Mar 25, 2015

Judge a Book by Its... Blurb!

This is my final post in my "Judge a Book by Its..." series, and this time I'm talking about blurbs! They're the first thing most of us actually read about a book. Alongside the cover and first line, the blurb helps us form our first impressions of the book. These three things really can (and usually do) influence whether we buy a book or not.

So, now, onwards we go!

1. Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani
Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. 
Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. 
So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.
I think what makes me love this blurb (and make me really want to devour this book as soon as it's published) is the JAPANESE MAFIA FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!! I mean, I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever heard about a book that's about a member of the Japanese mafia. And that would some interesting stuff to read about. So, really, the key thing here is the introduction of a unique and intriguing element of the book.

2. Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life. 

Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher?

No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening…

But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?

With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way.

But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.

Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.
I like how this blurb incorporates a bit of the narrator's voice. It gives me a glimpse into who I'm going to be reading about before I've even opened to the first page. Also, I love the little tidbits of fun quirkiness sprinkled in there- lobster emancipation. This sounds like a pretty awesome book to me.

3. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
I think what makes this blurb shine is its glimpse into the book's unique world. Not all books have such a unique storyworld, not even a lot of dystopian/sci-fi books. So the uniqueness of this world really makes this book pop out, at least to me. I think what makes me interested so much in it is the sort of "history" esque feel the setting has, but it isn't historical. Does that make any sense at all? I feel like this paragraph was just me rambling. *shrug* Oh, well. That happens a lot doesn't it? XD

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.
Yes, I do realize that this book has been on every list in this series, but this book is phenomenal. This blurb is absolutely fantastic. First, it's written in the same point of view as the book, which is pretty cool, but maybe not the best idea for all blurbs. It works for this one, though. It gives us Verity's problem without outright telling us, and it introduces us to an important theme of the book. This blurb does so much in such little space. I love it so much!

5. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay. . . .
This blurb capitalizes on this book's unique premise- a war fought with (some) teens at the controls in a gaming style system. That's pretty cool, and pretty unique. This blurb definitely does a good job at enticing the reader.

Alright! That's all I've got! What do you guys think? What are some of y'all's favorite blurbs?

~Katheline Hansen

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