on the cover.

  8. HA! That was so great to read. My eyes go right to the braid too, for some reason it reminds me of a scorpian tail....

    Can't wait to read this one! :)

  9. That is so cool that you got the students' opinions on the cover. My favorite was "Venom is sweet?". It's fun seeing all of the different perspectives!

    Jamie @ Bookerella

  10. That's really interesting that you got 7th graders opinions on the cover. I really liked the cover the first time I saw it, but the kids made me see it in a new light. It is a little creepy now isn't it? Thanks for the post!

  11. This is so interesting. I find this cover very beautiful, but it's nice seeing what 7th graders think about it. I can see why they would think it's depressing. A lot of YA covers are like that nowadays (in my opinion).

  12. I think it is really cool that you got the perspectives of your students. I am sure the designer would be thrilled that the 'alive' braid captivated them as the book is, of course, based of Medusa/The Furies who had hair of snakes.

    I am surprised none of them commented on her non-shoulders; I find that a bit odd. Maybe they are trying to make her look like a bust?

  13. Haha, Venom is sweet??? 7th graders are too cute.

  14. This is such a cool idea. I love getting the perspective of different people. It seems like the Medusa hair reference was noticed, but that the cover wasn't entirely successful. Very interesting!