Cover Snark (96): The One with the Scary Madonna


Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Shiny and New:

1. Essence – Lisa Ann O’Kane
Essence - Lisa Ann O'Kane
Thoughts: THAT IS SO UNSAFE. OMG. But, also, awesome, because how many covers have THAT.

2. The Aftermath – Jen Alexander
The Aftermath - Jen Alexander
Thoughts: The aftermath of mixing a red sock into the whites? Sacre bleu!

3. Smart – Kim Slater
Smart - Kim Slater
Thoughts: Remind me again why all covers aren’t illustrated. For more beauteousness, check out the full jacket.

4. Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy Series #1) – Josephine Angelini
Trial by Fire (Worldwalker Trilogy Series #1) - Josephine Angelini
Thoughts: Does this look like a cutting edge video game from like ten years ago to anyone else?

5. Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper – Elizabeth Kiem
Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper - Elizabeth Kiem
Thoughts: Whiter, Sleeker, Leg Bendier.

6. Rogue (Real #4) – Katy Evans
Rogue - Katy Evans
Thoughts: So New Adult is now asserting that the perfect guy is a liar? No. Refuse. Also, that bra is super unflattering.

7. Lotus Blossom Lane (Saving Angels #3) – Annie Rose Welch
Lotus Blossom Lane - Annie Rose Welch
Thoughts: Kairyen regretted her choice of prom dress when hunters mistook her for the largest bird they’d ever seen.

8. Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1) – Karina Halle
Dirty Angels - Karina Halle
Thoughts: This angel needs some Orbit and a shower.

9. Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock #8) – Faith Hunter
Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock #8) - Faith Hunter
Thoughts: If Jane weren’t always the last one standing, I’m guessing the series wouldn’t still be happening. Also, she can apparently stand on air, which is a neat trick.

10. Son of No One (Hellchaser #6) – Sherrilyn Kenyon
Son of No One (Hellchaser #6) - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Thoughts: More like Son of Mushu.

11. The Singer (The Irin Chronicles #2) – Elizabeth Hunter
The Singer (The Irin Chronicles #2) - Elizabeth Hunter
Thoughts: I love the way the text is done on her back. I am curious about her hair: is it wavy on one side and straight on the other? Half braided? What?

12. True Fire – Gary Meehan
True Fire - Gary Meehan
Thoughts: If that were true, the world would have ended long ago.

13. City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett
City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
Thoughts: Is it weird that THIS is all I can think of?

14. The Lady (Marakand #2) – K. V. Johansen
The Lady - K. V. Johansen
Thoughts: Dude, I wouldn’t usually think a human being could take on a bear in unarmed combat, but LOOK AT HER EYE. Actually, I think the BEAR might be armed, but my money is still on this lady. She will mess that bear up.

15. Covenant’s End (Widdershins Adventures #4) – Ari Marmell
Covenant’s End - Ari Marmell
Thoughts: That doesn’t look like the comfiest seat, but I am digging the art style.

16. Fearie Tales: Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome – Stephen Jones, ed.
Fearie Tales by Stephen Jones
Thoughts: Fearie is right. THERE IS A HEAD IN HER LAP. A. HEAD. IN. HER. LAP.

17. Unfixable – Tessa Bailey
Unfixable - Tessa Bailey
Thoughts: I really loathe how many New Adult taglines sound like arguments for rape. “It’s totally okay. She may not WANT you, but she totally needs it. Yeah.” NO. ALL OF THE NO.

18. Shadow of The War Machine (The Secret Order #3) – Kristin Bailey
Shadow of The War Machine (The Secret Order #3) - Kristin Bailey
Thoughts: Dude, the mechanical wolf has an eyepatch. I am craughing.

19. Love Me or Leave Me – Claudia Carroll
Love Me or Leave Me - Claudia Carroll
Thoughts: Take me for what I am Who I was meant to be And if you give a damn Take me baby or leave me

20. The Long Mars (The Long Earth #3) – Stephen Baxter
The Long Mars - Stephen Baxter
Thoughts: At first glance, gorgeous, but it keeps getting stranger the more I stare at it. Also, the title should be larger than the author’s names.

21. Sorority of Three: Freshman 101 – Melissa Brown
Sorority of Three - Melissa Brown
Thoughts: If your friends are making you pay dues, find better friends.

22. The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson
Bane Chronicles #1-10 - Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan & Maureen Johnson
Thoughts: Finally, they’re all out and put together and….I’m still not impressed. Magnus’ eyes are substantially different sizes I now see. And his hands and just no.

