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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Reasons I Pick Up YA Books

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top Ten Reasons I Pick Up YA Books

Judging a Book by Its Cover, Part 1

This week's list is motivated by my dear friend Nori of Nori's Closet, who composed the same list recently. Any excuse to ogle book covers is awesome, so I just had to make one of my own. Even though it often betrays me and covers can be exceedingly inaccurate, I will never stop judging them thusly. Instead of listing my top ten favorites, which would be a hard choice to make anyway, I decided to make a list of the top ten elements that attract me to YA books based on the cover.

10. Font Can Make All the Difference

Some book covers just would not work without the dramatic font used on the cover. I really love fonts anyway, so the fact that they made it onto my list is not surprising. Of course, they are generally used along with another element, which is even more eye-grabbing, so the ones reliant on font made the last category. I had never heard of Ruined, and probably won't read it, but the cover's lovely. Numbers does not have a special font, but it's just so perfect for the cover. Jane Eagland's covers are always (from the evidence of two I have seen) fantastic.

9. Surprise Faces

There is something really fun about covers that have something hiding. While I may not like what I find, I do enjoy the fact that there is in fact more to find. In I Capture the Castle's cover, there is a kissing couple in the clouds (lame find), Briar Rose has a face behind the thorns, and Sisters Red has a wolf face beneath the two girls.

8. Nerdiness FTW

A good nerdy reference can be the extra spice that makes a book really desirable to me. It can be something like some mathematical symbols or just a girl carrying a book, as all good girls should. Evil Genius reminds me of Harry Potter, because of the lightning bolt, although that's probably an accidental reference.

7. Closeup of a Strong Heroine

This is a category I had not realized held such appeal, until I made a list of covers I really liked. Revolution is great, because it gives you two strong heroines for the price of one. I think the closeup makes it more about the girl's strength and less about her looks, since you cannot evaluate her clothes and hair as much.

6. Elicits an Emotion

Sometimes it's not that the cover is pretty, although it usually is with my YA favorites, but that it perfectly conveys a particular mood or emotion. I have a love/hate relationship with two of these covers: Witch Child and Before I Fall. The Tomorrow, When the War Began cover I really just love, much like the book.

5. Dramatic Turns Looks Even Better with Fantastic Hair

Why is this so attractive? I don't really know to be honest. But I do know that a number of covers I liked were like this. It doesn't hurt that the girls tend to be wearing pretty dresses as well. Intellectually, I think these are kind of silly, but, aesthetically, so pretty!

4. Magical, Dramatic Colors

There's something about dark colors, which suggest drama, mystery and a bit of danger. I also noticed that they are apparently often purple. Which is interesting. I also want to note than absurdity does not stop the pretty, as evidenced by the Nightshade cover, which has absolutely nothing to do with the book's contents.

3. Oooh, Pretty Colors

A lovely color theme can attract me like a moth towards a shiny flame. Each of these books is the opening to a series and each subsequent book follows the theme of the first, but with a new color. Of course, covers often betray me, as none of these series have been a favorite. Matched is the best of them, and the sequel to Forever was better than the first book, but the Iron Fey series was a total waste of time.

2. I Will Want to Read Anything with a Pretty Dress on the Cover

I think the only reason I read all of the books in Anna Godbersen's Luxe series is that the dresses are so pretty. They're incredibly ridiculous and impractical, but that does not make them less shiny and pretty. Forgiven is not out yet; I found it on a list of books coming out this year and I loved the cover immediately. These covers appeal to my desire to get my princess on, in my mind at least.

1. Corsets Are Truly Breathtaking

While I would not want to wear a for reals corset (and by for reals I mean one that's so tight I faint), they are gorgeous. I want to read the Gemma Doyle series so badly, even though I tried and didn't like it, all because the covers are so gorgeous. Wildthorn was a good read, and definitely not like most YA lit. I think the appeal may lie in the laces.



Blogger Heather said...

haha, I love covers with corsets and pretty dresses, too. I'm pretty sure it goes hand in hand with my obsession with the Victorian era/royalty/fanciness. One of my coworkers (a children's librarian) and I were just talking about how we wish all book covers were as pretty as the ones found in the YA section.

