Cover Snark (232): The Exact Location of Snark

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!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions of the covers in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here.

Shiny and New:

1. A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) – Deanna Raybourn

Thoughts: Every time I see these covers, I want to fork over all my money.

2. The Exact Location of Home – Kate Messner

Thoughts: This kid is HUGE.

3. Reign of Outlaws (Robyn Hoodlum #3) – Kekla Magoon

Thoughts: It’s really hard to look like a dangerous rebel in a beret.

4. Last Chance (Rains #2) – Gregg Hurwitz

Thoughts: I think thriller covers might be the worst covers.

5. Autonomous – Annalee Newitz

Thoughts: Thing Addams has gotten a modern upgrade.

6. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) – Orson Scott Card

Thoughts: Sorry not sorry about lacking the motivation to go through all the Ender redesigns. I’m annoyed by how beautiful this edition is.

7. A Tale of Two Kitties (A Magical Cat Mystery #9) – Sofie Kelly

Thoughts: Ameowzing.

8. City of Lies (Counterfeit Lady) – Victoria Thompson

Thoughts: I feel like maybe I shouldn’t but I absolutely love this. The shiny gold and fabulous outfit are Christina crack.

9. A Strange Scottish Shore (Emmeline Truelove #2) – Juliana Gray

Thoughts: That shore looks pretty idyllic tbh.

10. Whispers of Warning (A Change of Fortune Mystery #2) – Jessica Estevao

Thoughts: Aside from the “did I just step in poop?” pose, I love this.

11. Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway #1) – Jennifer Ashley

Thoughts: I want that wallpaper on everything.

12. The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life #2) – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Thoughts: This art is the style of the puzzles I always did as a kid which had rustic farm scenes.

13. Digging for Trouble (The Devlin Quick Mysteries #2) – Linda Fairstein

Thoughts: Look at that adorable little middle grade ship that probably isn’t a ship.

14. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole – Michelle Cuevas

Thoughts: ADORBS. That puppy! The black hole!

15. Saving Marty – Paul Griffin

Thoughts: It’s no pig deal.

16. All’s Faire in Middle School – Victoria Jamieson

Thoughts: Terrenfic.

17. Kit Meets Covington (Ride #1) – Bobbi JG Weiss

Thoughts: My childhood self demands this show and novelization IMMEDIATELY.

18. Never Say Die (Alex Rider) – Anthony Horowitz

Thoughts: Geez, kid, you can’t go two missions at a time? I guess it’s true boys can’t multitask.

19. Debutantes & Daggers (Rebel Belle #1-2) – Rachel Hawkins

Thoughts: A girl looks like Taylor Swift. And like she’s very much not actually holding that dagger.

20. Ruby & Olivia – Rachel Hawkins

Thoughts: Their neck roots freak me out, but it’s really artistically fabulous.

21. The Fall of the Readers (The Forbidden Library #4) – Django Wexler

Thoughts: This library has a very tolerant policy towards animals.

22. Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan (Addison Cooke #2) – Jonathan W. Stokes

Thoughts: Min-diana Jones.

23. The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2) – Emily R. King

Thoughts: That title font is aggressively boring, but the fire actually looks good, so it’s a pass.

24. Fraternize (Players Game #1) – Rachel Van Dyken

Thoughts: So I actually read the blurb, and it’s about a plus size cheerleader. This is basically how I feel about ANTM when they talk about the “plus size” girls.

25. Beyond the Doors – David Neilsen

Thoughts: I love how the girls are absolutely going to enter and the boy is terrified and trying to sneak away.

26. The Perfect Score – Rob Buyea

Thoughts: Clever cover concept, though our scantrons were absolutely not that color and google seems to indicate they probably still aren’t.

27. Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw (Sam London #1) – Todd Calgi Gallicano

Thoughts: Will I ever tire of covers where the girl is being a badass and protecting the boy? Absolutely not.

28. Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #3) – Chris Grabensteinc

Thoughts: Oh chute.

Cover Battles:

1. Book of a Thousand Days – Shannon Hale

US Hardback vs. US Original Paperback vs. US Redesigned Papebrack: Well, I’ll definitely be trying this one again now.

2. A War of Gifts (Ender’s Saga #5) – Orson Scott Card

US Original vs. US 2017 Redesign: Usually redesigns many years later easily destroy the competition but yeah wow the old one’s better (for me – vote your thoughts obvs).

3. The Lost Plot (Invisible Library #4) – Genevieve Cogman

UK vs. US: With how fantastical these books are, I find the staid covers a bit puzzling tbh. That said, this is my fave by far of the US covers so far.

4. Bronx Masquerade – Nikki Grimes

US Original vs. US Redesign: I super love this actually. A+ redesign.

5. The Dust of 100 Dogs – A.S. King

US Original vs. US Redesign: Oooh, tough choice since they’re the same concept executed a bit differently. I’m partial to the original with the solid skull.

6. Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: The new cover makes it look like a really dark Goldilocks and the Three Bears retelling.

7. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee – Mary G. Thompson


8. The Best Man – Richard Peck

US Hardback vs. US Paperback: Hmmmm, the hardback is more my style, but I feel like the paperback’s a bit more cohesive maybe? Idk. Indecisive Christina is indecisive.

9. The Girl Who Saved Christmas – Matt Haig

UK vs. US: The American one is so clearly Tim Burton, and the UK is not and I wonder which vibe is the right one,

10. The Chocopocalypse – Chris Callaghan

UK vs. German vs. US: What a way to go. Though the US cover people are unfortunate af.

11. The Sands of Shark Island (The School Ship Tobermory #2) – Alexander McCall Smith

Scottish vs. US: I love how the title is vaguely sharky on the US cover, though they could have gone a wee bit further with that.

12. Beyond Infinity (The Imagination Box #2) – Martyn Ford

UK vs. US: TFW you want to quote Disney but need to avoid copyright issues.

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?”

1. Deeper Than Shame – Esther Elizabeth Pearl

Thoughts: Someone should be ashamed, that’s for sure.

2. Resurrection of Sin (Hidden Souls #1) – J.P. Uvalle

Thoughts: If poor cover design is a sin, I suppose this counts.

3. Bryce (Galactic Defenders #1) – Jessica E. Subject

Thoughts: Doesn’t knowing Bryce is out there defending the universe make you feel so safe?

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