Book Covers: It’s a love / hate relationship

MiscMusings copy

Is it just me, or do you buy (or not buy) books based on their covers?

Here are some covers I absolutely LOVE… a few books I bought based solely on the covers alone.

A BREATH OF FROST: I love how the color integrates to the text, and that the text is completely legible. The cover, the smoke graphic that extends up the spine. It all speaks to me.


JACKABY: This is an example of a book I bought based on the cover. The color and that pop of red! It gives the feel of the genre — it’s clearly historical and a thriller/mystery because of the damsel in distress. I love the girl superimposed on the boy’s face.


SECOND CHANCE SUMMER: Another book I bought based solely on the cover. I didn’t even bother to read the blurb. I adore that the text takes up so much room on the cover. The picture is soft and clearly defines the genre (YA Romance).


WITHER: It’s unique (sometimes covers start to blur because they all look the same). The circuit board + text is eye-catching and directs attention, plus it helps to identify the genre. I actually keep the book because of the cover (because I don’t love the story).


ALL THE BROKEN PIECES: Do you see it? See how the broken mirror separates the eyes of two different people? I was utterly intrigued, and the cover made me pick up the book.


ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD: The covers are brilliant, eye-catching and reflect the genre — creepy. Love the hints of red amongst the black and white.


There are so many more … like the Red Queen series and the Mara Dyer trilogy. Both sets of covers reflect the storyline changes in very subtle ways. They’re clever and neat and eye-catching and it’s like knowing a secret when you look at the covers AFTER reading the books.

Now onto covers I don’t like…

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT: The text is difficult to read. The picture looks like it’s a middle grade book and it isn’t, I can’t tell the genre from the cover at all, looks very juvenile and it’s not.


GOLDEN: I couldn’t tell it was a bowl of porridge…it doesn’t look like it at all. The cover is boring, and it doesn’t reflect the genre at all (it’s contemporary but looks like a fantasy).


KILLER INSTINCT (ARC cover vs. Final cover … it’s love/hate): The ARC was original, it reflects the genre (the protag is a teenaged girl, the tagline “everyone has a dark side” indicates suspense) and I love that the book has a picture under the jacket. I hated the final, public cover. It has a barbie hand in a vacuum seal bag which doesn’t really indicate the genre (YA serial killer/suspense) and the tagline is missing, which really added to the cover for me. Unfortunately, I have the ARC for the first book, and the final cover for “Killer Within”, which honestly drives me a little wonky.


Lastly, the series by Carrie Ryan, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series: I hate that the covers don’t match, and they don’t reflect the genre at all (dystopian). Most look contemporary and they just aren’t. Frustrates me terribly! But the worst thing for me is that they don’t even appear to be a series…


So what about you? What do you love (or hate) about covers? Share your favorites in the comments below, or gripe about the ones that make you crazy…


  1. Ooh, I love the cover for “ALL THE BROKEN PIECES.” It took me a second to figure out that it was showing the faces of two different girls, but that little detail made me eager to find out what’s going on there.

    I really liked the original covers for all of the Harry Potter books back in the 1990s and 2000s. They really captured the moods of the plots well, especially in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” when the storyline became darker than it had been in the beginning of the series:

  2. Poinsettia says:

    I hate it when covers in a series don’t match! I’m also really irritated when the cover design gets changed halfway through the series.

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