Site Loader

It’s a thin line between love and hate.

Oh who am I (and The Persuaders) kidding, there is no thin line, especially in the sad, sad case of terrible YA covers. In such cases, it’s a thin line between “Oh my goodness, I hate this cover” and “Oh my goodness, I hate this one even more.”

And in this particular case, my lovely guest Shanna has stopped by TCG to beg this feature’s question:


Alright. It’s no secret that YA covers are more often ugly than they are pretty. Occasionally, you’ll get some wonderful gems, like the covers for the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness (OMG I love you Todd and Viola and Manchee). Those covers? Awesome.


But unfortunately, this is not the norm. Instead, we get saddled with highly embarrassing, cringe-worthy disasters, such as every single book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Six books, six horrible covers. I mean, it was almost like each book was trying to out-ugly the last one.


They’re just so…bad, what with the Angelina Jolie look-alike and the awkward sexy poses. So when I found out that Richelle Mead was doing a spin-off series of VA called Bloodlines, I was immediately curious about how the first cover would turn out. Surely it couldn’t be any worse than any of the VA covers, right?


Look at this mess. JUST LOOK AT IT. I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, the font used for the title paired with the thorned rose motif just makes me think of a really bad tattoo parlor. It’s practically begging you to throw on your leather chaps and Harley Davidson T-shirt and take to the open road on your hog (preferably with a sidecar, because 1) who doesn’t want to ride in a sidecar, and 2) Darkwing Duck had one). It reminds me of this one time when I was a sophomore in high school and a senior girl came back from her senior trip with a tramp stamp rose tattoo. It was incredibly tacky and embarrassing, and I’m almost positive she regretted it about a week later. I wonder if publishers feel the same remorse after they decide on a cover….

As for the golden lily photoshopped onto Sydney’s face…ew. I’m almost positive that Capillya has already made a post discussing the unfortunate trend of photoshopping a random accessory or tattoo onto a person on a book cover. This thing on her face is an excellent example of how bad it looks. Ya know what they could have done to prevent this problem? THEY COULD HAVE NOT PUT REAL PEOPLE ON THE COVER. It totally robs the reader of the right to imagine the characters however they please. Or to cast their own actors and actresses in the roles, which is what I tend to do (and I blame this fun little habit on Forever Young Adult). I’m sorry, but those two on the cover do NOT look like Emma Watson and Ian Somerhalder to me, because that’s who should be cast as Sydney and Adrian, obvs. Instead of leaving me to my own devices and letting me blissfully envision Emma and Ian fight evil vampires and inevitably fall in deep, dirty love, this cover has spoiled my glorious imagination. *sigh*

I think I’ve hit all the high points (er…low points?) of this fug-tastic cover. This book was a chance at sweet redemption from the Vampire Academy covers, and it totally failed. Maybe one day…ONE DAY…Richelle Mead will be lucky enough to have a decent book cover. But today, unfortunately, just ain’t that day.

Five hundred high-fives to Shanna for guest posting! If you need more Shanna in your life (and you’re not as lucky as I am to live a measly 10 miles away from her and be a part of our fantastic book club), I suggest you get thee to following her on Twitter or check out her Tumblr.

Bryan Williams