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A Reader of Fictions: Cover Snark (37): When Ghosts Get Handsy

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cover Snark (37): When Ghosts Get Handsy

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!

Commenting pro tip: The easiest way to comment on such a long post is to open the post in two windows (really easy if you use Google Reader). Comment in one and scroll the covers in the other. That's actually how I comment on other people's reviews too. I can't remember all my comments by the time I get to the box!

Warning: some covers include steamy content.

1. Camp Boyfriend - J. K. Rock
Thoughts: More than usual, I feel like I'm interrupting something. I also find myself very greatful that her skirt is not the least bit shorter. That grass is really long and itchy-looking. Very much a non-ideal makeout spot for those squicked out by bugs, but those two do not seem bothered. Reminds me of the Miranda Kenneally covers, only they did this better.

2. Free Souls (Mindjack Trilogy #3) - Susan Kaye Quinn
Thoughts: The United States of Meh and poorly designed chain link have come together to bring you a book cover. You know what never looks good in a close up? Eyebrows. Have you ever thought about how weird eyebrows are? Why do we even have them, other than that we look absurd without them, which doesn't seem to be something evolution much cares about?

3. Timespell - Diana Paz
Thoughts: There's a lot that I thnk is hilarious about this cover, but, ultimately, I do think it's very pretty. That dress is awesome and so are the colors and filigree. Unfortunate things: 1) that title font needs to go, especially the way they've done the "i," which they no doubt that was incredibly clever. 2) The glowy tattoo. Maybe that's just me but I'm really tired of them. 3) What is she doing with her hair? Who sits like that?

4. Avenging Angel (The Fallen #4) - Cynthia Eden
Thoughts: For those who can't make it out, that tag line says "a sensuous education." Oh boy. Bonus points for the heroine wearing practical clothing. Bonus points retracted for the dude having lost his shirt. Also, angel wings. It is possible to make an angel book without putting wings on the cover, you know! Also, that title font is horrid; those As need to be shut down.

5. Four Summoner's Tales - Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, Jonathan Maberry
Thoughts: In case you have trouble reading the number four, we've put it on here two different ways to help out! Mostly, I am bored to tears (that's not rain on there) by this, but I am happy to see that all four authors got their names put on in the same size.

6. The Order of Deacons (The Book of the Order #1-3) - Philippa Ballantine
Thoughts: I do not love all of this, but that illustrated woman is awesome. She looks a bit like Codex's character on The Guild.:) Is anyone else seriously annoyed when words are spelled with a "y" instead of another vowel to make a word look fancier, like spectyr or vampyr?

7. Dear Cassie - Lisa Burstein
Thoughts: Fitting, but kind of meh. I like it, but it doesn't have me any more interested in the book than I was before.

8. Where Beauty Lies (Beneath the Glitter #2) - Elle & Blaire Fowler
Thoughts: "A Beneath the Glitter novel" *runs away* Even for what this is trying to do, this cover is very poorly done. It's like they set Elle Woods loose in Photoshop with some images from advertisements and told her to hit it.

9. Seven Years of Bad Luck - J.L. Mac
Thoughts: Let's hope one cannot obtain seven years of bad luck for using awful fonts on a book cover.

10. Blood Vine - Amber Belldene
Thoughts: I actually think this is pretty, until I think about how awful her rash is going to be. Also, *squints* they may have airbrushed her boobs off?

11. The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) - Julie Kagawa
Thoughts: Hmmm, this is different. Meh. Better than whitewashing, I suppose, but this is trees on wallpaper. Also, I don't think the info about an excerpt needs to be on the cover. No one buys a book for the excerpt.

12. The Key Inheritance (The Burning of Isobel Key #2) - Jen McConnel
Thoughts: Font aside, I do really like the covers for this series. I mean, Scotland pictures. What's not to love? However, I do not know what the eff is up with her outfit. Is that a dark green velour suit? Because it sure looks like one.

13. Tainted (Wasteland #3) - Lynn Rush
Thoughts: "Even death can't stop true love." GET OUT.

14. Power (The Descendant Trilogy #1) - Theresa M. Jones
Thoughts: *snorts* That font, that cheesy fire, the model's panicked eyes. Self-pub fail.

15. Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2) - Anna Banks
Thoughts: For about five seconds, I considered reading this book. Wow, that's a compelling cover.

16. Love by Design - Taryn Raye
Thoughts: What, what, what are you doing? Look at your life, look at your choices, cover. And pull up your bra strap or you're going to flash your tatas at everyone. Is that even an off-the-shoulder shirt? Honey, no. Just no.

