I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s great advice! I can’t count how many books I almost didn’t read because my inner snark judged the cover. Fortunately for me, my inner snark doesn’t win every battle and I’ve found some really good stories by relying on friends’ recommendations rather than the cover. Here are some fabulous books that I prejudged:
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
By Sarah Dessen
I judged this cover because it posed three questions in my mind:
1. How long did it take the two models to get in that precarious and unnatural position?
2. Why is she wearing a dress while riding a bike?
3. Where are her shoes?
None of these questions were answered in the book, but it was still a fun read.
The story follows an insomniac named Auden. Tired of her mother’s antics, she decides to spend her summer vacation with her dad and his new wife. Her time is filled with working, making new friends, and catching the eye of Eli, a fellow insomniac with a tortured past. Can Auden and Eli help each other find hope and healing?
By Tracie Hunter Abramson
This cover gave off a James Bond meets The Princess Diaries vibe. An unlikely match that earned it a space on my “mustard and cheese” shelf (meaning this book puts together two elements that I like and has the potential to be really good or really bad). Fortunately, I found this book very enjoyable.
Janessa Rogers is a CIA agent that specializes in linguistics and security detail. When she’s assigned to protect the royal family of Meridia, she knows her skills will be put to the test. However, she never suspected her assignment would require her to go undercover as Prince Garrett’s fiancée.
ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE
By Tamora Pierce
First of all, I would like the world to know that Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors. She’s amazing and the worlds she creates are beautiful and mesmerizing. That being said, this particular cover gave me pause. I mean, there’s A LOT I could say about this cover. But I’ll settle with: when your horse has better hair than you do, you know there’s a problem.
Alanna wants nothing more than to be a knight. When her father plans to send her off to a convent to learn magic, she decides it’s time to take action. She convinces her twin brother, Thom, to switch places with her. Alanna, now disguised, becomes a royal page and learns how hard she must work to achieve her dream.
THE BLUE SWORD
By Robin McKinley
Why did I judge this cover? For two reasons:
1. That horse (you know which one).
2. The sword pictured is not, in fact, blue.You had one job, cover artist.
Anyway, this is a Robin McKinley book and her work is always solid. I felt connected to her characters and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It’s a nice balance of action, plot, and character development.
Harry Crewe is a recently orphaned girl. She travels across the ocean to live with her brother in the Royal Province of Daria. After arriving, she is kidnapped by the king of the native Hill-folk and finds herself on an adventure that changes her life forever.
By Sarah M. Eden
I have a theory when it comes to this style of book covers: the number of Photoshop layers used directly correlates with the cheesiness level of writing (e.g., If you can easily see 7 layers, then the book will have a 7/10 cheese rating). Eden proved my theory wrong. She proved it very wrong. This book is wonderful. It is well researched, gloriously written, and the sweet moments did not involve cheese.
The Duke of Kielder needs an heir but he is the most feared man in England. Persephone needs financial stability but that seems nigh impossible. To solve their problems, they settle upon a marriage of convenience. But will they get more than they bargained for?
THE GRAND SOPHY
By Georgette Heyer
One of my best friends recommended this book to me. I borrowed her copy with this cover. Let me just say, I wondered what Belle from Beauty and the Beast was doing with a monkey and a guy that thought a green tailcoat was a good idea. I dragged my feet with starting this book, but once I did I couldn’t put it down.
Sophy Stanton-Lacy finds herself in her aunt’s household while her father goes away on business. Upon her arrival, she realizes how desperately the family needs her help. One cousin is engaged to a bore, another is in love with a poet, the young children need some fun, and her uncle is useless. Sophy wastes no time in meddling in their affairs to ensure a happy ending for all.
There you have it! Six great books I never would have read had I allowed my inner snark to win. What are your favorite books with interesting cover art?