Saturday, 3 July 2010

Cover Variations (1): Looking for Alaska by John Green

I've always been kind of reluctant to post about book covers on the blog... for the simple reason that so many other book bloggers do it. And some people have the horrible tendency to throw around the "ZOMG! You're copying [insert blogger name]!!" accusation.

Really, we book bloggers blog about books... there is only so much a person can post about books; reviews, author interviews, wish lists etc. And yes, stuff about book covers, posts about book covers are hardly a stretch of the imagination and pretty much any book blogger thinks of posting about covers without needing to get inspiration from other blogs.

So what the hell, I love book covers so I'm gonna post about them! =]

I'm one of those people that will be strongly influenced by a cover of a book... if I adore the summary but the cover is awful, it can delay my reading of the book, if I'm not too wowed by the summary but the cover is awesome? I'll probably buy the book anyway just to have such a pretty book on my shelves. Shallow, I know, but it's kind of human nature.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I have no doubt there's probably plenty of cover posts just like this, but I want to post about international covers/cover variations.

I've decided to start with one of my favourite books: Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Quick note before I get to the covers: The covers were found using google - and I obviously don't speak all of the languages so I *could* be wrong about the country of origin for some of them or something, but searching for Looking for Alaska covers came up with these results:

The first one is the Serbian cover and I don't like it much... the colouring is awful and the shoes are awful too. The second one is nice, I like the antique-y sepia feel to it, but it makes the book seem like it's one of those light road trip type books, which it isn't. (I'm pretty sure the second is the Australian cover.)

Now these ones, I know the origin of. First is the newest paper back cover - which I adore and the second is the UK cover... which, again, I really like. Some people don't like the UK cover though, I think John was one of the ones that actually didn't like it, I could be wrong on that though.

The right one is probably the most common, it's the original US cover (well, after it won the Printz award, obviously) - I like it, the whole snuffed out candle thing, definitely fits the mood of the book more. The second one is... well, I'm not sure if it's an official cover but it was on the Looking for Alaska goodreads page - an online language indetifier is saying the title is written in Danish or Slovenian, anyway, I like it - except for the title and the contrast, if it was a bit lighter with different writing I'd adore that one.

Pretty sure the first one is the Mexican cover... I don't really like that one at all. The language identifier thing says the second two are Dutch? I like the concept of them, not so much the execution of the concept.

The first one is the German cover and probably the one I like the least out of all the covers... because feet creep me out and the toes on that picture are so weird, but yeah, not too into that cover. The second is the French cover, I think, and I kind of like it - I like the blue and I like that it uses the same font as the UK cover, the labyrinth type illustration is interesting too.

This one is the Italian cover... and I don't know whether I like it or hate it, it's unusual and kind of creepy in a way. Undecided. (Edit: this is the Italian hardback cover, this is the paperback, which is less creepy - thanks to Alessandra @Out of the Blue for telling me.)

Overall, my favourite covers: UK cover, US and the US paperback cover. Probably the US paperback if I had to choose just one. What about you, which is your favourite? Least favourite? (And feel free to point out any errors I've made with the covers and their origins, like I said, they've been found via google searches so it's not 100% reliable.)

It's no secret that John Green is one of my favourite authors, but beyond that, he's just plain awesome... and the reason I'm mentioning that is to introduce this video, where John actually shows some of the international covers of his books (some I wasn't able to find via google, like the Japanese one):

John and his brother Hank have been posting vlogs on youtube for a few years now and they're hilarious and intelligent and really interesting, you should check out their youtube channel: Vlogbrothers.



  1. The Italian one is creepy as hell.

    Don't be reluctant to do these kind of posts - I love them!

  2. I love posts about covers, they are also my favourite posts to make.

    I've notice with Italian covers that they tend to be creepy or dark, anyone out there knows why? This one is definitely creepy.

    I like the original US and the new US paperback and the new UK cover as well as the French cover. Which one's the one with the feet? I can't see the post now but I actually really like that one too.

  3. The Italian one is very very creepy....but I feel so like drawn to it!

    I actually think it's my favorite, along with the orginial snuffed candle one O.o

  4. It's 11 pm here and the Italian cover scared the heck out of me! Sorry to hear about haters/wrong-accusers, but everyone gets them, and I think in the book-blogging community it's inevitable people do the same things - worry not, this is a great post!

  5. No idea why the Italian publisher felt the need to use such a creepy cover for the hardback. I found it quite ugly myself. While the story has dark undertones, it's not a horror book.

    Anyway, when the book came out again in a (very much less expensive) paperback, they changed the cover to this:
    A lot more "normal" looking.

  6. I like the normal Italian one better, definitely, but it's still not my favourite. (I've edited the post to include that one & credited you, thanks for telling me.) :)

  7. I love this book so much that I would love to have every cover possibly made! And I just happened to come across your blog - do you have any idea where to get these?

  8. I really like the cover with the car, i just feel that it allows the readers from the get-go to almost be apart of the novel, it draws u in and makes u feel as if ur a part of the story. However i might be a little biased. i'm from Australia and the first copy i read of this book had this cover.
    It's a great book :)

  9. Yeah the cover with the car, is the Australian cover.
    I love the book regardless of its cover!!

  10. You guessed well for the French cover. This one was the cover of the first edition, later the book has been published in paperback with a new one:

    Your article was very interesting, thank you very much :)



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