The Cover Wars: Romance [Non-Supernatural] Edition

There are just too many. So I had to split them into instalments. This is the non-supernatural instalment of The Cover Wars’ romance edition. I found these while lurking in the Goodread’s YA Romance New Releases section. Check there for summaries of the ones you are interested in. And don’t forget to comment or tweet your own opinions on these books.


1. The Ever After of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

18164292Yash: I am kind of impressed that this is a post-happy ending story … but the cover doesn’t really intrigue me. While I appreciate the lack of “real people” on the covers, it doesn’t tell me anything. Except that it could be the last few seconds of a rom-com movie trailer.

Janet: The light things (bubbles? Sunspots on a camera lens?) are unusual, and therefore I’m inclined to like them. The blurb, however, throws me right off. Too sappy.

Steph: This looks dumb. Haha, I know that’s blunt but… bubbles? To me they look like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, like Inner Space y’know or The Magic Schoolbus when they travel through organic beings and have to evade molecules and stuff. But I’m getting a little creative here – this is clearly no what it means unless it’s supposed to imply sex I guess. Maybe they are eggs! Naw, they are probably just happy bubbles. Maybe they are supposed to be dream bubbles…

Nafiza: Hmm. This is far too generic for me to comment on. I just can’t tell what the book is about (though I’m quite familiar with the author’s works and know that she writes romance so…). I wouldn’t pick this up.

2. Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

16045296Yash: Ugh. The only thing worse than featuring real people on the cover of a YA novel is when they feature real people with their faces cropped off. (I will say that I do like her yellow boots. That is all.)

Janet: Their heads are gone, so it’s even more obvious that we’re supposed to look at their bodies. Oh, I am so intrigued. NOT.

Steph: I absolutely hate it when a woman is featured on a cover but her face is cut off, or just parts of her are featured – and look! They did it to the poor guy too! What this tells me is that these two characters are “every” people, they won’t have much depth, they will engage in the usual falling in love narrative and there might be a horse involved. I’m expected a harlequin romance – only harlequin has the decency to show us beautiful faces on it’s covers.

Nafiza: The romantic tales of Nick, the Headless and his amour, the One Also Without a Head. Yep, not at all interested in the novel based on the cover. It doesn’t say anything interesting about the characters or give any hints about the content. Nothing that sets it apart.

3. The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

17844678Yash: My first instinct actually was, “Oh, that’s kind of cute.” And then I wondered if it would still be cute if the genders were switched and she were the taller one? I’m not sure I know the answer? I do like the title though.

Janet: Anyone else reminded of an adult playing with a puppy? I don’t know. I like that they’re smiling and possibly about to laugh, that they’re not conventionally beautiful or “cool,” also that their posture is fairly good. I don’t like that the cover looks like it was taken with an instagram filter.

Steph: I want a promise of amazing!! The title is… cute because I think it’ll reference and adorable humour between the two lead characters. However, I do have to agree with Janet, the guy looks kind of patronizing. Not sure I love the photo – I might have liked an illustrated cover on this one, y’know? A cute illustration of the two people might have been more attractive than this.

Nafiza: Oh my goodness, I loathed this book therefore anything I say about the cover will be shaded by the bias I have against the content. However, there’s something about the cover that I don’t like. Perhaps it is because as Janet says, the guy looks like he’s playing with a puppy, condescending to touch his forehead to hers. It’s just…ugh. It feels too contrived and I just don’t like the guy. The one in the story, that is.

4. Beautiful Mess by Jennifer Preston

19242106Yash: This cover just makes me feel like rubbish for not have a swishy black dress and a guy to cuddle on the beach. So … hard pass.

Janet: Posed and not appealing.

Steph: Looks like a wedding catalogue picture. Also, I dunno if I want to read about beautiful people making a mess of their lives and having drama puke all over the place. Nah. I probably wouldn’t even look twice at this.

Nafiza: Ugh. No thanks.

