Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at Broke and Bookish

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This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about those covers that make you cringe! Which covers would you redesign if you could?

I do want to note here that while I may be snarky on the nature and design of these covers I have actually read and enjoyed all of these books. So it's not a knock against the books or the authors- just on the tragic (IMO) artwork that graces the covers :)


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I know. A lot of people LOVE these covers, but this one is just, um, weird. He's naked, mostly decapitated and there seems to be some odd green mist coming from his lower regions.

**EDIT** Upon further investigation I've discovered something disturbing. All of the Mortal Instrument covers have something south of the border going on. In City of Glass there appears to be mysterious fireworks eminating from the....um... well, you know where. And in City of Ashes there is a distinct blue fog rising up and spreading out over the city. Even City of Fallen Angels is not immune. Here we see a roving orange mist, a super mist if you will, combining the south of the border mist powers of the two characters who grace the cover, pouring out over the city. These mysterious mists may not mean anything, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they may be a part of whatever ailment keeps the cover models from showing their entire face. They may want to get that checked out...


High Fantasy books- like Elvenbane by Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey

Creepy dragons (or other mythical creature) learing at scantily dressed ladies. It's like romance covers for mythical creatures...


Speaking of romance covers... Some are so cheesy that I actually cringe when I see them. I am physically embarrassed for these book covers. And they actually keep me from puchasing books like this. Don't even get me started of the ridiculous titles some of these books have...This is just one example- The Laird Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins

**EDIT **Thanks to commentor Stephanie for talking about this cover. It made me take a second look and lo and behold I found even more to laugh about! Did you notice be has on the scottish version of Uggs? Like straight up fur boots. If it is that cold out, shouldn't he be rocking something more then a poorly wrapped skirt? Not that I don't appreciate a fine looking man, but boots and a skirt? He's not impressing anyone with that fashion sense...


Busy covers like Cat Patrick's Forgotten.

The underlying picture is nice, but add all that extra stuff and it all just gets messy and confusing looking.


Briefly mention in the City of Bones description is this trend that I simply don't get- the decapitated person. Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter employs this trick. Why are we cutting off half the head? Are these models so hidious that there is a need to protect the publics eyes from their offending foreheads?


Technically these are already redesigns so what I really want is an un-design of these covers. They are the Movie Tie-in covers. I get that you are trying to suck every last penny from die-hard fans, but these covers are silly.


The Devils Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

There are two covers to this book (Thank god), and this one, well, sucks. There is so much going on and what is with that giant red X covering everything?!


The duel scene cover. Night Runner by Max Turner isn't the only offending cover to jump on this trend, but it is a good example. It always seems like the top part is randomly floating up there, smashed in for no good reason.


Frankentein by Mary Shelley.

I have this cover sitting on my shelf and every time I see it I laugh. Why is there a naked dude on the cover? I think it's supposed to be Frankenstein, but who knows. All I know is I can't pick it up without laughing...

**EDIT** Credit to the fabulous Darby Karchut for noticing that Frankentein here (if that's who he really is) is totally blushing. Even he is embarrased by how this cover came out.


The translucent cover. There are a ton of examples here where the person on the cover is see through or fading into the background. The Revenant by Sonia Gensler is one such cover.


  1. Haha! I laughed out loud with what you put with the City of Bones. And I totally agree! I've never been that keen on The Mortal Instruments book covers.

  2. I LOL'd at your City of Bones cover description. Especially the lower regions green mist bit.

  3. I actually like the City of Bones cover. Not because there's a naked guy. I mean why can't they put a naked girl?! Okay then O.O but because it's different. Authors now have to set up a theme to stand out from all the other authors. Clare's is people on covers with their heads cut off lmfao!

  4. I agree with the high fantasy books and the movie tie-in covers. I'd rather have the original cover than the movie tie-in cover. It's seem more genuine.

  5. Still chuckling over your Frankenstein comment - just who is he supposed to be and why is he blushing?

  6. OMG, the cover of The Laird who Loved Me made me laugh. There probably never was a more horrifying cover. No wonder readers of romance are the #1 users of ebooks--they don't have to walk around with those awful covers anymore!

  7. @Darby- I did not even notice that he was blushing! Even he is embarrased at the silliness of that cover.

    @Stephanie- I will admit to enjoying the occassional romance novel (I'm currently obsessed with Jude Deveraux- her covers are not "hide in shame-worthy"). This one is ridiculous though- did you notice the fur boots? If it's so cold he needs fur boots (the Scottish version of Uggs perhaps) shouldn't he be wearing more then a kilt?

    (totally editing my post to add this all in...)

  8. I always thought the Mortal Instruments series had odd covers too...those cut-off heads don't do much for me :D