May 15, 2014 • Cee • Holy Mother Cover


Inspired by What She ReadsPure Imagination Blog, and Stacked.

I admit I’m a book cover snob. Who isn’t though? 

Book covers are the first thing that attracts readers to a book. A good cover can draw someone is, just as a bad cover can easily draw someone away. It can essentially make or break a book. Holy, Mother Cover! is where I showcase the book covers that stand out (or make me cringe) and discuss cover changes.

(A big special thanks to Georgie at What She Reads for bestowing me this fabulous name and to Charlotte at Gypsy Reviews for creating the beautiful feature banner you see before you.)

COVER CHANGE: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Today, we look at the cover Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano!

Take a deep breath, guys. I know your pain, but we have to talk about this cover change. Prepare yourself.

I am not a fan. You know what I am? Mad. Incredibly mad.

Why would they change the incredibly gorgeous hardcover cover to this ugly paperback one? What designer thought it was a good idea to do so? Did they not ask themselves whether the new design did the hardcover design a justice? (Psst, it doesn’t.)

Before we even get into discussing the paperback cover, can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the hardcover design? I absolutely adore the hand-drawn images because it gives the cover an extra touch, an uniqueness to it that no other has. I love the incorporation of the stars and the constellations (because that’s an aspect in the book), the gears that fit through the branches, and the lanterns that hang from the trees. The typography on this is insanely gorgeous. It’s kind of futuristic, but not really, which I think is a perfect fit for the world in the book. I love that the red is extremely striking and that it emphasizes the “ruin” part of the book. The title of the book sticks with you. Every little aspect in the cover just adds to the gorgeousness and uniqueness of it all.

Now, that paperback design, ughhh. (Can you see me cringe? Or can you see the disgusted look on my face?) I am offended. Like really, I am. (As somebody who is big typography lover, I’m taking this cover redesign personally.) Two of the things that bug the shit out of me about this paperback design are the typography and the spacing. It’s fucking atrocious. Who in their right mind approved this shit? Why isn’t the title striking? What is that super plain typeface? Why is it so small? Why is there a lot of blank space? Why is it so boring? TELL ME WHY. When you look at it, you don’t get the epicness of the title compared to the hardcover one. The cover doesn’t make good use of the space around it (which is highly irritating). It doesn’t pull your attention and say, “HEY, I’M FABULOUS AND I’M CALLED PERFECT RUIN.” I’m not even sure what that green image in the background is supposed to be. At least the shattering bird makes sense? I guess? This paperback cover does make the book look a bit adult, but I find it extremely forgetting, boring, and, you guessed it, irritating.

The typography and the spacing on the paperback cover needs a lot of work. I think if they just fixed those two issues, then I’d be fine with the cover. (Maybe. Not really. No, never.)

Which cover design do you prefer? Are you just as mad as me when you saw the new design? Like what even?


21 Responses to “HOLY, MOTHER COVER! | Cover Change in Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano”

  1. Leah says:

    Oh no. No, no, no. What on earth were they thinking?! Haha, when this first loaded in my reader I couldn’t tell what the bird was. To me the wing looked like a piece of lettuce and the shatter-y bits looked like spilled milk or glue. …which really makes about as much sense as this cover change.

  2. Ashley says:

    My first impressions:

    Hardcover: Hmm, interesting. I love how intricate it is. Pretty typeface.

    Paperback: WTF is this? Is that a bird? I’m not even totally sure. Why is it there? What is this?

  3. You know how I feel about this. I’m so mad. I mean look at the gorgeousness of the design of the hardback! It’s so intricate and beautiful and just takes my breath away. The paperback? The typography looks like a style I put on icons years ago. IT’S SO BORING. I didn’t even know that was a bird until I looked closer. The brush behind the bird looks like a poor attempt to introduce colour to the cover. I cannot with them using a Times New Roman-ish font for the author name + title. Just NO. The more I look at it, the more it looks like Twilight to me. I’m so disappointed and mad >:(

  4. HUH. What on earth is that thing on the paperback? Some kind of bird? The hardback doesn’t have my favorite cover of all time, but it’s pretty – and they change it to.. that NO, don’t agree.

  5. Cayce says:

    Okay, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know if the bird is like a symbol of something or something but that new cover is WEIRD. I’m too weirded out by the bird thingy to notice the fonts :D Okay, looks again… yeah, it’s small and nondescript and just *yawn*….

  6. Er, holy shit! How did I miss this cover change, I’m just as appalled as you Cee! I can even see a weird halo around the bird like they masked in the brush after the designer had already flattened the image, if that makes sense. I’m so, argh really?!

    The hardback is gorgeous, the pattern is beautiful and just the colour palette in general really stand outs. I would not remember the paperback version if I had seen it.

    I’m kind of hoping this cover is a hoax.

