Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Were Totally Deceiving (To Me, That Is)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Disclaimer: It’s not that hard to deceive me. I often buy books based off of the cover and the summary blurb without really looking inside. Your Mileage May Vary.

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Why: The red shoes are in the forefront of the cover, which made me think that this was going to be more of a fairy tale.

From the cover, I kind of assumed this was more of a fairytale, less of a sci-fi. I was okay with it, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. (Also, I still have an unfortunate association for the name Meyer. Why, Stephanie? Why??

2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Why: Stock YA cover with stock YA Paranormal summary on a pretty unique book.

From the cover and blurb, this book looks pretty run-of-the-mill. However, once you start reading, run-of-the-mill goes out the window, to be replaced with awesomeness!

3. I‘d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You and sequels by Ally Carter

Why: Stock YA covers on awesome books

Again,the covers on these are unremarkable. Their content, however, wows and amazes pretty consistently.

4. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Why: Cover is more creepy in tone than content.

The cover is creepy. That girl feels like she’s staring right into your soul. But the content is more urban adventure fantasy than horror.

5. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Why: Cover looks like a Gothic/Victorian novel, not a modern paranormal.

This cover is so beautiful…. but there’s something distinctly Victorian about it, and aside from the Jack the Ripper plotline, very little Victoriana in the actual book.

6.  Romances in General

Why: The covers on pretty much every romance suck.

Julie at TBAB already mentioned these, but I thought they deserved another mention. There are a lot of romance authors who I actually quite like, but it’s hard to weed out good from bad when every cover and summary looks the same.

7. Vacations From Hell by Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Claudia Gray, and Sarah Mlynowski

Why: The cover fails at being relevant.

I don’t remember ANY of these stories being about a pink flower. That said, I might have forgotten…. (Overall, these stories themselves are pretty unremarkable, but check out Bray and Johnson’s contributions if you do ever pick it up. They were both awesome.)

8. Pretty much every cover for the manga Ghost Hunt by Fuyumi Ono and Shiho Inada

Why: The covers are very shojo and don’t really do a good job of conveying the things that Ono and Inada are good at it.

Again, a pretty cool series falls prey to Stock Cover Syndrome. Ono is good at constructing a creepy narrative that’s still definitely aimed at girls, and Inada is pretty adept when it comes to capturing that with her art. Also, while Mai does have damsel-in-distress tendencies at times, she does take a level in badass as the series goes on– the cover of the volume 11, which I own, does not capture that progression very well. At this point, Mai’s doing less staring at beasties with a deer-in-the-headlights expression and more saving-everyone’s-bacon.

9. The new covers for Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series.

Why: Stock Cover Syndrome again.

I used to own copies of the original Immortals quartet with the nice cover art. They were destroyed in a move, when a box of books was soaked through, and I bought new copies that had new covers that I simply didn’t like as much. Then, I saw the new covers for the Alanna books and began frantically picking up copies with the original covers wherever I could, because if the Immortals covers were meh, then the new Alanna covers are just BAD. The clothing on the models looks too modern, and the hulking Twilight male leads brooding on the cover of the third book don’t look Jon or George-like (also, Alanna would have clunked their heads together for flanking her like that.) This series is very dear to my heart, and while I appreciate that the publishers are trying to make them more marketable, I really did like the old fashioned girl-with-a-horse-and-sword covers– I feel like they captured the spirit of the series, whereas teh new covers are simply flimsy window dressing.

10. Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Why: Cover is beautiful, summary is engaging– content is blah.

Disclaimer: I have not yet finished Illuminate– mainly because of the following:

a.) It’s an angel book– with none of the things that make angel books awesome. No flaming swords, no kicking ass and taking names, no Raffe-and-Penryn style badassery, no wings, no awesome powers, no intense moral qaundary– just a main character who sleeps a lot and takes instruction from a notebook that generates writing for her.

b.) It drags terribly for the first 3/4, making it hard to get through.

In short, this is the opposite of Stock Cover Syndrome– this book has Boring Content Syndrome, wrapped up in a nice cover and an exciting summary.

What books are in your Top Ten? Let me know in the comments! 😀



18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carole
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 18:12:48

    That’s so sad about Illuminate, I may still have to give it a try but I will be pushing it way to the bottom of my TBR pile. And, I totally agree about Paranormalcy, it definitely stands on its’ own after reading (but I didn’t care for book 2).


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:48:16

      I have not read book 2, but I’ve heard it wasn’t as awesome as book 1. 😛 And yes, I’m actually working on my Illuminate review as we speak– I barely got through it, and I would definitely postpone if you have something more awesome to read. 😛


  2. tarynwanderer
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 18:56:15

    WOW. Those new Alanna covers are terrible! I hadn’t seen them before, being very happy with my girl-and-sword-and-horse covers. You’re totally right in your critique of the new covers!

    Great list. Thanks for sharing your choices!


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:46:45

      Yes, they are. I am still working on replacing my destroyed copies of SotL, and have been combing secondhand bookshops and websites for the old covers. Have had reasonable success so far (and people are selling them off for about $5 a copy so that’s cool :D). They just capture the spirit of the books in a way that the new covers… don’t. 😛


  3. Alison
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 19:27:06

    I was misled by Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children too. I was really wanting it to be creepy but it wasn’t. :-/


  4. adkwriter15
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 19:39:20

    Agreements all around, on the books I’ve read anyways. I really do think the Paranormalcy covers are pretty, but … Evie is so much MORE than pretty. I know Kiersten White adores the covers, so I guess that’s what counts? At least they aren’t like the new Song of the Lioness covers. 😛

    My TTT


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:43:37

      True, true…. I LIKE the Paranormalcy covers, but they just seem… stock to me. But yes, anything but the new SotL covers. *shudder*


  5. Pocketful of Books
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 20:22:12

    Totally agree about Miss Peregrine’s…I thought it was going to give me the creeps but it wasn’t that kind of book at all. I loved it though!

    My TTT:


  6. Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 23:18:16

    Great list! Miss Peregrine’s has made onto quite a few Top Tens this week.


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:37:29

      Thank you! Yeah, I kind of thought it might…. the cover and summary are very different from the content. *shrugs*


  7. Kristin Hafling
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 00:11:59

    I put paranormalcy on my list too, I thought the cover made the book seem dark and dangerous, when I found the book more fun to read. Great list!

    My TTT:

    your newest follower,


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:36:40

      Thanks for following! 😀

      Yeah…. to me, Paranormalcy is almost a spoof of YA paranormal, I guess? So that made it hard to take the typically dark YA cover very seriously.


  8. Carissa
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 02:46:07

    Great post! Interesting about Miss Peregrine’s, and I have to say that I’m relieved because I really don’t go in for horror. I’m a total wimp!


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:35:08

      I was a /tiny/ bit relieved, but also felt a little cheated. I was ready for it to be super-scary– I had my blankets, some hot tea, and a nightlight ready 😀 but it just didn’t creep me out as much as I thought it would.


  9. DoingDewey
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 02:49:27

    Oh sad – why would they do that to the Alanna covers?! I’m guessing these are the covers you were talking about and they’re definitely how I remember these books looking 🙂


    • Em
      Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:32:11

      Yes! My library had copies of these way back when, and mine were all secondhand. Now, I have no idea where to find these… the closest I can find are these, which I have been gathering in an attempt to preserve some of the older, more suitable covers.

      And then there was the original Wild Magic cover, which I completely adored when I was a thirteen year old flower-child daughter of ex-hippies who loved all creatures great and small.

      And all that has made me want to reread these books. Again. 🙂


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