Top Ten Tuesday: Book Cover Trends I Like and Dislike

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging feature where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make.

his week’s list is book cover trends (or elements of book covers) that you like and/or dislike. I decided to do both, so my first five will be trends I dislike and the second five will be trends I do like. None of these judgments have anything to do with the content of the books. For the moment I am just talking about their packaging. (I haven’t actually read all the books included in this list)

Dislike:

#1 – Overly Dramatic Expressions on Models. I feel that in general models are not necessary in covers, but sometimes they do work. But if the model looks overly dramatic it can kind of turn me off of the book. Main Offenders: The Goddess Test.

#2 – A Very High Hue/Saturation Level. You know those books where it looks like they made the saturation as high as possible or used one of the more… colorful Instagram filters on the picture? Yeah, I hate those. Please no. Main Offenders: CroakCity of Bones.

#3 – Bad Typography. I don’t bash fonts often, so I mean this in the most loving way, but sometimes certain fonts just don’t work. They’re to skinny or too flowery or I don’t even know why they look off but they just don’t work, and sometimes can make the book cover look very cheap.
Images Overlaid on Other Images. Occasionally this can look okay, (I think Entangled pulled this off for the most part) but most of the time, it’s just no. Please no. Main Offenders: Vampire Academy.

#4 – Shirtless Models. This just kinda screams stereotypical Romance to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with romance novels, it’s just… Kinda unnecessary. Main Offenders: City of Bones.

Like:

#5 – Illustrations. Ever since I started reading more YA than Middle Grade, I have read so many less books with illustrations on the cover. I really think illustrations are beautiful and can give you the best idea of what the book is even before you read the back. At least they are still common in Middle Grade fiction. Good Job: The School of Good and EvilThe Lost PlanetCinder.

#6 – Typography. I love typography when it’s done right. Most of the packaging I think looks best is just nice looking font work, and books are no different. Good Job: Promise of ShadowsThe End or Something Like ThatShadow and Bone.

#7 – Models/Illustrated People When Their Features Are Shadowed or Not Shown. Like I have already mentioned, models can work on book covers even though it’s not my favorite thing, and one of those times where they work is when their features and not shown. I also like when the main features of illustrated characters are not shown, such as if they have their back turned or something like that. Good Job: The Split SecondFalse MemoryThe Secret WarThe Battle of the Labyrinth.

#8 – Symbolic Covers. I love when covers feature some sort of symbol on the cover, especially when it seems abstract at first but comes to mean something about the book in an understated way. Good Job: The LoopThe Hunger GamesInsignia.

#9 – Scenery. I love photography or landscapes and such, so of course I also like scenery on book covers. Good Job: Every DayThe Maze Runner.

May 2014 Wrap-Up

I didn’t post really anything during the second half of the month. Bout of Books really too it out of me reading and blogging wise, (Maybe Read-a-thons aren’t really my thing?), and I was really blindsided by the ending of the third Skulduggery Pleasant book. I couldn’t seem to put together my thoughts for that review, so I just didn’t didn’t write any reviews. Plus, I’ve been busy.

Well no, I lied, I haven’t really been busy. Mostly I’ve been lazy, and then I got hooked on a new (but actually pretty old) TV series. But those are reasonable excuses too, right?

In other news, I’ve now finished juries (Essentially music class finals) and have about two and half weeks until I am all done with school, so I should be able to catch up with everything then.

This Month I Read:

  1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  2. Scepter of the Ancients (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) by Derek Landy
  3. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
  4. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  5. Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
  6. The Unfairest of Them All (Ever After High #2) by Shannon Hale
  7. Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant #2) by Derek Landy
  8. The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant #3) by Derek Landy
  9. Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong Did Not Finish
  10. Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau

Blog Posts:

Reviews:

Photos/Videos:

Review: Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landy

Scepter of the Ancients (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) by Derek Landy

“There’s no such things as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for.”

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library Rating:  (4.5/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: Ace Detective, Snappy Dresser, Razor–tongued Wit, Crackerjack Sorcerer and Walking, Talking, Fire-throwing Skeleton—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old. These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil. The end of the world? Over his dead body.

If there is one thing this book isn’t, it is predictable. There were so many mini-plot twists and gasp worthy moments. It was FANTASTIC.

This was a book I simply couldn’t put down. Every chapter led into the next perfectly and the only slightly slow part was the very beginning, but that’s to be expected, really. The action just kept going.

I loved the characters. There wasn’t a single one who felt flat, or had motivations that made no sense or I wasn’t curious about. I especially like the main character, Stephanie. She was interesting and it was nice to watch her discover the world of this book.

Speaking of the world, the worldbuilding in this book was impeccable. Nothing felt cliched and everything made some sort of logical sense to the book’s universe. The only thing I questioned during the entire book was in the first bit, when I wondered “Instead of telling nobody their name why don’t they take fake names?” but instead of being a critique that ended up being more of a prediction of something explained not long after.

Besides all of that, what really made me love this book was the snark. There was so much banter and sarcasm in this book, and it was all hilarious. There was a lot of hastily muffled laughter while reading this one.

Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys

“He’s looking at me like he did the day I kissed him in the hallway. Like I’m different than he thought.”

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover Source: Bought
Rating:  (4/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved-five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This book was not what I expected. After reading the synopsis I thought the book would follow Lara Jean as she reconciled with all the boys who had gotten her letters. While that was part of the book, it was also very different than I thought it would be. I think I liked it even more this way.

This book was really cute. I feel a little dishonest saying that, since Lara Jean had a few hard times through the course of the book, but in the end the main characteristic is the cuteness. The book didn’t have a lot of depth too it, and at a few points the plot moved very slowly. Not slow in a way that made me want to stop reading at all, just slow in a sort of sleepy daily life, waiting for things to happen way.

I thought the romance in this book was very well done. One of the love triangles was a bit weird, but these kinds of things do happen. And I felt it was resolved in a very good way. 

The ending of the book felt a little rushed. The last few chapters could have been slowed down a bit. There was a moment in the third-to-last chapter where I was a little confused about what had happened. (Thought I think I understand now) However, the very ending of the book was just perfect. My only disappointment was that there wasn’t more!

The star of this novel was really the relationship the Song sisters had with each other. Margot, the practical older sister who felt she had to be strong for the other two. Lara Jean, the middle sister who tried to be like Margot but just couldn’t manage to be as stable of a presence as her older sister. And finally, the adorable and spunky Kitty, the younger sister who needed guidance but who also knew a lot more than she let on.

In conclusion, if you want a cute contemporary about first loves and family, this is definitely your book.

April 2014 Wrap-Up

In April I read 8 Books and 2 Magazines. The magazines were the February and March editions of Wired magazine. I read them during my time doing standardized testing, where I didn’t realize they wouldn’t let me use my kindle. Thank goodness I had these magazines in my backpack, otherwise I would have had to sit there doing nothing. (And they totally count – reading Wired cover-to-cover is an ACHIVEMENT!)

April was also a month where I was on the road a lot and all my Library eBook request came in, so I unfortunately only ended up reading one of the books that I put in my April TBR. But I’ll get to the rest, I promise!

Wired TLEM TFA and Hero

Books:

  1. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (school book)
  3. Hero by Mike Lupica

eBooks:

  1. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
  2. Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead
  3. If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
  4. The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau
  5. The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale