On Tuesday I posted a prereveal contest for Jeri Smith-Ready's next novel, asking readers to guess the title of the book. I'm back today not only to reveal the winners of that contest, but also to reveal the cover & the official title for the book!
You guys, when Jeri sent me the email with all the goodies you're about to see below, my jaw hit the table. There is just so much RIGHT with this cover.. and that synopsis? How can you not be adding it to your to-be-read list immediately?!
OK, OK, I'll hush for a second... go ahead and scroll down... I'll wait for you to pick up your jaw, too.
(Cover designed by Karina Granda)
THIS SIDE OF SALVATION:
Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.
Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.
But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined….
FAQ (Frequently Anticipated Questions) answered by Jeri
Why is the sky on the cover green?
It’s actually blue. I’ve been told it shows up as green on some devices (my mother-in-law’s iPhone 4 and my friend’s iPad, for instance), so I figured I should answer this question upfront. It’s as blue as the sky!
When is TSOS coming out?
April 2014. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I’m hoping early April to coincide with opening day of baseball season. I’m geeky like that.
What do you think of the cover?
I want to marry it. When I first saw it, I didn’t scream or jump on the table (I was in a coffee shop at the time). I let out a deep, happy sigh and thought, “They really get this book.” It’s so perfect for the story in ways that I can’t express, but also in a few ways that I can:
I love how the blue sky and clouds are slightly washed out, with an almost retro or nostalgic look. It perfectly encapsulates the tension between David’s hope and disillusionment.
I love how the word “salvation” dissolves into a bunch of little “The Rush”’s, showing how the Rush cult makes David question what salvation really means. Also, it will hopefully make people curious to find out “What’s The Rush?”
I love the fact that the cloud in the center looks all puffy and pretty, yet clouds of that shape and size usually mean a storm is coming.
I love that it doesn’t have a girl in a dress.
Is This Side of Salvation a Christian book?
God, no! It’s straight YA contemporary fiction. I doubt Christian bookstores will carry it (though I’ll be thrilled if they do), since it contains almost as much “language” and “sexual situations” as the Shade books. TSOS is appropriate for open-minded readers ages 14 and up.
More important, This Side of Salvation is neither pro-religion nor anti-religion. It’s about one boy’s struggle not just with faith, but grief and love and family and friendship (also, calculus and curve balls).
I hope readers of all beliefs—including those with no beliefs and those still searching—will love David and his story. I do.
Can you write a book someday where no one dies?
I will try. No promises.
How about a snippet? Please……?
Aww, I can’t say no to you fabulous hypothetical FAQ people! Here’s the first page:
If this were the last night of my life, I could be at peace with that.
That, and everything else, as I walk hand-in-hand with Bailey out of the pool house and back into the blare of the party. Her long hair brushes my elbow, stirring memories of reaching, fumbling in the dark, memories so fresh they feel more like dreams, not etched as events in my past, but posed as possibilities in my future.
Future. A word that stumbles off my tongue lately, like a phrase in a new foreign language.
The sandstone clock on the side of the pool house shows four minutes after two. The final hour.
I try to put myself in the place of my parents and the others who think the Rapture will take place in fifty-six minutes. They’re waiting for that moment when the true believers, living and dead, will be raised up from earth before all hell literally breaks loose.
Are they scarfing their favorite foods—pizza, cheesesteaks, TastyKakes—or are they already dreaming of that heavenly banquet? Are they playing their favorite tunes on infinite loop, or are they dreaming of that angelic choir? Are they having sex (not my parents—the thought makes me gag), or are they dreaming of that divine embrace?
So there you have it: This Side of Salvation, formerly known as “The David Book,” coming April 2014 from Simon Pulse. Thanks for checking it out, and thanks to Ginger for hosting the cover reveal!
And now for the winners of the contest (announced by Jeri)...
Thanks to everyone who entered! You made me laugh A LOT, and a few of you got pretty close. Four of you guessed The Sound of Silence. Three guessed The Start of Something.
For the closest guess, there were six entries who got three out of four words right. So I did a random drawing from among the six. The winner is… Marissa with This Side of Second!
Funniest: This one was reeeeeeeally tough. Many of you used triceratops in extremely innovative ways. It was almost as hard to choose a winner as it was to choose a title for the book (just kidding--nothing could ever be that hard again, I hope).
But since I'm a fan of the Avengers, and of Iron Man in particular, I had to go with…
Alicia, with THE SHAWARMA OF STARK
If you haven't seen the Avengers movie, or if you saw it but didn't stay until after the credits, then you missed this tidbit at the end:
How awesome is that?
Random drawing out of all y'all's entries: The winner is… Shanyn from Nevada!
Thanks to everyone who entered! Winners, I already have your mailing addresses, so whenever I get my set of ARCs, I'll mail one to each of you.
Author Bio: Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats. Her plans to save the earth were ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. To stay out of trouble, she keeps her Drama Drive strictly fictional. Her friends and family appreciate that.
When not writing, Jeri she can usually be found—well, thinking about writing, or on Twitter. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late.
Other Links for Jeri:
It was a pleasure & honor to host the reveal for Jeri's YA contemporary novel, This Side of Salvation. I hope you've added it to your to-be-read list. While we wait for April 2014, might I suggest reading her Shade series? It's pretty freaking fantastic!