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Discuss: When Bad Covers Happen to Good Books

It’s happened to the best of books. It’s not their fault…it comes down to the designers and direction from the publisher. Some designs simply miss the mark. The story is still excellent, but it’s the cover we could do without.

What good books need a cover overhaul?

Discuss: When Bad Covers Happen to Good Books

Here are a few covers I think could benefit from a makeover….

Big Face, Bigger Problems

Delirium series, COME ON!! Every cover has these HUGE faces up in our grillz. The main problem is you can’t tell ANYTHING about the plot Delirium from the book. It’s just a girl who’s by a tree. GAH!

good books bad covers

pandemonium good books bad covers

requiem good books bad covers


Your Raise Me Up

Although I love Josh Groban, I’m not sure this is what he meant by his famous song. Cuz, why? Why are these girls lifted in the air, supported by cloth, a boy and water? Five times out of ten, there is no reason.

bad covers good books

good books bad covers dragonswood

bad covers good books


I Got Your Back

Playing coy is always done best by peeking back over your shoulder. Or by simply turning your back completely away from your audience (<--cardinal sin in theater acting). I do actually like the Gemma Doyle cover, but it's only because she is wearing something interesting. Otherwise...these covers bore me.

bad covers, good books

the great and terrible beauty

betrayed bad covers


Can You SEE What I’m Saying?

Although none of these covers are horrible, it totally freaks me out that they don’t include the cover model’s eyes! Why cut them out?!?! It’s like from a horror movie! With the two guys on the covers with no clothes on, I think I can guess why their eyes weren’t important, but still. AH!

good books bad covers

good books bad covers city of bones

good books bad covers altered


Am I overreacting? Which covers do you agree or disagree about?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anonymous

    are you kidding me?? i picked up Delirium because i liked the cover, and really really didn’t like the book… eh.

    but i think there’s like this trend in YA where all covers kinda just look the same because they think that “mysterious and cool” covers attract to teenagers…

    i see what you’re saying though, but personally, i don’t really have a problem with most of these covers, except for the fact that they all look the same :p

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      It’s not that I think these book covers are the worst ever, it’s just there’s so weird elements going on that I pointed out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Ula ϟ

    These covers aren’t even bad! Granted, some have nothing to do with the story, but that’s not the worst that can happen. How about those glistening hairless hunks on covers? Holding swords and whatnot? Or couples embracing in kinky poses, half naked with titles so cheesy you can see cheddar dripping from inside? Or tattooed backs of broad men? Or just random naked people in different heights on the cover? Abs on abs on abs? That’s something I pass on. The ones you listed are pretty good and would definitely draw me in.

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      I agree – they’re not terrible, just off a bit on a few things. It’s a totally light-hearted post. Thanks for commenting!

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  • http://nijiclovers.blogspot.com/ Cayce

    I’m not a fan of people/face covers, so yeah I agree, these covers are all pretty bad. Especially can’t stand where the MC float in air/water. I definitely wouldn’t pick any of them up for their cover. I did read the Delirium books though, but wish I didn’t (hated how it not ended….)

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Hahaha, thanks Cayce! I also initially loved the Delirium series, but that non-conclusive ending was so KILLER. On to the next dystopian book… 😀

  • Kayla

    I really like the cover for Altered, because really the eyes are not important in this case. If it wasn’t so expensive in hardback I’d have bought it forever ago just because of the cover! I don’t tend to dislike the over the shoulder/back turned covers, but yeah the huge faces are a bit disconcerting and I walk away like it’s a stalker.

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Kayla – I can’t disagree with you on that!! hahaha, I’m sure girls in bookstores across the country didn’t notice the lack of eyes on the Altered cover!