Sunday, June 26, 2011

Discussion: Embarrassing Book Covers

I started doing my usual cover review post for the weekly meme Cover Crazy when I realized this post had become more than just an examination of a cover. What started out as a cover review quickly morphed into a discussion post. I hope you enjoy. 

Everworld series by K. A. Applegate

Hello 1994 with its “cutting edge” computer graphics! But you know what? I don’t think these covers were cool even then. What’s up with that weird eye thing in the first three covers? The fire shooting out of the dragon’s nose in the fifth cover? Oh my gosh, I can barely contain a snort of laughter. That thing on the eighth cover?? The funny thing is these covers are so accurate to the books because they actually do all show scenes from the books...yet they're so incredibly inaccurate to the quality of the story within these atrocious covers.

You agree, these covers are awful, right? Like, “I’m embarrassed to even admit I’ve read these books” kind of bad. That doesn’t even really do it justice. These covers are just too bad for words. I’d hang my head in shame if it weren’t for the fact that, hidden beneath these monstrosities, is a totally amazing series that I will stand behind in spite of those noxious covers.

Really, I swear to you, these books are so, so good. I devoured them within a week and then went through a period of devastating book mourning when it was all over. There’s so much action, character depth, and awesome storytelling. But you would never know it by those covers.

This is what these covers say:

 “This is a series for kids. Little kids. Little kids who get made fun of by their peers. Boys—not girls—read this series, and if puberty doesn’t miraculously change those boys, then the closest they will ever come to contact with a girl is when they hold one these covers that feature a girl’s head.” If you read these books, then this is you:

Yep, we’re looking at loser covers. When I hand this series to my library kids, they look at me like I’ve lost my mind. A teen’s face can be really expressive. Their words say:

“Um, sure…maybe another time?”

But their face is saying:

“Are you #@$! kidding me?? #@$! NO! Lady, are you trying to make me a friendless loser?? And do you realize I’m not 11 years old??”

And then I say to them:

“Trust me. Really. I know the covers are terrible but the stories are really good and they’re actually very mature and deal with subjects that wouldn’t even be appropriate for younger kids. And there’s violence? Did I mention that? Oh yeah, there’s a ton of gore and it’s super graphic! I almost puked and had nightmares they were so graphic. It was awesome!”

By this point they’re usually doing the slow back-away walk and pretending to hear their friend calling them away. And I'm left like this: Ok then....

So what is my point with all of this?
  • Scholastic’s cover designer makes me out to be “Crazy Library Lady Who Doesn’t Understand Cool”
  • Ignore these covers because the books are awesome
  • The covers might make the books look like they’re appropriate for MG audiences but they are NOT! They’re totally YA.

Are there any books you adore but the covers make you look like you’ve lost your freaking mind for liking them? 

Have you ever gotten “that look” when someone catches sight of the cover? 
What do you think about these covers? Has your faith in me shriveled up like a raisin or do you trust me enough to give this series a try? Want to read my review?

Interested in covers? 
Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious.

More of my Cover Crazy posts

More of my Discussion posts


  1. Ha! What an awesome blog post. The covers really are horrible!

  2. LOL. I love this post.

    If I walked past those Everworld series books in the bookstore I wouldn't pick them up based on their covers.

  3. Lol at your descriptive pics.

    Yeah, sometimes covers are embarrassing. (One benefit to ereaders! No covers to give you away.) Often times we will take the covers off a hardback, especially when we're toting it around. Otherwise, we might just hold the book or set it down with the cover facing down.

  4. I had the thought cross my mind this weekend when I bought a book. I discovered a romance novel that I really like and haven't had luck finding in bookshops until now, in the used section and the spine doesn't even look creased. But the cover has this man tied up without his shirt on. It's just embarrassing, you know?

  5. I read the first one when I was, like, ten because I loved Applegate's Animorph seires. I didn't understand it back then, but maybe I'll try to read it again now. :) Thankfully, I have a Kindle so it's easy to avoid awful covers.

  6. Lol! These covers are seriously FUG! I think Buffy's facial expression says it best! :D

  7. Heh, I love all the Buffy pictures :)

    I'm frequently embarrassed by the book covers of the books I read. If it's a hard cover, then I'll remove the jacket and if it's a paperback, I'll try to cover it awkwardly with my hands when reading in public... it's a hassle.

    You're right, even for 1994 these covers must have been pretty horrid. At least they actually depict scenes from the book. It's a pet peeve of mine when the cover is depicting a scene that never actually happens in the book. Hmm, who's the incredibly creepy-looking blue guy? I guess I would have to read the series to find out!

  8. Lmao, those faces match would probably be my face if you ever recommended the Everworld series to me. There's no way I'd be picking up those books from their cover. It's nice to know that the content is good though. I might get my brother to borrow a copy of book 1 from the library and read it with him. We have self checkout so I don't need to worry about embarrassing book covers :D

  9. Oh yes, embarrassing book covers are definitely a pain! The Everworld ones are a great example-you would have thought they would be re-designed by now. Sometimes old fashioned covers aren't bad for any reason except looking dated and I don't don't mind that so much.

