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.
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.
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.
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