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A Reader of Fictions: Worst Dressed Covers of 2012: With Special Guests, Cuddlebuggery

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, December 28, 2012

Worst Dressed Covers of 2012: With Special Guests, Cuddlebuggery

Welcome to the home of Cover Snark for a discussion of the worst dressed YA covers published this year. Steph and Kat of Cuddlebuggery are here for a chat about these infamous cover designs. Make sure you don't miss out on the Best Dressed Covers, which are posted over at Cuddlebuggery.

For your information, self-pubs were not eligible for inclusion in this particular dubious award.

Stephanie Sinclair: 
 Kat and I are pleased to be visiting Christina to shudder at the worst dressed covers of 2012.
Kat Kennedy: 
Wait - we're what?
Stephanie Sinclair: 
Fair warning: someone might need to hold me.
Christina
Who invited you? How did you get into my house?
Kat Kennedy:
I thought we were going to Vegas, baby?
YOU TRICKED ME?!
Christina: 
*checks locks*
Stephanie Sinclair:
How else could I get you to agree to this?
Kat Kennedy:
Gah. Work. FINE.
Stephanie Sinclair:
So first up is SACRIFICES.

Kat Kennedy:
Seriously makes my eyes bleed
Even though I don't think it's the absolute worst on this list.Just almost the worst.
Christina: 
I feel like I've stumbled into hell.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 Prom dresses from hell and when they attack.
Christina:  
A hell populated by the worst Halloween costumes ever made.
Kat Kennedy: 
Sentient halloween costumes who want revenge
Christina:  
On the people who created them.
Kat Kennedy: 
I'm confused - who did come up with this list?
Did I miss a meeting?
I thought I had to make a list
Christina:  
You approved them.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 You were supposed to.
Christina:  
You also approved of all of the vodka
Stephanie Sinclair:  
Did you have a list?
Kat Kennedy: 
I did jack shit!
 Stephanie Sinclair: And then there's this:

