January #InkRipples - 5 Star Books & Their Covers

The last Monday in January. It's been a long month! Is it because there were 5 Mondays? Because we got tons of snow, had a gymnasium collapse and missed lots of school while they shoveled rooftops? Perhaps its the vitriolic political climate that threatens to decimate our country. Idk. But I wasn't sure the month was going to end. Ever. But speaking of ending, there's a giveaway of King of Bad on Goodreads that ends on the 31st. Hop on over after you've devoured this post. Link is in my sidebar -->

All month long #InkRipples has been exploring all things book covers. I explored the making of a book cover by sharing different incarnations of my covers during the design process and sharing my collaboration experiences. Other Ripplers have shared new covers, talked about why certain covers attract their attention, etc. It's quite fun. Search #InkRipples on Twitter and find the plethora of book cover goodness. 

Today I'm wrapping up the month by becoming a reader. Well, I'm always a reader, but for the purpose of this post, I'm a Reader Not a Writer (One of my favorite blogs, btw's). I'm examining the covers of my 2016 5 star reads to give my personal opinion on if the cover matches the awesomeness of the story within.

This is a short story cross of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (sort of). The cover has a great fairy tale feel but the stark colors aren't my fave. I did not read the illustrated version of this book. My opinion of the cover might be different if I luxuriated in illustrations. Hmmm, I might have to check that out now that I think of it. 

I've spent a lot of time with this lovely young adult story by my critique partner, Beverly Stowe McClure. And because of that, I think it bears more weight that I also love the cover. When you spend a lot of time crafting a story, refining the characters, choosing the right words, a first look at the cover can be stressful. What if it just doesn't make the grade? But this cover caught my attention immediately. Made me suck in breath and say, "Oooo." I love purple covers. 

This talking head illustration did get my attention. Enough to read the blurb and decide to read this young adult book. Is it my favorite cover ever? No. But it did it's job. I really, really loved this book, so I'm glad this cover made me think, "Now what's that all about?"

I listened to this middle grade gem on audiobook. I tend to pick my audiobook more from title than cover - not really sure why, maybe because of the audio aspect of the book. So that means the cover didn't get my attention, but I admit that adorable expression doesn't lose my attention either. I do love that the cover sets the mood and mind set of the story. 

This wonderful middle grade orphan train novel (also by my critique partner, Beverly. Hey, what can I say? She's a great author) is well covered. The sunrise gives us a hopeful feeling, which we need throughout Leona's emotional journey. The only criticism I can offer is that Leona is a bit hard to see. Especially in thumbnail. I wish she had a bit of an outline to stand out more. But I really love the color scheme of this cover and the font of the title. 

I love everything about this entire upper middle grade series. This cover is fantastically creepy. Another great color scheme. I'm currently listening to The Creeping Shadow and love, love, love it and it's cover too. Stroud is a favorite author of mine and not because I'd be shelved next to him if Barnes and Noble would stock my middle grade books. (Grumbles in the general direction of B&N)

I can't say that either the cover or the title would have inspired me to read this young adult book. I picked it up after seeing it included on several 'favorites' posts by bloggers. The book is worthy of the favorites, even if the cover isn't. 

For the sake of saving space, let me just say this entire adult series (very adult, btw) was fantastic - all three books got 5 stars from me. Couldn't read fast enough. And I rarely read adult, so that's saying something. I guess. The covers? Yeah. Simple, simple, simple. Definitely not what drew me in (another blogger raved and I trust her opinion. She was right again.) I believe the books were published ages ago, if I remember correctly. With the trend of recovering, I'm surprised to still see these simple covers. These stories could most definitely have oiled, bare chested men on the covers. *fans self*

Oh yeah! I love this creepy middle grade cover so, so much. It has so many elements of the story (except the humor, there's a lot of that) in a simple picture. It really sets the mood, while making us ask, "What the heck is that coming through the door?" Great cover for a great story. 

I put off reading this because I didn't want the series to end. I didn't want to leave Gansey. I didn't want to leave Blue. I didn't want to leave the covers! Isn't this stunning? Stiefvater is one of my all time favorite young adult authors and she gets some of the most beautifully illustrated covers for her fine work. Well deserved.

That's the long list of my 2016 5 star reads. I had a good reading year! I don't usually love so many of the books I read. As you can see sometimes I can judge a book by it's cover and other times, I can't. If there was a sixth Monday in January (thank God there isn't!) I'd share the books with fantastic covers whose contents fall short. We've all read them. 

Do the covers of your 5 star reads stand up to the story inside? Share the titles and authors in the comments so I can check them out - and maybe add them to my tbr list. 

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.



  1. Lots of great reads! I have a few to add to my TRB pile. One of my favorite books of all-time (The Sky is Everywhere) certainly isn't my favorite cover, either the original hardcover or the paperback version. Just goes to show a cover is important but not the only thing to a book.

    1. Just added to my tbr, thanks. And yes, I'm so glad the cover isn't the end all for a book. Especially since all art is so subjective.

  2. Oh, Kai, thank you. Your comments about my book covers just made my day. I'd have been here yesterday, but life was a blur. (Cataract surgery.) Your opinion has always been important to me. And you suffered through Under a Purple Moon with me, reading it over and over. The illustrator gets credit. I just mentioned an old house and a moon. He did the rest. I agree with you about Leona too. She is hard to see. The sun was to show hope, which you said. Enjoyed your thoughts on the other covers. I'm smiling through my blurs. :)

    1. Thanks for stopping in all blurry eyed! It must be difficult to read. You're a trooper, Beverly! And thanks for writing so many wonderful books.

    2. The world is a bit blurry. Appointment tomorrow. Hope he prescribes for new glasses. Hope I don't run over someone driving to his office. :)


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