Apr 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving

There's a lot of misleading entertainment out there. I think movies are the worst offender (Georgia Rule is NOT a comedy), but books can deceive as well.  Hence why you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover (*groan*). But the misleadingness (did I make that word up? maybe) isn't always a bad thing.

Top Ten Books That Are Totally Deceiving

1. Classics published with a "Twilight Cover"
Ok, this is more than one book in this number one slot, but I think this category is the most egregious offender.  Seeing Jane Eyre with that now infamous combination of red, black, and white is incredibly misleading. There are no vampires or werewolves in these stories.  These stories aren't fast and horrible reads. They're well-written and horrible reads (I'm kidding, I'm kidding...).  But really, any teen who picks up one of those books expecting Twilight is in for a surprise.


2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
This one is my bias against the book, but really, the bright neon colors scream out happy fun times! At least, they do for me because in my mind, neon = 80s.

3. The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron
Now, I loved this book.  But looking at the cover, I would expect a story about the misadventures of a girly girl, not a story about a girl who lives in a poor, small town and likes to eavesdrop on Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. 

4. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
I'll be honest. When I first saw this cover, I thought "really?" I'm not heavily invested in sci-fi, and it just looked like the stereotypical sci-fi novel. But I loved it.

5. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos
The cartoonish nature of the cover, coupled with the semi-funny sounding name of the main character, makes it seem like this book is a silly, fun story, and not one about a boy with ADHD and a neglecting family.

6. Fifteen, by Beverly Cleary
I love Bev C., but this is such a terrible book! Read it.  This book was published in the 50s, so it's been reprinted numerous times. I did a project on this book that involved examining the different book covers to see how each decade put their stamp on the book's 50s themes. This early 80s cover is the worst for the tagline: "Having a boyfriend isn't the answer!" The book is all about how she NEEDS to have one. She doesn't learn how not having one isn't the end of the world.  Oh no, she ends up with one and only then is she truly happy.  But the cover attempts to assert some 80s independence and completely sells the wrong story.

7. Love that Dog, by Sharon Creech
It looks so simple, so cute, so fun, but that cover in no way prepares you for the heartache inside. That is, unless you subscribe to my belief that if there's a dog on the cover, that dog is going to die. Spoiler alert: the dog dies.

8. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson
This cover makes the book seem so juvenile and not like it's about a girl who goes on an awesome adventure.  I also hate how the girl's stomach is showing, not because I'm a prude - we all know my love of the Britney Spears - but because it makes me not want to take this book seriously, which is a huge problem for a lot of people when they see a YA novel.

9. P.S. I Love You, by Cecelia Ahern
What the heck is this cover? The book is about a woman who receives a bunch of notes from her dead husband, and yet the cover is all happy-go-lucky, look at me in my pretty flowery dress.  It's got a total chick lit cover, which like No. 8, makes me want to take it less seriously and not admit that I really liked it.

10. The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink (or any book turned movie)
While the cover does depict a scene from the book, all this cover really tells me is that Kate Winslet is in it.  The same goes for any other book turned movie, when the book is reprinted with the movie tie-in.  The covers typically reflect nothing of importance, but instead show the pretty face of a Hollywood actor/actress.

More at The Broke and the Bookish!


  1. I didn't like the cover of 13 Little Blue Envelopes at all, it seemed horribly cheesy and never quite fit for me. As for those Twilight-inspired covers, I haven't seen them before but it seems quite disingenuous to market them like that, rather than as novels on their own considerable merit.

    1. When I first saw the Twilight covers on classics, a part of my soul died.

  2. I agree with 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES. It seems so petty and juvenile upon first glance, but it's actually a brilliant story.

    Great list this week! I'm your newest follower :)

  3. I've seen a Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes on a couple of Top Tens today. I'll have to look into reading that one. I don't really love the cover and would have just passed it up otherwise.

    1. It's really good. I just read one of Maureen Johnson's newer books, The Name of the Star, which is also worth reading =)

  4. I haven't seen the Twilight inspired classics. A bit add I think. The bit about the covers of Fifteen was interesting too. Rebranding of past favorites is just awkward, isn't it? Nice list.

    1. It's always odd when you see a favorite with a new cover =)

  5. I hadn't seen the twilight inspired classics either. I agree w/ you about 13 little blue envelopes though. :D
    My TTT;

    1. A lot of people have mentioned 13 Little Blue Envelopes!

  6. YES! #1 Twilight covers! I see them everywhere! Also, I agree with 13 Little Blue Envelopes; I also don't like that her tummy is showing for the exact same reason! :)