November 12, 2013

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're discussing some covers we wish we could redesign, for whatever reason.

I like to think that I'm not super picky about what goes on covers, as long as I think it's representative of the story taking place and serves as an enticement for potential readers. Here is a sampling of covers that I do not think meet my criteria.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares — Who exactly thought it would be a good idea to have a neon green background and a plain pair of jeans in the foreground? I realize the story is about "magical" jeans, but it's also about travel, female friendships, summer, and so much more.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky — Once again, backgrounds that shade of green are not attractive. This is a cover I do not understand on any level. Why is there a tiny image of (presumably) Charlie's lower legs? How am I supposed to interpret this?
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz — I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have a bloodstained silhouette of a head as the sole image on the cover. Not me, that's for sure.
The Giver by Lois Lowry — I realize this is a classic and various covers have included parts of this image of the Giver. But this cover by itself is not going to entice any children to pick up the book, nor does it really reveal anything about the story.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier — Any of Marillier's book covers could take the place of this one. The images just look dated. At least they're consistent, I guess.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock — I refuse to believe that this was ever supposed to be a serious cover choice. This cover has been redone at least two times, but neither of those redesigns capture the essence of this book, either.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson — It's a pretty cover, but it doesn't give any hints that this is a book dealing with intense grief and mourning. Or Nelson's beautiful prose. The heart doesn't get to the heart of the matter (get it?).
Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson — Another cover that has undergone many redesigns. I've seen full-out romance covers and the current minimalist ones. This one makes me laugh though because it's so dated. Like ridiculously so.
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell — Pretty cover. Once again, however, the cover is not indicative of the story found within its pages at all. This is a story about multiple people living in Europe during WWII. I don't know that from this cover.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner — So I suppose this redesign is better than the older cover my book has. And I appreciate how the redesigns focus more on objects than people. Still, though, this cover is too bland to do this story justice.

This is by no means an exhaustive or all-inclusive list. Despite what we may want to believe about ourselves and others, covers do matter. Before reading a book (or even picking it up to read the synopsis on back), I'm going to notice the cover.

Let me know which covers you wish you could redesign!
author image


Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. I don't think any of these would have caught my attention if I hadn't already known about the books and seen reviews beforehand. My least favourite has to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I can see what the designer may have been trying to attempt, but the end result is terrible! And that colour doesn't help at all. I actually don't mind that Dairy Queen cover (though I have a different one), but perhaps that's because I loved the book and am a little biased now. I agree that all of these could benefit with a redesign though. Great list, Amanda!

  2. I adore the covers for Daughter of the forest in my country (Just look for 'dochter van het woud') I don't like any of these covers. They are so.. boring. Especially the one from The perks of being a wall flower!


  3. DotF really needs a cover design - it deserves a prettier cover! I don't mind the covers of Dairy Queen (the newer ones), The Queen's Thief Series, and The Sky is Everywhere, though Sisterhood needs better covers as does The Giver. Great list, Amanda!


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