Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Turkey Covers

Thanksgiving in the US-at least-is rapidly approaching.  So I thought for this month of Do Judge a Book by Its Cover, I’d look at book covers that are outright turkeys-meaning, they don’t work for one way or another.  Note, I’m doing newly released covers for this particular feature so maybe they actually work once one reads the book?

Or maybe not.

As usual, anyone is more than welcome to join this feature-but at this point I really don’t expect anyone too.

 

 

What the Book Looks Like It’s About:

The E! Retelling of Romeo and Juliet starring the Khardashians and the Jenners.  You can throw up now, I know you want too.

What the Book is About:

 

For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

Source: GoodReads

Why This Cover is a Turkey:

Because it mixes the Tudor family with Mean Girls.  I’m sorry, the description of this book looks awesome but the cover is sort of silly.  I think it would’ve been okay if there wasn’t the cutsey little inserts above the title.

What the Book Looks Like:

Okay, first thing that came into my mind are the credits of Spy.  Don’t believe me watch them and then still argue with me (couldn’t find a clip or I would’ve linked it).  And the comparison sorts of makes sense I guess, since Spy is about a BAMF and it’s a well known fact that Suze Simon is a BAMF.

What the Book is Really About:

In REMEMBRANCE, the seventh installment of the Mediator series, all Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she stumbles across an ancient murder, old ghosts—and ex-boyfriends—aren’t all that come back to haunt her.

REMEMBRANCE will be the first ever adult installment of the Mediator, published by William Morrow, the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

Source: GoodReads

Why This Cover is a Turkey:

I’m not a fan of cartoon covers, but I can tolerate them.  But this cover looks just a little random.  I’m assuming that Jesse at the bottom, and it’s been confirmed that’s Suze on top.  I don’t know what I was really expecting with this cover but not THAT.

What the Cover Says:

In a world where people where flowers like they’re powdered wigs, Daisy Wiggs (Blogger Note: I wasn’t really original on names here) must fight against destiny to become the ultimate flower and not a withering wall flower.

What the Book is Really About:

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .

Source: GoodReads

Why is this Book a Turkey:

Oh, Richelle Mead, you always have the worst cover luck.  To be fair, it’s better than the Bloodlines Covers and Vampire Academy covers.  Though that chick has a constipated look on her face and is wearing some major photo shopped jewels and what’s with the flowers. I think your best cover to date has been Soundless and it’s fairly generic.

What the Cover Says:

All her life Georgia Fisher has been living the life of a dead girl.  And she didn’t even know it today.  How can Georgia or Marie as she’s really known-make sense of a life that wasn’t even hers.

What the Book is Really About:

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

Source: GoodReads

Why is This Cover a Turkey:

Big face syndrome.  The cracked face at the bottom is vaguely intriguing though.

What the Cover Says:

Winnie will do anything to hold onto the crown, even though it’s destined to go to whoever her father choses her to marry.  However, Winnie has a plan.  A deceptive plan that involves being her own suitor.  Yes, her own suitor.  However, being a suitor to herself doesn’t involve herself buying chocolates or singing love ballads to herself-thankfully, that would be just awkward.  Rather, it involves a life and death competition.  Because, hey, it’s a high fantasy novel and there has to be some competition.   With gender bending galore with a bonus hot stable boy who may not be just a sable boy.  You’ll be anxious who wins “The Crown”.

What the Book is Really About:

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

In The Heir, a new era dawned in the world of The Selection. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected

Source: GoodReads

Why is this Cover a Turkey:

The cover is not.  This series is a turkey though.  This series-or two series since I really look as the fourth and fifth books as separate installments.

 

Do Judge a Book By Its Cover: Dress Up Time

It’s October which means Halloween is coming!  I thought I’d look at covers where the characters on the cover appear like they’re wearing some sort of costume.

Who Is She:

Lady Mary Crawley, duh.  In this spinoff mystery book to Downtown Abbey Lady Mary finds out that there is a secret deep within the manor.  Will she discover it by the end of the book, or will it be as infuriating as the plots are in the actual TV show and readers will have to wait an entire year before figuring out what’s going on in the dungeons of the manor.

What the Book is Actually About:

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn’t sure she possesses the courage — or the means — to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

Source: GoodReads

Win or Fail: 

Win.  It does capture the mood perfectly.  Though she really looks like Michelle Dockery.

Who Is She:

Robin Hood.  Yes, in this gender bending version of Robin Hood (becuase gender bending YA is all the rage thanks to Stephenie Meyer) Robin and her band of merry ladies fight the evil Queen Johanna.  Will Robin be able to steal from the rich and give to the poor while catching the eye of Lord Marlin?

