First Impressions of Books

People always say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but let’s be completely honest, we still do it. Literally. Whenever I’m at a bookstore or shopping online, the reason I’ll pick up a book is to read the blurb if the cover catches my attention.

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Now, most of the time, the covers are not deceiving, but some of them are. I’m going to look at covers of books I’ve never read and try and guess what the book is about. Then I’ll look at the blurb to see how accurate I was.

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(all the blurbs have been taken directly from Goodreads)

First up!

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

My prediction: A story set in the past (maybe the 1700s?) that follows a gay European dude who plays the violin who is sailing to the American colonies.

Blurb: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Observation: I was right about the main character being European. He’s not gay, though. He is probably bisexual, judging how the blurb says “waking up in the arms of women or men”. He also falls in love with his best friend, who is also a guy. I was also correct about him traveling but it isn’t to America. It’s around Europe.

So… not too far off? Still not sure what the era is yet and I have no idea what the significance of the violin (or viola) on the cover is, but generally I made a pretty accurate prediction based on the cover and title.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green

My prediction: A group of friends go to try and find a girl Alaska who ran away for no reason. Also, this story has something to do with smoke or steam.

Blurb: Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

Observation: Um. Not 100% sure what happens in this book even after the blurb but I was right about there being a girl named Alaska. I’m not sure what the smoke on the cover has anything to do with the story but I’m sure it has a big role.

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

My prediction: There are two boys that have a crush on each other but are too shy to admit it so they continue to just be friends. In the end, they both die.

Blurb: On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

Observation: The title wasn’t lying about the whole dying thing. I was maybe wrong about the boys falling in love with each other since they’re complete strangers but I was right about them being friends. I’m actually want to see what happens next. Time to add it to my TBR!

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Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

My prediction: This is about an assassin girl who kills her victims with poison. If this is like any other YA assassin fantasy novel I’ve read, the main female protagonist get’s a job to kill off a certain boy that she suddenly falls in love with while trying to kill. She questions whether or not her boss (probably the king) and everything she’s known is good and realizes that there is more to the world she lives in than she thought there was. That or the boy who she’s trying to kill tells her all the dirty secrets of her boss and then she realizes that everything is not what it seems.

Blurb: About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Observation: Well… I was totally off. I did not even think there was going to be a magical element in the story but I guess there is. Poison is definitely involved (duh) but it seems as though our main female protagonist is not an assassin. Instead, she’s preventing assassinations.

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One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

My prediction: There is a group of friends and one of the friends was murdered. The group of friends is trying to figure out who murdered their friend and they know that it’s someone in the group. The problem is, they don’t know who did it because no one will confess and more and more friends are ending up dead.

BlurbOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Observation: Ok so someone definitely ended up dead. They weren’t friends, but they were all in a group in detention. Not sure if more and more people will end up dead but it certainly sounds like it. I think I was fairly close with this one.


What did you think these books would be about?

Which books should I try and predict next?

What are some books you’ve read with deceiving covers?

(Please leave the comment section spoiler free!)


Until next time….


15 thoughts on “First Impressions of Books

  1. Rose @ Page Revel 10/26/2017 / 9:02 am

    You were so on spot with GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE.When I first saw the cover I thought it was some historical fantasy and something about kings though.Loved this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie Xia 10/26/2017 / 3:40 pm

    Whoa, I thought Lookig For Alaska was about friends journeying to Alaska. So off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/26/2017 / 3:57 pm

      Hahaha I see where you would think that. That’s an awesome book idea, though! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. theorangutanlibrarian 11/03/2017 / 11:56 am

    Great idea for a post! I love how you predicted very close to the blurb with gentleman’s vice and virtue. And They Both Die in the End sounds intriguing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer 11/13/2017 / 12:39 am

    OMG!! I’m so glad I opened this link because this was SUCH a cute post!! I’ve read Poison Study so you made me roll on the floor with your prediction…that was the best, but actually you’re pretty good at predicting what the books are about!

    Can I totally steal this idea?! I’ll totally give you credit?! ❤ Either way this was super fun!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 11/13/2017 / 12:44 am

      Aw your kind words made my day ❤️
      Of course you can use my idea! It was super fun to make, and I hope you have fun trying it out yourself 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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