Cover Snark (101): The One Where I Wonder What They Need Such Good Eyesight for Anyway


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. The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black
The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black
Thoughts: NGL, this forest looks pretty light and friendly.

2. Firefight (Reckoners #2) – Brandon Sanderson
Firefight (The Reckoners #2) - Brandon Sanderson
Thoughts: Is that a volcano in the sky? Fire blasting through a cape? A wormhole? I am not sure what’s happening. It’s like Divergent only MORE sky nonsense and less city.

3. Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) – Michelle Madow
Diamonds in the Rough - Michelle Madow
Thoughts: I must find this one. This diamond in the rough.

4. Intoxicated (Billionaire Bachelors Club #3.5) – Monica Murphy
Intoxicated - Monica Murphy
Thoughts: He’s been trying to get that buttoned for a half hour. BUTTONING IS HARD WHEN DRUNK, OKAY.

5. The Rift (Rootless #2) – Chris Howard
The Rift (Rootless #2) - Chris Howard
Thoughts: Ouch, doesn’t match the original and it looks like a couple of paper dolls are standing in a radioactive landfill that was once an ocean.

6. Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) – Christina Lauren
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) - Christina Lauren
Thoughts: Dirty boy? Turn the hose on him. Then go date someone with a sense of hygiene that won’t break your stuff or stinkify your home.

7. Hard to Hold On To (Hard Ink #2.5) – Laura Kaye
Hard to Hold On To (Hard Ink #2.5) - Laura Kaye
Thoughts: Hmmm, it does look like they slathered that guy in oil. That might make him rather slippery.

8. Finding Her Way Back – Heather van Fleet
Finding Her Way Back - Heather van Fleet
Thoughts: I’m mostly just thinking about how human feet are weird and how annoying that font is.

9. He Found Me – Whitney Barbetti
He Found Me - Whitney Barbetti
Thoughts: Apparently this is called a bokeh effect. More like bokUGH.

10. Girl on a Wire – Gwenda Bond
Girl on a Wire - Gwenda Bond
Thoughts: Oooh, illustrated, vaguely menacing, with a cool art style. J’approve.

11. Protecting Lyndley (US Marshal Series #1) – Amanda Bennett
Protecting Lyndley - Amanda Bennett
Thoughts: Nice protection. We now know what Lyndley looks like, what her name is, and how she signs her name. Her identity is clearly in good hands.

12. The Revenge of Seven (Loren Legacies #5) – Pittacus Lore
The Revenge of Seven (Loren Legacies #5) - Pittacus Lore
Thoughts: These covers are so fucking boring. But at least this one doesn’t have any bugs on it.

13. Waltz on the Wild Side (Dancing under the Stars #2) – Alana Albertson
Waltz on the Wild Side - Alana Albertson
Thoughts: NGL, I have a soft spot in my heart for ballroom dancing covers. I blame Strictly Ballroom.NGL, I have a soft spot in my heart for ballroom dancing covers. I blame Strictly Ballroom.

14. How We Deal with Gravity – Ginger Scott
How We Deal with Gravity - Ginger Scott
Thoughts: Gravity is petrified of dandelions. They confuse it.

15. UnWritten – Chelsea M. Cameron
UnWritten - Chelsea M. Cameron
Thoughts: I find the combination of the title Unwritten with the handwriting overlay puzzling. Like, I’m pretty sure it IS written. There it is, RIGHT THERE. Gosh, title, sort yourself out.

16. He + She – Michelle Warren
He + She - Michelle Warren
Thoughts: *shrugs* Not a big fan of the plus sign in the title, which seems like it could make searching for the book annoying, but otherwise garden variety kissing + lens flare.

17. Spark – Rachael Craw
Spark - Rachael Craw
Thoughts: This girl is going the way of Daphne chased by Apollo.

18. Saint Odd (Odd Thomas #7) – Dean Koontz
Saint Odd An Odd Thomas Novel by Dean Koontz
Thoughts: See, he’s floating! Totes a saint. Or the future’s designed hovershoes.

19. The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych #1) – John Joseph Adams & Hugh Howey, eds.
The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych #1) - John Joseph Adams & Hugh Howey
Thoughts: Though apparently the end of apocalyptic fiction isn’t remotely nigh.

