Wow friends, the slumping is real. The only difference now is that I don’t worry too much about it! I have started working, and my creativity is even further zapped than usual so…. enjoy some messed up covers! 

Feel free to check out my other creative-slump-inspired lovely posts about unfortunate covers. And hey, one of these days, maybe I will actually post a real discussion or something. Stay tuned for that miracle-in-the-making! 

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

L-R: Spanish, US, Indonesian, Polish

Wow did Neal Shusterman piss off some cover gods. Apparently he paid homage, because the covers for the Scythe series are on freaking point. Anyway, how is the Spanish one with the whole in the dude’s head and the creepy ghost eyes at the top the least awful one? And okay US guys, this is one of my favorite series and Idk where you got this 48 year old in a white van from for the cover but he was not in the book. I suppose I don’t hate the Indonesian one outright, but it makes no sense. It looks like a 1950’s space opera pulp cover. And that… is just not this book in any way. The Polish folks managed to combine Bill Skarsgård  and Jeffery Dahmer into one horrific character and so… I guess kudos? Since that kind of fits the book but also haunts the fuck out of me. (Also, tell me you don’t see it!)

Which Is Most Unfortunate?

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Top L-R: Dutch, Georgian, Macedonian

Bottom L-R: Persian, Romanian Movie Tie-In, Dutch Whatever a Bookazine is. 

The Dutch cover looks like a combo of Valley Girl and Shampoo commercial. The Georgians were taking the “gone girl” part pretty seriously because damn, they sliced a bitch. I honestly don’t understand why the Macedonians attacked Taylor Swift Barbie™ like that….  If you look really close at the Persian one, you can see Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid. Idk what he has to do with this book, but here he is. The Romanian people apparently want you to understand that Ben Affleck is probs going to kill you and your family in your sleep.  I have literally no comment for the Dutch Bookazine because what even is that?

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Standalones, Part 1

 Top Row L-R: Eleanor & Park, Indonesian • Genuine FraudIndonesian • Genuine FraudRomanian • In the Shadow of BlackbirdsJapanese

Bottom Row L-R: The Martian, Serbian • Circe, French • The Book Thief, Catalan

Eleanor & Park might not be terrible if they didn’t look like they were dancing at a club/juvie. It also looks like Park is going to rob Eleanor at gunpoint and I really don’t think that is what happens? Genuine Fraud Indonesian… this looks like a girl’s guide to her first period. You’re a woman now, Susie. Genuine Fraud Romanian basically just gave up. And is also for some reason channeling menstruation. Admittedly, I may be a little biased about my hate for In the Shadow of Blackbirds. It’s just… do you see all those freaking birds!?!

The Martian decided that if they tell you the mailing address is Mars, you’ll have to buy it. Like when Chandler Bing tells Janice he’s moving to 15 Yemen Road, Yemen.  Circe is honestly just lazy. “It’s a historical story? Great, I have just the thing!” Also, how dare Catalan assault The Book Thief like that!? It’s a gripping story about the damn Holocaust and you have… 70s TV special?

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Standalones, Part 2


Top L-R: TroubleGerman • In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Hungarian • Dark MatterFrench •  Bird Box, Persian

Bottom Row L-R: A Madness So Discreet, Polish • The Dark Side of NowhereUS • First & ThenGerman

Dear Germany, I don’t think you’re allowed to do that? Love, Shannon. I feel like this In the Shadow of Blackbirds is wrong on so many levels- most of them the fact that they have this girl swooning all over the cover. Never can unsee that Dark Matter, now can we? Jesus, or that Bird Box, which I actually think might be worse. No thanks, didn’t want to sleep tonight, Persians.

While A Madness So Discreetisn’t poorly constructed, it also makes little sense. Why is her hair in her mouth? Where are her eyes? Also, see what I mean about Neal and the cover gods? This The Dark Side of Nowhere kid looks like he is wiping his runny nose with that glove, and that is all I will ever see. That, and the 90s-tastic colors and font. Not only does First & Then have nothing to do with the story (also what is the title all about?), it is too flowery and creepy.

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Series Fails


Top L-R: Graceling, Russian • Me Before YouUkrainian • Fever, Hebrew • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and VirtueGerman

Bottom Row L-R: Every Day, Indonesian • Wither, Chinese • The Great HuntSpanish

I cannot even figure out what the heck is going on with Graceling. Is it a mask? A helmet? Did someone stab her through the skull with a sword? Who can tell! The Ukrainians high key just posted a still from a tampon ad onto Me Before YouDid you guys hear about the series Lauren DeStefano wrote about flapper prostitutes? Yeahhhh me either, so what is up with Fever? Admittedly, I have not yet read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but isn’t this about… dudes in love on a trip in Europe? And not whatever the hell is going on here?

Good luck with the nightmares this Every Day cover will give you. Are those tiny dead men floating around? Why does she look manic? So many questions. True story, I kind of enjoy the Chinese Wither, from an aesthetic perspective. But the more I look at it, the more creepy it is. Like did you just kill a young girl with a teddy bear? Or bury her alive with it? Either way, it’s a no from me. Does The Great Hunt’s cover have anything to do with anything? No. Is there a blue girl in the book? Also no.

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And some lovely gems, because let’s be positive woooo! 

L-R: History is All You Left Me, Portuguese • Furthermore, Hungarian • After I DoGerman • Jellicoe Road, Portuguese 

Portugal is over here repping the awesomeness. Add to it, they had no bad covers and I don’t know which cover is your favorite (or mine, I usually don’t decide for sure until I see them in the post!) but Portugal has officially won covers. Congrats.

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Let us discuss! Which of these is most offensive to your eyes and/or sensibilities? Any that you think aren’t bad? Like any of my picks for nice covers?