17. Mobster's Vendetta (Monster Series #3) - Amy Rachiele
Thoughts: "Look at this awesome blood drippy font I found on the interwebs! It's going to blow people's minds." - graphic designer from the 1990s

18. For the Love of Hades (Loves of Olympus #2) - Sasha Summers
Thoughts: Nothing says love is hell like flowers in a cave. Who chose those font colors? Who? Fire them immediately. Pukey yellow-green and orange, stop existing, especially together.

19. Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) - Miranda Kenneally
Thoughts: Not my favorite cover of the series, but I think this fits the mood of the series perfectly. Also, look, a dude who is not shirtless, burly, or long-haired. Hurrah!

20. Dream On - Renita Pizzitola
Thoughts: Wow, I actually really like this. And I now have Aerosmith stuck in my head instead of Michael Jackson! Also, I want some Papa John's.

21. Why Dukes Say I Do - Manda Collins
Thoughts: At first, I read this as "What Dukes Say I Do" and I was quite confused. Still, this title does not make sense without quotation marks around "I Do." As it is, I just want to know why she does what?!?!

22. Lennon's Jinx - Chris Myers
Thoughts: She kind of looks like a ginger Kristen Bell, right? *tilts head to the left* "Sometimes, we don't get to choose who we fall for." Tag lines, GO AWAY.

23. Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Alterax Buttons (Shelby & Shauna Kitt #2) - P.H.C. Marchesi
Thoughts: When middle grade covers go bad.

24. Dracian Legacy (Dracian #1) - Priya Kanaparti
Thoughts: I actually really like the font on this self-pub. Good work! The "tag line" needs to leave and fast, though. Also, the poorly photoshopped necklace, which is taking my attention away from the pretty sparklies. Those things aside, I approve.

25. The Dark - Heather Self
Thoughts: The cover is pretty dark. I actually like the font best. Two in a row. My brain does not know how to process this.

26. The Devil's Triangle - Toni De Palma
Thoughts: Oh good, the terrible font is back and all is right with the world. That floating triangle really is a fantastic effect, made more serious and intense by the devil's tail. Too bad this guy didn't take his shirt off, because then this would be a trifecta of awesome! I COULD have trimmed the white border off of this, but I wanted you to enjoy it fully as revealed.

27. The Apple Orchard - Susan Wiggs
Thoughts: Susan Wigg's cover designers present: another boring setting and her name in giant font. Those picnic chairs look UNCOMFORTABLE. If you've gone to all this trouble, why not get better chairs?

28. Of Beast and Beauty - Stacey Jay
Thoughts: Very pretty, if not particularly unique.

29. The Marching Dead - Lee Battersby
Thoughts: This is AWESOME. Look at them trying to climb! Look at that one! It just fell down! Tee hee. On a more serious note, I love the textured look of the cover.

30. Night Vision (Indigo Court #4) - Yasmine Galenorn
Thoughts: *mumbles* Shiny! Purple! Intense knife! Wolfie! *grabby hands*

31. Savor - Kate Evangelista
Thoughts: Her proportions do not look right. O_o

32. Counterpart (Succubu & Incubi Assn. #1) - K.J. Hunter-Brown
Thoughts: Is he dead? Because he looks dead? Is she a necrophiliac succubus? Nope. Don't want to know. Moving on.

33. Being Me (Inside Out Trilogy #2) - Lisa Renee Jones
Thoughts: Oh, we found the girlfriend of that dude from one of last week's covers!

34. Revealing Us (Inside Out Trilogy #3) - Lisa Renee Jones
 Thoughts: This is an accurate title.This seems altogether too...pastel.

35. Black Feathers (Black Dawn #1)  - Joseph D'Lacey
Thoughts: Does anyone else have trouble distinguishing which is the series title and which is the book title when covers are done like this? I like this quite a bit, though I have little to say about it.

36. The Thing About Weres (Mystwalker #2) - Leigh Evans
Thoughts: Heroes and Heartbreakers, would you please stop revealing such teeny versions of the cover. I can hardly even tell what's going on to snark it properly! *leaves in a huff*

37. Alien in the House (Katherine "Kitty" Katt #7)  - Gini Koch
Thoughts: I actually think this is pretty dang awesome, especially since this is a humorous series and I think the cover achieves a nice blend of action and cartoonishness.

38. Acid - Emma Pass
Thoughts: The official cover reveal for this one is scheduled for Saturday, but it went up early on Goodreads. Can I get a 'wah wah'? I really like this cover. Sassy ginger wearing clothes that look good for fighting. The colors are fantastic. I can has?