23. Monstrous Affection: An Anthology of Beastly Tales – Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, eds.
Monstrous Affection An Anthology of Beastly Tales - Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, eds.
Thoughts: The varying art styles are confusing my brain a bit, but the eyeless, furry black monster is indeed horrifying.

24. A Soul to Take (Soul Stealers Trilogy #1) – Emily Taylor
A Soul to Take - Emily Taylor
Thoughts: OH NO YOU DIIN’T. Soul Stealers, indeed.

25. In Her Wake (Ten Tiny Breaths #0.5) – K.A. Tucker
In Her Wake - K.A. Tucker

26. Last Second Chance – Caisey Quinn
Last Second Chance - Caisey Quinn
Thoughts: I feel like these people have even less of a grasp on math than I do.

27. We Will All Go Down Together – Gemma Files
We Will All Go Down Together - Gemma Files
Thoughts: Oh my god, I’m so creeped out by her throat, but I also have The Decemberists in my head, so definitely torn.

28. The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine #2) – James Dashner
The Rule of Thoughts (The Mortality Doctrine #2) - James Dashner
Thoughts: I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend. You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in, and if you do not want to see me again, I would understaaaaaaaaand.

29. The Hit List – Nikki Urang
The Hit List - Nikki Urang
Thoughts: Well, my body definitely doesn’t do that. O_o Though she’s either about to do a flip or going to fall over what with her angle to the floor.

30. Girls Day Out – Anna Banks
Girls Day Out – Anna Banks
Thoughts: Get in, bitch. We’re going swimming. Also, the lack of apostrophe after “Girls” makes me twitch because GRAMMAR and try to make this a verb thing. Like “the girls are daying out today. Awww, snap.”

31. Don’t Fall – Rachel Schieffelbein
Don't Fall - Rachel Schieffelbein
Thoughts: But DO put your hair all up in your face.

32. Rumble — Ellen Hopkins
Rumble -- Ellen Hopkins
Thoughts: When I think of rumbles, all I think is this.

33. Boomerang (Boomerang #1) – Noelle August
Boomerang - Noelle August
Thoughts: Okay, that’s kind of adorable, while also being the weirdest pose ever. Like, how about our date be doing headstands against this wall?

34. MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) – Hillary Monahan
The Summoning - Hillary Monahan
Thoughts: *hides and snuggles cat* I don’t like it at all but it’s also REALLY effective at creeping me the fuck out, so job well done I guess.

Cover Battles:

1. Rule (The Marked Men #1) – Jay Crownover

Rule (The Marked Men #1) - Jay Crownover US
Rule (The Marked Men #1) - Jay Crownover

US vs. UK: Okay, I actually like the US cover better, but I love that the UK cover is now making me think this book ends with the couple spontaneously combusting and taking their city with them.

2. Jet (The Marked Men #2) – Jay Crownover

Jet (The Marked Men #2) - Jay Crownover US
Jet (The Marked Men #2) - Jay Crownover

US vs. UK: It’s a good thing it’s what’s on the inside that counts, since I hate both of these covers.

3. The Ex Games – Jennifer Echols

The Ex Games - Jennifer Echols Original
The Ex Games - Jennifer Echols

US Original vs. US Redesign: Okay, so I must admit the original cover is super nostalgic, but the redesign was probably needed, especially since she’s so popular now. I mean, I’m more likely to pick up the original, which is all sassy, but I think the new one will be more popular.

4. Major Crush – Jennifer Echols

Major Crush - Jennifer Echols original
Major Crush - Jennifer Echols


5. Raising Steam (Discworld #40) – Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam (Discworld) - Terry Pratchett UK
Raising Steam (Discworld) - Terry Pratchett

UK vs. US: I like the US cover SO much more. The font color delights me.

6. Hild – Nicola Griffith

Hild - Nicola Griffith US
Hild - Nicola Griffith

US vs. UK: While I like both, I think I prefer the one with the drawn figure, but I’m just not sure.

7. Catherine – April Lindner

Catherine - April Lindner hardback
Catherine - April Lindner

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: I really don’t love either, but I guess I prefer the paperback, since the outfit on the hardcover makes me always sort of expect this to be about superheroes, which it is not.

8. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas UK
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas US paperback
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas Italian
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas German
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas Mexican
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas Turkish
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas Romanian
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) - Sarah J. Maas - Dutch

US Hardback vs. US Paperback vs. UK [end first row] vs. Italian vs. German vs. Mexican [end second row] vs. Turkish vs. Romanian vs. Dutch: Guys, try to choose the prettiest. Yes, it will hurt. I looove, the Dutch cover. I’m amazed they found a live model who looks so much like how I picture Celaena. I never would have thought it could rival the UK/US paperbacks, but wow.