What the Book is Really About:

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

Source: GoodReads

Win or Fail:

Confusing.  The cover is not bad, but I dont get it.  And yeah, I did sort of DNF the book and all but it just conveys Lady Robin Hood, and this is NOT a Robin Hood retelling.

Who are They:

Martians with extremely bad fashion choices-those tights- and who don’t know how to hold a weapon properly.

What the Book is Really About:

In this hilarious, action-packed conclusion to The Ever-Expanding Universe trilogy, teen mom Elvie Nara is on a quest across the universe to save her daughter (and maybe stop an alien race war in the process).

After dealing with killer whales, evil scientists, the return of her long-lost mother and, certainly not least of all, the challenges of breastfeeding, Elvie Nara has just about had it. And then the Jin’Kai (along with the aforementioned estranged mom) kidnap her baby.

And before she knows it, another Jin’Kai attack puts her on the run again, but not before discovering that Olivia was implanted with a genetic tracking device. So along with Cole, Ducky, and her dad, Elvie goes back out into space to follow the signal. There she finds evil Dr. Marsden up to some evil tricks and realizes that Mars may hold the secret to defeating her enemies once and for all. So, off to Mars she goes. Because alien race war aside, Elvie really wants to be back with her daughter. For a kid she wasn’t even sure she wanted, Olivia has come to mean the world to Elvie—and she’ll search the universe to be with her again.

Source: GoodReads

Win or Fail:

Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.  How many times must I say that?

 

Who Is She:

Chocolate Onasis will do anything to do be a celebrity.  These are her exploits.

What the Book is Really About:

“The divine Shiraz Bailey Wood is back in this hilarious sequel to “Diary of a Chav” to enlighten us with her signature brand of madcap humor on her demented, glorious life in the gritty suburbs of London.”
Chav: (n.): 1. A word that makes most Brits think of hoodies, hip hop, bling, and trouble. (It ain’t a good fing, bruv.)
At the end of the school year, 16-year-old Shiraz Bailey Wood isn’t expecting incredible grades. But when her test results come in, she’s astonished to discover that not only did she pass them all, but that she’s also actually clever! Emboldened by an invite to higher-level classes, Shiraz decides she can’t waste her brain power frying eggs for minimum wage at the greasy spoon Mr. Yolk. So even in spite of her Mum’s objections that it ain’t her place, Shiraz enrolls in SuperchavAcademy’s “Center of Excellence” to get even brainier.
Setting forth into the heady field of academia and hanging out with other boffin types seems like just the ticket to avoid getting stuck living like a chav forever in crappy Goodmayes Essex. Smooth-talking lads with whopping allowances tempt her-but Shiraz has to figure out: are these posh types really any better? Or maybe being a chav might not be all that bad-as long as it stands for Charming, Hilarious, Articulate, and Vibrant.

Source: GoodReads

Win or Lose:

Lose. I liked the first book enough, BUT that cover makes it very difficult to want to read said book.

Who is She: A BAMF with a cape and seems to wield a sword and perhaps water magic.  Bonus points if the love interest turns out to be a pirate-one can hope, right?

What is the Book Really About:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Source: GoodReads

Win or Lose:

Win.  I like how there seems to be a nostalgic nod to old 80’s fantasy covers.

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Fall is in the Air!

Fall is coming up and haven’t done this feature in a few months.  So I thought, since we’re getting into a new season I should look at some covers that give the audience an autumn-y feel.

What the Cover Says:

It’s a retelling of Mary Poppins!  Where Mary and Bert actually get together.  Which is the most important part, obviously.  But for the retelling bits, Mary is a UK transplant working in NYC as a nanny to pay her tuition.  Bert of course is no longer sweeping chimneys, but is the Banks oldest son that was conceived before George’s first wife died of botched plastic surgery.  But Mary and Bert, KISSING.

What the Book Really Is About:

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?

Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.

Source: GoodReads

Rise or Fall:

Fall.  I usually don’t like taking kissing couple books out in public.  And what’s up with the umbrella?  That’s more spiring-ish, BUT the leaves on that tree clearly state fall.

What the Cover Says:

Ellie has a crush on Will, who happens to be her Math teacher.  Her very young, very hot math teacher.  But…what occurs is a painful read of pining, badly behaved teachers, and a groan worthy PSA themed ending.

What the Book is Really About:

1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess

SIMPLIFY.

Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley’s place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There’s no real reason Ashley shouldn’t like Vincent, but with the
battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

Source: GoodReads

Rise or Fall: 

Falls big time.  Yes, it does fit the fall theme with going back to school and the backboard.  But that guy looks sort of creepy, i.e. with the way his eyebrow is being raised.  And you could almost, almost say that he’s the girl’s young teacher.  And can I just say ew.

What the Cover Says:

Gabriella has had a crush on her best friend Erin for years, but never acted like it.  Until she finds out that Erin is moving in three days.  In three days a lot of things can happen, but what happens after Erin moves? Will it even matter?

What the Book is Really About:

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective… only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

Source: GoodReads

Rise or Fall:

Rise.  I like this cover.  It really conveys a mood, but there’s still an element of mystery.  Plus, I feel there’s a bit of fall to it.

What the Cover is About:

Red is investigating a serial character that goes by the name Wolf.  Her best bet is to become one of his victim’s.  Of course, complications arise.

What the Book is Really About:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Source: GoodReads

Rise or Fall:

Sort of a rise.  The cover is probably my least favorite for the series, but it fits.  Enough.

What is the Cover About:

It’s Gossip Girl 1960’s style.  Where social change is happening in more than one way.  This book is the beginning of a series explores the way that one school explores these changes throughout this decade.

What the Book is Really About:

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Source: GoodReads

Rise or Fall:

Rise.  It really does have that back to school sort of feel with the yearbook photos.

Do Judge a Book By Its Cover: Ridiculous Blurbs

So, I decided with this edition of Do Judge a Book by Its Cover, I’d pick random covers and make the most   ludicrous blurb comparisons I could possibly think of based on the book’s cover.  Random example: It’s like Barney the Dinosaur meets Orange is the New Black meets The Selection.

That would be pretty horrible.  But that’s the intention of this month’s edition.  A lot of the time I’ll go to the bookstore (or to Amazon) and be amazed at some of the random comparisons I see.  It’s like, dude seriously?  How many Game of Thrones  or Hunger Games wannabes are there?  And I don’t think some of these are that far off…okay, maybe they are.  While I did try to make these as eyebrow raising as possible, I did try to give some logic to it.

 

Random Blurb Comparison from  the cover: It’s like Gossip Girl meets Glee meets The Dating Game.  

Actual Accurate Blurb ComparisonIt recaps the fake dating trope often seen in soaps like General Hospital with a Mean Girls inspired heroine.

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Well, thank god there’s no weirdo comparison on the official blurb.  As for the cover.  Meh.  It’s not something I’d really want a coworker seeing, but I’ve dealt with much worse.

 

Random Blurb Comparison:  Gladiator meets Star Gate meets The Mummy

Actual Accurate Blurb Description:  From what I’ve heard it sounds a lot like Gladiator, but in a Roman inspired fantasy world-the blurb does not tell me if there’s any magic or anything there.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding read. Set in a rich, high-fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome, it tells the story of a slave fighting for her family and a young soldier fighting for his freedom.

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: I like this cover.  There’s nothing remotely embarrassing about it and it’s gender neutral which I really like.  And it fits the blurb too.

 

Random Blurb Comparison: It’s like National Treasure meets The Lord of the Rings.

Actual Accurate Blurb Description: Well, the actual blurb compares it to Game of Thrones and Graceling take that for what it’s worth.

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: It’s one of those covers I’m okay with.  It’s not great or that memorable, but I will be able to take the book out in public with little to no regrets.

Random Blurb Comparison: It’s like Brave meets Her meets Fern Gully  (don’t even ask me how that would work).

Actual Blurb Comparison: It’s like Inception meets James Bond ( don’t ask me how that works).

A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject’s body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Oddly, intriguing.  But maybe a little too much?  It’s debatable.

Random Blurb Comparison: The Infernal Devices meets Sleepy Hollow meets Downton Abbey.

Actual Blurb Comparison: I could really see them going on The Infernal Devices maybe meeting The Patriot based on the blurb.  Those two things (to me at least) shouldn’t go together.

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Your standard YA fare. It could be more interesting, but it works (enough).

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Travel the YA World

I recently did a post about books that involved travel-alas, the post was sadly confined to Europe, look for future posts to focus on other great travel spots in the remaining six continents in the world.  I decided to continue my traveling theme by doing destination covers.  Meaning, there has to be something travel-y about the covers I’m analyzing.

