Judging Books By Their Covers

They say that you should “never judge a book by it’s cover” and I completely, 100 percent believe that to be true.  Unfortunately, the cover of a book is what will initially make you want to pick it up, read the synopsis, and eventually determine if you will spend the time to read the book or not.

When I was a teacher and I would begin to read aloud a book with a torn (or lost) cover, my students were never as excited to hear it as they would have been if the cover were beautifully artistic.  I used this “teachable moment” thousands of time in my 14 year career trying to instill in my students that just because something isn’t beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful on the inside (and yes…I hope that lesson carried over into real life with them and not just books…)

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Here are a few examples of amazing books with not so amazing covers:

I hate when books ambiguously use real life people on the covers.  Always messes up my image of what I think they should look like as I read.  I feel like I then have to conform my mental images with the ones on the cover…fail.

This book is AWESOME.  This cover is…pretty…but says absolutely nothing about the beautiful book inside?  So misleading…

AMAZING book with a strange faceless woman on the cover.  How old is she supposed to be here???  Says nothing about the book inside.  You can read my review of this amazing book HERE.

Here is an example of a book where the gorgeous cover doesn’t quite match up with the words inside:

I was bored. You can read my review HERE.

Sometimes a book can easily be judged by it’s cover when the cover isn’t great and neither is the story inside:

The story itself was just ok…unforgettable.  The cover?  Not so unforgettable.  In the history of the entire world, I truly don’t believe an uglier cover exists. Holy hell.

This book had so much possibility!  The topic is FASCINATING….the cover (and the writing) is boring.

I absolutely hated everything about this book.  Including it’s ugly cover.

And HERE we have the perfect combination of beautiful covers which also just happen to contain beautiful stories inside:

Bottom Line:

Just like people…some books are prettier on the inside then they are on the outside but you have to read them to find out 🙂

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?  Can you think of other books with beautiful (or not so beautiful) covers?  Do you allow a book cover to determine if you want to read the book inside?

Still Breathing Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations, Loredana (I’d love to visit Paris, I wish this since Inwas 18 years old, wanted to go there with my best friend after we finished high school, but didn’t make it so far :(. I’m Internationally, also I’m subscribed to your blog. Hugs and kisses from Romania!)

Please email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) and I will make sure your copy of this lovely book gets sent to you!

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Book Review: On the Come Up {Angie Thomas}

Nobody was more excited for this book to be released than I was.  I waited (not so patiently) for months!   It was finally released last month and I couldn’t get my hands on a copy soon enough.  FINALLY my wait was OVER!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

So…It’s not The Hate U Give. I completely understand that I shouldn’t be comparing them because they are stand alone novels…but…it’s not The Hate U Give .

I loved that this book took us back to Garden Heights and I loved the references back to storylines from The Hate U Give . But again…it’s not The Hate U Give. .

The issues that this book discussed are IMPORTANT and truly are ones that NEED to be discussed. Angie Thomas has such a gift of being able to tell a story from a teenager’s point of view while appealing to adults at the same time. This allows everyone to benefit from the lessons and messages that this book tells. Perfection.

And yet…

There were way too many storylines for many of them to be properly developed, just about everything in this book was predictable, and so many of the characters were either completely underdeveloped or just not likable.

The first 200 pages or so were actually pretty boring.  I debated on Instagram if I should have even continued reading or if I should have abandoned the book halfway through!  I WILL say that the last half of the book (it’s 447 pages total) was MUCH better than the first half.  I’m glad I stuck with it and forged though.  If wasn’t that the beginning was bad, it was just…boring.

Overall, I liked this book and I think the messages it delivers are extremely important. Was it Angie Thomas’s best? Absolutely not. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

I truly wonder if I had read this book before reading her first one if I would have enjoyed it more without the comparison?  I wouldn’t recommend doing that, though.  She references the first book a few times and the description of Garden Heights is SO much more detailed in her first book.  It sets the entire tone for this book in terms of the neighborhood’s setting.  I think that without reading the prior description of the Garden there would be a major disconnect while reading this book.

In case you haven’t figured out yet that I loved The Hate U Give so much (it’s is one of the best books I’ve ever read), you can read my review of it here.

Bottom Line:

This book is really good…just not as good as, well, you know 🙂

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

A-Z Book Tag {AKA Random Facts About Myself as a Reader}

Would you like to learn random facts about myself as a reader?  As soon as I saw this book tag on Feed the Crime I knew I wanted to participate.  This one was so much fun!  Thank you to The Perpetual Page Turner for creating it!

*This post contains affiliate links.  When you click on these links to buy the book, I receive a tiny commission.  Thanks so much for your support, XO!*

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Ann M. Martin! The Babysitters Club series were hands down my FAVORITE books while growing up.  And I’m not talking about the current graphic novels…I’m talking the old school novels.  Claudia and Stacey were always my favorites.  I can’t WAIT for my daughter to read these one day!

