On Meredith’s Mind #3: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

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We’ve all done it. You’re in the bookstore, browsing the new and recent releases. You see a book, step closer, make a face at the cover and step away. You debate reading the synopsis – just in case! But then you shake your head and walk away.

Let me start at the beginning so I can explain some things.

Back in December, Team Epic Reads hosted an ARC Party – For those who don’t know, Epic Reads is a part of HarperCollins. They host Tea Time every Wednesday on YouTube (You can follow along and comment on Twitter using hashtag teatime). A couple times a year, when all the covers for the upcoming season are revealed and HarperCollins gets in a bunch of new ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), the ladies of Epic Reads do a special ARC Party Tea Time in which they reveal all the ARCs received and share exclusively with readers some of the covers that have yet to be revealed to the public.

So, to get back on topic, this was one of those covers – and I judged it so hard:



Now… When I first saw this book cover, I couldn’t make out any of the words on it. I had never heard of it. I had NO CLUE what it was about. I looked at the cover and automatically judged it. The word “Tease” written in what looks like pink lipstick? Yeah, you can imagine the things I thought. That it was about girls swooning over guys. That it had some epic flirting in it. That the main focus of the book would be some girl pursuing some guy, in any way she could.

Then, during the most recent Tea Time, Aubry began talking about Tease. She was reading it for research for a panel she was moderating. And she described it. No spoilers, but she explained the basic plot and concept.

And you know what? … I was wrong. So, so wrong. Epically wrong. Disgustingly wrong.

Want to know what this book is REALLY about?


More specifically, the after-math of bullying gone HORRIBLY wrong. Deadly wrong.

It sounds INTENSE. And morbid, yeah, but so, so, so GOOD. Now I’m DYING for this book whose cover I mocked.

Want to read the synopsis now? It’s pretty gritty.

Here you go:

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.

At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.

Goodreads | Amazon

So, this book is NOTHING like I imagined it would be. Not at all. I completely judged this book based off of one blurry image I saw – a print-out I was seeing through a webcam. I didn’t bother trying to find out more about it. I had judged it unfairly and I didn’t even give it a chance.

Lesson learned? Lesson learned! And you KNOW I’ll be buying it when it releases now!

So, guys and gals. Tell me: Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Did you later discover that it actually sounded epic? Did you kick yourself for making such a horrible mistake? Share it with me in the comments!

12 thoughts on “On Meredith’s Mind #3: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

  1. Wonderful discussion! And you know what? I still judge a book by its cover sometimes. It instantly attracts me at first, but that’s it. I feel like it’s lust at first sight TBH. Hah but then I started reading more indie books and I immediately loved one for a blog tour that I did. The cover was terrible, but the story was so great. I just loved it so much. After that, I knew that the outside cover doesn’t always mean the inside was beautiful as well.

    Now I can’t wait to read TEASE.. So many books, such little time!

    • I definitely still judge books by their covers! Despite this incident with Tease, it still happens! I’m trying so hard NOT to let it happen, but it’s a difficult habit to break! Tease just looks amazing now and I hope April flies by! :)

  2. I admire pretty covers but I don’t tend to judge a book by them usually. Although I’m reading a book I thought might be about dinosaurs and it’s not… there were heavy hints of dinosaurs in my defense! By the way on my blog today is a review of Tease, I really enjoyed it.

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

  3. I have judged books by their covers multiple times, and I have been wrong in two ways? I have been lured by cover lust to a book that wasn’t that good, and I have assumed the book was something I wouldn’t like by the cover only. Thankfully synopsis and reviews can help with cover judging!

  4. I am totally a cover whore. If the cover is pretty, I’ll pick it up and probably buy the book. If it’s not pretty I might read the synopsis and I might not. Covers are really important because they are the first thing buyers see when they look at the book. So it needs to be appealing & stand out.

    BTW I did not enjoy Tease which made me really sad. It was just too hard from a personal standpoint to read objectively.

    • Absolutely agree – The cover is probably the MOST important thing! It’s the first thing a reader sees when the book is on the shelf (though, if it’s spine out, they might see the title first). I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy Tease :(

  5. I am SO judgey about covers!! There have been many times where I thought something was going to be light and fun by looking at the cover, only to find out it’s anything but.

    I LOVED Tease!!! I hope you do too! It’s from the bully’s POV so I think some people find it hard to read, but I thought it was totally unique and brave!

    • Awww, that’s the worst; being in the mood for one type of book and discovering the book you picked up is the complete opposite of what you expected! I’m so glad you enjoyed Tease!!! :)

  6. Two things I find serious fault with are blogger/reviewers who plus or minus rating stars based on cover art, and those who say they will NEVER read a book if they don’t like the cover. I myself will be drawn to a book by the cover, but that doesn’t hurt anyone. I learned my lesson early on in my YA reading. I skipped over Wither by L. Destefano because by the cover I thought it was a romance. My sister, who loves romances, read it and told me it wasn’t what I thought. I read it and now love the entire trilogy.

    • I definitely don’t take away from my star rating just because of a cover. I think judging the book that harshly based on the cover is a little crazy. Wither definitely wasn’t all about the romance – To this day, it’s still one of my favorite dystopians!

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