Destination: San Franscisco where John Stamos’s twin boys are causing a heck of a lot of trouble in that  house that’s filled with so many people it’s sure to be a health violation.  In this fun, unauthorized book sequel to the hit 90’s sitcom,  Alex Kastopolis falls in love with Kimmy Gibbler’s long lost sister and of course this has everyone in that house in a tizzy because Lola, that’s Kimmy’s sister, is a love child and not from a legit marriage or even sanctioned relationship since Mr. G was cheating on Mrs. G at that time.  It of course has twenty something Michelle asking where babies come from again, and of course there’s Stephanie and her pesky recurring meth problem.  Aunt Becky is determined to help her, even if it means having the Tanner family be on an episode of Intervention.  Where the root of her problems (a.k.a. Uncle Joey) will be found out.  Meanwhile, will Alex and Lola be able to fall in love?  Or will his evil twin brother with the better hair get in the way?

What the Book Is Really About:

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. 

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: I am so glad this got a cover redesign.  But I like the painted lady houses in the background, I’ll give you that.  And I really imagined Lola living in the Tanners’ house.  As much as I make fun of that show (and I make fun of it a lot) it has had a lasting impressing on my opinion of San Francisco.

Destination: China. You know Mulan’s story, but what about her twin sister’s?  This look into rural China explores the life after Ju’s sister went to war.  How her family handles her sister’s choice and how Ju saves her village and falls in love with a handsome deserter.  Big points for this story is that Eddie Murphy’s annoying dragon character does not make an appearance.

What the Book is Really About:

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Love.  I think this is the best cover I’ve seen for a Mead book.  I love the background.  I love the way  the model is dressed and that she is a POC.  This is how book covers with model’s should be done.

Destination: Pakistan.  A complex tale about a girl torn between tradition and the Western world.  A life of tradition for Amal means acceptance from her family, and stability.  However, there’s something about the Western world that draws Amal in despite all its vices.  Given her family’s contemptuous  background, deciding to go to school to pursue her goals.  Let alone, school in the West. is a very dangerous path.  Will Amal be brave enough to pursue her dreams, or will she resign to a fate that is said to be written in the stars?

What the Book Is Really About:

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:  I like this one.  The figure isn’t large enough to be obtrusive, and I like the background and style of the writing.  What I don’t like is the title.  It seems a little too dreamy and romantic for a book that appears to be dealing with some pretty deep stuff.

Destination: Paris.  In the misery that is World War II, Madeline joins the resistance in hopes that she can help her country gain independence from the Nazis.  Soon Madeline finds herself working undercover pretending to be a young Nazi youth.  While she is under this brutal regime trying to find intel, she finds herself falling for her sergeant.  Hans might be the enemy, but there is something about him that Madeline can’t help but find attractive.  And sometimes she wonders if he really believes in his regimes values…

What the Book is Really About:

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: I love this cover.  It really has a feeling of despair to it, but being Paris it still retains an elegant and regal facade.

Destination: America (well, the cover shows the skyline of Washington DC and a map of the east coast). Ally has grown up as a Washington insider.  She’s known three first kids.  One of them is her best friend, one is her mortal enemy, and the current one is her forbidden crush.  Because there’s no way the first kid is dating the help’s daughter.  Though they use the term staff, not help.  When you are inside 1600 Pennsylvania  all the time but NOT inside life is tough.

What the Book is Really About:

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Very presentable.  I can take this out in public and not get the ew you’re reading that look.

 

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Top Spring Picks

Spring is almost here.  Honestly, I’m a fall and winter girl.  But there are still some fantastic books to read as the weather gets hotter and the humidity becomes unbearable:

 

What the Cover Says:

Esme is a heart.  Which is the privilege class in Wonderland.  She’s nowhere near royalty and a lower heart is just as bad as being a spade or dare she say a club.  However, one day the Jack of Hearts–the queen’s son eyes Esme, the lowly four.  And her life will change forever.  Croquet games, unbirthday parties, and the future mother in-law from hell.  This is one royal wedding that will have you guessing if Esme gets her fairytale ending or if the queen cuts her head off.

What the Book is Really About:

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

Source: GoodReads

Spring or Sprung:  Spring.  Though the cover designer might’ve wanted to do something a bit different because it really does scream companion to Cruel Beauty when it’s not.

What the Cover Says:

Lois Lane is having one bad hair day.  It’s from falling out of way too many buildings.  That is a worse evil than Lex Luthor in her opinion.  Especially when she is trying to get Bruce Wayne’s attention.  Yes, Bruce Wayne.  Because everyone knows Batman does it better than Superman.

