Friday Faceoff – Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week’s theme is shoes, so I have chosen Undead and Unemployed – Book 2 of the Queen Betsy series by Mary Janice Davidson.


undeadandunemployedThis is the cover produced by Berkley in August 2004. It accurately reflects the light-hearted romantic content of this bubbly urban fantasy offering. As well as displaying Betsy’s obsession with shoes… I like it and as this is the cover of the book I read, I’ve a somewhat soft spot for it, though I don’t think it is the best cover here.


undeadandunemployed1This cover, published by Piatkus in February 2006, is more effective than the first in that it depicts Betsy’s immortality, clearly flagging that this story has a supernatural element. The colours work better with the night sky in the background and we still have the humour with Betsey looking for a job while surrounded by her beloved shoes.


undeadandunemployed2This French edition, published in March 2011 by Milady Poche, has Betsy a lot curvier and wearing significantly less. Though I do like the artwork in this one and the nod to her royal status. I’m also pleased that every cover has her hair colour correct.


undeadandunemployed3This German edition, produced in November 2007 by Egmont LYX Verlag, would be yet another enjoyable addition to these cartoon covers, except that the cover designer was clearly colour blind. Or on something. WHAT possessed them to think that a mustard yellow background would work well with her blonde hair, which now looks as if it is doing weird spiky things to the title font…


undeadandunemployed4This Italian edition, produced in May 2012 by Delos Books, is the snappiest cover and my favourite. I like the shades of red and pink, indicating that it is a funny chicklit book and the font clearly indicates it is paranormal. The red against the white background works well as does giving us a view of her legs and shopping bags.


undeadandunemployed5This is Berkley’s 2011 attempt to update their original cover. This time they have departed from the cartoon effect, by giving us a human version of Betsy. While I like the model’s stance and the backdrop – I think they have ruined it by that ghastly snot-green band running behind the font, which surely could have been made to stand out effectively against the nightscape without resorting to such a clunky solution. And I don’t think you would immediately look at the cover and know you’re getting a humorous read.

16 responses »

  1. I do like the first cover, but would’ve thought it was a romantic comedy from that one, so in that regard I do think the second cover works better as it more clearly shows the paranormal element. I think that one and the french one fit the genre best. And I like how she’s sitting in a graveyard there surrounded by shoes. The french cover is nice too and I like her hair on that one. It’s a very different style than the first two. The german cover is nice, but I agree with you that the background color wasn’t chosen well if you glance at it, it seems her hair is doing weird things and piling all around her head. Not a fan of the last one as it seems way too serious for how you describe the book and the green band kinda ruins the overall feel of he cover.

  2. You are right on so many levels. That last cover has NO sense of humor whatsoever, nor would I consider it any sort of chick-lit, romance, or any such thing. That German cover–I actually thought, “What’s up with her hair?” and then read your caption! At first I didn’t agree with your choice in favorite–there was no chick on the grave! Yet you made an excellent point: the font gets that undead impression instead. I forget how the font can tell just as much as any other element of the book cover. Thanks for this fascinating share!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jean:). I do sometimes wonder whether ANYONE is paying attention with some of the book covers I’ve looked at. The German cover is such a fundamental mistake and so easily avoided.

  3. The first three covers are my favorites, all three of them. I think the last one is more suitable for a thriller, but even for a thriller it looks too common. It also doesn’t reflect the content.

    • Yes, the first three certainly reflect the content and I think the last one is a complete failure, anyway:). Thank you for swinging by and giving your opinion – it’s always fascinating to hear what others feel about these covers.

  4. The last one is my least favorite. Not only it looks tacky with the color scheme, it also looks so painfully generic, it couldn’t blend any more with “all the other urban fantasies” out there.
    I think I like the second version the best, followed by the Italian edition.

    • Yes – there are a couple of real shockers, aren’t there? I entirely agree with your disgust with the final cover, which I think is unforgivably bad. And there are also some really witty, sharp covers here as well:).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.