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Speaking of Covers . . . The Warrior by Victoria Scott (aka, How I Can Scratch Off 1 of the Items on My Bucket List)

Yesterday the cover for the third and final book in The Dante Walker trilogy by Victoria Scott debuted on Hypable.  If you have not been reading this series, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

The war between heaven and hell is coming.  Dante was sent to collect one important soul in The Collector (book 1), Charlie’s.  The question is, why is this one girl so important?  With a lot of snark and swagger, Dante is determined to find out.

Here’s the cover . . .

Supernatural fans, you should be reading this.  Buffy fans, you should be reading this.
All people, you should be reading this.
And thank you Victoria Scott and Entangled Teen for allowing one of my dreams to come true!

Take a Second Look, books that send empowering messages to teens about body image

At TLT, we have an ongoing discussion about books and pop culture and how it affects the body image of our kids.  We are all constantly being bombarded with subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – messages about the way we look, or should look.  Sometimes, as I start to read a book, alarm bells will start going off in the back of mind: Warning, Danger Will Robinson!  Subtle messages include the propensity to have beautiful, white girls in flowy dresses on the cover of every book, repeatedly sending the message that this is the standard, the ideal for beauty.  Today I want to discuss with you a couple of books that seemed to be one thing, but turned out being something altogether different, reminding me, as a reader, that the beauty of a book can be more than skin deep – just like a person. 

Don’t judge a book by its cover! And yes, we all do it.  But let’s remember to look into the heart of things.  Here are a couple of books that remind us all to do that, to dig deeper.


The Collector is about a boy named Dante Walker who has died and become a demon, a collector.  His job is to collect souls for the big guy downstairs, some call him Satan.  He is given an order and has 10 days to collect the soul of Charlie.  Charlie is where our body image discussion comes in.  When we first meet Charlie she is an average teenage girl, described as being homely almost.  She sits off to the side in the cafeteria with her two besties, at times ridiculed.  Dante can’t figure out why the big guy below wants her soul, but he figures the way to get it is to make her wish that she was beautiful, which she starts to do in baby steps.  Better hair maybe, better teeth, clearer skin.  These are the things that many of us have wished for at various times at our life.  Some people spend hundreds of dollars on products to help transform the way that they look.

As I read The Collector, I was worried at times about the message the book was sending about physical appearance.  But in the end, there is a really positive spin on the message.  I can’t tell you what it is, but you’ll have to trust me. Better yet, read it for yourself and see if you agree with me. Of course this is only book 1 in the series, so we’ll have to see where it ends up going.  My wish? That in the end Charlie would choose to truly be herself.  I think that would send the most amazing message to readers.  I’ll keep reading to find out what happens, but also because it is a fun read.

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick is another example of book that appears to be sending one message, but is in fact sending a completely different one.  In Gorgeous, Becky makes a deal with a world renowned fashion designer: he will make her 3 dresses and she will be turned into the most beautiful woman in the world.  Becky is soon transformed into Rebecca and is thrown into a life greater than you could ever imagine.  But she also knows that in many ways, she is betraying herself and there is kind of a shallowness to her life that she begins to recognize.  Gorgeous is an absurd twisted fairy tale; funny, but in the end, a fairy tale with a really good message.  In fact, with a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed: “With writing that’s hilarious, profane, and profound (often within a single sentence), Rudnick casts a knowing eye on our obsession with fame, brand names, and royalty to create a feel-good story about getting what you want without letting beauty blind you to what’s real.” (May 2013)

Both of these books start out seeming like one thing, but when you read them all the way to the end, they end up saying something completely different about appearances.  A look at the covers would make you think they are something different than what they are, something we do with people every day.  Once you get past the shiny, glitzy covers, there is a fun reminder that what you see is not always what you get, and that we shouldn’t judge books – or people – by their appearance.

What other books do you feel send a positive message to teens about self acceptance and body image? Help us build a list by leaving your favorites in the comments. Thank you.

Cover Reveal: The Collector by Victoria Scott

It’s official, Dante Walker has arrived! And trust us when we say, being bad has never looked so good. You’ll need him, you’ll want him…and we’ll let you in on a little secret:
He wants you too.

About The Collector

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Find out more at www.DanteWalker.com

Meet Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver.

Her first YA book, THE COLLECTOR, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2013. And her short story, FOUR HOUSES, is available now through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan.

Connect with Victoria:Website l Twitter l Facebook
Add The Collector to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
You can read Victoria’s Why YA? post to find out more about her.
The Collector Series is coming from Entangled Publishing in March 2013.