A lot of YA books feature a (white) boy and a (white) girl on the cover, looking longingly into each other's eyes, just on the verge of a kiss. That's a pretty iconic image by now. That's the norm.
A lot of book covers decidedly do not feature two (non-white) girls locked in a passionate liplock. Sarah McCarry's "About A Girl" is not a lot of YA books, however. It's not the norm. It's special.
McCarry shared the cover of her upcoming book exclusively today with MTV News, a gorgeous image reminiscent of the photo on the cover of David Levithan's much-lauded novel, "Two Boys Kissing."
Let's just take a minute to look at the above cover. This is why #WeNeedDiverseBooks, people: Images like this need to become the norm as well. Cover images of girls standing wistfully in fields have seriously had their day.
Now on to the book itself, because McCarry is a gorgeous writer and we can hardly wait to get out mitts on it.
"About A Girl" is the third book in McCarry's "Metamorphoses" trilogy -- a series of YA novels that meld Greek mythology, punk rock and copious bad decisions. It's a play on the myth of "Medea" (you know, the play by Euripides where that woman kills her kids) and sees two teen girls falling in love while one, Tally, tries to find the key to unlocking her past.
"It was hugely important to me that the cover accurately reflect the book’s two central characters, both of whom are girls of color (well, Medea is technically 3,000 years old, but she looks like a girl in the book), and the romance between them is a central focus of 'About A Girl,'" McCarry said of the cover. "The extraordinary AIDS activist Pedro Zamora kissed his boyfriend on-screen (on MTV!) in 1994. I think 20 years later we should probably be able to handle girls kissing on a book cover."
McCarry and Co. didn't use a stock image to create the arresting cover, but, instead, worked with photographer Sandy Honig and models Lola Pellegrino and Kimmie David to create the photo.
"'About A Girl' is a ghost story; it’s about figuring out who you are and where you’re going, and what you do when everything you thought you knew about the world turns out not to be true," McCarry said. "It’s about girls and secrets and old stories messing up new beginnings. But it’s also a big, epic, wild-and-crazy love story, and I couldn’t be happier with this cover. I’m so grateful to everyone who made it happen, and so thrilled to share it with you!"
And we're thrilled to take it all in, lady!
"About A Girl" hits shelves on July 14, 2015.