39. The Treasure - Jennifer Lowery
Thoughts: Wow, that's some good photoshopping right there. It's almost as though they are really in that lagoon.

40. What Goes Around (Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls Are) - Courtney Summers
Thoughts: Look! It's a pleated school girl skirt that would actually pass the regulations at a high school! I don't like this as well as the covers for the two books that comprise this omnibus, but I do love that it combines elements from the two covers: the red lockers from Some Girls Are and the outfit from Cracked Up to Be.

41. Soul Awakened (Key to the Cursed #2) - Jean Murray
Thoughts: Every single time I look at this, I have to figure out what's going on again, because that girl's hair blends right into the wall, so I just see disembodied hands reaching for a casket. FAIL. Though, honestly, that disembodied hands thing might be cooler.

42. Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling (Origami Yoda) - Tom Angleberger
Thoughts: Cute title. Perfect for kids. Also, that chibi Vader may be the cutest thing I have ever come across in Cover Snark.

43. Feeling Death (Death #1) - D.T. Dyllin 
Thoughts: This is where today's post title really starts to come in. Of course, she's about to feel up herself, but, whatever, it counts. This looks a bit film noir, except for how hilarious it is.

44. Extreme Measures - Rachel Carrington
Thoughts: If this really called for extreme measures, he would have buttoned his shirt. There's nothing radical about a half naked man on a book cover. They're positively boring. I'm beginning to forget what men look like in clothes. GHOST LADY versus THE BIRDS.

45. Jessica's Wolves (Wolf Masters #3) - Becca Jameson
Thoughts: Oh dear. This makes me uncomfortable on many levels.

46. The Obvious Game - Rita Arens
 Thoughts: Why is that building all roof? I've never seen a building like that before. But, whatever, blurbed by the Bloggess means I'm there.

47. Released Souls (The Witch Avenue 3) - Karice Bolton
Thoughts: UGH, BUTTERFLY AND TITLE FONT. Why? And daisies, really?

48. Dangerous - Suzannah Daniels
Thoughts: I'm quaking in my boots at Mr. v-neck t-shirt.

49. Mourning Cloak - Rabia Gale
Thoughts: This is so close to being a really wonderful self-pub. Problems: 1) That title font has got to go. 2) Let the model go to the bathroom before you take the picture. The first grader trying to make it until the potty break pose really doesn't work for a sexy pretty dress cover.

50. The Rose Throne - Mette Ivie Harrison
Thoughts: Pretty! Another ginger! Is this the same model from the Austensibly Ordinary cover?

Cover Battles:

1. Dualed (Dualed #1) - Elsie Chapman
 US vs. German: Both of these fit the story very well. The German title translates to "You or Me," which sums things up pretty well. The title treatment on the German cover is very cool as well. I will never understand why so many foreign covers feel the need to throw extra words on a cover. THRILLER, as though you couldn't tell from the cover. Thanks to that, I now have Michael Jackson stuck in my head. Winner: US for being more unique and colorful, and not making me do the Thriller dance.

2. The Immortal Rules (The Immortal Rules #1) - Julie Kagawa
 Hardback vs. Paperback: Oh look, they cut the sun out of the Solar cover. Good work, guys! Winner: Paperback, solely to encourage publishers not to whitewash.

3. UnBeautifully (Undeniable #2) - Madeline Sheehan
? vs. Revealed Cover: I found the cover on the left on GR, and the one on the right was revealed this week. So many levels of ew in that right-hand cover. Winner: Both suck, but simple with ugly font wins over complex with ugly everything.

4. Tainted Love - Eva Marquez
 Touching the Surface vs. Tainted Love: That awkward moment when you use a photo from the same photo shoot. Winner: Touching the Surface for a better pose and shinier cranes.

5. Where She Belongs - Cindy Procter-King
Walking Away vs. Where She Belongs: Stock covers go head to head and scarf to scarf in this epic battle. No one really wins with a stock cover, but: Winner: Where She Belongs for adding vibrancy to a fairly boring photo, though Walking Away wins for font.

6. Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle #2) - Kristen Proby 
Facade vs. Fight with Me: Well, I didn't like this stock cover much when I first saw it, but I just learned how bad you can make it. Let's use a really horrific, clashing font, and throw some black ink onto it! She now has a shirt and black nail polish, while he is now sporting a tattoo and a black toupee. Winner: Nyrae Dawn for keeping it simple.