What the Book Is Really About:

Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy. 

Source: GoodReads

Spring or Sprung: Spring.  But what is up with Lois’s hair?  Maybe it’s from being pushed out of a building one too many times.

What the Cover Says:

You’ve heard of quiditch, but there’s also broom drag racing.  Not that most people  know about it.  Until now.  Now follow Oliver Wood as he finds himself involved in this new dangerous world and makes seven sequels of the Fast and the Broom-licious.

What the Books Is Really About:

The Fast and the Furious gets a futuristic twist in this action-packed debut!

On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?

Source: GoodReads

Spring or Sprung: Eh, sprung.  Not very cohesive.  You have a bit of futuristic meets King Richard the Lionhearted.  A weird mix indeed.

What the Cover Says:

Dane Peters can not stand motorcycle gangs.  Probably because his father got arrested at the local Russell Stover’s  because his so called gang decided to have a meet and  greet.  Plus, it’s bad for the environment.  But somehow, this tree hugger gets roped into spending the summer with his father and his gang and learns the beauty of riding with the wind in his hair.  And invading the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory.

What the Book is Really About:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Source: GoodReads

Spring or Sprung: Sprung.  Though better than the Pushing the Limits series.  That series just wants you to get snickered at.

What the Cover Says:

Okay, to be honest when I saw this cover I was like Once Upon a Time  is getting a YA spinoff  series made out of it-a la Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  See the Swan totally represents Emma and the Dragon can represent Balefire I guess.  Or maybe Emma fought a dragon  in her teen years but forgot, the way continuity on that show is it so could happen.

What the Book is Really About:

For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’sShadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Source: GoodReads

Spring or Sprung: Spring.  I  like the abstract design and the color.  You can take it out in public that’s always a good thing.

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: New Beginnings!

Unfortunately, I did not feel like doing this feature/meme last month.  However, I am getting back into the swing of things by looking at new 2015 covers and, well, bastardizing them per usual.

What the Cover Says: An adaptation of Music and Lyrics for the YA sect with a Korean twist. Bing is a has been and he’s barely even twenty. Ally is an aspiring song writer who hates the fact that her publicist mother decided to uproot her for a year to repair a failing KPOP idol’s image.  Of course, what Ally never expects is having a connection with Bing and helping him work on a new song that’s sure to be a hit-“Hello, I Love You”.

What the Book is Really About:

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:  I like the fact that the cover features diversity.  What I don’t like that it doesn’t feature South Korea on the cover.  It does convey romance though, so that’s something (I guess).

What I Think It’s About: Alexi and Moira are the pairs team to beat.  And what better way to set their Olympic program around the dark tainted love story of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn minus the whole syphilis and missing head part.  However, Anne and Henry’s story starts to creep into their own life as well, and that can only spell trouble.

What the Book is Really About:

Anne
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

Henry
Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

Apart, they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who’s not Tudor approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: A little too prom queen and king for me.  Obviously, you wont be able to take this one out in public.

 

What the Cover Says: When Zelda applied to go to school in Athens, she didn’t think she’ d be doing it basically alone.  Back then she was dating, Kevin, and they were planning their happily ever after-graduating and attending the some Ivy League together.  Flash forward nine months and Kevin has ditched Zelda’s behind and she’s still going to Greece…with Kevin.  Can you say, awkward!  It doesn’t help that Zelda has an extremely good looking host brother who looks like he could rival John Stamos if he ever decided to do yogurt commercials.  And Kevin, we’ll he kind of misses what he ditched.

What the Book is Really About:

A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot 

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona’s mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks… but no thanks.

In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Meh.  A little too cliche.  The title though and the Meg Cabot comparison pull me in.

What the Cover Says: Brenda always wanted to be a princess.  To the point where many people would say she has princess psychosis.  When the dapper Prince Anthony of Not England gets engaged, Brenda knows she has to break up that royal wedding if it’s the last thing for her to do.

What the book is Really About:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding–but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone–especially herself–that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: I don’t like it.  Mia’s hair looks awful.  The coloring is way too brassy for a princess and I don’t like the sunglasses with wedding veil motif. Props on using Tiffany blue for the background color though.

What the Cover Says: Being the daughter of a traitor was not how Paige planned on spending her senior year.  Or for that matter, she didn’t plan on spending her senior year in Nebraska.  But that’s what happens when your father has been double dipping.

What the Book is Really About:

To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Okay.  I think it does convey conspiracy, but the ball gown is a bit conspicuous.

