We’ve been told “don’t judge a book by its cover” and I mostly agree with that statement but I wanted to let us off the hook and indulge in the superficial this month. The challenge was to pick a book based solely on its cover.
After browsing at the bookstore, I decided to read “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter. Just looking at the cover felt like going on a vacation! I was hopeful that once I dived in, I’d love it. Sadly, though, it didn’t work out that way. I was thinking it’d be a fun story with some romance but it ended up being a slowly paced story that oozed of melancholy and regret. The characters were interesting and charming, and it was an intriguing story, but for some reason it just didn’t grab me. It was a good story, but it wasn’t a good story for me right now. When I kept putting off reading – something I never do – because I didn’t want to read this story, I knew it was time to switch to different book.
Instead I went with another book that had a beautiful cover….
“The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I’ve heard great things about this story from multiple sources but the cover has made me shy away. It’s true, this book has a pretty cover, but it’s pretty almost to a fault. If a cover is too perfect, I tend to think the story is going to be too cheesy. Instead, once again, I found a very melancholy story behind this beautiful cover. Thankfully, though, this time it had enough of a hook to pull me in! The story is about Victoria. She’s just turned 18 years old and has aged out of the foster care system. She’s not a bad person, but she’s a very broken person. Now, she’s on her own without any sense of direction on where she wants to go in life, except for this amazing ability to communicate by flowers. Yellow roses mean jealousy, peony means anger, sunflower means false riches, etc. Victoria is able to use this talent to put her life together and heal from the past. It’s a bittersweet but also a hopeful story (those are my favorite kind of stories).
It’s a story filled with sadness, disappointment, finding and losing love (and then finding it again), and a main character with a trunk-ful of hurt but who wants to heal. Not exactly the whimsical and romantic story the cover implies. Still, it was a good story and I’m glad I read it.
That said, my lesson learned this month: Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover!
What about you? Did you pick a book by its cover? What was your experience?