Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Girly" Covers

About a week ago, I was talking with a few teenage boys were going through the shelf of YA summer reading books at my library. They were complaining about how "there were no guy books here". There were actually quite a few guy-friendly books on the shelf. But...the covers. Almost every cover had a girl on it. If I were a guy, I definitely would not want to read a book with a girly cover. Which inspired me to write this post.

That incident proves that covers are important. Don't believe it if you don't want to, but they are. Admit it, everyone judges books by their covers. Especially teen guys, who are a lot more picky about their books than teen girls. Which is why I think that guy-friendly covers are important. Boys read YA much less than girls do, and this is not a good thing!

The cover of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, for example, I forgive for being girly. Even though it's far from chick-lit, I can't see myself recommending it to a guy.

Now, look at Prophecy of the Sisters. It is not at all a girly book. But I can just see teen boys glancing at the covering and muttering "Ugh, that's a girl book."


Rampant is another good example. It's about KILLER UNICORNS, for Pete's sake! But...there is an angsty-looking teenage girl on the cover. I really dislike covers that feature angsty teenage girls (if you don't know what I mean, look at the Vampire Academy covers). Ugh.

So, I think that for YA books that aren't chick-lit or romance, publishing houses should try to produce covers WITHOUT girls or flowers on them, so that boys will read those books. The said teenage boys at the library told me that the only YA books they've read are the Artemis Fowl series! (I absolutely love Artemis Fowl, but that's not the point.) Think of what they're missing out on!

What do you think? Should YA book covers become more guy-friendly?


  1. Yes I agree with you! As a mother of two boys ages 12 and 14, there just aren't many young adult books out there directed at boys their age. My 14 year old won't read half the young adult books I own because from the looks of the covers he thinks they are girly books

  2. Hmmm...well, while the feminist in me would like boys to stop associating 'girly' with 'lame', there does need to be more representation of people who aren't female, thin, white and pretty in YA - everybody should feel included.


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