Do Judge A Book By Its Cover: I’m Thankful For…

It’s time for another edition of Do Judge a Book by Its Cover.  If you’re interested in joining this once a month meme.  Click here.

This month’s covers celebrate the American holiday, Thanksgiving.  I’ve chosen covers that I may or may not be thankful for (tried to do a mix).

 

What the Cover Emulates:

Nose touch.  It’s the most intimate pose in the world.  At least, according to most photographers Parker Wilson has come across.

But never has Parker felt a nose touch as much as he did with Lara.

Lara, however, is skeptical at best with Parker.  She wants to get out of the posing for the New Adult industry and into Hollywood (she totally could win the part of a New Adult character).  But is that even possible?

What the Book Is Actually About:

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Source: GoodReads

Thankful or Not Thankful:

Not thankful.  After reading the book, I really wish the cover model would’ve had some scars on her face to reflect the character-who’s not a traditional beauty.  But nope, both people on the cover look like they could be underwear models.  Which to me is just annoying.  Also, Calla is a natural blonde.  I can see this girl’s roots.  Not tres chic.

 

What the Cover Conveys:
Obviously, because she is holding a sword in her hand, Ariel is the chosen one.  Or is she?  All her life Ariel has prepared for battle to sacrifice herself if need be for her people.  And then a truth comes out that rocks her world. But the real question is, will she get to keep the pretty dress?

What the Book Is Really About:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Source: GoodReads

Thankful or Not Thankful:

Thankful.  These are my shallow-but I can feel good being shallow because the book is actually wonderful covers.  And I love the dress on this one.  Okay, the holding the sword thing looks a little cliche.  But I want a dress in that color.  Like now.  Please.  Thank you.

What the Cover Conveys:

Cora is an assassin.  But not your typical YA fantasy assassin.  She’s a dragon assassin who’s on the run after killing the emperor’s prize guard.  Or is said guard dead?  Cora is getting these weird vibes that she’s being watched.  So, she does the only thing that makes sense. Flees.  But is she running into the belly of the beast?

What the Book Is Really About:

War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to “Of Metal and Wishes”, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.

In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?

Source: GoodReads

Thankful Or Not:

Thankful.  I love that this series feature a person of color and I also like how vibrant this cover looks in contrast to the first one.  Honestly, this is a series that’s either going to work or not work, depending on how squeamish you are.  I personally loved it, but I can totally understand that not everyone is going to get it.

What the Cover Conveys:

Maybe she’s born with it…or maybe it’s something else?

She was only supposed to be in a makeup add.  That’s what Ava assumed when she got a call from The Agency.  But soon she finds herself involved in a world where beauty is more than a little sinister.

What the Book Is Really About:

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Source: GoodReads

Thankful or Not:

Hmmm, not.  I don’t know the big face just doesn’t do it for this series.  I mean, when I think about a book about Nazi Germany I don’ t think makeup ad which is totally the feeling I get by this cover.  If I was buying makeup though.  Then totally it works.

What the Cover Conveys:

Teresa Tillman has always had an unhealthy obsession with princesses.  She truly believes that if she acts like a princess then one day she will be a princess.

Which is one of (many) reasons she decides to walk around her junior high prep school in a tiara.

Of course, this = lots and lots of bullying since kids are cruel and don’t realize how fantastic wearing a tiara actually is.

However, despite the avid hatred Teresa is getting, the internet starts to take notice.  And soon, Teresa has a successful blog called The Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (No Kate Middleton Included).

What the Book Is Actually About:

In FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS a new middle grade series, readers will see Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of a spunky new heroine, 12 year old Olivia Grace, who happens to be the long lost half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis.

Source: GoodReads

Thankful or Not Thankful:

Mixed.  But ultimately not thankful.  I like that the cover features a POC.  What I don’t like is that this is the type of cover that is going to have to stay home or be read via ebook for the twelve and up set.  And let’s be honest, there’s going to be a lot of people who are over the age of twelve reading this since everyone wants to know how the heck supposed sterile Prince Phillipe had another kid.

 

Do Judge a Book By Its Cover: Spooky Covers

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover is a feature I do once a month around the fifteenth on my blog.  If anyone is interested in joining, they’re more than welcome too.  You can click on the following link to see how.

This month’s theme is scary covers-because it’s Halloween.  Every cover I’m featuring here has some element of fear.

 

What the Cover Conveys:

Bobbing  for apples is a tradition that Farley Dashwood really isn’t into that much.

It’s a festering pot full of germs, in her opinion.  Which is why she didn’t die the night that every single one of her friends did.

