Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Bad Book Cover Central

So, I have a feature. Lately, I've been noticing that books have been getting simply awful covers from publishers. It's okay if you're reading on your Kindle or whatever, but if you're old-fashioned (like me) and love whipping your book out in public to read, it can be pretty embarrassing. And by pretty, I mean a lot. I've highlighted some terrifyingly bad covers for you to be mortified by...

Losing It by Cora Carmack
This is the original ebook cover

Losing It (Losing It, #1)

The reprints of the book in various formats have different guys on the front, but all are bad. However, I thought this was the worst. I mean, what even is this? That guy looks like a teenage wannabe rapper/druggie, with a dodgy photoshopped necklace, and the girl has a freakishly long neck, and looks dead, not in the throws of what I guess is supposed to be some kind of sex-induced haze. This is bad. This is so bad. I CANNOT UNSEE THIS. As Erin at Forever Young Adult put it, "at least Fifty Shades of Grey had that stupid stock photo of a tie". Indeed, Erin. INDEED.

Transparent by Natalie Whipple
This is the UK paperback cover


The US version is actually okay, but this is a monstrosity. Any hopes of it attracting boys to read it have vanished without even seeing the synopsis, and the girl's glasses are sideways. This makes no sense? The weird Photoshopped men in the background add nothing to it, and I would be completely embarrassed to be seen with this in public.

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

I haven't read the previous books in the series as they don't seem like my kind of thing, but the covers do nothing to draw me in. This one is probably the worst yet. The guy looks about 30 YEARS OLD, for God's sake. Why? Why is it necessary to put thirty year old actors on the front of books about seventeen year olds? Guys my age DO NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. Got that, Harlequin Teen? The girl is slightly more realistic, I suppose, but she definitely looks older than a teenager. This cover makes the characters look horrifically stereotyped and clichéd and frankly, I don't want anyone to see me reading this, and definitely not my parents.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind Of Girl

This is a fantastic book, and it does NOT deserve this cover. I'm surprised that it hasn't been repackaged, but clearly, the publishers like this cover. I DO NOT. I don't want to read a book where there are big (possibly) teenage faces almost-kissing on it. I was too embarrassed to whip this out in front of anyone. It just makes it look so much like run of the mill chick-lit (it's not). Push, please re-do this ASAP!

I could go on and on about the frankly mortifying covers that New Adult books have, featuring variations of the "romantic clinch", usually with tattooed guys and "innocent but sexy" girls. THEY ARE VILE. You're giving books a bad name.

To end on a more positive note, I'll show you a brilliant cover. It's simple, beautiful, and it represents in the story in a completely understated way. Book cover art people, you need to learn from this leader of greatness:

Once Was Lost

Happy reading, and I hope you find some great covers out there!

Saturday, 15 June 2013


It's that time again when I have to write mini-reviews because I've been lazy with the blogging. I'm really tired right now, so I'll say some general comments about the book, and I hope you get what I'm saying... I've read some fantastic books lately. What have you read? Happy reading!

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind of Girl
This cover is most certainly featuring on my upcoming "Worst Covers... EVER!" special feature. It's just embarrassing. Who thought this would be a good idea? I refused to read this in public. I refused. Anywho, Not That Kind of Girl is a funny, relatable, solid contemporary. Natalie Sterling wants to be respected, and she wants boys to respect girls. However, her life's falling apart. Her best friend is changing, the new girls at school see a different side to Natalie's clear views on female empowerment, and she's got one steamy relationship going down with Connor Hughes, a boy she wants to hate. I loved the author's writing and her characterisation; go out and read this!

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable Items
The cover's so cute, right? So's the story, but it's not without its hard-hitting, emotional punches. Amelia Hayes has just got a job at Coles, a supermarket in Sydney. She's fifteen and very intelligent, but emotionally naïve. She's also desperately in love with her co-worker Chris, who at almost twenty two has many different priorities to Amelia. They share interests in books, feminism (this guy is seriously awesome) and Chris basically helps Amelia (sort-of) grow up. You know their romance won't happen the way Amelia (and the reader) wants it to, and it's heartbreaking watching and reading their inner struggles. This Australian debut is well worth a read, and even though not much actually happens plot-wise, you'll be too taken in by the characters' personalities and inner turmoil to notice.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

I have the different UK cover, but the US version is far superior, don't you agree? Practically everyone knows about this book. It's even being made into a movie! Beatrice Prior lives a dull and selfless life in a futuristic Chicago, where society is divided into factions. However, Beatrice becomes Tris when she transfers to Dauntless from Abnegation, and it sets into motion a non-stop sequence of action, romance, and mystery. Veronica Roth certainly left me with a lot of unanswered questions that I hope will be answered in the sequels, but overall this was an impressive debut. I'll definitely be continuing the series, despite a couple of flaws.
P.S. I don't like the casting choice for Four in the movie. Sorry. It's not how I imagined him to be at all!

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Once Was Lost

I'm trying to read Sara Zarr's books in chronological order, and I think this is her best book yet. Her writing is flawless and completely mesmerising; her characters are equally compelling and damaged. Sam's inner struggles ring completely true, and her romance with town golden-boy Nick is gorgeously subtle. Her questions about God and faith and how this conflicts with her father are real and uncontrived. This was a beautiful story with an equally lovely cover. Top marks, Sara Zarr; I'm in awe of your work!

A Little Update on Life

My life over the last couple of months has been really hectic. I've left school, finished my GCSE exams, and started preparing for sixth form at a boarding school. I'll be leaving home to go there in just a few months. I start my A-levels then, and I've already been given a couple of summer reading lists, including the likes of DH Lawrence (ughhhh), but there is a chance to read a novel by one of his contemporaries (most likely, it'll be The Great Gatsby). I've read about four books since I last updated the blog. I went through a bit of a lull after reading Divergent, but I've tried to resume my reading in order to start working through my growing stacks and to get through my summer reading. I hope you enjoy my mini-reviews on the next post, and you can see which books I've bought lately below. I have some still on their way - Rape Girl by Alina Klein, Golden by Jessi Kirby, and The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan. Over the summer, I hope to read several of the books on my shelf, most likely to be these:
*sorry for the appalling webcam quality!*

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Here's my latest haul:

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Bruised by Sarah Skilton
Jane by April Lindner
If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Infinite Sky by CJ Flood