Cover Snark (105): The One with the Stalking Clown


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 Walking-Stick Forest – Anna Tambour
The Walking-Stick Forest - Anna Tambour
Thoughts: This is like The Forest of Hands and Teeth, only more awesome.

2. Darkness Rises (Reign #0.5) – Lily Blake
Reign Darkness Rises - Lily Blake
Thoughts: Man, that crown is just excellently photoshopped in there. Also, apparently books based on TV shows are trying to be a thing again. INTERESTING.

3. King of the Mutants – Samantha Verant
King of the Mutants - Samantha Verant
Thoughts: Loathing, unadulterated loathing for your hair, your face, your clothing.

4. A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
Thoughts: I love the maps and the colors. I wonder if it’s important that the cape makes a V?

5. Stay with Me (Wait for You #3) – J. Lynn
Stay with Me - J. Lynn
Thoughts: *grumble grumble white people kissing grumble grumble why do you even have a pseudonym anyway grumble*

6. Say the Word – Julie Johnson
Say the Word - Julie Johnson
Thoughts: Arugala.

7. Beauty in the Ashes (Beautifully Broken #1) – Micalea Smeltzer
Beauty in the Ashes - Micalea Smeltzer
Thoughts: While I do like the idea of splashing up a bland new adult cover with some sexy paint play, I don’t feel like this is really working out for me, since, at first glance, it looks like she has a beard.

8. Athena’s Ashes (Star Thief Chronicles #2) – Jamie Grey
Athena's Ashes - Jamie Grey
Thoughts: Girl, get an expression of some sort.

9. Starry Night – Isabel Gillies
Starry Night - Isabel Gillies

10. The Crimson Gate (The Violet Hour #2) – Whitney A. Miller
The Crimson Gate - Whitney A. Miller
Thoughts: So much crimson. My eyes burn a bit from this.

11. The Contract – Derek Jeter
The Contract - Derek Jeter
Thoughts: Why does USA Today crop the covers like this? Whatever, fine. This is how to really impress people. But, honestly, this is boring anyway if you’re not into baseball, which I am not.

12. Fractured – Erin Hayes
Fractured - Erin Hayes
Thoughts: They did warn her that the teleporter wasn’t ready for human testing, but she really wanted to visit the creepy forest. Big mistake. Huge.

13. My Year of Epic Rock – Andrea Pyros
My Year of Epic Rock - Andrea Pyros
Thoughts: I will always have a soft spot for musical instruments and fun font. Also, fun colors! Middle grade win.

14. In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) – Alexandra Bracken
In the After Light (The Darkest Minds, #3) - Alexandra Bracken
Thoughts: Oh god, the chains. And the…gold thing. Moon? A moon that’s bleeding black blood and is nailed onto a weird red desert?

15. The Summer Sacrifice (Master Game #1) – Holly Hinton
The Summer Sacrifice - Holly Hinton
Thoughts: Fiery snake monument thing with bamf looking children and some flowers. I don’t know what’s happening, but I am intrigued.

Cover Battles:

1. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart hb
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart pb
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart

US Hardback vs. US 2009 Paperback vs. US Paperback Redesign: Solid redesign to update the cover to not look dated.

2. All the Truth That’s in Me — Julie Berry

All the Truth That's in Me - Julie Berry
All the Truth That's in Me -- Julie Berry

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: This doesn’t look like YA to me, more like a romance novel with a bit of a murder mystery component. I also don’t get it for the book, and I’m wondering if the flower petal is her missing tongue, which yuck.

3. Not Exactly a Love Story – Audrey Couloumbis

Not Exactly a Love Story - Audrey Couloumbis
Not Exactly a Love Story - Audrey Couloumbis

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: Now that’s a redesign. Fits the story perfectly and more immediately compelling to me.

4. Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) – Katie McGarry

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) - Katie McGarry
Crash into You - Katie McGarry

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: Zooming in has not increased my love of this cover. It’s even more obvious how old the guy is and now I am trying to decide what her expression conveys. Not sexiness for sure. And why is it flipped?

5. Random – Tom Leveen

Random - Tom Leveen
Random - Tom Leveen

Take 1 vs. Take 2: The new cover definitely gives more of an idea of the subject matter, though I did like the simplicity of the first take.

6. The Coincidence Authority – J.W. Ironmonger

The Coincidence Authority - J.W. Ironmonger cover
The Coincidence Authority - J.W. Ironmonger

Birds vs. Spinny Wheel: Okay, I’m really not sure what these covers are. I think the birds are a UK cover, and I don’t know which country the spinner is for. Anyway, I like both, though they’re very different.

7. The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

US vs. UK: The UK cover is on drugs but I love it.

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. The Seahorse Legacy (Eyes of E’veria #3) – Serena Chase
The Seahorse Legacy (Eyes of E'veria #3) - Serena Chase
Thoughts: Cheesiness sails on that green water.

2. Dream Stalkers (Shadow Watch #2) – Tim Waggoner
Dream Stalkers (Shadow Watch #2) - Tim Waggoner
Thoughts: Well, this just alienated the half of the population that’s scared of clowns.

3. Attack of the Aswang (Warden #3) – Kevin Hardman
Warden (Attack of the Aswang #3) - Kevin Hardman
Thoughts: Bleeeech. And as an added bonus, I couldn’t tell which was the series and which the book title.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:

A Darker Shade of Magic

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.