However, she was the only one meant to die. But Farley is not going to take that sitting down nicely.  She’s going to play detective even if that means getting her hands dirty-okay, maybe she’ll wear some gloves.

The Scary Truth:

An edgy fairy tale retelling of “Snow White” set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her “Snow White” curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who’s fated to rescue her. But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrficing the love that might kill her?

POP CULTURE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF TWISTING FAIRY TALES: ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm continue to pull in high ratings. And with the anticipated Angelina Jolie Maleficent (2014), the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (2014), and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (2015), Hollywood is infected with fairy tale fever.

CAMEOS FROM FAVORITE CHARACTERS: Viv, who first appeared in Kill Me Softly trailed by her brooding boy-toy Henley, takes center stage in this new Beau Rivage tale. Other familiar characters including Blue and Jewel are back to help her defy her destiny.

TEENS LOVE THIS FAIRY TALE WORLD: Kill Me Soflty was a 2013 YALSA Teens’ Top 10. Readers have been clamoring for a sequel.

A FRESH TAKE ON THE FAMILIAR: Drawing on “Snow White,” “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” Tear You Apart is very conscious of the way these stories have pervaded pop culture, twisting known tropes into an exciting new story that can stand on its own.

Source: GoodReads

Trick or Treat:

Trick. On the spooky level it’s not really that scary.  I mean, I think the red stuff is supposed to be blood, but it could very well be that cinnamon goop they put on candy apples.

What the Cover Conveys:

She’s only a spare to the heir. And not even a real spare.

Lily Gold has trained her entire life to take over should her sister, Lydia, meet with with a grisly end.  Endless training, but no rewards.  And it really sucks acting like you don’t exist for 99% of the time.  Unless…or course, Lydia has a head cold and Lily has to make an appearance.  One day a mysterious boy (because there’s always a mysterious boy in these books) tells Lily he can completely change her life.  Make her the heir and Lydia the spare.  Will she take him up on his offer?  And if she does just how much will things change?

The Scary Truth:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

Source: GoodReads

Trick or Treat:

Trick.  Mead has awful luck when it comes to covers, and this one in no exception.  Honestly, the girls on the cover sort of remind me of those girls in The Shining.  Shudders.

What the Cover Conveys:

Alternate realities are a reality, at least in Lish’s world.  Imagine when she finds out that in one reality she’s a serial killer.  And she’s sent into that reality by said serial killer to take the fall.  While Serial Killer Lish, is planning to make some major collateral in Lish’s world, Real Lish (as she calls herself) is trying to figure out a way home so she can save the ones she loves.  The only thing, is to get home she has to rely on the help of her worst enemy.

The Scary Truth:

Some decisions have unimaginable consequences.

Every time someone makes a choice, a new parallel world is spun off the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, sneaking out instead of staying in bed—every decision creates an alternate universe in which an Echo self takes the road not travelled. As a Walker who can navigate between these realities, Del is training to help keep the dimensions in harmony.

When Del secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds, she get tangled up with an Echo of her longtime crush. She knows she shouldn’t keep seeing him. But as Del persists, she uncovers a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide—a secret that threatens the entire multiverse.

Source: GoodReads

 

Trick or Treat:

Treat.  As far as scary is concerned, it doesn’t look that scary at least not initially.  But when you think of all those duplicates on the page starring at you it starts getting a little creepy. But creepiness aside, it really is a pretty cover.

 

What the Cover Conveys:

Millie wants to forget May 26, 2012.

She has done everything to put that awful date behind her.  Even moved halfway across the country with her dad and stepmom to try to start over.

However, there’s no way you can escape the past when there’s the internet even if you changed your name and appearance.  And someone knows the truth that Millie isn’t Millie at all.  But Morgan, the girl who totally made an ass of herself and then had everyone in the world know she made an ass of herself by someone posting it on Youtube.

Millie is insistant that her perfect life will not be ruined though and makes plans to get rid of her blackmailer or else.

The Scary Truth:

Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

Source: GoodReads

Trick or Treat:

Trick.  Well, it is a cover from hell.  I really feel for Ziegler she didn’t even get a pretty cover to help this less than stellar book.  Grant it, pretty covers really don’t make that big of a difference in whether a book succeeds or fails, but it probably does effect sales.

What the Cover Conveys:

Belle is dead.

Well, undead.  Imagine how it was for her waking up in a box with a bell string tied around her finger.

Horrifying doesn’t describe the experience.

It was almost as horrifying as her death-strangliation by a caller no less.

Fortunately, for Belle she’s rescued from her underground prison.  Or maybe unfortunately when she realizes that her life is on longer hers.  She now is forced to work for what can only be described as a mafia organization that employs the undead.  And if she escapes, well, then she’ll be dead dead.

The Scary Truth:

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Source: GoodReads

Trick or Treat:

Treat.  Pretty darn creepy.  And I like it.

 

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Top Fall Picks

Yep, it’s that time of the month again.  This time I’m focusing on fall covers that I’m or was interested in.

The reason why I do this-I think there’s a lot a cover says about the book and often my first impressions of it are way off target:

 

What The Cover Says:

Don’t Blink.

Seriously, I’m reminded of one of those creepy angels that were on Dr. Who a few years back.  Except, it’s America-fied by adding the Brooklyn bridge.  That was a pretty awesome episode of Dr. Who though.  And it would make an interesting YA plot.  So, yeah this cover totally screams rewritten Dr. Who fan fiction.  Oh, right.  There’s already sort of a book out there like that.

What the Book is Really About:

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

Well, it’s a definite departure from the Blue Bloods covers- the series that it’s spinning off of.  I honestly, like the Blue Bloods covers better, but it could grow on me.  But man, stone angels.  Really creepy.

 

What the Cover Says:

Thirteen has always been an unlucky number.  So, the thirteenth sign has to be pretty deadly, right?  And when’s the thirteenth sign anyway?  That would be for leap year babies.  Which is what Francie is.  Of course, she has tried to hide this horrible fact by claiming to have a March 1st birthday all her life.  However, there’s only so long you can hide the truth.  Especially when a group of rather unsavory people want to get their hands on thirteen-ers to do their evil bidding.

What the Book Is Really About:

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

Source: GoodReads 

Verdict:

I really love this cover.  It looks fun and sci-fi like.  And it’s not embarrassing.  So, work appropriate.  Did I mention I love anything dealing with astrology? Yeah, I’ve sort of preordered it.

 

 

What the Cover Says:

An alternative look at what happened to Rapunzel once she was cast away from her tower?  With her chopped off hair, her prince running around blind somewhere, and her mother not wanting a thing to do with her.  Rapunzel has to scavenge what she can to survive.  Along the way she comes across a band of goodhearted thieves in the woods.  And starts to stray from finding her prince, and instead finds out about her past.  About family she never knew she had.  And why is the leader of the band of thieves that she’s staying with, one Robin Hood, have to be so dashing?

What the Book is Really About:

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale will be released October 7th, 2014 from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

I like it.  The woods give it a mysterious feel and I feel like the pretty dress effect isn’t overdone here.  But it is a nice touch, admittedly.  All I know, is this book cover demands a happily ever after.

 

 

What the Cover Says:

Ice Princess.

That’s what they call her.

She shouldn’t blame them too much.  It’s not like they know her real name is Claire.  And that she was frozen by what had to be the most insane geek she knew.

Oh, you’ll love me one day, Claire.

Yeah, when no one else in the world existed.

Which she guessed sort of happened.  Since the world exploded and somehow the Geek and the box are on a spaceship full of the survivors of the world.

She hasn’t even begun to ask the geek how he lived so long or took over the world before it exploded.

One way or the other though, she plans on taking control of this ship and the world.

Because that geek needs to learn a lesson.

Hell, have no fury like a woman frozen.

 

What the Book is Really About:

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

Meh.  There’s times I look at this cover and absolutely hate it.  And there’s times where I get it.  I think my overall thoughts on the matter is that it just doesn’t work.  There’s just too much going on and the concept seems a little too literal for me.

 

 

What the Cover Says to Me:

Marta Gomez has been thrown from one home to another since she can remember.  And it’s not because she’s some foster kid or her mother can’t hold down a job.  It’s that somehow or another her house mysteriously catches on fire. There was the electrical fire in her first home, in the apartment that they lived two years ago it was collateral damage from a bakery fire.  The last house she lived in….well, Marta might have set it on fire herself.  The reasons why she’d do such a thing are explored in literally snooty fashion through chopped up flashbacks where the author undoubtedly will do some real character discovery while annoying the rest of its readers who are in desperate need of a plot when they don’t want to throttle Marta (p.s. she started the fire because she thought the shutters were ugly, not because her mom was having an affair with her crush/she’s a pyromaniac).

What the Book is Really About:

Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict:

I sort of like it.  The fire is catchy.  Though the hands are a bit cliche.