May 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger 1600 Words A Day said...

I also go in for sexy covers (sans cheesy Fabio look-alike)

May 14, 2011 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I enjoy the Fabio lookalike covers, but only in so much as they make me laugh a whole lot; they do not convince me to read said book.

May 15, 2011 at 2:13 AM  
Blogger Natalie @Natflix&Books said...

So agree on cool fonts, pretty dresses and awesome hair. I love the covers for Impossible and the Gemma Doyle series--although my bra is the first thing that comes off when I get home so I can't even imagine wearing a corset. It would just never happen. I also love the Lux series covers although I didn't read past the first book. Fun post! I've been giving more thought to the elements that draw me in lately, too.

July 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Pretty dress covers win ALL THE AWARDS! Also, I'm totally with you on the corset ones. Sooooo pretty!

July 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm such a sucker for a cover with a pretty dress on it and corsets sure do look gorgeous but good luck actually getting me in to one! Definitely agree, the Iron Fey series was a total waste of time.

July 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Debby said...

Ooooh I am with you on SO MANY of these. Fonts, well, I just had my typography love post last week. Dramatic colors YES especially PURPLE just makes me love covers. DRESSES. Get your princess on for sure xD I feel guilty for falling for that every time but I just can't help it. And corsets! I actually don't have any books with corset covers... this makes me sad.

July 9, 2013 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Great post!! I agree, pretty fonts, colors, emotions... they all do it for me. I also am a big fan of the pretty dresses even though it's so overdone.

July 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Pretty dresses get me all the time! But they sadden me when the book doesn't live up to the dress.

~Andrea @ ​Beauty but a Funny Girl

July 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

OMG the face on Briar Rose, I did not see that until I sat there and looked at it for a while, very cool. I agree about the elicit's emotion one. Every time I look at the cover of Before I Fall I want to cry, the girls facial expression just gets me. And yeah, corsets are hot, I love historical covers even though I don't like the books. Though I am happy I did not live in that time because those things are a BITCH!

July 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

As much as I hate faces on books, the hidden faces are totally acceptable!

Corsets always get my attention - HELLO HISTORICAL FICTION!

July 9, 2013 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Christina Reads YA said...

Numbers is a really good example of the sci-fi, dramatic font that works well - but sometimes I REALLY hate the sci-fi fonts.

Surprise faces can be really creepy though. That could be the intended effect, and I do love finding new things in the cover (like how the 2nd letter in the Matched trilogy covers was always changed, and was meant to reflect on the book), but BRIAR ROSE IS SO CREEPY. (Of course most fairy tales seem to be.)

I haven't seen very many nerdiness covers out there... they definitely catch my eye because they're so unique. Also yes to Girls with Books in Hand.

I am a huge fan of that Witch Child cover. (Why do you have a love/hate relationship with it?)

(Side note: This is a really good post to have alongside//contrast with your Cover Snark :)).

July 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like books with their own special fonts like Beautiful Creatures, Harry Potter, Twilight, Man Made Boy, etc.
-Scott Reads It!

July 9, 2013 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Interesting list. I agree with your list except for the faces. I don't really like faces on covers. It never looks like the person I'm picturing in my head ;-)

July 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, I'm not a big fan of a couple of these anymore either. I was looking back through old posts, fixed a typo, and Blogger reset it to July 10, 2013, when it was posted in May of 2011. I was not amused. X_X

July 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Lyn Kaye said...

LOVE! Oh, I agree with you on so many levels! I know the Book Cover Dress is a trap....but, like a fish to a hook, I fall for it every time!

July 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I totally think the appeal is in the laces! Something about corsets/girls in any sort of old fashioned dress just DRAWS my eyes. Doesn't always mean I like the book in the end but it always means I want to read it.

Oh, Before I Fall. I'm not sure I'll ever think of that one and NOT get choked up.


July 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Angela's Anxious Life said...

I love love the nerdy covers! I would pick those up in a heartbeat (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is one!)

Angela's Anxious Life

July 20, 2013 at 3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corsets... I never thought of that being a target cover image but now that you mention it, when I saw Great and Terrible Beauty, that's definitely what I focused on ;)

July 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM  

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