On… Beautiful Ruins

So after a few weeks of noticing it in bookstores and then dismissing it, I finally picked up BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walters, read the jacket copy, realized it sounded excellent, purchased it, started reading it, and discovered that lo and behold, it IS excellent, and everyone else should read it too. It is funny and different and smart and meaningful and thoughtful and everything good.


You know what turned me off it all those other times?

The typography. You know, the font for the title and author name.

I hate that whimsical cursive script.

I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I judged that book by, not even its cover, but its font.

I say that as someone who has had her fair share of lame cover typography. Not for BROOKLYN GIRLS, those cover fonts are strong and cool and awesome, they really are. (See? And see?)

But the original cover title fonts to my first two books, THE DATING DETOX and to a lesser extent A GIRL LIKE YOU, were just like that, with variations on that same I’m-Not-Very-Smart-Pass-The-Tampons cursive script, you know? The kind of font usually reserved for books by and about women. (Snarl.)

I should add that the new US covers to my first two books are far better. See? Not a curly script in sight.



Anyway, BEAUTIFUL RUINS  is an excellent book. More than excellent, it’s practically perfect. If you need me, I’ll be buying everything else Jess Walters ever wrote.

PS By the way, when I give book recommendations, they usually won’t be in my genre. Which used to be chicklit, and is now New Adult, whatever. I read everything. Well, everything except Rape’n’Stab James Patterson type books, or fluffy He Saved Me! romances, or weepy And-Then-My-Mother-Locked-Me-In-A-Suitcase misery books. I heard a story that at a Harper Collins summer party, one of their would-be-debonair crime authors had a one-night-stand with some broken-spirited misery lit author. It seems like such a perfect pairing that I almost want to write a book about it. You know, almost. What was I saying? Yes. New Adult. Apparently some people think New Adult is just Young Adult with added fucking, which means they’ll be extremely disappointed when they read my stuff, as it’s fairly fuck-free. I think of Young Adult as books about finding out who you are, and New Adult as finding out what you want to do with your life and how you’re going to do it… since that was kind of what my first two books were really about anyway, I’m glad there’s now a genre that agrees with me. (What’s a book without a genre? Oh yes. A book.) I read Semi-Charmed Life by Nora Zelevansky and enjoyed it very very much – it’s smart and witty and original, kind of like New Adult as interpreted by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – and I read Losing It by Cora McCormack and thought the delivery was genuinely funny and the sexy stuff was awesome but the plot was very, very strangely 1950s-ish, like New Adult as interpreted by Sandra Dee. Apart from those, there just isn’t a lot of New Adult about… Yet. Give it ten years. We’ll be drowning in graduates. New Adult is the new vampire. Oh, which reminds me. I read this recently, it’s YA/vampire from one (well, two) of my agent’s other authors, and enjoyed it. I love the strapline. “Friends don’t let friends date vampires”. Hilarious. Okay. This PS needs to END already. Seriously. You hang up. No you hang up. No, honestly, I really am going now… Psych! I’m still here. Okay, no this is it now. Goodbye. Go read Beautiful Ruins already.



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