Let’s Talk…On Book Covers

Posted May 11, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 31 Comments

Click here to see Let’s Talk!

I’m so excited that Melissa at i swim for oceans likes discussion posts because sometimes I get chatty and have things to say. Melissa has opened her Let’s Talk event up to the rest of us and I’m excited to be a part of it. Thanks, Melissa!

This week’s question:

What books have
covers better than their content

and vice versa?

Fun question, as I consider myself a cover girl.
It’s really hard for me to choose only a few.

I’ve literally picked up books based on cover alone.
Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes I’m shocked at how well it works
and sometimes I’m just, well, disappointed.

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

You guys, this cover is amazing.

The first time I saw it, I KNEW I had to read it…
even without knowing the synopsis.
Then reading the summary I thought I’d like it.

Well, I liked it okay. But just okay. In my opinion, the cover art
surpasses everything about the book. The book kinda lost control in the last one-third. (I seem to be in the minority in this thinking, and I’m okay with that.) I WILL say, though, that the cover is completely cohesive to the book, which is what I want to see in YA cover art. It’s just beautiful and striking and stunning…

…which is why even though I didn’t love the book, I bought a copy last week for my shelves. I know, I know…I’m a dork.

Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

These two books don’t have terrible covers,
but they don’t have great covers either.
What’s worse is that their covers do not in any way
begin to represent the stories on the inside.

There’s a depth and relevance to Everybody Sees The Ants
that is so important. But all I see when I look at the cover is a Scarface poster.
The cover makes sense to the story, but it just
isn’t as good as what is on the inside.

Shatter Me…I’m just not sure what’s going on there.
For a dystopian or apocalyptic or whatever,
a girl in a pretty dress? Honestly? 
I mean, I know who it is.
But, um, it just doesn’t work FOR ME.
However…the story is brilliant in every way.


What do you think guys?

Tell me your experiences where covers
didn’t represent the stories inside very well…

I WANT TO KNOW! Talk to me!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


31 responses to “Let’s Talk…On Book Covers

  1. I'm with you on SHATTER ME. You know, I actually quite liked the book, but seriously…the cover just didn't measure up. I still don't think it was all that relevant, and I really desperately want covers to have some sort of significance in regards to the story. You know?

    Great post, Asheley!

  2. It's that dress that kills me. That is one unflattering cut. What's with all the poufy things in front? Actually I have never read Shatter Me (I want to, just haven't yet) but I thought I'd throw my two cents in on it anyway:)

  3. Shatter Me's cover does not do it justice, I'm am fairly fond of it though. I don't really love the Harbinger cover, especially in real life. Interesting picks though.

    • Hey Britt! Interesting that you don't care too much for the Harbinger cover. It's a bit busy, I'll give you that. I wonder if you've read the book? The first things that drew my eye on the Harbinger cover are the moon and the red sash – I am a sucker for a bit of red on a cover in any case. But in reading the book, everything on the cover is significant. Still, in my opinion, the cover was just a teensy bit better than the story. I do plan to re-read it at some point and see if maybe it strikes me differently next time, particularly since I found that most everyone I knew loved the book so much.

  4. I am such a cover girl, and it really makes me miss out on some incredible books! I totally agree with you about shatter me though. Such an amazing book with an 'eh' cover.

  5. It's always a little frustrating for me when the cover doesn't seem to reflect the story at all. I can appreciate a beautiful cover (like Shatter Me) for being visually interesting, but it seems like the purpose should be to convey part of the story. I think a lot of the gorgeous girls-in-dresses covers have that same problem. Beautiful, but they don't necessarily relate to the story itself. I still find myself gravitating toward them every time though…:)

    • Jenny!

      You're right, I didn't really mention that Shatter Me IS visually interesting, and I should have. But you nailed it when you said that it should (in my opinion) convey part of the story. I LOVE the girls-in-dresses covers (I REALLY DO!) when they are cohesive to the plots – not for dystopians/apocalyptics (with the exception of the Chemical Garden Trilogy, because of what they've done with those covers in incorporating all the STUFF).

      LOVE it when you stop by!

  6. I don't like Shatter Me's cover. Not. One. Bit. But I do have that glittery thing on my shelf and I am totally gonna read it.

    My #1 cover in Great Books with Crappy Covers is definitely Going Too Far. Love that book something FIERCE (made me a complete Jen Echols fangirl) but oh goodness that cover. Just. Ugh. And I've got it in paperback so it's not like I can take the jacket off!

    • Me to Capillya – I have it and I have read it and I adore it and no matter what the cover looks like for the rest of the series, they'll occupy shelf space as well. But I don't have to like it!

      UGH, Going Too Far. I am familiar with that cover. I have not, however, read that book. I totally need to though. I haven't read any Echols yet and GAH I have heard only a TON of awesome of her and ZERO negative.

    • Oh yes, Cinder! Kinda odd for a cover, but it is one that I definitely remember as sticking out, maybe because of its oddness??

      Tanya Patrice, your blog posts are so great. I will absolutely be checking that one out as soon as I can. Thanks SO MUCH for that link. LOVE LOVE LOVE Girlxoxo.com SO MUCH.

  7. Like you, I'm a total cover "girl" or whore as I like to bluntly state the fact. Many times I can get amped about a book strickly from the way the cover affects me. I'm a illustrative cover fan. It appears to me, MG fantasy covers seem to get the most exciting covers – well at least for my tastes. I've really like: Tempest (YA) The Humming Room (MG) and Revived (YA) plus Selection (YA) was pretty intresting too.

  8. I buy books for Kindle when I don't want people to see the cover (we've been over this). But the worst have been Stephanie Perkins novels. I just… can't understand the cover appeal. I get that I'm not the target market, but geez.

    Also, I'm against movie posters as covers. But my all time favorite cover is from my all time favorite book: Paradise by AL Kennedy.

    • You're so right on the Stephanie Perkins covers. I wonder if she has any input into those horrid things. They certainly don't affect her sales, but they're not attractive at all.

      Movie/TV tie-in covers are never okay in my opinion. I've seen some that are not horrible, but still they are marketing tools and not what a book is about, and if I'm not careful I'll preach for a good, long while about this. This is a conversation for a place other than right here. Basically: I totally agree.

      Lots of different covers for the Paradise book. I'll have to prod and figure out which one you are talking about…

  9. Here, here on Shatter Me! The cover doesn't represent the book at all. Pretty girls in pretty dresses is a trend I hope ends soon. Just sayin! I far prefer interesting, quirky or unique covers. There are other ways to grab my attention. *steps down from soapbox*

    • Carrie! Love it when you stop by!

      I don't mind the pretty girls on covers, just not on dystopians. I DO love the interesting, quirky, unique covers, like you, and I love my attention getting grabbed.

      LOVE your soapbox! Stop by again!

    • I have not seen the Spanish cover! But I've seen where Mafi has been tweeting her international covers lately. I just haven't taken the time to click on all of the links. I'll have to check on that one. Can't wait to see!!

  10. You are not the only one to think the last 1/3 of Harbinger was crazy weird! I'm totally right there with you. I was digging it before that and then things passed strange and went straight crazy-loony-town. I do love the cover, though :]

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