Best Sequel Ever:

The Wedding
I’ve told this story on my blog before but I’ll tell it again…I read this on an airplane years ago.  As soon as I pulled it out of my carry on bag, the lady sitting next to me handed me a tissue!  She told me that I would be needing it.  Sure enough by the end of the flight…I was SOBBING.  Like…weeping.  Make up everywhere.  Hiccups.  The lady just looked at me, nodded once, and said, “Told you.”  If you loved The Notebook (who didn’t?!) you will love it’s sequel.  Just make sure you have plenty of Kleenex.

Currently Reading:

On The Come Up

Drink of Choice While Reading:

COFFEE.  All day, every day.  Hot, never iced.

E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical book 100% of the time.  I’ve never read anything on an e-reader and I’ve never listened to an audiobook.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Olly from this wonderful book.  Read my review here!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The Light Between Oceans Oh how I LOVED this book…once I was able to get past the extremely boring beginning.  Read more on this and my full review here!

Hidden Gem Book:

Young Jane Young!  How is this book not more popular?!?  It’s fantastic!  Read my full review here.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

As I was reading Becoming, I was struck with the realization that I just don’t enjoy reading memoirs.  Watch my YouTube video to hear me discuss this further!

Just Finished:

Somebody’s Daughter.  Loved it.  You can read my review here.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Anything with a topic that truly doesn’t interest me.  There are too many wonderful books out there…why waste time reading one that I don’t find interesting?

Longest Book You’ve Read:

No clue…but maybe the hardcover versions of either Small Great Things or Becoming?  I didn’t love either one so maybe they just FELT like the longest books I’ve ever read?  You can read my reviews of these here and here.

Major book hangover because of:

House of Sand and Fog.  I still think about this book and I read it 16 years ago!  Read my review here.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

5

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Shanghai Girls.  It’s so amazing. The sequel Dreams of Joy?  Not so amazing. Read my review of both books here!

Preferred Place To Read:

With a sleeping child on my chest, coffee next to me, and rain (or snow) falling outside.  Literally my version of heaven.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“You could jump so much higher when you had somewhere safe to fall” -Liane Moriarty  (Truly Madly Guilty)  I hated the book but loved this quote!

Reading Regret:

Even starting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I hated it so much that I threw it across the room.  You can read more about that here 🙂

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Harry Potter ! I read the first one and loved it.  I was halfway through the second…and then I got engaged 🙂  I immediately traded in poor Harry for wedding planning books and never once looked back.  I really should go back and read them.  Maybe one day with my daughter?

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

The Catcher in the Rye

The Help

The Hate U Give

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Mary Kubica 🙂 I just love her writing so much!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica.  Netflix already bought the rights to it to turn the book into a feature film!  Can’t wait to read it first!

Worst Bookish Habit:

This. Yikes.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

The Language of Flowers.  If you haven’t yet read this book, you must.  Today.

Your latest book purchase:

Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown (Groovy Joe 2) Both of my children LOVE Groovy Joe!  We were all excited to see this new Groovy Joe title at my daughter’s school book fair 🙂

Readers, I would love to hear your answers to some of these (or all of these!) in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader,

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why {Jay Asher}

Our kitchen is leaking, our family room is leaking, our garbage disposal is thankfully back to normal although our dishwasher still isn’t working and hasn’t worked in 3 days all because of a frozen pipeline.

Polar Vortex 2019, I loathe you.

BUT the 4 of us went to the grocery store last night and it felt great just to be out of the house!  This has been such an insane week and our poor house just couldn’t handle it.  I’m driving my daughter to and from school again today because the thought of putting her on a bus in this weather doesn’t sit well with me.  It’s better out there….but still freezing!

You know it’s been a bit chilly when you check your weather app, it says it’s currently 3 degrees, and you immediately think it’s warming up!  Omg.

Today I have a review of a book I read a while back and still think about.  It’s message was well written, powerful, and important.

thirteenreasonswhy

Synopsis from Goodreads:

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4 Stars

Couldn’t.  Put.  It.  Down.

This book was interesting, heartbreaking, fascinating, and memorable.  I read it over the course of just a few days and would sneak in pages whenever I had a free moment.  I had to know what was going to happen next!

The entire premise of this book is piecing together the pieces of the puzzle to create the entire picture.  As more and more details begin to unfold, the reader is introduced to new characters, new situations, and new revelations.  I loved the writing style and how the author told the entire story in such a unique way and through so many different perspectives.

If you enjoy YA (young adult fiction), this is absolutely a book that you should read.

There is a Netflix series based upon this book.  I haven’t seen any of the episodes…Have you?

Bottom Line:

Loved it.  Disturbing topic but so well written.

Stay warm, everyone!

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  Have you seen the Netflix series? What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Play Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

*I’ll be running a special weekend storytime this Sunday at 4:00!  It’s Whimsy Play Cafe’s 1 month anniversary and I will be doing a “whimsical” Dr. Seuss themed storytime!  I would love to see you and your little book lovers there!*

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo