Thursday, July 12, 2012

Judging Books by Their Covers #4: Kissing & Hugging

Judging Books by Their Covers is a feature I do every once in a while to showcase some book covers. Each post, I choose one category and some book covers that fit into that category, and talk about whether or not I like those covers. You can read some earlier posts in this feature here.

The links will take you to the Goodreads pages.

Today's category is: kissing and hugging!

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (and the rest of the books in this series)
While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

Forget You by Jennifer Echols (and most other books by Jennifer Echols)
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Stay With Me by Paul Griffin
First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

There are loads of book covers with people hugging or kissing. Loads. This is a long list I included here, and there are many, many more. And honestly? I'm not a fan. Most of the time, they don't tell you much about the story. And they're embarrassing to be seen reading in public. There are a few I like though - like Waiting, My Life Next Door, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I like when the people embracing are not as close to the camera - maybe that's just because I don't like faces on book covers in general, since I like being able to imagine what the MC looks like without some model on the cover influincing my imagination. That's why I like the covers for those three books, while I can't stand the ones for Not That Kind of Girl, When You Were Mine, and Forget You, for example.

What do you think of covers featuring people kissing or hugging? Which of these covers do you like or dislike?


  1. I'm not a big fan of kissing covers. I hate that there are some books that boys wont touch cause of the covers. And actually as a mother I'm embarrassed to be seen reading them too!
    But the ones you pointed out liking are the same ones I like. Statistical Probability especially!

  2. I know what you mean by close-ups of covers - but I do think the cover of Perfect Chemistry represents part of the story (rich vs poor, white vs Hispanic)

    Also, I love the cover of Something Like Normal! I love the black and white photo with the dog tag and the large font. It's artsy in a way.

    Pushing the Limits is also a favorite of mine. I think I like the colors and the lockers in the background.

    Sometimes these are more representative of the story than girls in beautiful dresses (and I do love those covers too! They're great photo covers!)

    What I don't like is when the models don't match the character descriptions in the story. That's why I like the Perfect Chemistry cover.

    1. Yeah, I don't mind the PC cover too much, since it does represent the story well. But, also, it's reeeaaally embarrassing to be seen with in public... The same goes for Pushing the Limits.

      The cover of Something Like Normal is okay, for me. I would have preferred a non-kissing cover, beccause I think this will turn away male readers, even though the story is one I think a lot of guys would actually like.

      I'm not a huge fan of either kissing covers or pretty-girl-in-dress covers, to be honest - I prefer more artsy, abstract ones. But it's not like a kissing cover will keep me from reading a book ;)

      And yes, it bugs me so much when the models don't fit the descriptions!!

    2. Have you seen the cover for Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black? It's beautiful! It's about a ballet student and a lot of paranormal things going on at the school.

      I'm not a dancer, but I'd like to learn more about this art!

    3. Oh I just found an article written by a literary agent and she said that teen boys don't read YA - they go from MG to adult books and totally skip YA. I think that's why the covers are designed to appeal to girls more than boys, and why they have kissing scenes as a cover.

      It's also why all YA must have a romance - without it most girls wouldn't buy it. That's why John Green always has a romance even if they're books boys can also read. Boys just aren't their target audience. I think it sucks, but I guess boys just go straight to adult books.

    4. That cover is GORGEOUS! Reminds me a little bit of When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer. Only prettier :)

      Yeah, that makes sense. I always think in the other direction, that boys don't read YA because the market doesn't provide much for them, but I guess it has to go both ways, that not much boy-suitable YA is published because there's just not a high demand for it. It's sad, though!

    5. I just looked up the cover you mentioned - I see the similarities with the red rose petals!

      What I like about some of these covers is that once you've read the book, there's a lot of symbolism in it. Wither's got a cover like that - the birdcage, the wedding ring. And the same motifs continue in Fever and DeStefano's final book, but they change based on what happens to Rhine.

      I know you don't like paranormal, but have you considered Anna Dressed in Blood? It's a ghost story, but the ghost just breaks your heart. It's really original and good. Great cover too! It's not too heavy on the paranormal, it's more a question of the ghost's background.

    6. Yes, exactly! I love when there's more meaning behind a cover, which there usually isn't with these kissing covers, or the pretty-girl-in-dress covers.

  3. I could not agree more. Kissing covers are so cliché that it's easy to make one that's not creative or memorable. And yes, these books, no matter how good they actually are, can be embarrassing to read in public:( I love it when romance novels do something different for the cover, like Anna and the French Kiss, which just features Anna and St. Clair leaning towards each other-no physical contact required. Adorable!:)
    I do have some exceptions, though. I really like The Staristical Probability of Love at First Sight's cover, because it's cute and quirky and the couple isn't to close to the camera. It's not just a picture of their faces, and it is much more original than other kissing covers.

  4. Haha! I totally get what you mean about these covers being slightly embarrassing in public, but I think I've gotten over the fear of being judged.

    And my favorites from your list are My Life Next Door, Pushing the Limits, and Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. And the only ones I don't like are the up close kissing ones!

  5. I agree, the covers with people hugging & kissing are embarrassing! It's just...odd. Also, I love how there's a random dog on the cover of Stay With Me. Hahah (:

  6. I do think kissing/hugging covers will limit how many people read or buy a book, I've read a lot of comments about SLN being a great book for boys but that the cover would probably put them off.

    I think kissing/hugging covers can be done well like Waiting, SLN, Forget You and My Life Next Door, but the rest of them look a bit cheesy and staged.

    1. Yes, exactly - that's what bugs me too! I can't imagine a guy wanting to be seen with a book with SLN's cover, even if they might love SLN otherwise, which is sad.

  7. I definitely do NOT like these types of covers! Especially when reading in public, or when your checking out a book from the library. My mom also doesn't appreciate me reading books with those types of covers. I feel like it doesn't represent the book well. Yes, we get that it's a romance book, but there just needs to be something else. They're so typical. Although, I do like the covers for My Life Next Door and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I think when it's not a close up, it's much better.

    Great post, Hannah! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  8. I'm not a fan either, because they all start to look the same for one. I agree about the cover images not matching how I imagine the characters to be .

  9. I agree. I don't like the kissy kissy covers, but I don't mnd the hugging. And I hate it when the model's faces are all close up and everything. I like imagining my characters too, so I like it when there's not much of the model's faces showing. Great post!

  10. they're all contemporary books. I don't seem to like them, coz I don't read contemporary if I can help it.

  11. YEY HANNAH! I've been waiting for this. :D I like Waiting's cover too. It seems pretty nice and simple. I agree. It's too awkward holding a book with a cover like that. You know how some people are. They'll easily judge what you are reading by the cover. -.- Anyway, I love Something Like Normal's cover. I like the fact that I don't get to see the guy's face so I don't have anyone to imagine who Travis is. :>

    1. Ha! I know you've been looking forward to this :p I was gonna post it ages ago, but then I somehow forgot... oops :p

      I don't mind SLN's cover too much, either, since it's not too cose-up-y of their faces, but I still would have preferred a non-kissing cover!

  12. I'm pretty embarrassed to be seen with that "lovely" books in public too. But.... When they don't spoil too much fun, like Waiting or My life next door, they are actually amazing. :D

  13. I like 'my life next door' because it's not focused on the kissing couple. They are just there and I love the coloring and surrounding. I don't like the zoomed covers, with their huges faces all over the page.. Therefore, I do like covers as 'The stastistical..' and 'While he was away', but I hate covers like 'forget you' and 'when you were mine'


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

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