Anyone who visits YA Book Queen regularly knows that I love to look for the highlights and lowlights in every book. And, sometimes, I like to look for highlights and lowlights elsewhere, too. Last time, I discussed the Highlights & Lowlights of Sequels. This week, however, I'm going to focus on something different but still bookish. When it comes to books, one of the first things I notice is the cover. I also notice of other little details – such as whether or not the cover has quotes / blurbs on the front. Here are some highlights and lowlights when it comes to blurbs on book covers:
Lowlight: They don't fit the book at all. I'm looking at you, paperback version of IF I STAY. I mean, really? These two stories are nothing alike, aside from having romance (Forman's novel is undeniably better written), so I think it's a strange blurb that doesn't do this novel any favors. It's kind of like saying CODE NAME VERITY will appeal to HARRY POTTER fans (because both feature friendship...and that's it). It just doesn't fit.
Highlight: They can be fun! Maureen Johnson gives the best example of this with her blurb for ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (which is actually on the back cover of the original paperback): "Very sly. Very funny. Very romantic. You should date this book." When MJ tells you to date a book, you date the book. I always love reading quirky, odd blurbs. A blurb like that makes me laugh, and want to pick up the novel to check it out.
Lowlight: I'm not a fan of the author who blurbed the book. I might walk on by if I see Author X exclaiming about another writer's work, especially if I dislike Author X's writing. I tend to assume that if Author X blurbs Author Z's novel, then they must write similarly...which isn't always true, but I still tend to move on to looking at something else.
Highlight: They make me curious about books I would NEVER read. The MJ quotation, once again, is the perfect example. It's amusing, catches my eye, and makes me wonder about the novel - which is exactly what a blurb should do! I never would have read A&TFK, simply because the title is a bit ridiculous, but the blurbs and good buzz convinced me otherwise.
Lowlight: Blurbs with comparisons set me up for disappointment. Tell me a novel is going to be the next HARRY POTTER, and I get excited. Really excited, because I love HP. So, when it turns out to be a so-and-so or even good story, I'm disappointment. I might have enjoyed the novel more if the blurb hadn't of compared it to HP in the first place.
Highlight: The blurb is written by one of my favorite authors. One of the reasons I became even more curious about SHADOW AND BONE was because Veronica Roth had a blurb on the book cover. And, since I'm a fan of Roth's work, it made me curious enough about Bardugo's novel to convince me to purchase it, and I wasn't disappointed.
Lowlight: Some blurbs seem like lies or are all the same. I have a hard time taking blurbs seriously when they (A) come from someone that seems to love everything, (B) compare books inaccurately, or (C) recycle the same phrases over and over. If I hadn't of read and loved an ARC of BLOOD RED ROAD, I never would have picked up the new cover version that features a blurb from MTV'S Hollywood Crush. It doesn't catch my eye in a good way.
Highlight: They give me another author's work to check out. When I pick up a book I like that has a blurb by an author I haven't heard of, I'll usually check out that author's novels on Goodreads. Sometimes it's a great way to discover an author that has a similar writing style as the book I originally picked up.
Lowlight: They ruin what would otherwise be an awesome cover. I actually wish blurbs were mostly on the back cover of books, that way they don't ruin a lovely cover with unnecessary font. The THRONE OF GLASS cover, for instance, would look incredible if it didn't have the blurb on the front cover.
Highlight: They describe the novel perfectly. For example, Miranda Kenneally's blurb for TORCHED - it's short, sweet, and completely accurate. It's not an overly exciting blurb, but it does fit the story.
Highlight: They add to the overall cover design. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is one cover that really makes the blurb add something extra to the cover. The quotation doesn't look out of place, it fits in perfectly. I feel like this is pretty rare, though. Can anyone else think of a cover that uses the text from a blurb in an interesting way?
While I, for the most part, dislike seeing a blurb on the front cover, I do love to read them! What are your thoughts on book covers with blurbs on the front?