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Book Cover Judgements

We constantly hear the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We try to apply this to ourselves metaphorically when it comes to observing other humans; however this advice is not as applicable in the world of books.

Covers of books are very important because a lot of times they can determine whether or not a reader will pick up the book! And it all depends on which details catch the reader’s eye.

There are many different kinds of book cover designs, and I will elaborate on the kinds that attract me.

  • Simple Background vs. Crowded and Crazy

I prefer a simple background that draws more attention to the title of the book, as the title is often the main focal point of a cover that is bland. I like these kinds of covers because they allow me to think for myself what the book is about rather than already hinting at it for me. If a cover is too chaotic, I might just jump to a conclusion of what it is about rather than picking it up and reading the summary on the back. Some of the books below are examples of what I think are simply covered:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red queen aveyard

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

  •  Central Symbol

Many popular YA dystopian books have a circular symbol or design on the cover. Readers later discover what this symbol means or refers to if they feel drawn enough to pick up the book and find out. I like these kinds of book covers because they are usually pretty simple as well and they are vague enough to let me imagine for myself what the story might be. Here are some of the popular books that have been adapted from page to screen and/or follow the usual recipe for dystopia:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

hunger games

The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth


The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

  • Central Figure

Covers that display a central figure, most of the time the main character of the story, always catch my eye because they are usually depicted in cool profile shots or with interesting outfits or in interesting situations. It is still vague enough to avoid spoiling the story. Below are examples of a few favorites of mine in the types of covers that I just mentioned:

The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass


Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

city of bones cover

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What Makes a Book a Page Turner?

photo by flickr use wiertz
photo by flickr use wiertz

There are numerous characteristics that distinguish a truly exciting book that leaves its readers on the edge of their seats from a less appealing one that makes readers fall asleep reading it. As an active reader, especially during the summer, I love it when I’m reading a book that keeps me engaged to the point where I find myself staying up until 2am in the morning simply because I cannot set the book down. Recently, I’ve begun to ponder the following question – what truly makes a book a page turner?

By “page turner” I am referring to those books that are so thrilling to read that readers find it nearly impossible to simply stop once they reach the end of a chapter because they have to find out what happens next. The key component that I believe contributes to categorizing a book as a page turner is the relatable, dynamic characters.

Well-developed characters are one of the main reasons I fall in love with reading books. When I read a great book I find it easy to develop connections with the characters. Page after page I become more involved with each of the characters’ lives and personalities. I learn which characters I like and which characters I don’t. This intriguing, life-like quality of a book is what keeps me engaged and wanting to constantly learn more about the characters. I find it easy to build imaginary relationships with the characters, especially when they have qualities I can relate to. Continue reading What Makes a Book a Page Turner?

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Notes from a Teens Top Ten Book Group Member: The Geography of You and Me Fantasy Casting

TeensTopTen_winner_WMTeens across the nation vote each year for the Teens’ Top Ten book list and the results are eagerly anticipated during Teen Read Week in October– but did you know how the books are nominated for this list in the first place?

Books are nominated by members of Teens’ Top Ten book groups in school and public libraries around the country. To give you a glimpse of some of the teens behind this process, we’re featuring posts from Teens’ Top Ten book groups here on The Hub. Today we have a fantasy cast list for Jennifer E. Smith’s novel The Geography of You and Me, created by Diamond Oldham of the Volunteer Reading Club in Clarksville, TN. 

geography of you and meThis isn’t an archetypal love story. Lucy and Owen, through all their trials and the tribulations, would never forget the Blackout in New York that began this quixotic love story. It took that one unique moment and they were in love, and in an instantaneous moment they were separated. Jennifer Smith’s book is one of heartache and unconditional love. When the characters cried, you cried. The journey of The Geography of You and Me is one I will never forget.

And if this sensational romantic tale is made into a movie, others will be able to appreciate the roller-coaster of emotions they will feel and be able to see that sometimes love can turn impossible things into possible things.

Here is my fantasy casting for The Geography of You And Me by Jennifer Smith:

emma-watsonEmma Watson as Lucy Patterson: in her later years as the shy, innocent type with a tad bit of wallflower in her.





logan-lermanLogan Lerman as Owen Buckley: the silent but mysteriously adventurous type.






liam-neesonLiam Neeson as George: the caring and nice doorman.


Continue reading Notes from a Teens Top Ten Book Group Member: The Geography of You and Me Fantasy Casting

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A Teen Perspective: School Reading vs. Recreational Reading

photo by Flickr user pedrosimoes
photo by Flickr user pedrosimoes

If a teen is passionate about reading and actively reads books, shouldn’t he or she enjoy any book whether it be for school or recreation? What is the difference with reading for school and reading for “fun?” What makes a teen engage in reading books in the first place?

The aforementioned questions are some that I will attempt to investigate in my evaluation of school reading versus recreational reading. School reading consists of reading any book that is required by the school curriculum, typically for English class but sometimes for other subjects as well. Recreational reading is when teens choose to read books in their own free time, there is no requirement for this type of reading. Generally, I believe teens prefer recreational reading to school reading for two distinct purposes—freedom of choice and personal interest.

For the most part, teens enjoy having independence, and this desire for individuality also plays a role when it comes to choosing what book to read. I see reading as an opportunity to absorb more knowledge, learn about new perspectives, and engage in a creative realms. For recreational reading, teens have the freedom to choose which book they would like to delve deeper into. In this case, reading becomes more of an option and an opportunity to partake in intriguing new subjects. However, when it comes to school reading- the books are already selected. Thus, the students no longer have the freedom of choice when it comes to selecting which book to read. School reading is mandatory, whereas recreational reading is entirely discretionary.

Students tend to engage in reading books that they are most interested in. With a vast range of genres and literary styles, the reading possibilities for young adults are endless! The plethora of reading options makes recreational reading that much more exciting. Some students enjoy reading only action packed books, others enjoy romantic novels, while others like to read poetry. When it comes to recreational reading students can choose to read whatever interests them. Continue reading A Teen Perspective: School Reading vs. Recreational Reading

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