20. Sidekick – Auralee Wallace
Sidekick - Auralee Wallace
Thoughts: Dear sidekick, I’m sorry you’re so bored, but, tell me, where did you get those boots? I require them. Save me from my sub-par footwear.

21. The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell
Thoughts: What is in the middle of the cloud spiral thing? An apple? I basically have no idea what is happening with any of this tbh.

22. Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) – Heather Demetrios
Exquisite Captive - Heather Demetrios
Thoughts: *sighs* Well, points for the POC and the bracelet, but it’s a model in thinker pose with not particularly enthusing font, so I can only be so excited.

23. Beautiful Oblivion (Maddox Brothers #1) – Jamie McGuire
Beautiful Oblivion - Jamie McGuire
Thoughts: Like five peacocks had to die, just so the cover could look that stupid.

24. Of Bone and Thunder – Chris Evans
Of Bone and Thunder - Chris Evans
Thoughts: Daenerys Targaryen is going to be hella pissed when she realizes one of her dragons has flown off.

25. The Storyspinner (The Keepers’ Chronicles #1) – Becky Wallace
The Storyspinner (The Keeper's Chronicles #1) - Becky Wallace
Thoughts: I want this to be about a lady Robin Hood, like that movie that starred young Keira Knightley.

26. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda #6) – Tom Angleberger
Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus (Origami Yoda #6) - Tom Angleberger
Thoughts: Pickletine sounds like Ovaltine, only pickle flavor instead of chocolate.

27. Temptation in Shadows – Gena Showalter
Temptation in Shadows - Gena Showalter
Thoughts: TBH, it looks more like he’s in fire than shadows.

28. Descent – Kallie Ross
Descent - Kallie Ross
Thoughts: Yeah, decent is a good word for it. Until that moment I notice the face in the green part. Nooooope.

29. Dirty Rush – Taylor Bell
Dirty Rush - Taylor Bell
Thoughts: Yeah, I can totally see the appeal of the Greek system. *rolls eyes vigorously*

30. Promposal – Rhonda Helms
Promposal - Rhonda Helms
Thoughts: That is so Grease I can’t even. Like, tell me more tell me more.

31. A Is for Abstinence (V Is for Virgin #2) – Kelly Oram<
A Is for Abstinence - Kelly Oram
Thoughts: It’s kind of like he’s subtly flipping off whoever made him appear on this cover.

32. Stupid Girl – Cindy Miles
Stupid Girl - Cindy Miles
Thoughts: Supposedly she’s stupid, but she can apparently conjure light, so I don’t know that I am buying that.

33. Tales of the Great Beasts (Spirit Animals #0.5) – Brandon Mull and Others
Tales of the Great Beasts (Spirit Animals #) - Brandon Mull and Others
Thoughts: One of these beasts is not as great as the others.

34. Weirdos vs. Bumskulls – Natasha Desborough
Weirdos vs. Bumskulls - Natasha Desborough
Thoughts: This is in the style of a graphic novel I adore, so I am positively disposed to this cover.

35. Normally This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness – Danielle Fishel
Normally This Would Be Cause for Concern Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness - Danielle Fishel
Thoughts: With the new show, apparently a book is needed to promote it. But her dress is delightful, so nice work, I guess, even if she appears to have spilled on it.

36. War of the Romance – Tara Sivec & C.C. Woods
War of the Romance - Tara Sivec & C.C. Woods
Thoughts: Because lying to each other is very romantic.

Cover Battles:

1. Clariel (Abhorsen #4) – Garth Nix

Clariel - Garth Nix
Clariel ( #4) - Garth Nix

US vs. Australian: My pick is the US for sure, unless Clariel is about a statue that fights people.

2. Wildlife (Six Impossible Things/Wildlife #2) – Fiona Wood

Wilder Sommer - Fiona Wood
Wildlife - Fiona Wood AUS
Wildlife - Fiona Wood

German vs. Australian vs. US: In a strange turn of events, none of these is terrible. Slight preference to the US cover, maybe.

3. The Year of the Rat – Claire Furniss

The Year of the Rat - Clare Furniss
The Year of the Rat - Claire Furniss

UK vs. US: It’s official. If I decide I want this, I’m ordering the UK cover, because hell naw ours is not nearly so pretteh.

4. Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) - Brandon Sanderson

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: Okay, I do not get this redesign. I thought it might be more overtly superheroish, but it’s actually just cheesier. Then again, the book was cheesier than anticipated, so maybe the cheery shades of blue and the heart-shaped rip in the sky are appropriate.

5. Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks #5) – Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Breathe, Annie, Breathe – Miranda Kenneally
Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks #5) - Miranda Kenneally

Take 1 vs. Take 2 vs. Take 3: Okay, Sourcebooks. This is getting a bit ridiculous. It still doesn’t match the others, but yet again an improvement. Apparently it is just too hard to put grass on a cover.

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. Carrots (Shelby Nichols #1) – Colleen Helme
Carrots - Colleen Helme
Thoughts: Anya always takes carrots with her, so that, if her rivals launch a bunny attack, she can throw them to the side and get away while the bunny hordes much the carrots.

2. Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History – Florence Williams
Breasts - Florence Williams
Thoughts: This cover is such a boob.

3. Fighting for Infinity (Kindrily #3) – Karen Amanda Hooper
Fighting for Infinity (Kindrily #3) - Karen Amanda Hooper
Thoughts: What’s REALLY sad about this is the rest of the series’ covers, while not amazing, were totally decent. This, though is simply awful and craugh inducing.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:

Girl on a Wire

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.

Girl on a Wire - Gwenda Bond

Today, welcome Kara (Great Imaginations), who has selected Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond. Here’s why:

“Obviously I love illustrated colors. But I love how the black plays off the red to bring it out more. I love how eerie yet whimsical it seems at the same time. The eyes!! Basically, I want this on my shelf.”

To learn more or purchase:Goodreads|Amazon|TBD

19 responses to “Cover Snark (101): The One Where I Wonder What They Need Such Good Eyesight for Anyway”

  1. Oh yes, some fantastic covers here! I have to agree, I think that beautiful Oblivion cover is just so not working at all, it looks terrible! My favourites this week have to be Girl on a Wire, like Kara, because it’s just beautiful, the more I look at it, the more I see some small detail, and I love circus themed books, so this book has hit my to-read like a shot! I also love the cover for Spark, but the premise sounds mundane and lackluster, so I doubt I’ll be picking it up, and finally, I love the sound of Sidekick although that cover looks like a very bad rip off of Dark Star, I’m willing to give the premise a go, so I’ll keep an out for that 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Who Wore It Better #8My Profile

  2. 1. Neat! But I agree, very light. Also, that blue butterfly seems to be popular on covers. There are quite a few plant-themed covers out this year, though. Interesting trend!

    5. Don’t really like anything except the Northern Lights in the sky. Definitely looks like a radioactive landfill that was once an ocean.

    10. Love love love! Cool art style. WOAH just noticed the eyes in the curtain!

    14. On one hand… I like it. On the other… I feel like I could have easily made this cover in Picnik.

    15. LOL, this reminds me of like a 90s book cover.

    17. Intriguing. I have no idea what it is about based on the cover, but it pulls me in. I like that there is a lot of negative space.

    26. How did this not make WTF covers, haha?!
    Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) recently posted…{Review} After the Storm (Angel Island #2) by Marie LandryMy Profile

  3. LG says:

    #30 – I know we’re probably supposed to be paying attention to the guy and the girl on the left, but I can’t help but focus on the two guys on the right. Who else thinks they can’t wait for the other couple to leave so they can stop studiously ignoring each other and ask each other to the prom?
    LG recently posted…Killing the Kordovas (e-book) by Kathryn LivelyMy Profile

  4. So much laughing! Also, I totally want to read Girl in a Wire! And under excited for Saint Odd even when the covers are meh.

  5. Anya says:

    *clings to original Steelheart cover and pretends new one doesn’t exist* Firefight matches the original fine enough for me, so from now on I will not acknowledge the existence of the redesign 😉
    Anya recently posted…In the Shadows and The Door GiveawayMy Profile

  6. 1. Pretty, although I’m not a fan of the font for her name.
    3. These covers are so boring..
    10. Cool, but why those eyes at the top? They are staring at me.
    11. I don’t like the cover, but what a pretty girl.
    17. It’s strange, but it would catch my eyes in the store.
    25. The effect is a little annoying if you look to long.

