Let's Talk: Book Covers

Friday, May 11, 2012

Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: What books can you think of that have covers better than the content and vice-versa?

I've seen this question around a lot lately, so forgive little old me if I'm beating a dead horse here. I'm self-professed cover slut. Anyone who reads this blog even somewhat regularly has probably deciphered that by now. I think covers are as good as any great piece of art. Heck, I even have a framed art print of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and I've blown up poster-sized framed pieces for my someday future library with the almost hubs (hey...a girl can dream!)

The fact of the matter is that while there are tons of books that perfectly match the greatness of their covers, there will always be those few anomalies. What am I talking about, you ask? Well, have you ever seen an incredibly gorgeous book and bought it simply because of that, only to find that the book was bland? Or, perhaps you bought a book even though the cover was particularly lackluster, and it just blew your mind. Trust me, anyone who reads as much as we do has experienced this at least once. It still boggles me how it happens. However, I figured I'd point out my top one of each of these anomalies.

In which an incredible cover hides a hot mess:

Guys, I so desperately wanted to just love this one. This is seriously one of the most beautiful covers I have seen in my whole life. From the fierce determination in the models' eyes, to the water splash, to the juxtapositioning of the dryness on the cover - this whole thing just rocks off the shelf. Truly, this novel excites a reader to buy it. Unfortunately, the prose just falls flat in comparison. It has everything going for it; a hit genre, a great premise and even a pretty good writing style. It just didn't match up and, frankly, it bored in comparison. A couple other novels that hit the same unfortunate stride? Witch & Wizard by James Patterson. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.

In which a lackluster cover hides a work of brilliance:

Ok, guys, I honestly never gave this one a second glance until a blogger mentioned that the cover didn't do it justice a couple weeks ago. In the middle of a book funk, I decided to see if the blogger was right. Well, needless to say, she was. The writing, as with the author's other novels, is sweet and simplistic, but there's such humour, sincerity and light to this story. It was candid and real throughout - totally approachable in a way that made me WANT to read it. And yet, because of a lackluster (at best) cover, I didn't give it a second thought. Here's my two cents: Give it a go. You might just love it like I did! A couple of other novels that hit the same unfortunate stride? Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin.


  1. Water Wars, was definitely one that threw me. That cover is all sorts of WOW and the book was a little WHAT?!? (must be too early for me to be leaving comments) Anyways. I still really need tot read Sean Griswold's Head, that cover is terrible though. 

  2. I've wanted to read Water Wars so much for so long and everything I've read about it is that it was disappointing, which is SO disappointing to me. And THE reason I haven't picked up Sean Griswold's Head is because of the awful cover. I can admit it. BUT I've never read anything about the book at all, no reviews or anything. 

    Halo too? GAH that cover is GORGEOUS. Oh no! 

  3. I always think it's so interesting how covers somethings never do justice to the book, or that the book never does justice to the cover. 

    So crazy. 

  4. Book slut present over here as well! ;) I've come across several books that I wouldn't even bother to pick up because of the cover, but for some unknown reason, I would end up reading them and they would be epic. Case in point, How To Kill A Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo. I guess having a rocking cover somehow heightens the expectations of the reader and that might just be a recipe for disappointment. Expectations are a bust, IMO.

  5. The water wars is such an amazing cover! Hats sad that it didn't live up to expectations :( and....I agree with you he cover for Sean Griswalds head is a hit or miss

  6. One series that I love the covers of but didn't love the story inside was The Chemical Garden books. Those covers are GORGEOUS! I loved Sean Griswolds Head and I like the cover okay but when I loaned it to my mom she was like 'huh?' She couldn't believe I expected her to read it. But she did and loved it.

  7. In which an incredible cover hides a hot mess: Halo, Halo, Halo. That is all!

  8. I'm having the same question rolling around in my head about the cover for my new YA time travel romantic thriller, The Messenger's Handbook. If you have a chance, tell me what you think. Be honest. I didn't want to go with a 'Girl with flowing hair' motif, as that is done all the time. So we went with something a little more classic. I'm wobbling... Thanks for your feedback. 

  9. Ha! Good question! I feel like this has happened to me lots and can't remember with which ones. 

  10. I've not had the opportunity to read either book cover you selected, so I'm not able to comment.  For me The Replacement had an incredibly awesome cover, but the story was just meh, for me.  Unearthly's cover for me wasn't very impressive, I don't like the pretty dress type covers, but the story was AWESOME!  I need to get my hands on the sequel!

  11. There's nothing worse than a bad cover on a fantastic book.

  12. Hmm...I actually think Sean Griswald's Head has a really cute cover but I haven't read it yet so I can't really comment about whether it does the story justice. The Water Wars was never on my radar. I don't think I saw this cover when I was reading about it but I may have considered it if I had. Now, not so much.

    Erika @ One A Day Y.A.


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