Friday Faceoff – Me and my shadow…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is the one we prefer. This week the theme is shadows, so I’ve chosen A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.


This cover, produced by Walker Books in September 2011 is the one with the shadow. The dark figure striding across the newly ploughed field towards the house is certainly creepy – and initially I’d thought this was a horror book. But of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that. And the monster isn’t what you expect. I love this cover, but I do think it gives the wrong impression about the book.


This offering was produced by Candlewick in August 2016 and is one of the movie tie-in covers. That said, it is both beautiful and moving – I just wish they hadn’t seen fit to smother so much of it with details of the wretched film. I love the colours and the fingertips showing at the top of the cover as the boy sleeps.


This cover from Walker Books was published in May 2015. It’s okay, I suppose. But I find it rather generic with the tree branches and the moon shining through them. I’m not quite sure exactly why, except that the monster tends to visit Connor at night.


Produced in August 2011, this German edition by CBJ is haunting with the silhouette of the boy standing in front of the gravestones at the foot of the tree. The detail is beautiful – clever use of the foliage that looks like the profile of the monster. I really like this one – it’s my favourite. It’s beautiful and eye-catching, while still being relevant to the content.


This edition, published in October 2016 by Walker Books is another movie tie-in. Despite the sharpness of the illustration and beautiful colour of the sky, I think it is a poor imitation of the previous, more atmospheric German cover. And again, there is far too much chatter about the film plastered across it. Which one of these do you prefer?



AAAND… today the blog tour for Running Out of Space is being hosted by Crazy Beautiful Books.

31 responses »

  1. I have to go with the first one as it’s consistent with the illustrations throughout the book and I do think it fits the story.

    Movie tie in covers generally just annoy me but these ones are pretty good, although I am buying the book so don’t understand how which actors were in the film is in any way relevant.

    • Yes – I do see that the book cover for the first one matches up to the illustrations, but I did think it was a horror book. I take your point regarding the movie tie-in covers – WHY would readers care who played the parts in the film??

  2. The black and white cover gives it a really creepy look and there is the feeling of menace to it. That and the title makes you think it is a horror book…then you get the film tie in covers that go more towards a Disney feelgood image!

  3. I think I like the first 2 best! Both are so creepy! The 2nd movie cover looks more like a coming of age story than something actually creepy. It seems a bit of a weird choice for the story though the cover itself is beautiful.

    • Yes… both the movie tie-in covers are great – if only they didn’t have all the details about the film plastered over the artwork:)). And you’re right, Laura – it is a marvellous book!

  4. Ooh! I didn’t notice the monster in the tree at first- I like the subtlety of it. The ‘movie covers’ are better than some, and I DO really like the second option. (Of course, this is just based off the Amazon description of the book- looks like another one to check out…)

    • It’s a wonderful, moving book – and I went into it thinking I would know what it was about, which was sort of right – but the journey was so much more fulfilling and unexpected than I anticipated… Highly recommended:))

  5. I like the last cover – because of the colours, but, it feels more like a movie poster. I’d probably say my favourite is the first one – I like the dark cover and it matches the illustrations inside although I totally see your point about the creep factor maybe not representing the book very well – maybe the cover is supposed to represent how the boy sees the monster?? Although; even so, I still don’t ‘get’ the creepy element.
    Lynn 😀

  6. I’ve mostly seen that first cover for this book around. It does always gave a bit of a creepy impression to me. That second cover has such a different feel, it is a nice cover and has less of the horror feel, although I would have trouble determining what genre it is form that cover. The german cover is very pretty and atmospheric indeed, although I also like that last one.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the first cover creepy! As the story isn’t creepy or horrific, rather sad and extraordinary – I don’t believe it properly represents the book. Thank you for swinging by, Lola:)

  7. Who buys a book based on known the cast of the film adaptation? What a bizarre marketing ploy…anyway, I had to take a second look at the German version to see the monster’s face, and you’re right–it’s bloody brilliant, especially those gravestones for teeth.

  8. It’s not that the other ones are bad: they’re all quite nice (except the Walker Books one which is dull), including the movie-related ones, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the first one. It’s just so beautiful and creepy and eye catching.
    As a curiosity, the German title of the book is “Seven Minutes To Midnight”.

      • Probably the best they could do. Or maybe a reference to a German-only nursery rhyme or a saying that makes perfect sense for the native speakers.

      • I don’t know much German either, so my guesses would be as good as mine. 😉 I’m just more acquainted to the butchering of titles when it comes to translation (for example, “Die Hard” series with Bruce Willis was initially translated into Polish as something that would be equivalent of “A Trap [Made] of Glass” – you can imagine it turned out a problem when the rest of the series wasn’t set in skyscrapers… 😉 ).

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