    5 redesign: it’s starting to get better. I like the latest design. The second looks like a bad thriller. The first is just.. no.
    3 worst covers: WOW, what went wrong here..
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Early Review 253. Kimberly Derting – The taking.My Profile

  7. Breasts got my attention. Who chose that? Thanks for the laugh. You’ve got me thinking very hard about covers. What works. What doesn’t.

  8. Meg says:


    Real comment TBD

  9. Rachel says:

    Covers I wouldn’t mind on my bookshelf: 1, 17, 23, 25 and 28. I’m kinda loving 25 actually, not the font though. Is it just me or has number 6 just copied the Dirty Dancing font for the “Dirty” bit??

  10. Gillian says:

    1. I know it doesn’t look that dark, but I kind of really like this.

    2. Whatever.


    8. If you ever try to draw feet you will realize how TRULY WEIRD AND STUPIDLY EVILLY FORMED THEY ARE and why i do not like covers with feet on them or feet in general

    10. Ooooo I liiiiike

    12. That gradient font is some suuuuuper shittery.


    15. Staring at the black page before you open up the dirty window let the sun illumiNATE THE WORDS THAT YOU CANNOT FIND

    17. This is kind of really cool but I also sort of hate it so I’m mostly terribly confused

    23. Heeeee


    26. Um, ew.

    28. Omg this WAS totally descent until floaty face nope nope

    30. This would be cute if they weren’t so OBVIOUSLY photoshopped onto those bleachers.

    CB1. Whaaaaat is up with that Clariel?!?! US by a MILE.

    CB3. Whyyyy wouldn’t you keep that awesome Calder mobile cover?!!?

    CB5. *gives up*

    WTF1. CARROTS!!!!!!!!


    Good choice, Kara!
    Gillian recently posted…Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne BlankmanMy Profile

  11. Lynn K. says:

    12. The Revenge of Seven – You should have seen the other edition. LIZARDS CRAWLING ALL OVER D:

    4. Steelheart – WHYYYYYY

    3. Fighting for Infinity – WHAT. The girl with the feathered hair is actually pretty interesting…if well done. But the rest… :/

  12. 1. Yeah, I’m just not feeling it. Reminds me of In The After, actually.

    2. Ew no. No no no. Too much nonsense. (And if I’M saying no to fire, you know something’s wrong.)

    9. Look, unless he’s a creepy stalker, “He found me” doesn’t fill me with much emotion. But if he IS a creepy stalker, DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!

    10. Okay, this is acceptable. [Sidenote: Oooooh I was so excited until I found out this is a Romeo and Juliet story. Bleck.]

    14. How we deal with gravity? We, uh, don’t stand on the edge of tall things or make precariously high stacks?

    17. Awww, Greek mythology reference. I like you.

    24. DRAGON DRAGON DRAGON DRAGON [Sidenote: Wow, that synopsis is really crummy. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL STORY, SYNOPSIS WRITER?!]

    29. *gag*

    CB1. Dude, are there AUTOMATONS in these books?!

    CB4. This entire cover is like that Amy Poehler GIF. “Lower your expectations!”

    WTF1. I… What?

    WTF2. Oh my gosh, I actually shelved this book when I worked at BAM! I laughed for a good five minutes and then dragged all my coworkers over to look.
    Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room recently posted…Cover Love #53My Profile

    • I’ll have you know, there *is* a creepy stalker in my novel. The title has two meanings. So yes, DUN DUN DUNNNNN indeed! 😉

      Thanks for sharing my cover, even if it was just to poke fun at it!

  13. Okay I SWEAR #6 is a picture of Jensen Ackles. THE SCRUFF. (Or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Supernatural…)

    #12 – Oh god there’s FIVE?? I’m never starting that series. Although it does look like there’s a rose in the grass… Or just a very weird, hugely mutated paw print.

    #20 looks like the Phantom of the Opera went assassin. Though those are some pretty nice boots…

    #21 Is making me dizzy

    #31 IS THIS JENSEN ACKLES WEEK??? This time it’s the lips – am I going crazy??

