Cover Controversy: LIAR

There is a major controversy surrounding the release of a new book called Liar by Justine Larbalestier . The book will be released in September but the release of the cover art is causing a some bad mojo.As readers are beginning to read the ARC of LIAR they are questioning the cover look of the protagonist that is clearly NOT “black with nappy hair which she wears natural and short.” as Justine has written her character to be. Justine had a well written post on her blog about the cover controversy HERE. Accusations of white washing and racism are going around.
This subject was also addressed on Publishers Weekly HERE

This is the Austrailian cover version of the book. Which I personally like better as does the author and she states “I want this dialogue to go beyond my book. I want every publishing house to think about this.”
I know that it saddens me that publishers find it necessary to make a cover more mass market presentable. I understand that they feel that the character is a "Liar" so why would should cover look like protagonist when she lies about everything...why not her appearance. Nice try, but I am not buying into it.
After reading those posts. What do you think?

7 comments on "Cover Controversy: LIAR"

ZAC wrote: July 26, 2009 at 12:51 PM

I'm not buying it at all. Publishing houses feel that covers with unpretty ethnic girls are a hard sell. When you're cover browsing, especially 13 year old girls, what cover do you pick? the ugly girl or the one you want to look like. It's sad and it sucks. But the publishing house is not going to say it. It's not in their interest.

Kelli Christine wrote: July 26, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I wish the authors had more of a hand in picking the cover art for their books. John Green was able to pick the girl for his cover of "Paper Towns" in which he thought best represented Margo. (In fact they actually let him pick two different covers, each representing the way people see Margo). Which I think gives readers a good insight on what the character is actually supposed to look like.

I always connect the person on the cover, with the protagonist. For example, while reading the maximum ride series, I always pictured Max as a blond headed white girl, because the girl on the cover was a blond headed white girl. (or at least she was on the copies I found) Then, I think in the 3rd book, we find out that Max is actually half hispanic, with brown hair. I found it frustrating that I already had this image of Max burned in my imagination, only to find out that she doesn't look at all like the girl on the cover!

As for Liar, I haven't actually read this book yet, but from a creative perspective, they could have easily published a similar cover to this one, with a girl that actually fits the description of the protagonist! And I think they would sell just as many copies! Actually, if that is their concern, they might actually sell LESS copies because of the controversy. I still want to read the book of course, because I care way more about the author's writing than I do about the publisher's opinion :P

wow, this is way too long, sorry!

Ravenous Reader wrote: July 26, 2009 at 2:46 PM

No problem Kelli. Your point was well spoken and understood. This topic is very much on our minds and it is important.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB wrote: July 26, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Should have stuck with the Australian cover. How can they think putting a white girl on their cover when the female protagonist is black is perfectly okay? Pisses me off.

Anonymous wrote: July 26, 2009 at 8:40 PM

I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. It kinda does make sense though if shes a liar....

ZAC wrote: July 27, 2009 at 3:14 PM

While covers with people are ok. I think there's stills something to say about a cover with just the title. The author is supposed to create a character and everyone of us pictures them differently. Then here comes Big Brother Publisher who puts a pretty girl and superimposes the image for you.

Bookgeek wrote: July 29, 2009 at 5:28 PM

I've been following this controversy with interest and feel that they should probably have stuck with the Australian cover if they didn't feel OK with an ethnic face on the cover. It's so sad that the publishers feel this will make it harder to sell - and even sadder if it is indeed true. I do think covers are important. I pick books up if the cover is distinctive or attractive. I can sell them easier. This does not mean I don't read or sell books with bad covers and it does not mean I won't read Liar. I do think, however, that sometimes the people who pick the covers haven't actually read the book - and it shows. I do wonder if this controversy will help or hinder this particular book - I guess we'll see

Post a Comment

I would love to see what you have to say :)

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

My Photo
Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the books that I adore.

Grab My Button

Email Twitter RSS Feed

Contact Me

I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
nancy has read 1 book toward her goal of 150 books.

@ravenousreader on INSTAGRAM

Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.



Copperfield's Books in Petaluma
Tuesday, October 6 @ 4pm

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Wednesday, October 7 @ 6:30pm


Books Inc. Opera Plaza
Thursday, October 8 @ 7pm


Alameda Free Library
Thursday, October 8 @ 6pm

PATRICK NESS in conversation with SABAA TAHIR
Kepler's sponsored at the Redwood Shores Library
R.S.V.P. Here
Friday, October 9 @ 7pm

Young Adult Novelist Convention
Burlingame High School
Saturday, October 10 from 2 to 6pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, October 14 @ 7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 15 @ 7pm

Copperfield's in Santa Rosa
Friday, October 16 @ 4pm

A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair Village
Tuesday, October 20 @ 7pm

A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair Village
Wednesday, October 21 @ 7pm


Diesel in Oakland
Thursday, October 22 @ 6:30pm

A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair
Sunday, October 25 @ 4pm

The Reading Bug in San Carlos
Tuesday, October 27 @ 6:30pm
Get your tickets HERE

Call or stop by your local Books Inc. to purchase your ticket
Books inc. at the Grand Lake Theater
Wednesday, October 28 @ 6pm

Book Passage in San Francisco
Wednesday, October 28 @ 6pm

Book Passage sponsored must purchase tickets
Thursday, October 29 @ 7pm


Books Inc. Opera Plaza
Tuesday, November 3 @ 7pm

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, November 6 @ 7pm

Towne Center Books in Pleasanton
Saturday, November 7 @ 4pm

Books Inc. Opera Plaza
Sunday, November 15 @ 5pm
Get your tickets HERE

...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

What I am Reading Now

and this too.....

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Follow by Email


Rating System

♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

Would not recommend

DNF=Did Not Finish

Blog Archive

Blog Stats

Blog Designer