6. The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) - Stacey Kade
 Take 1 vs. Take 2: Huh. I hasn't noticed the dude in the first cover. Weird. I didn't think it was possible, but the girl actually looks creepier now. Disney, why did you think this was better? Winner: Take 1, because in take 2 the model has a black hole for an eye.

7. Austenland (Austenland #1) - Shannon Hale
US Hardback vs. US paperback vs. UK: Make sure to click on these covers to see a larger image. I know the UK cover will be popular, but that's not my kind of art style. I do love her shoes though. Winner: US hardcover for not having art that annoys me.

8. Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2) - Shannon Hale
US vs. UK: I do like the UK Midnight in Austenland cover a bit more, but it really doesn't fit the book as well. Winner: US for capturing the murder mystery mood of Midnight in Austenland.

9. Once Was Lost/What We Lost - Sara Zarr
 Once Was Lost vs. What We Lost: You know what's even more annoying than cover redesigns happening to series books? Title changes happening ever. This is such a mess for cataloging, plus, when it happens, you have a moment where you're like "Author X has a new book out! YAY!" before crashing down to the depths of disappointment. This is mean, publishers. Stop doing it. Winner: Though I actually really like both covers, I'm sticking with Once Was Lost because of the stupid title change.

WTF of the Week:

1. Southern Embrace - Tamaria Soana
 Thoughts: Yes, I know, you can see her butt and her butt chin, and it's awful. What makes this cover REALLY upsetting is the ghost dude who's watching them bone. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

2. When Noonday Ends - Carmen Desousa
 Thoughts: Don't you hate it when you're just sitting quietly on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away and some ghost feels you up?

3. A Merry Christmas Finally - Jolene Beauchamp
Thoughts: I'm not sure if the best part is the title or the fact that they're all naked but she's still semi-clad.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:
Of Triton by Anna Banks

Learn More or Preorder:

Goodreads|Amazon|The Book Depository|Barnes & Noble



Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

1. I like this. It's cute. Thought I would not ever be in this situation because of said bugs.

3. I wit like this all the time. Very comfortable. I also always brush my hair over my forehead like that. Very stylish.

6. This cover disturbs me.

8. This would have been cute if it was real. The one purse kind of looks like its floating. How hard would it have been to put a mirror in a dressing room and throw some stuff around?

11. Boring.

13. I think there needs to be a running total on how often the phrase "even death can't stop true love" or something similar in the tagline.

15. OMG this is so pretty! A million times prettier than the first one!

16. This cover screams "run away" to me.

19. My favorite thing about this cover is that it matches all the other covers. No redesign = win!

25. I find this cover oddly appealing.

27. Those chairs look barely sturdy enough for a child to sit on, let alone an adult!

47. A Fail on many levels. Butterfly looks totally fake. Can hardly read the title.

CB2. Neither. I dislike both.

CB5. I like Walking Away better. The other one is unappealing.

CB9. That's totally happened to me before! I disagree with changing covers, but whatever. Changing title is not ever, ever ok!

December 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

I actually really love the cover for Of Triton.

AND OMG THAT ONE WITH THE SKELETONS by Lee Bartlesby --- that looks like a book I'd read the heck out of.

AND AND. I actually really like the cover redesigns for Julie Kagawa's vampire book series. Like a lot.

December 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

1. Agreed. I'm always like "A picnic sounds awesome." Then once I'm there: "Ants. Ants on my legs. And a bee!!! TAKE ME HOME."

6. Huh. Why?

8. It does look like it's floating. I think because it's at slightly the wrong angle. They did not need to do this on photoshop, I agree.

13. I'm pretty sure the end result of that study would be me weeping for humanity.

15. Yes, yes it is.

19. Yup. They're doing great keeping the Kenneally covers grass-themed!

47. Goodness I hate that butterfly.

CB2: Yeah, I'm not in love with either. They both look like film covers.

CB5: Meh.

CB9: It's so stupid. There's no point!

December 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Me too, much as I did not like book one. The cover is GORGEOUS.

Yes, I am also VERY interested in the skeleton cover.

The redesigns remind me a bit too much of The Yellow Wallpaper, but whatevs.

December 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Bekka said...

I feel like the new design for The Immortal Rules is just another form of whitewashing. They should have used the opportunity of changing the covers to include an Asian model. All this tells me is that they'd rather have NO model than have diversity on their covers.

December 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Wendy Darling said...

Hah hah hah, the title of this post made me laugh my ass off. It's funny how frisky those ghosts can get. ;)

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

December 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Yes, THIS!! Completely agree with you Bekka. And I am disgusted.