    THE HELL HAPPENED TO STEELHEART. DAMMIT NOW I HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER COPY. It doesn’t look remotely super-hero now at all. shitshitshitihateredesigns

    Fighting for Infinity reminds me of the first time someone handed me photoshop… Yeesh
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Discussion: What It’s Like to be a Mood ReaderMy Profile

  14. I totally agree with the new Beautiful Oblivion book…really peacock feathers?
    Also as I’m against the new Steelheart redesign, I loathe mid series redesign because now my shelf looks jacked up and they have no plans to put the new one out in hardcover. *flips table…then beats book with table* If didn’t notice this stresses me out in a big way.

    WTF 2: BAHA!
    WTF 3: This cover is so horrible. None of the overlay images even go together
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Review: Deception’s Princess by Esther Freisner (Giveaway)My Profile

  15. 2. So now Divergent is the cover design everyone is going to rip off instead of The Hunger Games or Twilight?


    5. Nope, doesn’t match one little bit. Such things happen when going from pubbing the first book with Scholasic to self-pubbing the second. I was surprised by that little twist, seeing as Rootless was a BEA Buzz book and even most of those don’t flop quite this hard.

    10. Agreed! I’m not going to read it even though it sounds really interesting, but that cover. *drools* (The author has burned me twice before, so no more.)

    17. If a tree on campus ever starts turning into a person like this, I’m running like hell. No wonder some people kept getting scared during that race when someone got up in the tree and kept shouting “YOU GO RUNNER, TREE SUPPORTS YOU.”

    22. I love this except I hate it. Someone forgot to turn off the blue filter they were playing with and it hurts my eyes something fierce to look at all the bad blue. If that weren’t there or were less intense, I’d be so into this cover. I honestly thought something had gone wrong with my computer when I first saw it and it was overdosing images with blue.


    32. Maybe she’s stupid because she’s conjuring the light where someone can take a picture of it?

    3. I’m actually pretty into the US cover because I like flowers and pink and all that. (I’m the reason our toy aisles are still covered in pink and chick lit books have limited cover palates.) (No wait, no I’m not. It’s the fault of those idiots who think five of us choosing the pink, flowery cover means the other 3.5 billion of us want that too.)

    5. You think they’ll get back to a design that matches the first four if we keep telling them to keep trying? Third redesign is the charm and we’ve already gotten two!

  16. Angie F. says:

    3. His name is Aladdin. 😛

    8. Human feet are disgusting.

    23. I love peacock feathers! But this cover makes zero sense.

    25. This kind of makes me dizzy.

    1. US

    2. German. I like the colors.

    3. Definitely UK.

    4. Neither really….

    5. I still like Take 1, it’s cute.

    1. So weird! Although I did just read a book where the MC was a bunny shifter. 🙂

    2. I was very tempted to add this to my to-read when I first saw it.

    3. More peacock feathers! But whyyyy?!
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: Firespell (The Dark Elite, #1) by Chloe NeillMy Profile

  17. Annie says:

    6 – totally looks like a Chris Evans silhouette.

    11 – hahhaha. a) that’s hilarious and made me laugh. b) I’ve had that moment but feel like sharing how and when and where just makes it all so much worse 🙂

    13 – I love Strictly Ballroom. “Feeeel the rhythm!”

    The US cover of Clariel for sure – if for no other reason than the dragon.

    WTF #1 – I was so excited about the Anya reference in the title and then I got distracted by the covers until I got to that one and it all came back around 🙂
    Annie recently posted…putting plot through the pacesMy Profile

  18. Bonnie says:

    1. Definitely should have left the cute butterfly off.
    2. Totally reminds me of Divergent, especially with that city scene at the bottom.
    6. Ew, cooties.
    8. Ew, feet.
    10. Love the creepy eyeballs in the curtains.
    17. I have no idea what’s going on with this chick but I think I like it.
    18. I vote for hovershoes.
    20. Is she going for the ‘Man in the Iron mask’ look?
    24. hahahaha She totally is. I kinda love this though.
    28. That was almost a cool cover. Why the face???!!

    Cover Battles
    4. I never cared for the original but I really don’t care for the redesign. You’re right. Definitely more corny.
    Bonnie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Movies/Shows and their Literary CounterpartsMy Profile

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