When Bad Covers Happen to Good Books

When Bad Covers Happen to Good Books

These are the books that I am so glad I picked up despite their uninspiring covers…

I love book covers and sometimes, unashamedly, choose books based on the cover alone. But sadly sometimes bad covers happen to good books.

Unfortunately these books that, despite me almost standing on my head to promote them, are frequently turned down by the students who visit our school library.

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? Would you pick any of them up based on their covers?

x Ugly Covers

When I was Joe

When I was Joe
by Kerin David
YA Contemporary/Thriller

After witnessing a crime, Ty has to go into witness protection.
The beginning of an excellent thriller/adventure series.


Dont call me Ishmael
Don’t Call me Ishmael
by Michael Gerard Bauer
Children’s Contemporary/Humour

A laugh-out-loud, feel-good story about trying to fit in at Middle School.


by Laurie Halse Anderson
YA Contemporary

A beautifully written contemporary novel from a male POV.



by Jerry Spinelli
Children’s/YA Contemporary

Should you act normal just to fit in or be yourself…?



To Kill a Mocking Bird 
by Harper Lee
YA Historical Fiction

A deeply moving and compassionate look at humanity.
Set in Southern America in the thirties, this book explores topics which remain relevant today.


Catcher in the Rye
Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
YA Realistic Fiction

Previously reviewed here



by Gordon Reece
YA Psychological Thriller/Dark Comedy

Expect the unexpected…



Summer I wasn't me
The Summer I wasn’t Me
by Jessica Verdi
YA Contemporary

Although approaching homosexuality sensitively, this book also cuts to the chase.
Well worth adding to a high school library.


Curious incident
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
YA Contemporary/Mystery

By following the Christopher has he attempts to solve a mystery, which blows the neighbourhood secrets apart, we are afforded a rare glimpse into Asperger’s Syndrome


Perks wallpaper
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
YA Contemporary

A quirky, but charming, journey of a shy outsider as he discovers how the other half live.


Top Ten TuesdayTop ten tuesday

Top TTop Ten Tuesday reduceden Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week is a Freebie week. Top Ten anything bookish!

Authors I’d Really Like To Meet

These are a few of the authors I’d really like to meet, even though I’m a little too late for many of them.

By no means exhaustive – this is just the beginning of a very long list!

Authors I'd Like to Meet

Laini Taylor

I’m her biggest fan! Yes I am proud of that… go back and read her books before you judge!

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is my favourite fantasy book, it is beautifully written and original. Before I repeat myself you can find my review here.

Dr Seuss

My favourite, weird and wacky childhood author who still enthralls children today. My students love to hear his stories.

A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate World Book Day, I read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back to a Grade one class and pointed out the parts that made it my favourite book when I was their age. As I came to the end of the book a little boy jumped up and hugging me asked if he could take this special book home immediately to show his parents. It made my week!

Kimberly Sabatini

This amazing author is incredibly generous! I was one of the winners in her personal giveaway during the YA Scavenger Hunt. She not only sent me signed and personalised physical copy of her book (all the way to South Africa from US) she included a personalised signed hardcover copy to donate to our school library, along with a pile of signed bookmarks and beautiful origami birds. She  also asked me to nominate another international school library that she could donate her book to. Wow! I hope I get to meet her one day. Big hugs!
My review of Touching the Surface.

Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park and Fangirl… need I say more! I  would love to ask her the story behind her name and what she’s working on next.

Perhaps I could weasel out what those three words are… I wonder if she’s ticklish…
My review of Eleanor and Park and Fangirl.

Roald Dahl

Another all-time favourite wacky author I would love to talk to him about some of the characters that I have never forgotten including the Duchess in The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, especially in the audio edition narrated by talented Hugh Laurie.

Our school library celebrates Roald Dahl’s birthday every year and Willy Wonka never forgets to send parcels of sweets and chocolate from his factory. A couple of years ago Willy Wonka himself made an appearance much to the delight of the students!

Elizabeth Wein

Author of the beautiful book Code Name Verity, I would like to talk to her about her inspiration and research into the Second World War.
My review of Code Name Verity.

Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan is a very talented, local South African author. I almost met Rachel at one of her book signings a couple of years ago, but just missed it with a last-minute family drama. I hope to have another opportunity to meet her, even though she’s moved to the opposite side of the country!

Rachel has shared the next installment of the Faerie Guardian books – I can’t wait to read it! My review of The Faerie Guardian and The Trouble With Flying

Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry is another author I love. Her gritty contemporary love stories are beautifully written and her characters messed-up and real. Once you are been bitten by her talent you’ll be back for more!

She not only graciously agreed to be interviewed for my blog, but also generously posted a stack of paper and ribbon bookmarks across the Atlantic to our school library. Needless to say we love her!
My review of Pushing the Limits.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, J.R.R. Tolkien is one of our most beloved authors. I spent my teens immersed in his generous stories. I’d like to talk to him about his inspiration behind The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings as well as his experiences as a soldier in the First World War.

