Sunday, February 19, 2012

Passion Post: Cover Art, Part II

I decided this time I'd post about book covers I loved that go with books I hated. I quickly discovered this is easier said than done. I realized I don't often grab a book based on cover art. I go by title and recommendation most of the time. And when I am scanning through blogs or whatever and a cover grabs me, if I'm not taken with the description or sample, I simply move on and forget the book.

But say I find a cover that is really cool, and get the book from the library, I'll not finish it if I don't like it. And again, move on and forget it.

And hence the difficulty. Trying to dredge up the memory of books I thought looked cool based on cover art but have purposely forgot.

But I did find a couple of examples:


I'm not sure exactly what drew me to this. Maybe the desolate look on her face? The colors? It was one of the first "pretty girl in flowy dress" covers I saw before they started showing up freaking everywhere and I got completely sick of seeing them?

Whatever it is, this cover totally grabbed me. But the book did not. I simply didn't buy the concept--the whole virus that kills you at a certain age. Nah. And I was totally turned off by the whole twenty-something impregnating a 13 yr old thing. Seriously? The author couldn't have at least made her a little older so it doesn't fall into the category of child molestation?

And why didn't Rhine ask what's-his-face to just bring her brother? He's not making her sleep with him, and they have the room, and he seems to want to make her happy. I bet anything he'd have sent his goons off to pick up her brother. They could all live happily ever after (well, you know, for another four years before they all die of the virus) in the rich guy's mansion.

Anyway, the cover actually captures the mood of the book quite well. The whole bird in a gilded cage thing is very appropriate. But the book itself--bleh.

The Butterfly Clues.

I got this book through Amazon vine. The way the newsletters come, I do happen to go by book cover image when choosing. There is such a long list, I scan through looking for "intriguing."

This one captured me because of its simplicity. The butterfly looks so fragile, and the blood splattered across it made me assume it must be something dark.

But as simple as the cover is, the book inside is equally cluttered. Too many things going on, confusing prose, and a story that meandered. You can read my whole review here if you'd like. Suffice it to say, I got maybe half-way through.

Oh, and when I'd quit reading, I still had no clue what the significance of the butterfly even was.

Honestly, other than that I can't think of anything specific. Maybe the Twilight series? As much as I HATED Twilight--didn't get past page 150 in the first book, never read the rest--I actually thought the book covers were striking. Not terribly representative of the story itself, but definitely eye-catching. And Ted Dekker's books usually have some nifty dark and creepy covers, but I've discovered his endings makes me want to scream and throw the books across the room.

Next time, I think I'll do books I loved for both cover art and story to even this all out.


imladrisnine said...

I'm glad you gave Twilight the honorable mention, because as I was sitting here reading this through I was totally thinking 'Duh. Twilight!' Those covers are great and were very simple (though now they've been copied to death) very much like Apple packaging only black instead of white. They've rebound them with covers form the films which I think is a mistake, even if perhaps that has sold them more books. I mean they at least LOOK like they want to be taken seriously in the old covers.

Kessie said...

I'm glad they're updating the Diana Wynne Jones book covers. The original ones were absolutely hideous. But the Chrestomanci books in particular, like the Pinhoe Egg, have really nice covers. Oh, and Enchanted Glass has a good cover, too.

The Fablehaven books have pretty good cover art.

I laid my hands on an (extremely rare and expensive) copy of Fire and Hemlock, and the cover has a chick riding a fiery horse. It has very, very little to do with anything in the book itself.

Sigh. You can tell by this list that I read Juvie and YA pretty much exclusively. :-p

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, I hate when books get repackaged with the movie actors on the covers! So glad they did not do that with Harry Potter--even though I don't like the HP covers they have integrity!

Yeah, I like Fablehaven's covers, too. Those were some I'd likely include next time. Loved the books.

I read a lot of YA and MG, but haven't read Diana Wynne Jones. Will have to look into her books. Well, when I've made more progress in my to-read pile...

Sonja Hutchinson said...

I'm with you on the Ted Dekker books - endings that make me throw the book across the room.

I hate the covers to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. They are utterly boring and don't convey the funny content of the books.

Good posts on cover art!


Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Sonja!

Jeff Chapman said...

I'm looking forward to the next post. We all like to say we don't judge books by the cover but a good cover will get a lot of people to at least pick it up and that's the first step toward the cash register. I applaud your honesty.

And thanks for the warning. If I ever see you reading Ted Dekker, I'll know to take cover. : )

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, I DO agree when publishing a book one MUST put out the best cover art possible. Definitely. We DO judge. But, I've found so often that covers don't match the books inside, and it's just a little fascinating to me.

My publisher tries so very hard to make the cover *relevant* to the text inside, and of the best quality.