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PITY ISN’T AN OPTION by Jessica Brooks – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Posted by on March 6, 2013

You may or may not have noticed – I’ve started designing book covers. And Jessica Brooks just happens to be my first client (read: victim). It was a bit of a challenge – it couldn’t be too ‘girly’, because it’s a dual POV, and it couldn’t be too bright, because it’s set in a hopeless dystopian-ish world. Anyway, here’s the synopsis. Scroll down to check out the cover (and let me know what you think!) and enter to win a copy of her debut – open internationally!

Seventeen year-old Jonas Norton is trying to come to terms with what his blood disorder has robbed from him, including his two most favorite things: basketball, and competing in Hatchet Racket, Wanless’ annual hatchet-throwing contest. The facts that his father works constantly to pay for his blood tests and Jonas can actually see the disappointment in his eyes for being such a failure only make matters worse. And even worse than all of that? Jonas’ own twin brother, Micah, is perfectly healthy and becoming quite the basketball player. Also, Hattie, the girl Jonas has loved for forever? She has no idea how he feels.

Sixteen year-old Hattie Akerman lives down the hill from Jonas. Though her father, Heath, tries to hide his lack of mental clarity behind the bottle and she’s pretty much given up on having any kind of relationship with him, she would still rather her younger sister, Lucy, not have to deal with the consequences of his behavior. Hattie helps her mother by baking food to sell at Market and looking out for Lucy. No matter what the rest of the town says about her crazy father, Jonas sticks up for them. He is, by far, her very best friend.

As if things aren’t complicated enough already, Heath and Micah are unexpectedly drafted into President Kendrick’s army (an army from which no one ever returns) just days before Thanksgiving. When Heath disappears instead of arriving at the Meeting Place to check in, Hattie and Jonas decide they’ve had enough, and take matters into their own hands. And though nothing could have prepared them for what happens next, Hattie and Jonas learn that hope can be seen in every situation. You just have to know where to look

Jessica Brooks

Jessica resides with her husband of over fifteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with fellow readers and writers on most social networks like Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also connect with her on her blog, My Thoughts Exactly.

Jessica writes both young adult and adult fiction. PITY ISN’T AN OPTION is her debut novel.

And now for the cover! What do you think?

Here are Jessica’s thoughts on the cover:
This cover represents the book so well–more than Hafsah even realized when she designed it!

The overall theme of Pity Isn’t An Option is just that–when you’re trying to deal with what you’ve got to survive, it isn’t an option. So the color scheme matches how I saw Jonas and Hattie’s town of Wanless perfectly; it’s dry and dull and lacking color (but still beautiful!).

Both the wheat and bird are appropriate for a few different reasons:

First, Jonas has a dream about being in a field of wheat. The wheat whips at him, cutting his skin, and eventually turns into words representing all the things he wants to control but is unable to. In fact, at the end of the dream, he sees the resolution to his current problem, but isn’t yet at a place where he “gets it”.

Second, in part two of the book, Hattie and Jonas embark on a journey to find her father. Being as the setting is in the Central Valley of California, this is something they would definitely see while walking from town to town (as well as the occasional trees you see in the background). Near the beginning of their journey they are met by a flock of crows and, unbeknownst to them, the crows are actually an omen of things about to happen.

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And now for the giveaway! Jessica was kind enough to donate a copy of PITY ISN’T AN OPTION to two lucky winners – one international and one US/Canada resident! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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33 comments

  1. I like the cover. The barren, dirt road fits the dystopian novel so well and yet the cover feels like it could be about almost anything.

  2. LOOOOOOOVE IT!!! Hafsah, what an incredible job! It really is the perfect balance of desolation and hope, and that font treatment looks sooooo menacing! Great work, and congratulations Jessica! Can't wait to read this one!

  3. WOW, you did such an incredible job!!! I'm glad you posted the cover first and then Jessica's comments, so we we're able to formulate our impressions before seeing what the author thought. Even before reading her note about the significance of the wheat and the crow, I thought it definitely had a dystopian/post-apocalyptic feel to it. I live the yellow-browns of the wheat field compared to the black of the crow, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the font, how it's so chunky yet tall and how it fades a bit toward the bottom of the letters. I think the main thing that clinched it for me, in the first 3 seconds of looking at it, was the symmetry. I'm a big fan of symmetry in many areas (books, art, pictures, lists, haircuts, clothes…I'd go on but then everyone would know what a freak I am), and i think it makes a strong statement here. Sooooo. Well. Done!!!!! Congratulations, you must be so proud!! And lest I forget, congrats to Jessica on her debut!! She chose an awesome designer!!!

  4. I'm so glad you love her work, guys–Hafsah is amazingly (I keep using that word) talented, and I am so blessed to be her first client! :) In fact, if you're thinking of using her, you should probably get in line quickly because I believe she's going to be booked FAST!

    Thanks for the shout out, Jenna! :D

    Can't wait to see who wins the books… I have a special bit of swag that has to do with Jonas and Hattie to send to the winners! :D

  5. It is perfect! The cover really suit the dystopian setting of the book. And I love the mysterious feeling given by the cover. Thus, piques my interest for the book!

  6. I really like it. I like the bird in the middle of this field. You wonder where it's going…
    Also, the first thing that comes to mind when looking at this cover is the ending scene in “Castaway” when Tom Hanks is trying decide which road to go down.

    mestith at gmail dot com

  7. Love the cover! Great job. I'm really impressed. I like the meaning behind it too. I've noticed birds have become a central theme in book covers lately and I've got to say I like it. Great premise. Definitely adding this to my TBR list.

  8. Love the design. It is eerie but not overpowering. If I saw it in a store, I would pick it up to read about it. First cover and you hit it out of the park!

  9. Love this so much! It's haunting, and that bird gives it a touch of hope, like it's a symbol of strength or endurance. That's how it makes me feel anyway. Looking forward to seeing more of your work, Hafsah! And looking forward to the read!

  10. I love the cover.. It is just the kind to make me want to see what a book is about. I am not much to look at the newer looking covers. I think the older looking ones are just awesome and yours is beautiful. I love the wheat fields and just everything about it. Thanks for sharing. :)

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