Oh, What’s in a Cover?

Where I discuss book covers that were gorgeous and if the story within lived up to the cover.

Because we all know the quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t actually apply and if you say you don’t pick up books because they have a pretty cover, you’re lying. I always defended myself by saying the cover is part of the book’s marketing, and if the publishers can’t put enough effort into the cover, then how much effort is in the book, and yada yada. Which is kind of a valid reason, but the real reason is just that I like pretty things, and a pretty cover will draw my eye. And if a book has a god-awful cover, I will put it down (or maybe just buy it in eBook where the cover doesn’t matter). But even though we might actually judge a book by its cover, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t truth to the above quote, and maybe pretty covers can be misleading. So below are thirteen of the prettiest books I’ve read, and then I’ll discuss the story inside lived up to the cover.

And maybe eventually I’ll do another post where I discuss the ten not as pretty book covers and the story within. But only if this post does well. 

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All the books in this series are gorgeous, but I think Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the prettiest. I love the watercolor elements, the flowers, the whole whimsical yet haunted feel of it. And I rated this book five stars, so it’s safe to say the cover accurately reflected the story within.



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I’m not ashamed to say I picked up this book purely because of it’s cover. I have a weakness for big poofy princess dresses on covers and a monotone color scheme (as evidenced by the fact that I almost included Matched on this list before deciding it’s too close to this book). But from what I remember, the story fell flat compared to the cover. I thought America was bo-ring, and the dialogue was so cheesy. Also, the whole story centered around a love triangle, and that was literally the only plot, and I wasn’t for that. I think I gave it two stars on Goodreads. So in this case, the cover was misleading. 

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Oh my. All the colors in this are just gorgeous, and I love how the title is just a silhouette. And this is another breathtaking five star read, all about the Universe and two unlikely people falling in love at a not so great time. And the writing is just as beautiful as the cover. So yeah, judge this book by its cover. 



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This is a cover that definitely grew on me. I like how the writing kind of looks like itwas written on a mirror, so it’s a little smudged. And it’s less this book cover that is pretty alone and more how all three of the covers together are so pretty because they all have the same neutral tones and typography. And I absolutely love this series and the characters and the families and the relationships and…I can go on and on about this. The cover perfectly represents the cheesy, feel-good contemporary story within.


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I’m pretty sure this is a German series translated to English, so I’m not sure how many of you have heard of it. This is actually the second book in the series, but I like the cover more because of the dreamlike aspect of night and day colliding, and the keyhole is so cute. Also, I’m a sucker for night skies. Shoot me. The story itself is a bit of my guilty pleasure books, where critically I don’t think it is the best but I still can’t get enough of it and keep reading it. I think I rated it three stars, so I’m torn on the consensus about the cover and story. I would say that the cover wasn’t misleading, but I wouldn’t expect the story to be as great as the cover. 

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I love this cover purely because it gives me cheesy teen TV show vibes (Friday Night Lights anyone?). The sunset is gorgeous, and I think if it had been the front of the couple it would be too cheesy but the back makes it kind of romantic. And the font is nice because it’s football font and this book basically is Friday Night Lights so football is important. But while I love the cover, I did not love the story. It’s one of those classic insta-love, love fixes all stories, and I think I rolled my eyes too much reading it to say it was a good book. I gave it two stars. Final decision: story did not live up to cover.

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Can I rant about this cover enough? The beautiful setting and the lovely watercolor (I’m also a sucker for watercolor) and the kind of fake reflection. Sigh. It’s just so pretty. But if you read my review, you know my feelings on the book were a lot more mixed. I liked the Sci-Fi aspect of it, but I only really liked one of the characters, and I did not like the ship. It’s three stars from me, so again, the cover didn’t tell the whole story of the actual book. 



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So this book cover basically has all my weaknesses. A night sky, stars, big poofy princess dress, a monotone (ish) color scheme. It’s basically just missing watercolor. And similarly, the story inside has everything I love. A to-die-for romance, survival story, interesting POVs, sci-fi, lovable characters, and a character driven story with a plot to go along. In this case, I’d say the cover accurately depicts the five star story within. 



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Look at this cover! Doesn’t it scream cheesy goodness?! The watercolor, script typography, and the cute little van at the bottom with the handwritten font. I’m not crazy about the colors, but everything else about this cover is so cute and pretty. However, I did not love the book anywhere near as much as I adore the cover. This was another insta-love story (ugh to the max) and the characters were so flat with tragedies labeled as character development. I think I DNFed it, I was so bored. Do not judge this book by the cover, because you will be disappointed. 


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I love this cover because it is very simple yet striking. The seaglass making up a heart and the contrast of the blue and red is so beautiful. And the novel is just as striking and simple as the cover is. It tells a simple story of loss, friendship, and love, but manages to be so emotional and heartbreaking at the same time. I gave it four stars, so definitely judge this book by its cover. 



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This cover is gorgeous. It is what drew me to the book originally. The splattered paint and typography and the very simple design is just so pretty. But this book ends up being another one where I’m not sure where I stand. I gave it three stars, because I liked it enough but I was also very aggravated during it and occasionally even bored. So in this case, do not trust the cover wholeheartedly, but the cover also isn’t completely misleading. 



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I think this cover is so whimsical and romatic. It just screams fairy tale romance. But the book was just a cheesy, paranormal suspenseful Beauty and the Beast retelling with poor writing to boot. So while the cover promises something light and fun with a happily ever after, the plot inside doesn’t live up to it. I think I gave it two stars.




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This cover still takes my breath away. It has a night sky, watercolor, romantic silhouette, and cursive and even some stars. What more can you ask for? But the book was just so horribly disappointing compared to this gorgeous and stunning cover. My recurring emotion throughout the entire book was confusion: at the reactions of the characters, the plot line, and the weirdly metaphorical writing that made zero sense. In this case, the book was such a letdown compared to this cover. 


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So what is the final consensus? Should we judge a book by it’s cover? Out of the thirteen prettiest covers I chose, I loved 5 of them, would recommend 3 others, and thought the covers were misleading for the remaining 5 books.  So it seems to basically be a tie! Maybe the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has some truth to it after all :P.

Which book that you’ve read had the prettiest book cover? Was the story inside just as good? Have you ever picked up (or put down) a book purely because of its cover? 

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13 thoughts on “Oh, What’s in a Cover?

  1. jennanicolee says:

    Awesome post! I’m notorious for buying books based off of pretty covers…it’s such a bad habit ha-ha! I’ve been trying to now borrow books from the library if I’m not sure I will like them, and only purchase ones that I’m 85% + sure that I will like them ha-ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Em says:

    All these pretty covers!!!
    I pick books for their covers more than I would like to admit (but hey, it works some of the time). I picked the Selection for its cover and LOVED it (not the 4&5th books, but I don’t really count that as part of the series). I also picked The Forbidden Wish for it’s cover (amazing book) and my all time favorite book: Anna Dressed in Blood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek says:

    Great post, so many gorgeous covers! I have to say my favorites are Blue Lily, Lily Blue, A Thousand Pieces of You, and These Broken Stars and I’m sorry to see you didn’t love A Thousand Pieces of You that much but definitely glad to see you loved the other two! I’m excited to read them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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