Stephanie Sinclair:  
Some people should not have full access to Photoshop.
Kat Kennedy: 
Oh god, that's hideous.
Christina:  
There should really be a test before they sell Photoshop to people.
Kat Kennedy: 
I think mostly what annoys me is how much like a Barbie she looks.
It's gone from weird into uncanny valley.
Christina:  
Those fonts are pretty awful, too.
Kat Kennedy: 
Truly uninspired
Stephanie Sinclair:
How is this for inspiration:
Check those wings out, baby!
Christina:  
TINY WINGS.
Kat Kennedy: 
Okay, this is on the list as my worst
Christina:  
ALL I SEE IS TINY WINGS.
Stephanie Sinclair:  
Flap, flap.
Kat Kennedy:
 But it does look like she stole her wings from a dead, chronically-ill chicken.
Christina:  
It looks like she was next to a chicken when whatever happened in Julianna Baggott's PURE went down.
Stephanie Sinclair:  
It could always get worse.
Like say this:
Kat Kennedy: 
Honestly, I don't mind this one
Christina:  
At least I don't have a stomach ache anymore...
Stephanie Sinclair:  
Did it get rid of your diarrhea?
Christina:  
RUDE.
Stephanie Sinclair:  
Success!
Christina:   
It's like the designers decided all of the background wasn't enough pink, so the font should have pink all around it too, in a new shade.
Kat Kennedy: 
What is the tagline down there? "Becoming Wee..." I can't make it out.
There's a problem when you can't make out a tagline
Christina:  
"Becoming Weetzie." It must be a prequel to the Weetzie Bat books.
Kat Kennedy: 
See, I know you said words there. And that most of them are English.
But I'm still none the wiser!
Christina:  
They are crazy! Until you've read those, you haven't met crazy.
Kat Kennedy: 
Well, based on the cover, I'm willing to believe you.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 Moving on:
Kat Kennedy:
Too. Much. Photoshop.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 The tree needs work
Christina:  
Was this poorly illustrated or did they destroy a model to look like this?
Kat Kennedy: 
Gorgeous cover model and they did weird things to her face with the photo.
Stephanie Sinclair:  
Way too much retouching on her face.
Christina:  
Why couldn't they just let her be pretty? Her skin looks plastic.
Kat Kennedy: 
And the fonts are particularly bad.
Christina:   
The font for the author's name looks straight up Word Art.
Stephanie Sinclair:  
It's all bad, really.
Kat Kennedy: 
Bad word art!
And Poison Tree itself isn't great.
The green colour is really off.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 Speaking of way off:
Christina:
TOO MUCH MAKEUP.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Too much green.
Kat Kennedy:
Yeah, once again, I don't have a problem with this one.
Christina: 
 I'm starting to get curious about what covers you don't like, Kat.
I do rather like that the detailing under the title looks like a fancy mustache.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
Wait... you like this?!
Kat Kennedy:
Well, I actually kind of do.
I wouldn't pick it up to buy it
Christina: 
Don't you think it's a bit Best Little Whorehouse in Texas or something?
Kat Kennedy:
But the font kicks ass
But it's supposed to be.
They're illusionists.
That's the point.
Stephanie Sinclair:
I don't know who you are anymore.
Christina:
The point is for me to die laughing every time I look at this cover?
Kat Kennedy:
And it looks like they're period illusionists from the 20's or something.
Christina: If I die, I can't buy the book.
Kat Kennedy: 
True.
What's the next one?
Christina:
And I thought I was pale.
Kat Kennedy:
Ugh.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Where is her ear?
Christina: 
 I think they photoshopped out some of her ear.
Kat Kennedy:
And some of her humanity.
And some of my will to live.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Is that a cloud?
Kat Kennedy:
It looks like a nebula.
Christina:
I think so. Below the green sun rays or something.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Right...
Christina: 
Don't you just love the way the word art shines?
Stephanie Sinclair:
NO.
Christina:  
But it took them a whole five minutes, Steph. RESPECT.
Kat Kennedy:
 I love the way it probably took 2 seconds on Photoshop to make it that tacky.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
I shall do no such thing, Christina!
Anddddd....
Christina: 
In case you didn't get it, THE PIECES ARE BROKEN.
Kat Kennedy: 
No, I love it
You two are mad.
Christina:
Well, I guess you should turn your work in on time.
Go to the shame corner!
Kat Kennedy:
True.
Fine! *goes to the shame corner*
 But, seriously, what's the problem here?
Stephanie Sinclair:
Where to begin?
Christina: 
Well, the fonts are awful.
Kat Kennedy:
Nooooo!
They're great fonts.
Christina:
The concept is cool, but I don't think the execution works out at all.
Are we looking at the same cover?
Stephanie Sinclair:
I don't think we are.
Christina: 
I find the whole visual effect really off-putting: the colors, the title font, the differently-sized eyes.
I know what it's trying to do, but I don't think it succeeds.
Kat Kennedy:
  I can see that.
I guess my comment would be that this is not badly Photoshopped at all.
Stephanie Sinclair: 
It just doesn't look great
Christina:
Also, why is the brunette's hair on the right wrapped around her neck?
Kat Kennedy:
In fact, that glass effect isn't easy.
Christina: 
I'm sure it's not easy, but if you take the time to get that right, why not make it look better?
Kat Kennedy:
Hmmm...Steph is messaging me in the background - telling me to behave.
Tally ho!
Stephanie Sinclair: 
 Well, check out this next cover:
Kat Kennedy:
Horrific!
Stephanie Sinclair:
I think she's competing with the statue.
And losing? I can't tell.
Christina:
Actually, I always look at it and think the statue looks like her left arm.
Like's she's some sort of stone cyborg.
Kat Kennedy:
The designer has no skill at blending.
Stephanie Sinclair:
You know what I think?
Kat Kennedy:
Might not even know what blending is.
Stephanie Sinclair:
THUNDER CATS, HO!
Christina:
Oh, the lightning hits the statue and then runs up her head to her terrible hair. Maybe that IS her arm.
Kat Kennedy:
That detailing at the top is not only off center but it feels like it's hiding something.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Okay, well check out our last cover that's made the list:
Christina:  
 AHHHHHHH!!
*hides*
Stephanie Sinclair:
Blessed? How about cursed?
Christina:
Why God, WHY?
Kat Kennedy:
She looks dead inside.
Christina:
Seriously, why are her eyes like that? Drugs?
Stephanie Sinclair: 
Her eyes haunt me.
Christina:
I'm thinking LOTS of drugs.
She probably stores them in her crucifix like in Cruel Intentions.
Stephanie Sinclair:
Is the title supposed to be a halo effect?
Kat Kennedy:
I don't know.
Christina:
Oh dear. I think so.
Kat Kennedy:
But whoever touched this up should have stopped 25 clicks and 5 effects earlier.
Christina:
She looks like a washed out Amanda Seyfried, am I right?
Stephanie Sinclair:
YES!
"It's like I have ESPN or something."
Christina:
If I saw this cover in a store, I would probably not only avoid it, but run away from that section entirely.
Kat Kennedy:
I would probably call a Priest for an exorcism.
Then burn the store down just to be safe.
Nuke the site from orbit.
Christina:
Good plan. You can't be too careful.
Kat Kennedy:
Pretty sure if I stop looking at her, she's going to come through the screen and kill me
Christina:
YES.
SHE WILL NOT LET YOU LEAVE. 
Speaking of leaving, thanks to Kat and Steph for stopping by, and make sure you check out our discussion of Best Dressed Covers over on Cuddlebuggery!

21 Comments:

Blogger Amber (Books of Amber) said...

I cannot stop laughing! I'll go and check out the Best Dressed discussion now.

"But it does look like she stole her wings from a dead, chronically-ill chicken." Dead.