I would love to see his face when he finds out how popular his books still are, more than forty years after his death.

Bill Bryson

His humour is what kept me going through some tough times, and I am so looking forward to seeing The Walk in the Woods on the big screen. If I did get a chance to meet him I would do my best to persuade him to write a full length book on South Africa. I would love to see our rainbow nation through his eyes… and to ‘hear’ the topics under discussion by the locals in a Karoo koffie shop!


Top Ten TuesdayTop ten tuesday

Top TTop Ten Tuesday reduceden Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week’s theme is: Top Ten authors I REALLY want to meet.

Book Characters Who Fell For a Faerie

Fae characters

I love Fae/Fey (Which one is the right? Does it even matter?) fantasy, especially the dark kind, so it’s no surprise that I’m featuring these books today.

No spoilers here – you’ll need to read the books to find out which faerie they fall in love with!


Deirdre Monaghan from Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s beautiful ‘Books of Faerie’ series which feature Celtic faerie lore. Deirdre is a musician who has attracted the wrath of the Faerie Queen. With two deadly faerie assassins after her she, and her best friend James, become trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war.


James Morgan from Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

In this second book in the ‘Books of Faerie’ series, and my favourite, it is James’s turn to feature as the main character. Haunted by visions of death he becomes caught up in a battle against the Queen of the Fae.


Violet Fairdale from The Creepy Hollow Series by Rachel Morgan

Okay, this is a little cheat because Violet is a faerie herself, but as one of my favourite series there was no way I was going to leave it out. Violet is a particularly strong character, and as a Faerie Guardian is tasked with the job of protecting humans from evil fae, until one human follows her back to Creepy Hollow and causes all kinds of trouble.

Previously reviewed here.


Meghan Chase from The Iron Fae series by Julie Kagawa

Meghan is drawn into the Fae world when she discovers that her father is a mythical faerie king. Caught up in a faerie war along with her best friend and an arrogant, ice prince she has to face evil beyond imagination.

Previously reviewed here.


Seth Morgan from the Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr

If you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favour and get a copy of book one now! Each book in the series focuses on different characters who are all part of the big picture – a mesmerising story that will capture your heart.

Seth is one of my favourite characters (despite his pet snake) in this series although he plays a supporting role in the first few books. He is always there, loyal, brave and kind, pulled into the Faerie world by his best friend…

Previously reviewed here.


Donia from the Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr

Like Seth, Donia is sucked into the Faerie world in her attempt to be with the Faerie she loves. Although her character is found through-out the series I really began to like her in the third book.

Things don’t always work out as planned though and instead of her happily-ever-after she becomes queen of an opposing court.


Kit Blackhart from The Blackhart Legacy by Liz de Jager

Kit is a brave and feisty heroine who is new to her ancestral role of protecting the royal Fae family. Thrown into danger she faces a faerie war on the verge of breaching the barrier to the human world…

Previously reviewed here.


Kaye Fierch from Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

As a changeling, Kaye is faerie herself and must do everything possible to avoid becoming a pawn in the Unseelie Court’s bid to control the Faerie world.


Prince Richard in All That Glows Series by Ryan Graudin

Britain’s future king is catapulted into the faerie world when an ancient force threatens the monarchy, and a faerie is sent to guard him…


Dana Hathaway from the Faeriewalker series by Jenna Black 

When Dana visits her estranged faerie father she has no idea she has an unusual, powerful gift that is highly sought after. She is thrown into the confusing world of faerie politics.  

Previously reviewed here.

Top Ten Tuesday reduced

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s a chance to get to know fellow bloggers. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who…

The Dreaded CliffHanger

Framed Dreaded cliffhanger

The Dreaded CliffHanger

I hate cliff-hangers. No, I don’t expect every book to round off with everything explained, but it’s those cliffhangers that leave you hanging, the ones where the plot doesn’t make sense, you know there’s reasons for this but you have to wait for the sequel to find out.

These cliffhangers come across as a cheap marketing ploy. Obviously designed to entice the reader go right out and buy the next book – it actually does the opposite for me. Especially when the sequel is scheduled to be published in a years’ time… By the time the sequel is available I have forgotten why I cared!

Many people reread the first books just before the next book is published… but with so many great books out there still to read who has time to reread a book just to remember why you cared? If I reread a book it’s because I it was so special that I need to savour the experience. These books are very rare.

When I want to read the next book in the series it’s never because I have to know what happens to the characters which were left abruptly, but because I love the author’s writing style and crave more of the characters who got so under my skin that I need to reconnect with them.

Does anyone else feel this way?

2015 Discussion Challenge 2

The 2015 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight #LetsDiscuss2015
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