Discussion: About Cover Judging & Comparing Book Covers (and titles) Dutch vs. UK/US

I love book covers and I love judging book covers (and nobody dare shame me for it). Sometimes I buy books based on their covers (or at least check them out), sometimes I don’t read a book because I hate the cover. I have books on my shelves I haven’t read yet because the cover really turns me off (*caughs* Graceling *caughs*).

Today I wanted to do a little fun post in which I compare some of the UK/US covers to the Dutch editions, because sometimes I really don’t understand why they made the changes they did. And sometimes I love the Dutch cover more! If you didn’t know it yet, I am Dutch, so I come across Dutch translations quite often.

But first, I wanted to talk a little about cover judging and cover changes!


I talked about this in an earlier post, but I think it is time for another mini-discussion. The new covers of the Ember of The Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir have shaken up the bookish community a little because it seems you either hate the covers or you love them. I personally don’t like them, plus, I hate that they changed it up in the middle of the series. I own the first book in the series, but if I were to buy the other books, they would completely not at all match with the old one. It bugs me that they made the cover changes so drastic. They could have kept the old style and put the people (I hate people on covers) in a little less obvious, so they would still match.

Anyway, I’m drifting off… I have heard the sentence “I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” SO OFTEN and it bugs me. I don’t think there is anything wrong with judging a book by its cover. A publisher makes the decision to make a cover that way, so they must have reason for it. If you don’t like the cover, then you don’t have to read it. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t ever let a cover stop you from reading a book, that’s fine, but if you do, that’s fine too. There is nothing holding you back from not reading something you don’t like (or you think doesn’t look good).

People are drawn to things that look good. We like it when things look good, but it also works the other way, if something looks good, we unconsciously like it more (and vice versa when things don’t look good). It’s psychology, kids!

And now back to the original post idea (sorry this is such a mess)…


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

So this cover change I actually like a lot. Though, I cannot remember whether ice cream played an important role in the book (oops). I just really don’t like the original cover, I don’t know why but I just don’t understand it. It looks weird. The Dutch cover on the other hand, looks cute and like something I’d pick up! The Dutch title translates to The Benefits of Unrequited/Unanswered Love, so they kept that pretty consistent (which is not always the case).

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I don’t know what to think of the Dutch edition, I mean it’s a good cover, I think, but it’s definitely not better than the UK or US editions. I don’t like people on covers so that is a minus for the Dutch edition. Also, if you look at the cover up close, it really isn’t that well-photoshopped. BUT, the reason I really wanted to talk about this cover is the title. Caraval is translated to “Het Zwarte Hart”, meaning “The Black Heart” and the series is now called “De Duisternis”, meaning “The Darkness”. WHY? I don’t get it. There is something about a black heart in the book, but come on the whole book is about Caraval, why change it???

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I actually picked up the Dutch edition of Everything, Everything in the library and I had no idea it was the same book! I do like the cover, but nothing can beat the prettiness of the US/UK cover, the art is just so pretty! Another thing is the title. I get why they changed it because “Everything, Everything” sounds a bit weird in Dutch. The new title “Alles wat je lief is”, which translates to “Everything you hold dear” or something along those lines, is good I think? Still, they could have just kept the original title (they do that a lot too).

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The Dutch edition of Heartless has this big tree on the cover, and there is nothing about trees in the book, but it kinda looks okay? I don’t like how the letters are barely readable because of how busy it is, but maybe that is just because of the picture. I still would prefer the other Heartless cover. The title is just a straight-up translation from the English one.


What’s your opinion on cover judging? Do you think it’s bad? What is your favourite or least favourite cover-change of these? Does your home country also do these strange cover changes? What is your least favourite cover change of all time?