9. Firecracker – David Iserson

Firecracker - David Iserson hardback
Firecracker - David Iserson

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: Looks like they really want to pull in readers based on his TV cred.

10. Forever, Interrupted – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid US
Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid Italian
Forever, Interrupted - Taylor Jenkins Reid German

US vs. Italian vs. German: For my part, definitely the German cover. I’m bored by the US one and the Italian is also quite generic.

WTF of the Week:

WTF of the Week began as a special category for one cover I saw, but was so popular it became a recurring feature. Here, I highlight covers, both new and old, that I’ve found, which, upon viewing, made me either snort or say something along the lines of “Dear God, what is that thing?” If you would like to be part of the fun and have spotted a truly hilarious or horrifying cover, submit it and your snark to and you might be included, though I will filter through submissions and limit the number of entries per week.

1. Eden Fading – Michael Barnett
Eden Fading - Michael Barnett
Thoughts: “When dancing with a pit bull, it’s always best to let him lead…” Chickawhuuuuut?

2. The Final Negotiation (Out for Souls & Cookies #5) – Elizabeth Guizzeth & Maria Masterson
The Final Negotiation (Out for Souls & Cookies #5) - Elizabeth Guizzeth & Maria Masterson

3. The Madonna of the Abattoir – Anne M. Pillsworth
The Madonna of the Abattoir - Anne M. Pillsworth
Thoughts: If I look at the bottom half of the cover, it’s fine, but WUT WUT WUT. I am horrified in so many different ways.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:


The Outstanding Cover of the Week is chosen by a Cover Snark reader. They are free to pick any of the week’s covers, whether they’re to my personal tastes or not. If you’d like to choose the cover for a week, either email or tweet me. You will need to be available Wednesday evening to consult.

Smart - Kim Slater

Today, welcome Debby (Snuggly Oranges), who has selected Smart by Kim Slater. Here’s why:

“My choice has to be Smart by Kim Slater. I mean, look at it! Look at the gorgeousness! The pretty pastel colors! The TYPOGRAPHY. The adorable illustrations! The COMPLETE jacket! I mean really! When I saw this on NetGalley I went absolutely nuts. It just has to be one of my favorite covers of all time. It was so gorgeous I spent two days feverishly refreshing Goodreads trying to find a book page for it – but it wasn’t there, SO I MADE IT MYSELF to remind myself of the gorgeous and, yes, to remember to buy it when it’s released. I don’t even really do crime fiction. EVER. BUT OMG IT’S SO PRETTY I MUST HAS IT.”

To learn more or purchase:Goodreads|Amazon|TBD

23 responses to “Cover Snark (96): The One with the Scary Madonna”

  1. Annie says:

    The Ex Games – I didn’t see the option to have the title spelled in a marching band formation until it was too late! 🙂

    Rule – I would like the UK cover better but I can’t handle the tag line with the different fonts.

    7 and 2 – totally pretty enough to get me interested in the books.
    Annie recently posted…Tattered Heart is now availableMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Major Crush – I like to get creative with my suggestions. :-p

      Rule – I don’t like either, but it’s not my sort of book either, so maybe that’s a good thing.

  2. 1. WOAH that is awesome! Reminds me of that guy that went over the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Also, looking at the book description, it features a CULT and a group of adrenaline junkies. WHAAAT?!?! *adds to TBR list*

    3. I looooooove it!!

    4. Your description is RIGHT ON.

    5. I… don’t like this title. It’s weird. Buuuut at the same time I clicked to read the description, so something must be working.

    32. I don’t understand this cover… is the title scratched on stained glass…

    34. SAME REACTION. I’m like, this is horrible but OH MY GOD and yessss this is a story I want to read haha.
    Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) recently posted…{Review} Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphyMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. So I didn’t read the blurb, but I want this now. You had me at CULT.

      3. Isn’t it perfection.

      5. Haha, I actually agree with that. I both hate it and am oddly intrigued by it.

      32. I think so, but whyyyy? Are they having a rumble in a cathedral?

      34. I don’t think I want to read it, but maybe if the reviews are good. :-p

  3. 1. I’m not afraid of heights, but that’s not something I would ever ever do! [and the blurb sounds pretty interesting too]
    3. The full jacket is great 😀
    6. Agreed, her boob looks weird.
    8. I’ve been looking at the bottom of the cover for a while and I seriously can’t see what’s going on there. What is that on the left side? A bag?
    11. Yes, my guess is a side braid!
    15. I like how the covers look together 🙂
    20. I’m not such a fan of the font, or the red color from the title. It clashes with the other colors.
    27. Iewl, that looks creepy.