December 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I don't always comment but I always check out these posts because they are always oozing with snark.

I have to agree with you that the best cover this week is Of Triton. It is gorgeous the way Mara Dyer covers are. Of Beast and Beauty is new to me but I am so excited!

Um, hello A Merry Christmas Finally. I think you forget to close the blinds and seal the windows and pull the curtains tight. Holy moly!

Lol to 44. He didn't have time to button his shirt because he was too busy being EXTREME.

December 20, 2012 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You do have a point. :(

December 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm glad!

December 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! I'm happy you enjoy them. I know commenting on these can be exhausting. :-p

Very apt comparison for Of Triton. Clearly, this style works.

They really should close the blinds. I did not want to see that party.

Bahaha. That explains it!

December 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Bollocks! I had my comments all typed up until cover 35 and then my browser crashed. I'm too lazy to go back and do it again, but you've found some fabulous snarky there! But I'm glad you found blue shirt guy a girlfriend!

December 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awwwww. That's awful. :(

December 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Steph Sinclair said...

Okay! I am fashionably late today!

2. I like this cover and it's definitely one of the better self-pubbed ones out there.

3. Pretty picture, but not a fan of the font.

6. Looks like a cover for His Dark Materials.

7. I really like this one. It screams, "I'm a cute read!"

8. They did a poor job photoshopping that cover.

10. Where are her boobies?!

11. I like covers with no people on the front, but it's just okay. Glad to see they aren't still whitewashing.

14. Some people should not be allowed near photoshop. How could they possibly think that looks acceptable?

15. I was this close to requesting that book based on the cover alone. And then I remembered how terrible the first one was.

16. I don't understand... WHY?

20. LOL @ Aerosmith.

22. The green clashes too much with her hair color.

24. Not bad at all for self-pub.

25. NICE!

26. Umm... what? GET IT AWAY!

28. Nice, but just okay.

38. How many 'loves' can I fit in this comment? Because that's how much I love that cover!

42. That is the cutest thing!!!

43. Interesting cover. Also, I SEE BOOBIES!

45. You guys, get a room! And get that wolf outta there!

CB6: I don't like either covers. Her eye gives me the creeps.

WTF1: OMG! Butt cheeks! And the dude! GAH! Bahahahahahaha!

WTF2: Wow...

WTF3: *slow blink*

December 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

2. True. I would read this series if I had the chance.

6. Oh wow, yeah, it really does.

7. Based on her first book, which had a cute read cover too, this is probably fairly dark.


11. Some people think this is worse whitewashing, because rather than putting an Asian on the cover, they did this.

14. Agreed. There should be a test before giving out photoshop.

15. Me too.

26. *snickers evilly*

38. So completely gorgeous. This was definitely number two, but Of Triton is clearly magical if it could make me want the book.

43. Haha, racy!

CB6: For real, these covers are awful. She also looks really old, right?

WTFs: You are welcome.

December 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

Very disappointed in almost all the covers this week. But by far the most cringeworthy to me is #14. What the hell. It looks like a Facebook photo with purple flames stuck on it. And then they decided to add shitty purple font. It's awful. It's sad that someone is using THAT to sell their product. NO, no no nonono.

I can't pick a favorite. I don't really like ANY of them, tbqh. I guess #38. I like the cover for Acid but it's pretty underwhelming.


December 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bahahha, true about #14. It's just pathetic, and there's no excuse for so many of the self-pubs looking like that.

Awww, too bad. I really like Acid actually, but oh well. Not your week!

December 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I stumbled upon your blog and I'm happy I did! I can't stop laughing! I think my favs are your tears on #5, Mr. Extreme, and the girl doing the potty dance. Oh and that Christmas one is all sorts of wrong (and makes me glad I only asked for gift cards). Next year she should ask for some blinds and her dignity back.

I'm looking forward to reading more Cover Snark posts and sharing this blog with my fellow snark loving friends!

December 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) I love when authors take kindly to Cover Snark. It's not intended to be mean, but a fun way of getting information about books out there.

She does need blinds for Christmas. Or curtains.


December 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I can tell it's all in fun. I personally think you're hilarious but I can imagine some authors may get bent out of shape. They should probably just relax and thank you for the promo ;) I, for one, think it's super cool my cover was mentioned considering there are tons to choose from each week!

December 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Actually, no one's said anything to me about it yet, though I'm sure some people aren't necessarily thrilled. Whatever, I enjoy it, and other people seem to as well, so I'll keep doing it!

December 27, 2012 at 2:23 PM  

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