Judging a Book by it’s Cover #1: A Grown-up Kind of Pretty

Thanks to a recent post by Giraffe Days on Cover Trends in YA and Mission to Read’s TBR mini-challenge, I’ve decided to start a new feature for when I’m not feeling up to having an Unpopular Opinion. Basically, I will take the cover of a book I’ve never read (and preferably know nothing about) and judge the book purely on that.

First up I will be talking about Joshilyn Jackson’s A Grown-up Kind of Pretty because for Mission to Read’s TBR mini-challenge I need to do a cover review of a cover that is largely green.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

Looks like it fits the bill.

Now the green and yellow in this cover makes me think spring time, so I’m guessing that the story either takes place in spring or (because the title is emphasizing “growing up”) that the protagonist is on the cusp between childhood and teenagehood or teenagehood and adulthood. Furthermore, the pattern of the dress reminds me of picnics and for some reason Texas, so I’m going to say that the protagonist is from Texas. She’s also white according to her arm.

The apple cut in half stuck in her belt is probably in hopes of dragging out the Twilight crowd, but I don’t get the feeling from the cover that this has anything to do with vampires, so it must have a love-triangle, which makes me think that the protagonist is probably more of the teenagehood on her way to adulthood side of things.

The blue in the background has a couple stripes, which almost look like a bench, so I’m going to say it’s a bench. Which means our around 17 year old protagonist is sitting on a bench, probably waiting for a bus. Maybe she wants to leave the small town she lives in? Maybe one of the boys in the love-triangle and the other is staying.

Now, let’s see what the book is ACTUALLY about with the summary from Goodreads:

“A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it’s there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey’s strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women’s shared past–and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.”

So…I was a teensy bit off the mark, but hey I managed to get the cusp of adult-hood thing! Oh, and according to some of the other reviews, it takes place in Alabama (or Mississippi?), which is basically Texas, right?

What about you? Would you pick up this book based on its cover?

About megtao

Student. Writer. Nerdfighter. Fights for love, justice, and awesome.
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16 Responses to Judging a Book by it’s Cover #1: A Grown-up Kind of Pretty

  1. Candice says:

    “it takes place in Alabama (or Mississippi?), which is basically Texas, right?” – NOOOOOO! Alabama is most certainly NOT Texas! haha

    Also, if this book takes place in Alabama it will be added to my TBR list ASAP!

    Love this; I love breaking down images and trying to figure out what they mean. Good job, even though you were a teensy bit off!

  2. ExLibrisBitsy says:

    I kind of like the placement of the green apple actually, especially when compared with the description of the book. There’s more of a garden of eden vibe, especially since it is under her belt, then a Twilight vibe to me though. Love all the green too. I think you called it pretty well! The book sounds really interesting too.

  3. Haha wow you gave a lot of thought to that cover! I never thought about relating apples to Twilight but now that you’ve said that I wonder how many other covers have gone with that imagery.
    And yes Alabama and totally basically Texas. :p

    • megtao says:

      Many. Or else they do the hands holding something or like dark cover with something red. When you have a popular image with a popular series people will try and connect their own books to them as a marketing thing.

  4. Jasmine Rose says:

    I think it’s interesting that you can see that the apple is browning if you look closely enough.

    • megtao says:

      I noticed that too! I kind of assumed it was because of just a long picture taking day or something, but I’m sure it actually has some kind of meaning.

  5. Samantha says:

    I love this new feature. Judging by the dress I would’ve guessed somewhere in the South too. Though the style of the dress would have also made me say set in the 50s/60s, as well. And I LOVE the half-eaten apple in the belt. Jeez, symbolism thruogh the roof right there. XD

    This actually looks like a good book so am putting it on my TBR pile.

  6. This is a great idea for a meme. I love that you analysed the elements of the cover in the context of current publishing marketing trends and made some really good assumptions based on them – even if they didn’t exactly coincide with the actual story! Just goes to show how good we are at absorbing cover trends and the expectations we acquire because of them.

    And I would have said that Texas is basically Alabama too! I’m always surprised when I see a map of the U.S. and see where the states actually are in relation to each other, Canada and Mexico. I routinely so “oh so that’s where X state is!” or even worse: “I didn’t know X was a state, I thought it was just a city or something.” Whoops. Adam despairs of me, but he lived there for four years of uni so I figure when you actually live in a country you get a better grasp of it’s make-up.

    • megtao says:

      I’m glad you like the feature!

      For me, every state is the same. There’s basically New York, which is all like New York City in my mind, and then there’s Texas…and that’s it XD

  7. Ok, when I saw the apple my mind when two places – eating disorder or baby. I think I’m going to go with baby based on the summary…

    And gingham print is probaby associated with the south because of Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ.

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