  10. I believe I shall quote Regina George and say that those covers are the flugiest I've ever seen.

    I mean, they are creepy :P

  11. Ha! I remember when these books first came out... the emphasis was that they were [i]different[/i] than Animorphs. They had dark, moody covers w/ a bit of dark gold embossing on them before that was cool. Animorphs got a cover redesign recently, these should too.

  12. I totally know what you mean! Like someone already said, that's the benefit of e-readers! Then you don't have to deal with those covers!

    I have to admit that a lot of the adult PNR books that I pick up have embarrassing covers. Half of them have scantily clad women on the front, and when I say "hey...the characterization and the plot are actually really good in these books" well....i get that Buffy face! lol.

  13. These covers are just plain "yucky". I think what bothers me the most about them are the way the title is splattered aross the image blocking the picture underneath.

  14. This post is awesome! Gahh I feel like starting a Buffy marathon after seeing those pictures. The Everworld series sounds really interesting. I'm surrently reading Singing the dogstar Blues which has the most hideous cover imaginable:

    ..but the story is fun and quirky lol.

  15. Wow, those are awful. The green monster Everworld cover reminds me of Snuffy from Sesame Street, although Snuffy is much cuter.

  16. This post just made me laugh out loud. Those facial expressions: Priceless! Really funny, but true. Sometimes, I just see a book on a bookstore shelf and I'm like, "Whoah, what were the publishers thinking???"

    Hey thanks for dropping by my blog, it's funny that you just read Blank Confession and now you're going to check out The Big Crunch, because now that I've read The Big Crunch, I wanted to read Blank Confession :D

  17. Bwahaahh!! Best post ever! These covers are so funny! I love that you highlighted the one with the elephant because that's the one that makes me laugh the most!

  18. This post was hilarious!! I loved these books though - to anyone with any lingering doubts, just READ THEM.

    Great post!!

  19. Haha another great post! I seriously do love your blog, it stands out so much from others!
    These covers are just truly terrible ...

  20. Do I have examples? How about every romance or UF cover ever? EVER.

    These are the kinds of covers I want to cover with brown paper bags.

  21. Kristina, Thank you! I know, they’re awful. But the books are good! I swear :)

    Nic, Thanks! The funny thing is, I must have picked them up because of their covers, otherwise how did I get them? I k now they weren’t recommended to me. Maybe I was crazy that day. :P

    We Heart YA, Glad you like the pictures :) It is nice that you can read undercover with an e-reader or a hardback. I take the jackets off, too. Usually works pretty well! Too bad these were paperbacks.

    Bookish hobbit, Hahahaha, what did you do? Buying a book with a bad cover is probably the worst because you really can’t hide it then. Thank goodness for online ordering :P

    Bethany, Yeah, ten is definitely too young for them. But give them a shot now! I’m not sure if they’re available in electronic format yet.

    Leanna, Yup, Buffy is spot on :P

    Aylee, I’m completely obsessed with Buffy :) Ah yes, the awkward hand cover. I need larger hands. I have the same pet peeve about covers! Even worse is when the characters look NOTHING like how they’re described. I think the blue guy is supposed to be Poseidon.

    A Canadian Girl, Ah self checkout is nice! But bringing a brother along helps too because then you could always tell people they’re for him :P I hope you and your brother both like them!

    Sara, oh yeah!

    Stephanie, I think they’re out of print, so no redesigns :( I wish they were reprinted and given new covers, especially with all the awesome covers YA books are getting lately. So many possibilities!

  22. Alex, LOL! I should have looked for a Regina George picture! They really are terrible :(

    Madigan, They really should get a cover redesign, but I think they’re still out of print. I hope they bring them back. With Percy Jackson being so popular now, I think this series would really find a market.

    Natalie, LOL, yeah I’ve tried the “I swear the half naked lady here is really awesome and a person that totally commands respect.” But that doesn’t usually go over well. *sigh* at least WE know better. :P

    Gina, Yucky indeed! Yeah, the titles are placed horribly, especially on the first three.

    Paper-Wanderer, Thank you! I’m a total Buffy marathon-er :) Oh gosh, yes, all of the covers for Singing the Dogstar Blues are bad! Good to know the story is good though.

    Alison, Me too! Snuffy used to be my favorite :P

    Nina, I agree, I really do wonder what the publishers are thinking sometimes. The poor authors! Could you imagine if you wrote a book and then got slapped with a cover like that? Ouch! I hope you enjoy Blank Confession! Sounds like we’re on the same page :)

    Lah, Thanks! That elephant thing really is so funny. It actually does sort of look like that in the books, but, well it doesn’t seem anywhere near that lame when you read about them!

    Book Geek, Thanks! You’re one of the few people I know who have actually read these books. We’ll have to stand strong together in defense of the great story! :P

    Books for Company, Thank you so much! :)

    Logan, Ha, yeah, those genres are filled with embarrassing covers. I’d like to add in adult fantasy, too. They’re big on the scantily clad elf maiden theme.

  23. *barks with laughter*

    Yup, you don't understand cool. ;)

    Omg, these covers are just horrid. Imagine being the author of such a great series, and having to have these on your bookshelves to show family and friends your wonderful accomplishments. Eke!

    P.S. Love the Buffy pics and captions.


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