Cover Stories: Through To You

Emily Hainsworth's debut novel, Through To You, is out this month, and Kelly at Stacked called it "fresh, inventive and engaging" in a great review (also: Star from Voya!). It always pleases me when books get a cover worthy of their interiors, and this one makes me stop and stare, lingering on the reflection and trying to figure out what exactly it is I'm seeing. It's lovely.

Here's Emily to talk about the cover:

"Initially, I had NO idea where to even begin envisioning a cover for THROUGH TO YOU. I thought about it many times during the writing and revising process, then even more once the book actually sold and was going to be published. Every time I tried to conceive of a cover image I just had this vague idea of some kind of green light on a black background or maybe some kind of silhouette (for reasons you'll understand if you read the book).

"My main character, Camden, is a boy and I knew there was little to no chance he'd end up on the cover of the book since boys are rare on YA covers. I thought maybe the final image would end up more graphical because of this (like PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King or the original cover of IF I STAY by Gayle Forman--read A.S. King and Gayle Forman's Cover Stories), but I was truly happy to leave it up to the designers at HarperCollins.

"I was surprised one day to receive an email from my editor with a cover comp attached. We actually hadn't discussed ideas for the cover at all and I didn't even realize the design process had started. The cover she sent did not end up being the final version, and I can honestly say now that I'm glad.

"It was a beautiful image of a girl staring at her reflection in a window--but her face was just about all you could see. I may not have known what I wanted THROUGH TO YOU's cover to look like, but I was pretty sure a close-up of a girl's face wasn't it. The model did look a lot like Camden's girlfriend, Viv, in the book, but the closeness of the image felt too much like the story should be hers. I was afraid readers would be confused when they started reading about Camden instead. As it turned out, that photo was already being used on another book, so it was back to the drawing board anyway.

"This time, I was able to make a few suggestions. I think everyone agreed the concept of the reflection was ideal since THROUGH TO YOU is a story of parallel worlds, and I chimed in the one and only consistent thought I'd had from the beginning--that the green visual was important to me. The amazing design team at Balzer+Bray tried a few different concepts, but the one they came up with (the final hardcover jacket image) was truly stunning from the moment I first saw it. The image is by French photographer, Alexandra Sophie, who also took the photo for BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood (right).

"The first thing that struck me, unsurprisingly, was the green color. The brightness of it in the trees, in the water, and most importantly, the way it fades away in the title letters. It's perfect, and I can't wait for people to see the final jacket because the embossing and treatment on those letters seems to make the book pop off the shelf. The next thing I noticed was the girl, obviously. Again, she could be Camden's girlfriend, Viv, but her emotion in the image is what truly grabbed me. You can't really see her face, but her position seems so desperate, it's like she's trying to reach through, but there's a darkness to the whole image which is true to the story. I will tell you right now there is no swamp or body of water that's important in the book, but the mood of THROUGH TO YOU is caught perfectly by this cover, and I'm thrilled with the final result."

Thanks, Emily! I believe I've already expressed my love for this cover--so what do you guys think?