Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Lies! Lies! Top Ten Deceptive Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is books that have deceived you in some way.

Almost all of the books I chose this week are YA books. This wasn't a conscious decision, but maybe it says something about my feelings towards YA covers in particular! Some of these books were deceiving based on their descriptions, or the hype surrounding them, but overall I went for cover design.

Note: I know that the UK covers quite often differ from those in other locations, so I've included the ones I'm talking about in case anyone is interested in the differences.

1. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter

I HATE the covers for these books. I first spotted one of these when in a bookshop with my brother, and we marvelled at how trashy and soft-porn-schoolgirl they were. I read a number of positive reviews, and eventually bought one on sale, but although I quite enjoyed the book, and wouldn't rule out reading the rest of the series, I still think the covers are hideous.

2. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

It's actually the title, more than anything, that I found deceptive here. I read Prep, and loved it, and picked this up in the library after some hesitation over the cheesy, romance novel title. I found the book a lot better than the title (and the cover) suggest.

3. The Princess Diaries (series) by Meg Cabot

Pink and sparkly and cartoony and, in the case of a couple I have borrowed from the library, plastered with competitions to win pink, sparkly things. I thought these were going to be juvenile and asinine, but after reading one while I was ill (and having watched the film, which I enjoyed), I promptly went back for more. A lot cleverer and enjoyable than the covers suggest.

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I really, really disliked this book, but it came highly recommended and with great acclaim, so I picked it up and gave it a go. The description didn't give me any clue as to what the book would be like, and when it descended into some kind of mad fantasy I lost the will to live.

5. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The cover of this book has never fitted with the story, for me. I never imagined Rory to look like the girl on the cover, and I just feel like the story - ghosts! London! Jack the Ripper! - could have been better represented, instead of looking like a nondescript paranormal romance type thing. (I am not a huge fan of covers with people on them, though, so that might be it.)

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

It was the description of this book that deceived me completely. I was expecting one thing, and got something entirely - and wonderfully - different. (Review here.)

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I picked up this book after reading endless five star reviews. This is a favourite book of mine, and I found it smart and funny and romantic in just the right way, but the cover has never really done it for me. To look at, it does the story a great injustice, by making it look a lot like a second rate romance, rather than much, much more!

8. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

So, forget what I said for a minute about not liking covers with people on them. The US cover for TSITP made it look intriguing and summery and I wanted to read it immediately. I requested this book from the library and was surprised to see the cover when I picked it up. Compared to the original cover, it just looks kind of tacky and cheap, and much more childish. Had I seen this on the shelf, I would never have picked it up. (Review here.)

9. Uglies / Pretties (Uglies #1 and #2) by Scott Westerfeld

After seeing the covers of these books, and reading the descriptions, I was expecting much more interrogation of the beauty standards propagated in the books. For me, this was what was lacking in this series - everyone wants to be pretty, but it just seems to be a backdrop to a lot of the action in the end. These covers suggested otherwise. (Reviews here and here.)

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Mostly for the red shoe. :) (Review here.)

Things have been pretty quiet in the last few days, mostly because of the Easter break and having the boy to visit :) There are a couple of reviews upcoming in the next few days, though, and I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on!


  1. I've seen Anna on several other lists for this as well. It is such a great book and it hurts my heart to know someone might pass it up for the cover!! ~Maggie
    Vote for us to go to BEA!!


  2. I totally agree with a number of these and I listed Westerfeld's Uglies on mine. Thanks, also, for using the word "deceptive"!

    Check out my list at:

  3. I totally agree with you on pretty much all of these! I like how the covers are different than the ones I've read and kinda glad because I wouldn't have read any of them from those covers either! Especially the Gallagher Girls one and The Princess Diaries. Way.too.sparkly. Dx

  4. Terrific list. You're not alone on Anna. That title has shown up EVERYWHERE today!

  5. I am so glad to have found someone else who disliked Life of Pi as much as I did!!
    If only he had stuck to writing about life at the zoo, I found all that fascinating, after that I just spiralled into a world of utter confusion.
    I keep seeing Anna and the French Kiss all over Top Ten Tuesday, but the cover is so terrible I would be embarrassed to be seen in public with it.


  6. I've seen so many good reviews for Cinder - but the cover is not one of my favorites - and probably the reason I haven't gotten to it yet.

  7. i agree with you on Anna and the French Kiss. i wasn't a fan of the cover at all and probably wouldn't have bothered reading the book if i hadn't read so many great reviews for it.
    It's a horrible cover but an amazing book. Who knows how many people haven't experienced the awesomeness that is Stephanie Perkins writing because of the horrible covers her books get saddled with.

  8. I love the Princess Diaries series, but don't know if I would have picked them up if I had seen those awful covers! Mine are plain with some version of a tiara. I agree about the Anna cover...that book deserves better!

    Thanks for visiting!

    Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews


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