  7. Finley Jayne says:

    I kept staring at the second cover, I couldn’t figure out what that thing in the middle was-at first I thought it was spilled milk, lol. Finally saw the bird, but yeah not feeling it :P

  8. Agreed. The hardback cover is much more attention-grabbing and detailed.

  9. Asti says:

    My favorite thing about this post is seeing everyone get so worked up about the new cover. It’s the first time that I’ve seen so many people like personally offended by it. haha. Not that I’m making fun of you guys, it’s just always nice to see people passionate :)

    I do have to agree, of course. The original cover was soooo beautiful. The new one is just… bizarre. The title is barely noticeable and all the focus seems to be on this porcelain bird that is shattering and I’m just not quite sure who that is supposed to appeal to. Usually with cover designs, even if you don’t like it you can see which target market they’re trying to change it up for – maybe to make it more contemporary or more gender-neutral or something. This though? I can’t see any boys or girls really wanting to pick it up. It’s just awkward. lol.

  10. alice-jane says:

    Is that the font that was used for Twilight…? :/ :/ I like the hardcover version a lot better, like most people. Totally digging the handdrawn illustrations and the fonts in the hardcover version. The more I look at the paperback version, the more it seems like Twilight 2.0, with a splash of color/pattern. Hmmm…

  11. When I first saw the hardback cover I was really interested in the book and decided to find out more. Unfortunately the book didn’t sound like something I would like, but the cover did its job. It grabbed my attention and made me interested in the book. The paperback cover is completely forgettable, something I’d simply walk past in the bookstore! I thought I was in the minority with my dislike of the cover. When I first found it, it was through a tweet discussing the gorgeous new cover for it. Nice to know I’m not the only one who hates it!

  12. Why? Why? I loved the hardcover…it was so elegant and beautiful. I had the NEED to read the book because of this cover. The new one, nope. I would pass that right up. I dislike how tiny the text is…and the black negative space just bleh…been done before. Do they really think it’ll sell better like that? I wish I could ask and find out the reasons. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a fly on the wall of that meeting?

  13. Yea that paperback cover isn’t where it’s at. I’m not sure how they got from the hardcover to the paperback but they need to rewind and try that one again. Hardback cover is one of the things that drew me to the book in the first place. It screams “LOOK AT ME!!” so that’s exactly what I did and then I looked into the author and decided that I loved her and will probably read anything she ever writes(her tweets are hilarious). Had that bird thing been the cover from the beginning, I probably wouldn’t have given this book a second thought. Sad but true. They should just stick with the first cover and keep that as a theme for the rest of the series.

  14. I didn’t even know they had changed this cover, but… ugh. I do not like it at all. It’s weird and there’s all that blank space, like what?! Why is all that there?! Sometimes I wish they could just keep the same cover for the hard cover and paper back editions. It would be so much nicer.

  15. Oh my god that’s AWFUL. I couldn’t even tell, until you explained it, that the bird was being shattered. It just looked kind of dirty. Wow. That’s so so so bad. Probably one of the worst cover redesigns I’ve ever seen.

  16. Leigh says:

    First reaction when I saw the cover: WHAT DA ACTUAL FAAKKKK IS THAT WHITE CRAP AT THE MIDDLE!?!?!?! This book definitely now looks like a perfect ruin (see what I did there? ;)) Omg I hate it sooo much! Why do publishers do this to us!?!?! I def. like the original cover.

  17. Shannelle C. says:

    I seriously thought the bird was a whale, a freaking whale. I can’t even. I was going to try reading it when it was in paperback but I’m not touching it now. They better not do anything to the rest of the hardbacks though. That design is beautiful as it is.

  18. Shelly says:

    When I first saw these covers, I remember thinking ‘uhm, WHAT’ because THERE IS NO NEED FOR THEM TO CHANGE THE COVERS! I can see that they are obviously trying to appeal to adults as well but dammit, these covers were just gorgeous. It’s just a shame really

    (Look! I actually commented for once, this is a huge moment.)
    (and I seriously still love that new name, Georgie is freakin’ awesome for letting you use it)

  19. They had one job. One job and they screwed up. How hard was it to come up with a more fabulous cover than the hardcover one that they had to change the whole cover? And make it all black and bland like I don’t even know what it’s trying to do? Fine I get it the Morgan is the bird and she’s trying to break free and meh.

    Also, I can’t deal with that title. It’s so tiny and it’s like the cover is trying to not make us laugh at it but failing so hard at it.

  20. Lisa says:

    Right when my window started to load and the first thing I saw was these two covers I cringed…good thing I was drinking or eating something, because I would have spit it right back up…and all over my computer. I haven’t read this one just yet, but if I saw this paperback cover, I don’t think I ever would. It’s just not interesting, eye catching or memorable. There’s nothing special about it. Thank you for your awesome post, you’re hilarious!


  21. I’m going to go against the grain a little and say that I don’t really mind the new cover. I wish the title was given more attention and had better typography, but overall, it’s a cover that would have piqued my interest…had I not seen the other cover first.

    The fatal flaw of the new cover is definitely that it follows such a beautiful cover for the hardback! The navy and red colour scheme is perfect, mysterious and beautiful, and I like the white branch and cog overlay. And I love the fonts used for the title! I think any cover they designed for the paperback would pale in comparison, to be fair.

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