Sunday, April 20, 2014

Judging a Book by Its Cover

I'm a really visual person, and I'm also a really shallow person, which means sometimes I judge books entirely on their covers. It's hard not to. It's the first think you know about a book, meant to convey the tone or message or theme of the words inside. You're sort of meant to judge them, but sometimes that doesn't really work out.

I was putting together this post when I came across the same topic on my friend Rachel's blog (great minds, apparently). Rachel's post talked about how pretty covers don't always equal pretty books, and how much she hates being wrong. And I totally relate. You should definitely go check out her post to see the books she judged unfairly and which books DUPED her with their pretty promises.

Here's a sampling of books I picked up mostly for their covers, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.
I was right! I came for the cover, and I stayed for the words.


The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
I love silhouette covers, and I was so enchanted with this cute and quirky paranormal mystery.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
The swirly dress! The smoke! I coverlusted instantly.

Shadow and Bone  by Leigh Bardugo 
Fave cover. Fave book. Love squared.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
I will never forgive them for redesigning this.

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
I requested this because PRETTY DRESS AND GORGEOUS COLOR PALETTE. And now I recommend it to pretty much everyone.

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
I mostly got this book for that gorgeous cut out cover, but I really enjoyed this ghostly serial killer tale.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
The cover and the fact that it's a Persuasion retelling made this utterly irresistible to me.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Also the hardcover is velvety, too. *pets*

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
This book is flipping GORGEOUS. The back cover has more of Lara Jean's room, and the inside flap is pale pink with this cool font. And if you take off the dust jacket, the cover is bright pink, and those sharpie words are embossed on the spine. Total book porn.

I was wrong. The cover seduced me, but the words stood me up.


The Selection by Kiera Cass
I want to make babies with this cover so much that I sort of get a little insane when I think about this series.

Matched by Ally Condie
I thought this book was okay, but I was mostly whelmed by it. I really love these covers, though. The green is so captivating, and they're so original.

Prophecy by Ellen Oh
*sad face*

Taken by Erin Bowman
I wanted to love this so badly. That cover is purdiful and there is a semi high chance Liam Neeson's in here somewhere.

Undeadly by Michele Vail
I can't even talk about this book, because boy, did I get ranty pants. Except I will say I love the lace across the bottom of the cover.

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Another one that wasn't terrible, really, but it didn't quite live up to the promise of the cover for me.

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Almost. Damn you, gorgeous pink cover! Also, I totally think that thing in her hand should be a heart.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
I one hundred bought this solely because of DAT COVAH, and I couldn't even finish the book. I regret my life choices.

The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
I requested this solely because of the cover, AND THE ARC DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THIS COVER ON IT. SO WHAT WAS EVEN THE POINT OF THAT.

I was wrong. I turned my nose up at the cover, but the words stole my heart!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is a series I'm REALLY glad they redesigned. I'm not a huge fan of that cheesy people cover, but my GOD do I love this book.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
I don't love the girl-in-the-jewel thing, but I really love this series.

Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel
If I saw this in a store, I wouldn't pick it up, but I'd be missing out on a truly entertaining, romp of a mystery.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
I don't hate these covers, but they don't really scream Gillian Read! to me. But oh, this book is such a Gillian Read.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
I actually have way more animosity for this handcuffs-in-the-sand-with-photoshopped-flower cover than is probably healthy, which is why I got a UK copy. So glad they redesigned this.

What books have you judged by their covers, for good or for bad? Were you right?


  1. I fell for Fallen. I am such a sucker for girls in dresses and dark, moody covers, but I kind of wanted to bash my head in while I read it. I totally plan on reading the rest of the series eventually, because so pretty and moody!!!

    I agree so hard about Anna and the French Kiss! I generally don't like couple covers to begin with, but that one is sooooo cheesy, I was like "no way am I going to like this one" (I picked it for a reading challenge). But I read it and so cute!

    Grasshopper Jungle is probably my favorite cover of books I've read so far this year! It's my favorite color! :D

    Angie @ Pinkindle

    1. Oh noooo, Fallen got you! I love that cover but I am not touching that book with a ten foot pole. Ha, I know a lot of people really like the GJ cover, but I almost didn't read the book because of it!

  2. Glad to see I wasn't the only one not feeling the cover of Girl of Fire and Throns - but like you, I was seduced by the words :-)

    1. Same here! Pretty meh on the cover, though, but I'm glad I looked past that.

  3. Some really gorgeous covers don't have equally amazing content, I was actually wary of These Broken Stars and A Mad Wicked Folly because they had such beautiful covers and I feared that they'd let me down!

    1. Oh, I so know what you mean. But I actually loved both those books, so I hope you give them a chance!

  4. Shiver, Going Bovine, Fallen, Fat Vampire, Eleanor & Park, and Delirium all had appealing covers yet left me greatly unsatisfied.

    I have tried to base my interest on synopsis alone, but still can break the cover worship habit.

    1. I'm scared of Shiver for just that reason. The cover is SO stunning, but I fear the book will disappoint me, even though I love Steifvater's Raven Cycle.

  5. How fun! I'm doing a few posts like this as well. :)

    I really like Shadow and Bone's cover but the story didn't do it for me.

    Yeah, the jewel on the cover of Girl of Fire and Thorns is a bit odd. I didn't love the fact that they continued the look for the whole series. Thankfully the books more than make up for the covers!

    1. That was a series I hoped they'd redesign, but alas. I like the middle one best. I'm sad you didn't like Shadow and Bone!

  6. I will never forgive them for redesigning the Lynburn Legacy covers either. They were fabulous, and now they're MEH. ALSO--you've totally made me afraid to read Chantress and Falling Kingdoms (both of which I already have . . . ). Really fun post ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    1. I am SO SAD about the Lynburn Legacy redesigns. It kills me. But yeah... Chantress and Falling Kingdoms (especially the latter) weren't my faves.

  7. I think my biggest pet peeve about book covers is when they use actors and actresses and we can see their faces. I don't like seeing what they look like; in my head they always remain vague.

    I'm always drawn to covers like The Distance Between Us, Open Road Summer, and Heartbeat- romantic, summery, light. I'd say they're mostly hit. I also really love the covers for For Darkness Shows the Stars and A Star-Swept Sea; gorgeous! And the books definitely lived up to those beautiful images.

  8. I actually really like the covers from Girl of fire and thorns & Palace of spies :D

    The cover from Shadow and bone is gorgeous. I love Prophecy & Falling Kingdoms too. It's a shame I didn't like Strands of bronze and gold, because now I don't want to buy the book and I do like the cover a lot.


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