Top Ten Tuesday – Totally Deceiving Books

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So this is my list of books that completely surprised me – either because the cover didn’t match the book, the summary didn’t describe the story that well or because (more frequently) my bigoted opinion of the book was incorrect.

Book cover of Pegasus by Robin McKinley1) Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Just look at that beautiful, beautiful cover. It’s all kinds of amazing. Unfortunately, the book is not. Far from it in fact.

I completely admit to buying this book purely because of the cover image. That’ll teach me.

Read my review of Pegasus here.

2) Bound by Sarah Bryant

Book cover of Bound by Sarah BryantOn the other hand, just look at this terrible cover! It’s so generic-paranormal-YA, and the blurb doesn’t help. ‘Girl sees things nobody else does and meets a mysterious boy who can see them too.’

But I’m reading it now, and so far it’s very, very good! From now on, I may only read books with ugly covers. 

I’ll link this to a review when, you know, I actually have one.

3) Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

Book cover of Black Swan Rising by Lee CarrollI’m not normally a fan of girl-in-the-pretty-dress covers, but the summary promised a unique fantasy story, full of folklore and swan imagery.

Not so. There’s not a lot of the above, but there is a Sneaky Vampire. Click the link for my rant. It’s happened before and it will happen again. I hate Sneaky Vampires.

In fact, it’s so completely generic and unmemorable that I forgot what image I was looking for as I scrolled through my picture archive three times.

Click for my Black Swan Rising review.

4) Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Vintage edition book cover of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. LawrenceThis one wasn’t deceiving in a good or a bad way. But it was, nevertheless.

I’m sure many of you know how Lady Chatterley was banned in the 1960s for its obscenity and how many copies have the page numbers of the illicit scenes pencilled in the back? Well, when I read it last year, it’s just… not. There are two sex scenes and they’re both less than a page long.

I know I sound disappointed (eh, wouldn’t be completely untrue to form), but it just surprised me how tame it was. I mean, even the covers have naked women on them!

My review of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is here! πŸ™‚ 

5) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

UK book cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I know this has made it onto a lot of lists today, but I never once thought it was about starvation or being stranded on a desert island. It’s just that every time I saw the UK cover of The Hunger Games, it looked to me like some young adult spy/thriller book. As I have absolutely zero interest in those, I always ignored it until I stumbled across the fifty million reviews around the blogosphere!

I still don’t understand why they chose this cover.

My review of The Hunger Games.

6) Fury (Mercy series, book four) by Rebecca Lim

Book cover of Fury, book 4 of the Mercy series, by Rebecca LimWow, a book called Fury! And look, there’s a bad-ass looking girl on the front and the colours are a ferocious red and gold! This must be about a woman who doesn’t take no for an answer, stands up for what she believes in and won’t take crap from anyone, right!?

Uhh… no. It’s not. 

7) The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Book cover of The Magicians by Lev GrossmanI admit to not being a fan of this one anyway, but I do think the cover is misleading. It looks all dark and mysterious, hinting at an adult book filled with danger and secrets. Even the summary makes it seem darker than it really is.

Inside though, it comes across as very childlike and has the worst ending in human history. It’s about students trying to find their way into childrens’ books, for God’s sake.

My review of The Magicians is here. 

8) Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Book cover of Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie KinsellaThis was the first Sophie Kinsella book I ever read and I’m so grateful for the introduction to her books.  

I grabbed it from the library on the way to a long train journey. On closer inspection after I actually boarded the train, it looked like any generic, badly-written drivel. The cover looks fluffy and the summary seems fluffy.

And it is, I suppose. But it’s also hilarious and moving, and I’ve since devoured all of her other works. I’m not a massive chick-lit fan, but I really do like these.

Aaaaand that’s it. Sorry folks, I’m out of ideas! 


  1. Awwww, I'm still looking forward to reading Pegasus, but I'm a really big Robin McKinley fan. Sorry it didn't work for you. I will agree, that cover is stunning!

    Awesome list!

    My TTT

  2. Bex says:

    I don't get The Hunger Games cover either, I also avoided it mostly cos I have this totally unreasonable prejudice against any and all things YA (except obviously Harry Potter, and then there was that brief Twilight phase I went through.. :-/) but also because of the weird cover which made it look kind of like one of the Anthony Horowitz Alex Rider books, which I am entirely sick of. Then I read it (because of blogger hype)and totally freaked about it. Also was mislead by The Magicians, which I didn't even finish because it was so lame.