    Throne of glass: really surprised how the Dutch cover turned out! Normally, they completely suck and make me feel ashamed. This is actually quite good 🙂 I have the UK versions and I think I prefer those, but they’re all looking good.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 242. Gabel & Klam – Elusion.My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. Nope. I could not do it, nor would I try.

      3. YESSSS.

      6. I think the bra’s the wrong size or something. It’s just strange.

      8. I think maybe sheets or a blanket wrapped around her naked lower half?

      20. The red color REALLY doesn’t work. And I think the purple’s a bit too bright and I am just not impressed with this sadly.

      If I spoke Dutch, I would totally have to buy the Dutch one.

  4. 1. This is going to give me a panic attack.
    11. Oh wow, this is gorgeous.
    13. HAHAHAHA. My first thought was of Assassin’s Creed.
    23. D:
    27. This is creepy and really really cool. Although I don’t appreciate being able to see up her nose.
    CB3. I would definitely pick the redesign over the original. In the first one it looks like they’re wearing socks in the snow.
    CB4: I dislike both.
    CB5: YOU GO, USA.
    CB8. My favourite is the UK one, because I love the blue. The Dutch one is pretty too, though!
    Amber @ Books of Amber recently posted…Hiatus: Amberica ’14My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. OH NO. Maybe don’t read this book or Panic. :-p

      13. I’ve heard of that, but not seen it.

      27. SO I guess you didn’t love the original Gilt cover?


      CB8: I’m between the US paperback and the Dutch cover. I loooove the shades of green and blue on the Dutch one.

  5. Bonnie says:

    1. Holy shit that’s terrifying.
    3. That full jacket is gorgeous! Really love illustrated book covers. It’s a lost art.
    6. That’s the only thing I noticed was that ugly ass bra. Is it too small? Lol What is going on there.
    7. Her prom dress is… molting?
    8. bahahaha
    11. My kid does that with her hair. Like a side-braid thing? I don’t understand lopsided hairstyles.
    13. Reminds me of that creepy guy from Prometheus.
    16. What is that thing next to the head? And why does it look like it’s picking its nose? Lol
    22. Not impressed. At all. His nails totally creep me out.
    26. Math skills. They’ve got ’em.
    31. A contemporary Rapunzel. huh

    Cover Battles
    1 and 2: I prefer the US covers but do like the title font of the UK ones.
    10. Okay, so, the German cover is awful only because I’ve read the book. Her new husband she’s been married to for a very short time gets hit by a bicycle and dies. LOL
    Bonnie recently posted…Audiobook Review – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodMy Profile

  6. Gillian says:

    1. I CAN BARELY LOOK AT THIS OMG I HATE HEIGHTS STOPPIT YOU IDIOT CHILD (Panic should have been something like this)

    2. ” The aftermath of mixing a red sock into the whites?” BWAHAHAHA

    3. Not in love with the colors but looooooove the art.

    7. KAIRYEN.

    8. BAHAHAHAAA. And yess, get thee some Orbit. Why are you exhaling exhaust fumes/dust/the Smoke Monster, woman?

    10. I LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! i am the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu!

    11. Ooo, that’s purty.


    15. These covers are always the prettiest.

    16. I have never seen Fairy Fae Faerie whateverie spelled that way.

    19. Aaaaaaand now I have an all day earworm, thank you. (But I love that song so it’s cool)

    20. It just looks like he’s showing off his manicure.

    24. Yeah, I was pretty sure that title was taken.

    25. “MerMAN. *cough cough* MerMAN!!!!”


    28. why do all the covers have heights on them oh my god

    30. *twitch*

    32. I like of boys circling each other warily and snapping their fingers to the beat. (I love that your references are my references and my references are your references and references)

    24. That is absolutely horrifying.

    CB1. I’ll take a cute guy over a pyromaniac eye.


    CB3. Aw, I like the sassy original.


