Regardless of the old adage, we all tend to judge books by their covers– whether we mean to or not. Interesting and aesthetically pleasing visuals are what draws our attention to a specific book among hundreds on a shelf, and many of us will admit to having purchased a book based off of its cover alone.
This week’s Top 5 Wednesday tackles the mishaps within this– the Top 5 Inaccurate Book Covers. (If you didn’t know, Top 5 Wednesday is a wonderful Goodreads group created by Lainie and hosted by Sam.)
Putting books on this list in no way means that I didn’t like them– it just simply means that I found their covers to be inaccurate or misleading! I had trouble with this one, so I only listed three here. Hopefully that’s alright!
1. Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
This book follows two gay teenage boys as they manage their disabilities– major depression and autism, respectively)– and start a relationship with one another despite the stigma they face in their communities and with their own families. I thought it was a lovely story, but didn’t understand the book cover at all. There’s only the outline of one boy, even though the book follows the points of view of two. And in spite of the name of the book, there is no ocean in the story, so it seems a little odd to feature one on the front cover.
2. Beautiful by Amy Reed
Beautiful follows the story of Cassie, a young girl who moves to a new town and decides to leave behind the goody-two-shoes image she used to have behind. She finds the world of “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll,” in a sense, and emerges herself in a downwards spiral. My beef with this cover may have more to do with the title than the cover design, but the cover certainly plays into it. This book is not about being “Beautiful,” regardless of what the title says, and instead has to do with self-image in terms of growing up and living a fast-paced life. Therefore, I don’t totally understand the lipstick writing out the title and the imagery of a young girl with her hand raised above her head.
3. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
I adore Laurie Halse Anderson and typically am equally enthralled by her book covers, but this one doesn’t totally make sense to me. Twisted follows high school senior Tyler– a boy who used to fade into the background of a dysfunctional family and being an average student. But when he’s busted for graffiti-ing his high school, he’s forced to spend a summer doing manual labor and gains a new physique, taking him out of his “average” norm and putting him in the forefront of the attention of those he used to ignore. The book takes on a lot, but most importantly tackles what it means to “be a man,” something many young adult books tend to shy away from. This has the potential for a great cover, but I just can’t understand the choice of a pencil for this one. I get the whole “twisted” nature of the pencil, but what does the pencil represent? Tyler’s not an artist. He wasn’t busted for graffiti-ing with pencil. I’m not sure about this one– but it was definitely a good read.
That’s it for now! Down in the comments below, let me know if you’ve ever judged a book by it’s cover.
Until next time,