    Also, HI! Feels like it's been ages since I've commented over here. In fairness, it probably is, I've been crap at blog stuff lately! How are yooooooou? πŸ˜€

    1. Hanna says:

      Eh… not a TOTALLY unreasonable prejudice. I've regained by scowly feeling towards it lately – been burned a few too many times!

      I remember you saying about The Magicians! I really, really wish you'd finished it though, just so I could have somebody to rant with about the horrible, horrible ending. It just makes no sense! *cries with anger*

      I'm good! I'm 99.9% sure absolutely nothing has changed since I spoke to you last πŸ™‚

    2. Bex says:

      :-p I've been thinking lately I should try again to finish it just to check that the rest is as absolutely ridiculous as the bit I read was! Loads has changed with me – well, just the one thing really (freaky baby stuff argh!).

      Trying to break the YA hatred because it makes little to no sense as I love Potter, Hunger Games, and also read a few John Green lately that I really enjoyed. So yes. I did not enjoy Black Swan Rising though. Like, at all.

    3. Hanna says:

      I'm torn between wanting you to finish The Magicians so I can rant, and wanting you to leave it for your own well being! We have freakishly similar book tastes, and I'm 85% sure you won't like it :p

      …baby stuff? You're having a baby!?

      I HAVE read good YA – Starters, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. But then also, not. They're just so badly written sometimes! They have good plots, but then the prose is so clunky I just can't be bothered ploughing through them.

    4. Bex says:

      Yeah that's mostly my problem with it too. And yes, I am having a baby. It's really quite scary :-p I'm pretty sure I won't like it too, but then again I hate not finishing books so I'd quite like to just get it out of my system…

    5. Bex says:

      Won't like The Magicians, not the baby, just to clarify πŸ˜›

    6. Bex says:

      Just had to come back and say, further to our hating YA conversation that I just finished Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and I LOVED it, so I'm thinking maybe its not YA per se that I hate, just dystopian stuff for the most part (aside from
      the hunger games, obviously).. Like, I read Delirium and it was just meh, but I read An Abundance of Katherine's by John Green a while back too and liked that. So there we go, I may have broken the YA hating!

    7. Hanna says:

      What made you pick that up? I've seen it around, but… yeah.

      I don't hate dystopians, I actually quite like the concepts. It's just that YA in general is just so appallingly, terribly written! I keep adding YAs to my wishlist because I think they've got a great plot idea, but then they read like they're written by a monkey 😐

  3. Ellie Warren says:

    Chick-lit has the most deceiving covers of all! I wish they would ditch the pink and purple cover schemes, there are some amazing books that people skip over because they look like silly romance. I think with Me Before You, people are slowly realising that (I hear MEN have been reading it on their kindles).

    I avoided The Hunger Games for ages but curiosity got the better of me and I'm glad it did. I year ago I avoided YA fiction but now I'm starting to learn to find the sort I can enjoy.

    1. Hanna says:

      I know, I can't help but think they'd have more readers if they didn't use such fluffy cover images.

      I avoided YA for YEARS, but blogging has helped me realise that there is some decent stuff out there πŸ™‚

  4. Nice list! I haven't read a lot of these, but I agree with that Hunger Games cover! And the US cover doesn't really tell us much about the story, either, so I can see why some people in the US would overlook it, too. And I'll have to look up Bound!

    I enjoyed your rant about the Sneaky Vampires! πŸ˜‰ And I love fairies, but I can totally see why you'd be extremely tired of them, growing up where you did!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! πŸ˜‰

  5. kaye says:

    I would have picked up Pegasus based on the author alone. Most of her books hit the mark but she has an occassional dissapointer. I just love when a book surprises me in a good way, nice post today. kayeβ€”the road goes ever ever on

  6. Laura says:

    Oh my gosh, The Hunger Games totally looks like a spy book! Like teenage girl spy has adventures and whatnot… I'm glad it wasn't though, cause I kind of hate spy things (well, I hate James Bond, so, yeah, that.)

    Also, Lady Chatterley's Lover- totally not that saucy. I do really love it though πŸ™‚

  7. I loved Can You Keep a Secret and The Hunger Games!

  8. The cover of THG really does look like a spy book, I haven't noticed that before! Great list(:

  9. I felt that the Hunger Games would be a lot more science-fictiony/spy/thriller than it turned out to be. A lot more cold and clinical and military – rather like Mockingjay turned out to be, I guess. I'd never have picked that up if I hadn't read dozens of rave reviews on the blogs.

    I hate sneaky vampires too! I don't think Vampires have interested me since I read Anne Rice years ago.

  10. Hannah says:

    That was the first Sophie Kinsella book I read too! And.. only.. so far. I can't even remember what happened. Do plan to re-read, still have my old copy.

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