Today's Cover Story is from Isabel Kaplan, whose debut novel came out in June of last year, the same month she finished her freshman year at Harvard!
Hancock Park is about Becky Miller, who lives in the best neighborhood, goes to school with the children of movie stars, and has her psychiatrist on speed dial. By day, she navigates the halls of one of LA's most elite schools, where the mean girls are everywhere. At night, she deals with sparring parents, a grandmother who is man-crazy, and a younger brother, Jack, who answers only to J-zizzy. As Becky's life seems to come crashing down around her, she struggles to put it back together and learn to grow up while trying to stay sane.
"I didn't have a cover in mind as I was writing the book, but I knew that I wanted it to be fun and to have an authentic Los Angeles feel. My fantastic editor at HarperTeen, Farrin Jacobs, sent me the art department's initial jumping off point--a scan of a blonde lying on a beach chair wearing big sunglasses--and asked me what I thought.
"I really liked the idea of having a girl on the cover; the art department hired a model and did a photo shoot. Seeing the cover of my first book for the first time was surreal and so exciting. I love the palm trees that are reflected on the model's sunglasses and the neon sign with the title and my name right below the model's face. Also, once in a while, someone will ask me if the girl on the cover is me, which is very flattering! Although, now that I'm not a blonde anymore, I have a feeling I'll get less of those comments.
"I'm really pleased with how the cover turned out; it's fun, eye-catching, and very LA. I hope my readers will feel the same way!"
I haven't read Isabel's novel yet, but the family dynamic sounds really kooky (which I love) and LA settings always make for great summer reads. Plus, her Teens Read Too review by Amber Gibson mentions that fans of mine will like her "Hollywood with heart" tale. Cool!
For me, this cover DEFINITELY screams LA. What do you guys think?