The girl on the front not only has a head, but also reflects Flake's description of Autumn, right down to her cocky attitude. And, as wrestling is a huge part of her life, the letterman's jacket makes sense, too. YES! That's right: the jacket belongs to her, not to a boyfriend. (<--I don't remember her actually described as having a jacket, mind you, but IT WORKS AND I LIKE IT. A LOT.)
MEANWHILE, Adonis—in his wheelchair, rather than, like an artsy picture of a wheel or something—ALSO appears on the cover, and also reflects Flake's descriptions, right down to his serious, slightly suspicious look.
SO, GOOD ON YOU SCHOLASTIC, ELIZABETH PARISI (who I've praised in the past), NINA GOFFI, AND MICHAEL FROST. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY APPROVE, AND I HOPE PEOPLE BUY THE CRAP OUT OF THIS BOOK TO ENCOURAGE MORE AWESOMESAUCE COVERS LIKE THIS.
I love this cover so much that it has reduced me to the Muppet Flail. (Literally. Anyone who's spent much time with me in person can tell you that I have SERIOUS MUPPET TENDENCIES.)
Protagonists Autumn and Adonis narrate Pinned in alternating chapters. Autumn is outgoing, cheerful, and a star on the wrestling team (as well as the only girl). She dreams of the day when she'll have her own restaurant, and she's got a huge crush on Adonis, the manager of the wrestling team. But she has difficulty reading, and though she subscribes to the IF I IGNORE MY TROUBLES, MAYBE THEY WILL GO AWAY school of thought:
I'm a great cook and wrestler. Gonna make Adonis a great girlfriend, too. But reading — that's gonna take me down. I try not to think about it. Or read too often. That way I feel better about myself.
...that avoidance is about to catch up with her.
Book-smart Adonis also dreams big:
"A boy without legs needs a strong name to stand on." Ma said it right in the delivery room. Then she changed my name. When I was young, I would pretend that I ruled the world: All the presidents reported to me. You do not need legs to dream big. You need to be determined; convinced that it is within you to accomplish great things.
One of the things that Adonis dreams about is Autumn: which is odd, because he finds her borderline stalkery attention irritating. And while he is impressed with her skills on the wrestling mat—wrestling, after all, is like full-contact chess—he finds her inability to focus on improving her literacy skills baffling, and to some degree, he looks down on her for it.
Pinned is the story of how, despite their differences, they come together.
My favorite thing about it? Beyond the distinctly different voices, the thoughtfulness about the various kinds of 'smart', the fact that Flake DIDN'T go the tired Oh-I'll-Tutor-You-And-We'll-Fall-In-Love route, and the honesty about how sometimes we're forced to give up the things we love? My favorite thing is that Autumn—like Link Larkin in Hairspray*—wants Adonis, PERIOD. Not because she "sees the person in the wheelchair", or anything like that. She wants him AS IS, and there is NO QUESTION about that, ever.
*The original, anyway. I never saw the remake. But Link wanted Tracy Turnblad, PERIOD. Not because he "saw the person behind her weight" or whatever, but because HE LIKED (AND FOUND HER ATTRACTIVE) HER AS IS.
Book source: ILLed through my library. This book was read for the 2012 Cybils season.