Everyone has heard the all too common phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” In fact, these days its used for more than just books–it also applies to people. Don’t immediately judge someone based off of their appearance (something I totally agree with). However, book covers these days seem to be getting better and brighter. Walk down the aisles at Barnes and Nobles, especially the Young Adult aisle, and your eyes will be assaulted with an array of brightly colored book covers that are simply begging for your attention (much like my cat is doing at this very moment with her desperate meows…but I digress). So, today, I was struck with an inspiration. What if I did decide to judge a book solely by its cover? What if I just grabbed 9 books that caught my eye, and started reading them without knowing the synopsis? Would I be pleasantly surprised? Or would the age-old adage hold true? There was only one way to find out. If a book caught my eye, I grabbed it. I kept doing this until I was holding 10 books (the 10th was special, but we’ll get back to that in a moment). I got a few surprised glances…I don’t blame them, I’m a tiny girl, and carrying 10 books, the majority of them large hardcovers, was not easy. Then I plopped myself down in a corner and started reading. Now, I will admit, there were 4 of these books that I had already read. However, they all have gorgeous covers, so I simply had to include them in this post. I read a chapter of each book and found myself…pleasantly surprised. In fact, I’m going to attempt to read (and review) the 6 books I had never read before. I’ll list all 9 below, with pictures of their covers. However, unlike my other blog posts, I’m not going to include a review of any kind. Why? Because I think you should do this as well.So check out these books (and their GORGEOUS covers), and try going into at least one of them without any background info. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised.
I liked this cover because of the surrealism of it. Wh wouldn’t want to swing over the skyline of NYC at sunset? The colors blend artistically together to create a beautiful yet haunting image.
I liked this one mainly because of the dual tones. I admit, I first picked it up for the watercolor effect of the rain on the front cover, however I was pleasantly surprised when I turned it over to find an entirely different color scheme on the back.
I liked this one for the simplicity of it. Bright colors, with somewhat childish and seemingly random clip art pieces, and very bold text. If I didn’t know better, I would assume it’s a children’s book, and not a YA book. However, it did immediately grab my attention, so I had to include it.
While Boy with his arm around Girl while they stare off into the distance is a very cliche and overdone cover (in my opinion), I still grabbed this one, mainly due to the coloring and layout. The brightly colored yellow text against the night sky almost implies that they lettering is intended to be like stars in the night sky. I’m also a sucker for a beautiful font, and cursive mixed with shorthand. So really, what did it for me with this book was the title design.
I had the privilege of receiving an ARC of this book, and the cover, while generally the same idea, was still pretty different from this final product. I love the hazy, translucent effect, as if the girl really is vanishing. I think the author’s name may be a bit large, and takes some attention away from the title and gorgeous cover art. However, it is Lauren Oliver, and she’s a pretty recognizable name in YA, so I can understand why they did it.
I like this one for the exact opposite reason that I liked Three Days of Summer. The title and author’s name are so small that at first glance it simply looks like a picture. And a cool picture at that. It looks like the type that would sit on someones dashboard, or tucked away in their journal. A simple snapshot of a teenage night they don’t want to forget. It invokes a feeling of nostalgia.
I will admit, I received this book as an ARC, and as a result, I know the plot line. However, even when I received the book, I was immediately intrigued by the cover. When I saw it on the shelf at B&N, I knew I had to include it. The thing about this cover is that the focus is mainly on the girl. She takes up the majority of the cover. Furthermore, you can’t see her face. You also can’t guess her age based off her clothes, or even her socioeconomic status. Add that to the title, and it really leaves you wondering who “those girls” are.
It’s no secret that the Mara Dyer series is one of my all time favorite series, so I’m not even going to try to pretend I didn’t know what this book was about. However, I do remember when I first picked up this book. I saw it in the new releases section at B&N, and was immediately drawn to it. I still think it’s one of the most beautiful YA covers of all time. The unique font, and curiosity of the cover subjects. Why are they under water? Is he holding her up, or holding her down? Is emrbacing her or capturing her? Just like the book, its vaguely eerie (AND I LOVE IT).
This is also one of the books I’ve previously read. However, I’ve always loved Jennifer E. Smith’s cover designs. Seriously Jen, whoever you’ve got on staff for this, KEEP THEM. Now, the hardback/first edition (aka the copy I own) has a different cover. However, I like this one better. I’m not sure why, since they’re almost the same (same font, color scheme, skyline), but this one just worked better for me. I like the arrow hearts surrounding the characters, and the bold in your face font (that still manages not to distract from the people on the cover). Bravo, you did it again cover designer for Jennifer E. Smith.
Last…and in this case least, is Boys Like You by Juliana Stone. I received an e-ARC of this on NetGalley, and immediately put it in my not-top-priority section, due to the cover. However, I finally got around to it, and WOW I was surprised. The cover implies that it’s a book about middle schoolers. The font, poor photography job, and color scheme just scream “I’m just masquerading as YA. I’m actually middle school fiction…” Yeah, SO not the case. So be warned people, there are some really amazing books out there hiding behind some REALLY ugly covers.
SO what are you waiting for? All of the books I posted here have the Amazon page links (just click on the name of the book). Or, do what I did and go to your local bookstore and grab the first book that catches your eye. You never know what could happen.