A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab

Today, welcome my dear college friend (and birthday twin) Steena (Fabled Orxata), who has selected A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Here’s why:

“I think I have to go with A Darker Shade of Magic. Starry Night is so pretty too.. I’m a sucker for minimalist color schemes and typography. Dat font. *swoon* The blend of modern and almost Victorian whimsy – the font, the coat/cape? – is so fetch.”

To learn more or purchase:Goodreads|Amazon|TBD

7 responses to “Cover Snark (105): The One with the Stalking Clown”

  1. 1. I love how the cover looks so creepy and evil and then the title: WALKING STICK FOREST. Like a forest you take a stroll through when you’re old and have a walking stick. So nice. OR MAYBE THAT’S WHERE THEY SEND YOU ON YOUR LAST WALK SO THE TREES CAN KILL YOU.

    3. JESUS CHRIST. I flinched when his mug came onto the screen.

    4. THE V IS AN ILLUMINATI SYMBOL. (Not really, but you pointing that out and her last adult book being titled Vicious made me think things.)

    5. *grumbles with you in pretty much the exact same words*

    6. Yeaaaaaah, secrets about dead white girls you saw in the woods? Not good secrets to keep.

    7. Every time I see the words “Beautiful” or “Broken” attached to an NA novel, I die a little inside and consider taking a shot for each instance when I turn 21. However, that would kill me.

    8. It’s telling that you noticed her expression first and I noticed her nails. GIRL, LET ME DO YOUR MANICURE. BASIC BLACK IS BORING AS SHIT.

    13. I’m arguing with myself over whether or not the girl is white, but I don’t think she is. Even better!

    14. Misfiiiiiiiiire. Any cover for an anticipated book that makes people go “…oh” or “huh?” when they look at it is a bit of a fail.

    15. Five cool-looking kids and they’re all so white.


    2. I agree the new cover looks like a romance cover and is really weird, but at the same time, I like it more. Eerie. I don’t know how a flower manages to be more eerie than a creepy-looking girl with a slash across her face, but it does.


    1. I need to find a photo of the guy model ASAP because his expression is my life. He looks like he’s thinking a deadpan “Really?” and I could use that face to respond to sooooooo many things online.


    3. Oh hey, the monster has armor like a lady in a fantasy game! Well, less armor, more cloth tightly tied to cover the boobies even though the coverage is so bad it might just be better to go naked.

  2. Gillian says:

    1. Ooooooooh thought I see no walking sticks but that’s probably a good thing

    3. Let’s just say– I LOATHE IT ALL.

    4. I wish I liked this more 🙁

    6. Grass-stains.



    14. *pretends this doesn’t exist*


    CB1. Eh, I like the original the best, but the last is good too. MIDDLE IS HORRIBLE.

    CB2. EW.

    CB3. YESSS much better even though I wish I could vote for “not exactly an awesome cover” because hahahaha

    CB4. ZOOMING IN AND SWITCHING PLACES THAT HURT MY EYES FOR A SECOND and they are staring at each other like they just came out of deep comas to find themselves making out and are like… “who are you? How did I get here? Why are you do old?”

    CB5. These just aren’t my style.

    CB6. THESE are more my style.

    WTF1. His soul patch stripe is making my day.


    WTF3. ATTACK OF THE ASWANG which I read dirtily of course
    Gillian recently posted…BEA Top Priority booksMy Profile

  3. Angie F. says:

    2. I am totally interested even if this cover isn’t interesting at all.

    5. Agreed.

    7. The first thing I notice were her claws.

    1. Definitely new redesign.

    2. Hardcover.

    3. Paperback! That’s cute. 🙂

    4. Uhh…hardcover probably.

    5. Take 1.

    6. The spinny wheel! It’s colorful.

    7. UK because it’s colorful!
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: Glimpse (The Dean Curse Chronicles, #1) by Steven WhibleyMy Profile

  4. 1. I like the covers from They are also very easy to recognize.
    4. I like it. So detailed and black/red is always a pretty color combination.
    15. I approve. I love how they all look bad-ass expect for the right girl with her questioning face.

    Redesign 3. Example that redesigns can turn out better.
    6. Two very different covers, but I like both of them. I would buy the spinning wheel though.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Let it go #2. 2x MG and The Boleyn bride.My Profile

  5. 1. Hello, Tor, my old cover friend.

    4. I love love love this cover. So pretty.

    6. Why is the blurb in quotes? I don’t like it. QUOTES DO NOT MAKE IT LESS BORING, PUBLISHER!

    7. She’s got like a blue Rudolph thing going on.

    9. For a second I thought the titles was Isabel Gillies Starry Night and was frowning over the lack of an apostrophe.

    13. At first I thought she had braces and it made me smile. Sad, no braces.
    Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The Room recently posted…Ah’ll Be BahckMy Profile

  6. Lyn Kaye says:


    3……the fuck?

    15. Oh, I do love that cover….
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: This One SummerMy Profile

  7. LG says:

    CB #1 – I know they are helpful to those looking for award winning/nominated books, but I can’t be the only person who despises award medals on covers. They’re distracting, and they also inspire the knee-jerk reaction I’ve had, since maybe middle school, to avoid those books like the plague. The award medals scream “this is good for you!,” and it feels like someone has shoved a plate of steamed vegetables in my face and told me I must eat them and love them.
    LG recently posted…Pandora Hearts (anime TV series), via CrunchyrollMy Profile

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