Cover to Cover with Neil Smith’s Boo

was one of the best books I read last year, and I continue to recommend it to everyone I know – my roommate, my mother, my former boss, the people I’m taking classes with. If I run into a stranger in the fiction section at a bookstore I’m going to chuck this one at them and run away. I literally just stopped to text a friend to recommend this book. I’m addicted. And so can you be.

Eighth-grade science nerd Oliver “Boo” Dalrymple wakes up in heaven and figures his faulty heart finally gave out. But soon the plot thickens – and Boo finds himself tracking down the mystery of his own murder.

That said, this is the only cover I’ve seen in the wild, and I’m not really all that enamored with it:Canadian edition

Boo being shoved in a locker quickly becomes a trope, which is what this cover plays on. But it’s cartoony in a way I just don’t enjoy, and – at least to me – the image is not immediately clear.

I’m much more fond of this cover – right in the hardcover, left in the paperback.

It’s simple, clean, and clear. I like that the accent colour is so easily swapped out for another. And while the tagline is a bit sensationalist – EVEN IN HEAVEN LIFE CAN BE HELL, really? It’s hardly hell – I think it works to draw the reader in. Which is the point.

Boo is a 2015 book, so not too many translated editions yet. But I did find a Dutch version (left) and a French edition (right):

I’m ambivalent about the Dutch, but I’m really quite fond of the French – although it does get even further into cartoon territory. While this is a book about a kid, it is meant for an adult audience as well – and, Neil Smith evangelist that I am, I don’t want this novel to miss its target audience because of a bad cover.

Finally, I leave you with this lovely fan art from Samantha Dewaele:

Samantha Dewael

Did I miss any covers? Feel free to share your favourites and your thoughts in the comments!

Cover to Cover is a weekly feature appearing every Wednesday. You can browse past postshere


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