Friday, November 25, 2011

Cover Review: First Impressions (2)

If I saw these books on the shelves, I would totally want to read them based on their prettiness alone. But a pretty cover doesn't always tell you what the book is actually about, does it?

Initial thoughts: *Jaw drop* Beautiful! The flowers and dress are so pretty. I love how it's illustrated and almost looks like a comic book. Ooooh, look! A mummy!

What I expect: British lady, mummies, mystery, and romance. Looks like it will be a light and fun book.

Magic? Probably a little. I'm getting "magic curses" vibes from that mummy.

Historical? Totally, just look at her dress!

Reality: This was a light and fun story, but it had a much younger tone than I was initially expecting (more younger YA/MG than the solid YA I thought it was). There is a touch of magic and it does take place in England. Overall, the cover gives a pretty good idea of what the story is about. 

Initial thoughts: Love that dress! What is she running away from?  

What I expect: I don't really have much to go on, but she looks like she's running away from something, so I guess I expect persecution of some sort?

Magic? Something about her makes me think she's a witch, but other than that this cover really doesn't scream "I HAVE MAGIC!!"

Historical? Yes, this feels like an historical, even though I can't place when that dress would have been in fashion. For some reason I get a Salem witch trials feel from it all, but I don't know why because they certainly wouldn't have been wearing dresses like that then.

Reality: She isn't a witch (though she does have magical powers), she isn't being persecuted, and this doesn't take place during the Salem witch trials (though it is set in the past and in America). The tone of the book doesn't really match the movement or immediate distress of the cover, but it is a darker story and I do get a sense of that darkness from the cover.

Initial thoughts: Pink! Flower! Pretty!

What I expect: A story rich in atmosphere with lots of description. The position of her hands make it look like she's offering the flower, so maybe there is some similar offering in the book?

Magic? The bright colors seem magical, but other than that, no, there isn't anything that would lead me to think magic is a part of the plot.

Historical? Probably. Set in India.

Reality: While the cover image doesn't really reflect the central role magic plays in the plot, it does totally capture the lush atmosphere and Heather Tomlinson's immersive writing. I think it's a good match.

Initial thoughts: Swirly snow! I love stormy, wintry weather.

What I expect: Russia! Something fun, but also maybe a little serious too like the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I definitely get an "impending storm" vibe, which is exciting but also makes me wonder if there's a cliffhanger.

Magic? Maybe! That swirling snow looks like it has a magical twinkle, don't you think? 

Historical? While it's possible it could take place in modern times, my money is on historical.

Reality: The tone of the book matches my impressions (light, but also serious) and the pieces are definitely being put in place and the storm "gathering" in this installment. There are fantasy elements, but the paranormal smorgasbord of vampires, spellcasters, and necromancers is not made apparent by the cover. It does take place in Russia though (during the late 1800s). 

When you look at these covers, what are your first impressions? How do they line up with what the book is actually about?

Remember those "almost historical fantasy" books we mentioned in our discussion post? The "generic medieval village" and similar "Anything Goes-er" books? Ruby has a list of some of her favorites to share with you today! Stop by to see what she's picked and share your favorites!

Have you entered to win our prize pack giveaways?


  1. The cover for Toads and Diamonds is so pretty!! I love the colours. The synopsis doesn't sound like my kind of read but maybe I should just get the book for its cover >.> and let it sit pretty on my shelf. I haven't read any of these books but a couple are on my TBR like Wrapped and The Gathering Storm.

  2. Wrapped:

    The Vestpertine:
    I'm afraid she's going to trip on her dress and fall because she's not looking where she's going and her hair is in her eyes.

    Toads and Diamonds:
    This is really, really gorgeous, though I don't think the flower is right. Also, women in modern India (and some living here in the US) still wear saris, so this doesn't say historical to me.

    The Gathering Storm:
    Agree with you on the snow-twinkle. This one totally screams Dr. Zhivago to me.

    Excellent post as usual, Small!

  3. Loved your analysis.
    I think that out of this bunch my favorite cover is the Vesperine.

    Gathering Storm and Toads and Diamonds tied in second.

    I don't like Wrapped, mostly because I think it's a bit misleading.

  4. HAHA!!! You always make me laugh, but I am the same way. I will go to the library see a book with sparkles on it, pick it up and then be disappointed when there aren't sparkles.

    I would've *hands down* picked up Wrapped, not even cared what it was about because that cover is awesome!

    Lah @ LazyGirl Reads

  5. Awesome feature! I love your views on books. They make me laugh and smile :)

  6. Sandy, Toads and Diamonds looks even prettier in person. The colors are super rich and vibrant. It's gorgeous.

    Ruby, Hehe, touching mummies is gross :P Every time I look at the Vespertine cover I worry she's going to trip too! The flower fits with the story of Toads and Diamonds really well, but yeah, I can see it not screaming historical.

    Alex, Thank you! I am so glad they changed the official cover of the Vespertine to this one. The others weren't doing it for me, but thi one is so pretty. I agree, Wrapped was misleading. I was SO in love with the cover, but I didn't like the book at all. :(

    Lah, I'm happy I do :D The cover of Wrapped is so totally awesome, but sadly I did not think the book was.

    Julie, Thank you! I'm so glad you do :)

  7. I think mine matched yours. Though I already knew what some of the books were about already. I didn't know all that about The Gathering Storm, but I did think there was magic involved with the way the snow seems to wrap around her. And I'd definitely think Russia just from her clothing.

    Good guesses!!


  8. The Wrapped cover is simply beautiful! And i had exactly the same thoughts as you when i saw it. It gives enough to make you want to read it.

    Not a big fan of the Vesperatine cover. The things is that there are many covers, with girls running even though there is no connection to the story so i would probably (and i actually) skip it without thinking what's about.


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