5. Make Me by Amanda Heath

18552831Yash: OMG you guys need to read the summary for this one! It is super-creepy! O_O I also have to add that there are so many covers out there that feature guys’ (half naked) bodies. (Obviously meant to market books for straight girls.) Setting some unrealistic expectations there! :D As for this cover- it almost looks like a horror to me?

Janet: This should be the poster for a horror movie. Not interested.

Steph: It does look like horror! But the implications of “make me” are kind of alarming. Not only is she asking to be forced into… something.. she is also asking to be fashioned into something new, and I presume she is asking a guy (cue the half-naked hot guy covers) which I do not like. Make yourself you dummy.

Nafiza: She’s using him as a shield, as perhaps someone she can wield around lest the peasants get rowdy? Also, she’s holding on to him and while she’s wearing clothes, he is not so there is some objectification going on there. Hmmm. Definitely more a horror vibe than a romantic one.

6. Crash Into Me by Katie McGarry

17233800Yash:Wow. I wonder if she’s the good girl and he’s the bad boy and if they get into trouble with their parents. It’s impossible to guess. *sigh* Okay, I am being unnecessarily snarky. I get it. It’s a romance and not a mystery, so, fine. Anyway, you all should know my issues with the covers by now. *screeches* REAL PEOPLE NO WHY STOP.

Janet: *snort* Oh Yash, I think you said it all. (“Get into trouble with their parents” – or just get into trouble…) I don’t see how this is supposed to be at all appealing. Mostly I feel sorry for the couple that had to pose like that for the photo. How uncomfortable it looks, and how quickly their limbs would cramp and develop pins and needles, and their feet would get cold.

Steph: Ahahahaa, I’m starting to feel bad for the romance genre, I feel that we are a fairly biased group and it’s going to be difficult to redeem the genre because of it’s many tropes and limited plot scope. This one, let me see. Yes, goody two shoes rich girl has a secret and it’s gotten her involved with bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks and they are in some danger with cars – maybe racing? Or drunk driving? Anyway, they’ll have a timeline to solve their problem together and love will of course conquer all. There, I’ve read it.

Nafiza: You guys have it all wrong. They crashed into each other and since crashing was hard work, they are now resting in the guy’s car because the girl’s car was totaled. But seriously, surely there are other ways to express romance and love etc, without resorting to such cliched poses and covers. Thank goodness you didn’t do the kissy covers, Yash.

12 responses to “The Cover Wars: Romance [Non-Supernatural] Edition

  1. I want to like the pose of Crash Into You but I do keep imagining the man as a woman so… that might be making it more appealing in my head. It reminds me of a scene from Keeping you a Secret, a LGBTQ YA

    • I think that (a queering of the cover) would have been much more effective at stopping me in my tracks. I may have even read the back!

  2. This is hilarious!! But yeah, I have to agree…having real people on it is just too typical. We want a story cover, not an instagram pic.

    • Ugh. Real people, am I right?! :D

      In all seriousness though, I would even go so far as to say that Instagram probably has far more intelligently composed photographs. I mean, some of the YA Romance covers are really pretty … unfortunate? Yeah, let’s go with unfortunate. Cover designers need to step up their game.

    • Hmm. This is the second time a comment has been cut off for someone. If you see my reply, could you try posting again?

    • Oh hey, you did! Okay, so, I don’t ALWAYS dislike Real People Covers. But it does have to make a statement or do something intelligent. Like, David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing? It’s pretty smart. The cover makes a point about how queer people and their stories are marginalized and how it shouldn’t be that way. I like that.

      • It got cut off because I was on my phone and touch screens are angsty haha. Yes, precisely, I’ll see some covers (like the first one on your list) and it’s just… What happened here? Books are worth more than golden bubbles.

    • I don’t think it’s the same font, but it looks like the same colour? I think? (One has to wonder whether these cover designs sometimes rely on potential readers’ subconscious making positive/negative connections in relation to other, popular book covers.)

  3. # 6 is just so darn ugly! If I was the author, I would be hardpressed to show off my published work cause it’s that ugly! =/

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