~~ Also, hi! I’m back home! A winner for my giveaway has been drawn and has been notified on twitter. The winner is Megan from Words That Stay so if you are Megan, please contact me! If you do not contact me within 2 days, I’ll be forced to pick another winner. ~~


36 thoughts on “Discussion: About Cover Judging & Comparing Book Covers (and titles) Dutch vs. UK/US

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with cover judging. There are A LOT of books out there, and it’s very time consuming to pick up every book in the bookstore/library or look up all the books on Goodreads to read the summary, so we need covers to draw us in. Besides the entire point of the cover is to make people buy the book??

    I like the Dutch cover for The Upside of Unrequited, but I still prefer the original, but that may be because I’m used to seeing that one. The one for Everything, Everything is kind of pretty, but it just can’t compete against the original haha. The Dutch Heartless isn’t that bad, but I don’t exactly like it either. Don’t get me started on Caraval lol. In the case of Heartless and Caraval I’d say they should’ve stuck with the original covers. It’s also doable with the titles (I haven’t read Caraval but couldn’t they have kept that title?) I completely understand why they changed the others (I don’t think changing Everything, Everything in that art to Alles, Alles would’ve worked out well and Alles, Alles is a weird title anyway lol)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! I use book covers all the time to determine which books to read and which ones not! I’m not rich so if I’m going to buy a book, it better be a pretty one!
      Yeah I think they should have sticked with the original for Caraval, I don’t understand why they changed it… For Everything, Everything I meant to just keep it called “Everything, Everything”. I mean, they did the same for The Hate U Give (the Dutch edition is called the same, so why not Everything, Everything too?)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m usually not a big fan of cover changes myself but I am okay with this one because it has a meaning to it. Sabaa wanting POC or more specific brown people to be able to see themselves on a cover is a good enough reason for me! I’m not a big fan of the new covers and own the first two books already so my copies won’t match at all, but I will deal with it this time around.

    As a bit of a side note, I am actually surprised that I apparently still remember some of the Dutch I took in high school because I was actually able to translate some of the titles myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand why she did it, but I just really don’t like the style of these new covers and I think that they could have been so much better than they now are. They’re a bit bland and unoriginal…
      I didn’t know they had Dutch classes in Germany! (You’re from Germany, right?) But that’s so cool!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m from Germany. 🙂 You can actually take a bunch of different languages here and actually HAVE to take a second foreign language if you want to graduate from year 12 or 13 (depending on the school you attend) and since my dumb ass decided to drop French in 7th grade, I had to choose between Spanish and Dutch in year 11 and I went with the ‘easier’ option as I figured Dutch would have some similarities with German.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh that’s cool! We got to choose between French and German and most people chose German because it is much easier, since it resembles Dutch. I choose French though! I can do a little German because I took one year but basically, I suck at it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love these posts, it’s so cool looking at the different covers! I think I have to agree with you on like all of these though, sometimes it’s just better to keep it simple 🙂 I really didn’t like the US/UK version of The Upside of unrequited though!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to admit, I am a notorious cover-judger. A lot of times I just add books to my TBR list based on how I feel about the cover without even checking out the synopsis. So, I am glad I am not alone in this!

    I agree with Michelle that it really is time consuming to go through every summary each time. It is definitely the covers that draw us to books. If I add to my TBR list and still am intrigued by it at a later date, then I’ll read the summary and usually pick the book up.

    I had not seen many of these cover changes, but for some reason Everything, Everything really stood out to me. Unfortunately, I have not gotten a chance to read it yet but plan to in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree! Book covers are there to draw us in, so why not judge based on it?
      Everything, Everything is a really quick and fun read! I really enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First off READ GRACELING!!! It is incredible and I’m in love with it with all my heart. Secondly, I absolutely judge books by their covers, it’s the first thing that draws you in to wanting to read a book and I see nothing wrong with that. Thirdly, well there really isn’t anything else I wanted to say so… read Graceling!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree. Publishers shouldn’t change covers in the middle of the series because it’s annoying. I get that people collect books and would like to have it in a uniform way. But I personally, don’t really mind not having matching covers.

    PS: Those Dutch covers are way better looking than the original covers. I liked the one for Unrequited and Heartless. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure I mind, but I do like it a lot when they do match. These covers, however, are so different from the old ones… a bit too different if you ask me.


