I consider myself very lucky to have Shaun not only as a friend, but as a critique partner. He had his debut novel, THE DEATHDAY LETTER, published just as I started blogging, but he was never anything but kind and humble, always offering not only brilliant feedback on my own work, but truly inspiring support and encouragement as well. He has become one of the greatest mentors in my own writing that a guy could ever ask for.
But today isn't about me.
It's about Shaun, and the cover his amazing new novel: THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY, which is a beautiful, heart-rendingly sad, but ultimately important book.
Without further ado, here is the gorgeous cover:
Can we talk for a minute about how much I love this cover? Okay? Okay.
I suppose you'll have to read the book before you understand why I love this model so much, but even before that, I can tell you this: when I first saw this cover and the model, I wasn't sure. I'd pictured Andrew as a little older, and a little ... more ... jaded? I don't know. That's not the right word. But since looking this model in the eye for a while, I've decided that he has the perfect balance of innocence and determination in his eyes.
Andrew Brawley is one of my favorite YA characters EVER, and I'm pleased to say that I think this cover model captures him perfectly.
Before I go into what else I like about this cover, let me show you the jacket copy (which I think may be revealed here first, because Goodreads doesn't seem to have it yet):
Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night, along with the rest of his family.
Now he lives in the hospital, serving food in the cafeteria, hanging out with the nurses, and sleeping in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him. His only solace is in the superhero he’s created, Patient F, and the drawing he does when no one is watching.
One night, when Rusty is wheeled into the ER burned on half his body by hateful classmates, his agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.
Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty too. He’s determined to make things right, and to bargain, in whatever way he can, for Rusty’s survival.
But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better. He’ll have to confront what really happened the night his family died, and tell the truth about who he really is—even if that truth may destroy any chance of a future.
I mean, have you ever heard anything more awesome?
Anyway, other than the model, which is obviously the main feature, I really love not only the font itself, but the way it kind of halos Andrew's face, and especially, I just love, love, love the way "A Novel" peeks over his shoulder like a thought bubble.
This novel is ... I don't want to say "partly a graphic novel," because that's not exactly accurate, and I don't know how the publisher is handling that part, but I'm hoping maybe Shaun will stop by this morning, if he's allowed to tell us anything more.