Reader Recommends #6: Ugly Cover, Great Book

Reader Recommends is a fun meme created here at Ramblings on Readings where we recommend 3-5 books (or more!) based on certain given topics. This is a great way to see what other readers are enjoying in your favorite genres, or maybe find a new favorite series!

Reader Recommends


Every Thursday, I’ll be posting the current Reader Recommends, along with the topic for the next edition. Choose up to five books or series you would recommend based on the topic or genre. If you haven’t read the topic, you can post books you are interested in reading based on the topic. I will usually post 1-2 books I’m interested in reading in the future in that genre/topic. You’ll find next week’s topic at the bottom of this post.

Add your post to the Link-up at the bottom of each Reader Recommends post to see other bloggers’ suggestions, and make some new friends! Be sure to comment on my post if this is your first time so I can be sure to stop by your blog!


This week’s topic is Ugly Cover, Great Book.

You know the one. Maybe it’s an indie gem that had a terrible amateur cover design. Or maybe it got lost in the shuffle of a big publishing house and ended up with a lame cover. Whatever the case, these books are out there, and for people like me who are drawn to gorgeous covers, that’s a death trap for these poor novels. Which books do you love but think need a cover redo?

So this one was hard for me, because I usually stay away from books with bad covers. Which is exactly why I wanted to do it as a topic for Reader Recommends, so I could find some new books that I would never have picked up previously! So for me, this post is probably more accurately titled “Less gorgeous cover, great book”.

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The Kindrily Series by Karen Amanda Hooper

First of all, this series is AMAZING (as are the author’s other books) and if you like ideas like past lives, soul mates, mysterious magic powers, and true love, you MUST read this series. I actually don’t think the first two covers are bad, just the third. The first two are like, yeah we took this artsy photos in a studio, threw some feathers around artistically…they work for me. But the third is like, a 5th grader had a field day with photoshop. Which is a shame because I would say the third is the most exciting and best of the trilogy.

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Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

I don’t think these are terrible, but I’m not a huge fan. I think the VA covers work a little better than the Bloodlines ones because on VA, the models sort of fade into a hazy background, whereas the Bloodlines ones stand out starkly from it and therefore look pretty photoshopped. These books however, are BRILLIANT and I’ve read them multiple times. If you like vampires, this is a must read series. Also, does anyone else think the cover model for Vampire Academy looks like Angelina Jolie?

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Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I actually wrote a blog post about the cover reboot for this series (which you can find HERE). This is one of my favorite YA series, and I read them before the covers were changed. Now the covers don’t seem to match the story at all. Like, is glam mermaid girl supposed to be Kat? All the blue makes it seem like this is a mermaid story (which it definitely isn’t). It just seems like a weird choice that the publisher made.

Books I want to read with bad covers:


Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

I am reading this as part of one of my reading challenges later this year, but if I hadn’t heard so many wonderful things about it, I probably never would have gotten it, based on its cover. I thought it might just be outdated, you know, from the 80’s or something, but I discovered, to my surprise, that it was published in 2007.


The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I hate to put JLA on here twice (I love the covers of her Wait for You series, The Covenant covers are gorgeous , and  The Dark Elements are appropriately steamy). This cover just does not do a thing for me. Like, we understand that Seth is hot. We don’t need a completely boring shirtless dude on the cover to bore us with his boring stare. There’s just not really anything interesting here for me. I know lots of people swoon over shirtless guy covers, but they usually just make me roll my eyes or laugh. I’m sure I’m going to love the book because, I mean, it’s JLA, and I would read the woman’s grocery list.

So that’s my list; I know, I really haven’t read many books with terrible covers. The ones I listed hardly qualify as ugly. So I’m super excited to see what you guys come up with! Add your link to the link-up, and let the fun begin!

Next Week’s Topic: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

It’s easily one of the most popular YA Fantasy series out there right now. What books do you think rival Calaena’s epic, fantastical adventure, filled with danger, romance, magic, and action?


  1. StinaMadsMN says:

    I agree about the VA cover, but I kind of liked the Bloodlines cover. I’m not a fan of the new Lux series covers either. I thought that the first ones were great.

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to do next week’s topic, since I haven’t read the book, but I’ll try to get it from the library to read before next Thursday. Even if I can’t participate, I’ll still be stopping by to check out your post and to get the next topic.

    • Jessica Nicole says:

      Yeah, I don’t really think the Bloodlines covers are that bad; I literally spent hours combing through my ‘read’ books on good reads, looking for bad covers lol. I just haven’t read practically any books with terrible covers, cause that is usually a deterrent for me.

      No worries! I hope you love Throne of Glass! It’s a seriously amazing series!!

  2. Shannon R. says:

    The worst one I ever saw was the original cover for Jamie Maguire’s Beautiful Disaster. It was an open mouth with the tongue sticking out, and the tongue had all these tiny drawings inside it. Thank heavens I read the summary before I saw the title or I might have missed that great book. LOL!

    • Jessica Nicole says:

      Wait, seriously lol? I totally have to go find that now! That definitely sounds like something I would avoid too haha. I have the current cover version, so I completely missed out on the tongue weirdness

    • Jessica Nicole says:

      It’s really kind of a miracle that I picked them up in the first place. The covers did not scream “READ ME I’M AWESOME” lol

    • Jessica says:

      Interesting, I don’t mind Unwind’s cover…I don’t think it’s ground breaking or anything lol, and I can see how it could be more interesting! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. sherri ashburner says:

    I totally agree on NOT reading a book with a bad cover–it just turns me off. One book with a cover I can say I hate is Normal by Graeme Cameron. In fact, I passed this one by UNTIL I read a review on it this morning. Normal is now in my TBR pile. Ahh, the power of a good review!
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    • Jessica says:

      It’s just so hard for me to even pick the book up if it doesn’t have a good cover lol; does that make me shallow? And I had never heard of Normal, but I looked it up and I can see how that cover wouldn’t be super enticing; I love seeing great reviews of books with bad covers because then I feel much better about picking said book up lol
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