Posted November 27, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Funsies , , / 32 Comments


32 responses to “Unfortunate Covers of Your Favorite Books: Part 7

  1. The Polish version of Unwholly is hideous, so… yeah. Easy vote there. Gone Girl I voted for the movie one because I don’t want to look at Affleck every time I pick up the book, and I hate movie covers anyways. I kinda like the Taylor swift Barbie though!

    That third one is tough, but I went with Eleanor & Park because that cover just sucks. Booooring. And I almost spewed my drink all over my keyboard at your conflating genuine Fraud with, you know, periods. Although… yeah. And the Romanian one is like… playing peek a boo with the reader?? What even is that?

    Oh my gosh Bird Box is fucked up. The woman on Blackbirds needs to cool down a bit, methinks. As for the good covers, I like the History Is All You Left Me, because underwater. Kinda fun.

    • I agree, that was my vote too! It is awful. My question is not only why is it Affleck, but why does he look so CREEPY?!? The Taylor Swift Barbie™ is…. different hah. Does it have anything to do with the book/movie?

      I mean, Genuine Fraud wasn’t great, but it was NOT about periods! ? Eleanor & Park is a MESS. They are all really bad, I have no idea whose ideas they were, but… fire them!

      The problem with Blackbirds is that the character is in YA, so like… 15, 16? Hence why it creeps me out so much! But Bird Box is AWFUL. Especially if you read the book! Speaking of, we should watch that movie, I think it comes out next week or something!

      I like the History one too! I love water too, and I like the whole theme!

  2. Anna Cole

    Those were some awful covers!! I seriously wanted to vote allll of them the worst. Poor Neal Shusterman seems to have so many awful covers and I hear nothing but great things about his books so why would they want to give him such ridiculous covers!

  3. Haha, what’s with the girl eating her hair? What does that have to do with anything?! Also, yuck. I didn’t know that UnWholly could get uglier than the US edition, but a few countries seem to have succeeded in producing an uglier book. Well done, countries.

  4. The covers for Gone Girl certainly run the gamut. There’s creepy, there’s bloody, there’s a freaky 80’s throwback, and then there’s that Dutch monstrosity which looks like a happy-go-luck women’s novel. WTH? The designer for that Eleanor & Park cover should be shot. I am offended on behalf of Rainbow Rowell. And lastly, why is that girl eating her hair? Is she hungry? Does she need a sandwich? I’m very confused.

    • They DO! Like they definitely did not stick with one motif! And omg RIGHT what is with E&P?! I have no words. Well, fine, I have a FEW words ? And okay there is nothing in the book that suggests she eats her hair, far as I can recall, so… Idk? Let’s give her that sandwich regardless!

  5. Melissa L

    For Gentleman’s Guide, that’s supposed to be Monty in the Red and Percy who’s half white and half black. So it kind of does work… focusing on the romance I suppose.

  6. That Indonesian cover for UnWholly might work some weird children’s sci-fi book, but… not quite for UnWholly! The Serbian edition of The Martian is also an exceptionally odd choice to me–makes it seem like a weird surrealist Western or something, haha. On a positive note, the Hungarian edition of Furthermore is so lovely!

    I hope you make it out of your slump soon!

  7. Sorry, still trying to catch my breath. I laughed so hard reading your commentary on E&P. (still giggling) Many unfortunate covers, but what’s really unfortunate is that Furthermore cover. It isn’t the absolute worst, but the American cover is so beautiful. It’s just an injustice after seeing how lovely our cover is.

  8. I’ve honestly never seen a decent Neal Shusterman cover. They’re all different shades of terrible! How does the German edition of Trouble translate to Fuck You? ?? I can’t stop looking at the Dutch cover for Gone Girl, I don’t understand that at all. Why is it a magazine cover? I haven’t read the book and not sure it ties in at all but I know the gist and it seems like a really odd choice. Still not as bad as what Neal Schusterman has it though ???

  9. I love the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, but I’m not a huge fan of the covers! I don’t feel like they adequately represent the characters within the book, and they wouldn’t be something I picked up on a whim.

    I like the cover for Jellico Road, though I haven’t had a chance to read that one yet! I recently read Froi and love Marchetta’s writing and world-building.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

  10. I’m dying omg ?? what is this catastrophic mess and who did these authors offend to get these covers!? Like where to even begin?? The hair in the mouth…the tampon ad…that terrifying version of Graceling which I honestly is that bad. Also the girl with the boat for her eye??? Also Markus Zusak’s book featuring a row of little kids’ backsides?! HOW IS THIS OK THIS FEELS SO BAD.


    I’m glad you send us off at the end with some nice covers to feel better about ahhhh. That Furthermore edition is everything!

  11. Since I’m from Portugal, I really would love my country to take trophy of best covers, but those covers are from the Brazilian editions. Sadly, none of those books has been translated to Portuguese European – when it comes to translating books from English to Portuguese, we are really far behind. For example, Shusterman has so many published books and not a single one has been translated to Portuguese.

    Ps. I’m sorry if my comment hurt. It wasn’t ill-intended.

    • That is interesting! And something worth noting in the future- I mainly trust Goodreads’ information, but CLEARLY they are slacking! (And definitely no offense taken- I want to know these things! I think I will be adding a disclaimer in the future, like “sorry, sometimes Goodreads lies to us” ?)

  12. Kel

    I LOVE this series, lol! Thank you! I needed a laugh in the worst way this week, and this did it. Some of the covers aren’t horrible color- or composition-wise, but like you said, they don’t necessarily fit the book. Or else some international audiences have totally different connotations for certain cover elements. The Russians though! XD How do they consistently have the most unredeemable cover of the post? Great work, Shannon!

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