  7. Hi Lia this is a great idea comparing covers! I should do it with my daughter’s French covers. And I also speak Dutch even if my mother language is French 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. Several ugly covers have stopped me from picking up a book.

    I really liked the Dutch cover for The Upside of Unrequited. I liked that it matches Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda so well. They match better than the English editions do.

    You are definitely right about Caraval. I haven’t read it, but I picked it up in the library once. I remember thinking it was a total rip-off from Caraval, not realising it was the same book.

    Same thing happened with Everything everything, although this time I checked the original title and I did realise what book it was.

    As for Heartless, I don’t know which I prefer. The English edition is pretty and clear, but I like that the Dutch edition has the illustration. Still it’s a mess.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes I agree on the Upside cover matching with Simon vs., I love that!
      Haha I would have thought the same thing if I hadn’t seen the Dutch Caraval cover somewhere before I picked it up 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Of course I judge books based on the cover! 😂 Sometimes that’s the only thing I base my judgment on… I really love the Dutch covers of these books, they look so pretty.
    As for those Ember in the Ashes cover changes, I personally really like them. I haven’t read the books or necessarily want to, but I like the new covers. And I also think there’s a really wonderful reason behind the cover change, so that’s also nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I’m glad you like them! Yeah I think the reason behind the cover changes is really good, but I’m just not a big fan of these new covers. The old covers had this cool eerie Roman vibe to it and now it’s just people.. eh, not my taste :/

      Liked by 1 person

  10. GRACELING!!! I read and loved it (tbh I really only love Po…) and it’s a great book. OR MAYBE NOT because I read that when I was younger and not as smart with bookish stuff. XD Hmm, I personally don’t think that judging books is good — WHEN you say that a book is bad because the COVER is bad. But if you’re “judging” it in the way that you’re deciding whether or not to read it, I think that’s fine, because that’s the cover designer’s JOB. They have to make it appealing!

    And wow, those cover changes are… different! Yeah, Upside’s cover is odd haha. The Dutch cover is cute! WHOA CARAVAL’S DUTCH COVER LOOKS WEIRD. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I guess I will find out! I will pick it up one day soon!
      Yeah I agree on that, I think basing your opinion of a book on a cover is not good but if you use it to decide what to read, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it 🙂
      YEAH I know so weird!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I definitely judge books by their covers. SOMETIMES I don’t. If it’s an indie, I’ll most likely still read it even if it has an ugly cover – but if it’s by a big publisher and they want me to spend 18.99 on it, you bet I want it to have a good cover hahaha. I also just look at cover first, then title, then synopsis. If I didn’t do it that way, I’d be reading the blurb of every book at the bookstore (which is just time consuming and impossible haha).

    None of the series I have are different covers. They all match >.< I guess except now AEITA won't if I buy any more of the books. It would totally bother me, though, if my covers didn't match. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, I’m less judgy when it comes to indie books because I know for them having epic covers is just not really feasible but when it’s a mainstream published book I’m much more critical! Reading all the synopsis of all the books in a bookstore would be such a chore!
      Ugh yes same, I don’t even know if I’m going to get the other books because then they would not match and I hate that and I’m not sure I love the first book enough to commit to that haha


  12. I love all those Dutch covers! I sometimes judge by the cover. I think publishers take the time to make beautiful covers for really good books. Sometimes they don’t and I know that, but a good cover really attracts me beyond the synopsis.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Unless I am looking for a particular author when I enter a book store, I am more inclined to have my interest roused by a catching cover. I live in Germany where the covers tend to be either stark (Germanic) or kitshy (also Germanic)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! There’s the problem. Would you buy a book you wished to read even if it was in an ugly cove? As I normally keep and shelve my books, I think I would prefer to look and hope for anothe publisher’s effort

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If I really don’t like the cover, I see if I can get the ebook instead, which saves me money and then I won’t have to stare at the ugly cover on my shelves!


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