Kat, I agree, I really like the cover of All the Broken Pieces!

December 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger KM said...

I'm actually sorta with cat on the Illusionist one - it's historical and flashy. I don't know, it's ok. But the mermaid one?! Omg it's horrific. I remember seeing that one release and wondering if the author beat up the cover designer...

December 28, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it.

Sigh. Well, Steph and I just do not see it. lol.

December 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I get that, but I think historical and flashy could have been done WAY better.

Oh yeah, I cannot believe the mermaid one got out the door. I just saw the cover for the next in that series and it's awful too. If I were Tracey Deebs, I would totally do that.

December 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Cayce said...

OMG, a naked chick(en).

I kinda like Broken Pieces....And I think before this it had a different cover...yes, found it: http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/15103455-all-the-broken-pieces
I think < one was even better.

Great post!!

December 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Blythe Harris said...

And as for the chicken wings on the cover of The Peculiars: THE MAIN CHARACTER DOESN'T EVEN HAVE WINGS. I think the only character in the book who had wings was a boy. I DO NOT THINK THE PERSON ON THAT COVER IS A BOY. Hmph! It's like Revolution 19 all over again.

And I'm not a fan of the cover for Broken Pieces. I can definitely see what it was trying to do, but it just doesn't work for me. It's all too... disjointed...

And I hate the cover for The Blessed. HATE IT! I actually would have read it if it weren't for the awful cover. I'm afraid to touch it. I am actually afraid to touch it. I don't want to get pink eye from her! Get away from me, you pink-eyed, Amanda Seyfried-lookalike bitch! I don't want your pink eye! Leave me alooooone! *runs away flailing arms*

December 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Kirsten! said...

I love the cover for The Blessed. But I thought it was supposed to be unsettling.

December 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Lenore Appelhans said...

I'm sure all the awful self-pubbed covers are weeping that they couldn't be included here.

December 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

OMG POISON TREE! I'm dying! Also, The Blessed is freaking creepy!!! So many bad covers.

December 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Ashleigh Paige said...

I like Delusion's color only if I'm concentrating on the models' expressions. I think the one on the left is cheeky-ass Phil and the other is flirty Fee. Not sure.

AND I GOT STUCK WITH AN ARC OF THE BLESSED THAT I CAN'T GET RID OF. It still sits on my bookshelf. No matter where I put it--even in a drawer--I always feel like it's watching me. No cover has ever scared me more. I'm in agreement that all these covers are bad bad bad, though.

December 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Nori said...

Hahaha! This was so funny!

I have an ARC of Delusion and it looks much better not on a computer. I actually kind of like it. It makes me think Emerald City kind of (Wicked version), and the story sounds really good.

The Peculiars is definitely peculiar...I honestly see that cover affecting its earnings drastically. I mean the story sounded interesting, but I just cannot see myself picking it up...

And I love what you said about the statue looking like the girl's left arm on the Redemption cover. I just kept laughing.

December 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

OH MY GOSH. YOU GUYS RULE THE SNARK. I love these posts! THANKS FOR ALL THE LAUGHS. I hear you on Blessed. And oh my gosh DELUSION!! Their lips are WAY TOO BIG.

December 28, 2012 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Christina (Christinareadsya) said...

Pure fun! Loved this post :). And yes, when I saw the Blessed cover, I thought it was Amanda Seyfried, and I wondered if she had written a book too, like Hilary Duff had.

December 28, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Leanne Yang said...

You guys are hilarious!! I couldn't stop laughing. The Blessed does look like a "washed out Amanda Seyfried". Thanks for the hilarious post!

December 28, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
OpenID moonlightlibrary said...

I am afraid the last one is going to give me nightmares.

December 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I thought everyone agreed to let the Duck Face go away? Other than that, Delusion is alright.

December 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Sorry for commenting so late (I've been sick), but I agree with all your picks here. Except Delusion. I kind of like it. But why is it so blurry? At any rate, this post was hilarious. It gave me many laughs. :)

December 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Kat Balcombe said...

Don't you think it's a bit Best Little Whorehouse in Texas or something?

Bahahaha that was a blast!

The Blessed must burn. Now. *shudders*

December 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Lyn Kaye said...

I showed my sister "The Blessed" cover in B&N.
She screamed.

"Tempest Unleashed" .....*laughs forever* Love the photoshopped tribal art! Oh Gods, I might wet my pants.

I actually liked "All the Broken Pieces". :(

December 31, 2012 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Kate C. said...

I had to go back and read the intro, because these covers SCREAM indie to me. I guess it goes to show that Traditional Publishers can fail just as hard as the self pubs.

BTW- I'm certain I'm going to have nightmares thanks to that "Blessed" cover.

January 2, 2013 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Kate C. said...

Oh, I forgot to say, I think the model on Poison Tree is a 3-d model. That tree certainly is.

January 2, 2013 at 2:58 PM  

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