One of our favorite YA authors is Robin Talley. Her work includes the incredible historical Lies We Tell Ourselves, the challenging contemporary What We Left Behind, and the upcoming queer girl retelling of Macbeth entitled As I Descended. So when I had the chance to debut the cover of her new novel Our Own Private Universe, I jumped at the chance – and isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?!
In Our Own Private Universe, fifteen-year-old Aki Hunter knows she’s bisexual, but up until now she’s only dated guys—and her best friend, Lori, is the only person she’s out to. When she and Lori set off on a four-week youth-group mission trip in a small Mexican town, it never crosses Aki’s mind that there might be anyone in the group she’d be interested in dating. But that all goes out the window when Aki meets Christa.
“I’m lucky enough to have been blessed by the cover gods all of my books (sometimes, like with Lies We Tell Ourselves, it’s even happened more than once!), but I’m not sure I’ve ever had a cover that made me feel quite so much like — YES, this is IT, this is THE perfect image to capture the mood of this book more than I have with this cover for Our Own Private Universe,” said Talley. “I’m so grateful to Harlequin Teen, both for creating this beautiful cover and for publishing this book in the first place. Our Own Private Universe is the book I wrote for the queer teen girl I once was. And the fact that it will soon be out in the world for queer teens today — as well as for all readers of all stripes — honestly makes me want to cry kind of a lot.”
“Also, a fun tidbit about this cover,” added Talley, “the model on the right, with the nose ring, is playing Christa, the book’s love interest. When I initially turned in the draft of this book to my editor, T.S. Ferguson, Christa didn’t have any facial piercings, and when T.S. first showed me this cover he assured me they’d Photoshop the nose ring out. But I took one look at this image and said — no, actually the nose ring is PERFECT for Christa. Leave it in! I will revise the book to add a nose ring! And that’s exactly what we did. Christa is now officially nose-pierced and even more of a badass than she already was.”
Our Own Private Universe releases on January 31, 2017.
What do you think of the Our Own Private Universe cover? Sound off in the comments below!#7