Friday, September 6, 2013

Judging a Book by its Cover (and Title)

Okay, so I read a lot of books. Usually it's something one of my friends wrote, or a recommendation from a friend, or something that's getting a lot of buzz. But recently, I've decided to try reading something I've never heard of before.

Shocking, I know.

Buy here
So I go to the Kindle (which is how I read now. I know, you're disappointed), and I simply start clicking around. I find this book called FLAT-OUT LOVE by Jessica Park. I read it--and I really like it. Like, like it a lot.

It's not exactly YA, but it reads very much like a YA. I suppose this is called New Adult (Julie, the MC is a freshman in college), a genre I'll admit I've been skeptical about and honestly, a little scared of.

See, I don't want the entire plot to be the romance. Don't get me wrong. Romance is essential in the books I love, but I've read so much that I'm getting weary of the busy/scorned/betrayed/world-weary woman falling for the sexy/hot/tall/dark/handsome/motorcycle-riding guy. That said, I still read a lot of those and enjoy them. I know, I'm a mixed bag.

Anyway, I've derailed here. I've read several NA novels, and I've found they're not really my thing. I've found them to be a bit romance-heavy, and sometimes more sexy than I want to read.

But FLAT-OUT LOVE wasn't either of those. There is romance--and I really enjoyed and was rooting for it. But there's more. There are other--more important--plot lines going on. Real relationships and real problems being explored. Some romance, but not the immediate kind of romance, but the kind of relationship that takes months to build.

That's why I loved the book. So I finish, and I want to read more books like that. Well, the Kindle (or Amazon) will tell you what other books people are buying when they buy FLAT-OUT LOVE.

And I started judging. That cover looks too romance-heavy.
That cover looks too sexy.
What is that on the cover?
I can't read that title. (Remember, I'm on the Kindle. It's small.)
I can't pronounce that character's name.

I'd only click on the covers that looked like I might get something that had substance and sported a title I could read easily. Then I'd read the book description. I'll admit that none of them piqued my interest for one reason or another, and I'm still looking for my next read that's like FLAT-OUT LOVE.

But I realized that book covers and titles are really important to me, and I think, all readers. It's our first judgement of a book. It might be that we'd really enjoy what's behind the cover, but we'll never see it if that first impression isn't done well.

Do you find yourself judging books this way? And do you have any recommendations for what I can read if I loved FLAT-OUT LOVE? I'd love to hear them!!


Nisa Swineford said...

I'm intrigued. Reading your words, I was literally writing internal check-marks off my list. I think I'll look into this book now. Thanks for the recommendation!

Jess said...

Thanks for the book recommendation- Flat-Out Love sounds right up my alley! And yes, I'd like to say that I immediately flipped inside a book and judge it by the first chapter, but I love covers and titles--catchy ones definitely catch my eye.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

That sounds good! I love that age-range in books, but I DON'T like the heavy, heavy romance and sex that most of those books have in them (just like you don't). It so happens that New Adult is what I write, but without the heavy romance. I thought my stuff would never find a category it would really fit into, but whatever Flat-Out Love really is, that's probably the same as about what I've been writing lately as my contemporaries. I'll probably love it, so thanks for the recommendation!

And yes, I judge books all the time based on covers and titles. Probably shouldn't, but it's just how it is!

Meredith said...

I'm kind of loving the NA genre right now, but I've been looking for one that isn't so romance-heavy, so Flat-Out Love sounds perfect! I try not to judge a book by its cover, but when a cover looks like a million other covers, I'm just not intrigued. This one is more interesting.

ilima said...

Oh, yes. I judge so hard. And it terrifies me for my own books, because I know there are great books out there but I don't give them a shot because of the cover/title. I'm a bad person. ;)

Angela Brown said...

I honestly do judge a book by it's cover. In most instances, it's what catches my attention and draws me to check out more about the book.

I don't, however, have a recommendation for a good read that doesn't have some heavy/scorned/love-me-down kind of thing happening. MG reads aside, I'm digging some hot romance and action lol!

But if you want a great MG read, and if you haven't read it already, Wonder is a must read.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I judge too but sometimes the cover just screams crappy or slutty and I don't want to read that.

Nicole said...

A good cover will definitely get me to pause and investigate more, but it's the description or opening page that really convinces me one way or another.

Brenna Braaten said...

You've exactly hit on my fears for the NA genre. When I hear a lot of people talking about it, it sounds like it's basically romance with a slightly younger set of characters, and it can be so much more than that.

There are a host of new experiences and troubles and issues that come with being a new adult, just out or a few years out of high school, away from parents, or maybe still with them. There are strains on old relationships and lots of new ones. There are new terrors and opportunities. There are new stresses.

These are all things that can happen outside of a steamy romance. I hope that this genre doesn't get a stigma for just being YA with full-on sex. Because, it has so much more potential than that.

Jemi Fraser said...

Covers and titles are definitely important! I think we all judge whether we admit it or not!

mshatch said...

I very much judge a book by it's cover, whether it's sitting on an actual shelf or I'm looking at it on-line. If the cover and then title doesn't appeal, I don't even read what it's about.

Heather Sunseri said...

I really enjoyed Flat Out Love and agree with you on needing way more than just a sexy romance in my YA, NA, or A reads. I really enjoyed Slammed for that reason. I'm pretty sure Slammed is a crossover between YA and NA (a senior in high school and a twenty-something characters), but it's way more than just romance.

Patti said...

I've been looking at purchasing this book as an audible book, (I have a long drive to work, audible books cure my road rage). Thanks for the review.

Julie Daines said...

When you're perched on the verge of buying a book, and you don't know anything about the story or author, the cover and title are all you've got to judge by. So yes, I think it's very important. A cover can make or break a book. That's why waiting to see your cover is so dang stressful!

Jessie Humphries said...

I am a book cover elitist, snob, whore. Wait, that came out wrong. I meant, yes, I have a hard time picking up a book with a craptastic cover even if people say the book is good. I need validation that the artist thought it was good enough too. Or something like that. Btw, I love all your covers ;)

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Kathryn Purdie said...

I used to buy books solely based off of the cover and the title. I wouldn't even read the blurb because I didn't want ANY SPOILERS AT ALL. So I do judge harshly based on covers and titles. In the past couple years, though, I buy books based of trusted friends' recommendations...but I still might not if I hated the cover and title. :-)

SA Larsenッ said...

I do find that I fall into that judging category, sometimes. But mostly, I contemplate what I see, read the blurb, and maybe even flip to a page later on in the book and read that too. Then I decide. (Oh, and if I'm undecided, I'll read a few reviews posted by previous readers. Not so much for quality - opinions vary so much - but for the feel of the story and if I think it's for me.)

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Robin said...

I try not to, but I definitely judge a book by its cover and title. I'm adding Flat-Out Love to my TBR. My recommendation-Cassie Mae. She writes funny NA/upper YA.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I have a terrible problem and generally reach for books primarily due to their covers. Certain covers beckon to me, and that's why I craved a powerful cover for my first novel. I know the saying, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but some covers scream, pick me!

Elle Strauss said...

I loved Flat Out Love, share the same reservations on NA as you, and ditto on the recommendation to read Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Loved it as well. :)

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Dony said...

Well, cover isn't everything, but i think it's very very important. If i didn't read your review, it's the cover that will attract me to read the book, right? aba24 hablur is mygoldenduck

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