    CB5. The US is SOOOO much better because there are no longer demon children on it (and yes, I mean the two in the back)

    CB8. These are all SOOOO PRETTEH (except the US HB) and I saw the Dutch cover on Tumblr and droooooled so gorge and so Celaena-like


    WTF2. O_o


    Ooo, I totally support Debby’s choice this week! If I go back and ponder, maybe I’d make a different choice, but I can’t fault her for hers!
    Gillian recently posted…Disney Princesses + BooksMy Profile

  7. Dana says:

    This one was so funny this week, Christina. You were on it for sure! LOL. Cover Snark makes my week.
    Dana recently posted…A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (Thoughts On)My Profile

  8. 1. Gah. Greenscreen, maybe? But I love it. Unique photography + simple fonts. Pretty!
    3. Love the colors. Love the illustrations. Just love! <3
    4. Definitely looks like a video game. Not a fan of the title fonts, but I love the photoshopping!
    5. Oh my God, haha! Loved your comments for this one. It's really disturbing, though. The colors don't work well together for me.
    7. Hahahaha! The dress is really pretty, though. I like the cover as a whole, though.
    10. Love Mushu! But this cover is really pretty. Simple but elegant.
    13. Love that photoshopping! Brilliant.
    15. Digging the art as well, but the fonts? No. Just no.
    22. Me no likey too.
    25. The more I look at this one the more disturbed I get. xD
    31. Hate the editing. And yes, this girl could use a comb.
    34. Love horror books and love this cover! Buuuut I'm a Christian so I can't deal with this topic. ~_~

    I've made my choices for the cover battles as well, haha! I'm surprised not a lot of people chose the Italian version of the Throne of Glass cover. It's the simplest and the most elegant, IMO. 🙂 And Smart definitely has an outstanding cover!
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  9. Angie F. says:

    1. You can’t even see the other end of the rope! OMG!

    15. Shins looks kinda bored, but I’m excited for this.

    23. Oh, that’s interesting!

    24. Booo!!!

    25. Uhh…what is this?!

    1-2. I really don’t like either, but I think the US probably fits better.

    3. Agreed.

    6. US.

    8. Ooh…I think I like the Turkish cover best!

    9. Paperback. It’s cute and pink!

    2. Evil puppies! Those are totally my babies.
    Angie F. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #122My Profile

  10. Lyn Kaye says:

    1. Awesome cover, however, it makes my stomach hurt from anxiety.
    4. Yes, and I love it! (I’m so easy when it comes to covers).
    14. BAD.ASS.
    15. I like that she has some awesome clothing, but the artwork isn’t focused on BEWBS. I approve!!
    16. *squeals like a girl* Love the cover – LOVE IT!
    34. ….holy Jeebus.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Blog Tour: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer–Guest Post and ReviewMy Profile

  11. Dione says:

    That first cover makes me think of Nik Wallenda sky walking the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls. I get woozy on high ladders but yet I can’t look away when he walks.

  12. 1. I was okay with this one until I notice the it looks like the rope just vanished…
    6. Her bra looks so painful…is it crushing her chest?!
    9. I hate this series’ covers, so weirdly placed and photo-shopped to hell and back.

    Cover Battles
    1&2: I don’t like either version of these, but I really hate the US. I really hate Jet though, he looks like he might join in with the Grease musical.
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  13. LisaAnn says:

    Hi Cover Snark! I’m the author of ESSENCE (Book #1), and I’m super excited to be included in your post. Thanks so much for the shout-out, and… Oh yeah. I totally get vertigo looking at the artwork, too. 😉

  14. 2. I can’t figure out why I like this, but I kinda do. Maybe it’s the techy lines, maybe it’s because they dare to use pink.

    5. Why is everyone going all “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” in their titles now? Okay, not EVERYONE, but still. But wow, the description. Ballerina blood feud!

    7. I feel like tapping her on the shoulder and going, “Um, lady. This is a river, not a lane. Also, the tide’s coming in and the fiddler crabs are coming. Get up.”

    13. Well hello, creepy man. Watcha up to?

    14. Oh wow. That’s got to be the worst case of pink eye I’ve ever seen.

    25. Is it just me or does his scrolly back tattoo say AGNOSTIC?

    29. This week seems to have some strong ballet undertones and I’m digging it.

    31. No. She risked her hair ties, too. And she lost. DUN DUN DUNNN.

    CB1 and 2. So this series in the MARKED MEN series but they choose to take off all the tattooed guys in favor of some chick’s half-face?
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  15. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    Ha! This is pretty funny. My 9yo daughter really hated that her hair was in her face, too. 😉

  16. Kayla Beck says:

    I obviously missed this cover snark. I was Googling #13 to see the cover better, and it brought me here. I have no idea why, but it scares the shit out of me.
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