Judge a Book by Its Cover and Get a Perfect Book Recommendation

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K.W. Colyard


Kristian Wilson Colyard grew up weird in a one-caution-light town in the Appalachian foothills. She now lives in an old textile city with her husband and their clowder of cats. She’s on Twitter @kristianwriting, and you can find more of her work online at kristianwriting.com.

You’re never supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it: a lot of bibliophiles do exactly that. Plenty of us harbor some particularly strong opinions about what makes for a great book cover. That’s why I’ve put together this quiz that turns your book cover opinions into a suggested title that will have you itching to put it on the ‘Gram.

I only have two really, truly controversial book cover opinions.

  1. I think that book jackets are the devil unless they’re taped on — Thank you, local library! — and I don’t keep them on the books I’m actively reading.
  2. I can’t bring myself to read an Elena Ferrante book, because I can’t get past how the cover looks like a bad Photoshop.

That last one is 100% a me thing. I’m sure Ferrante and her books are lovely; I just have never felt like picking one up…because the cover tells me, somehow, that that book is not for me.

Hopefully, you won’t be left feeling that way about the title this quiz wants you to add to your TBR! I’ve matched your opinions about publishing’s most pervasive book cover trends to find you the book (cover) of your dreams.

Judge a Book by Its Cover Quiz Results

Here are all the possible results from the quiz above, linked for your reading pleasure:

To Shape a Dragon's Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose book cover

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

Moniquill Blackgoose’s 2023 debut follows Anequs, a young Indigenous girl from an island tribe who must attend an all-white mainland school after she bonds with a newly hatched dragon.

The Garden of Seven Twilights by Miquel de Palol book cover

The Garden of Seven Twilights by Miquel de Palol

Set in 2025 Barcelona, Miquel de Palol’s novel weaves its way through the lives of eight disparate narrators, whose only commonality is the secluded mansion they’ve been forced to share in the wake of an atomic bomb scare.

Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst book cover

Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst

Tembe Denton-Hurst’s highly anticipated debut follows Mickey, a young Black writer whose lofty journalism dreams are shattered when she’s laid off from her media job. Determined to fight back, she writes an open letter that recounts the microaggressions she experienced in her old position…but the response is hardly what she expects.

Funeral Songs for Dying Girls by Cherie Dimaline book cover

Funeral Songs for Dying Girls by Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline’s latest YA fantasy novel follows Winifred, the teenage daughter of a crematorium worker, who accidentally becomes a local legend when people mistake her for a graveyard ghost. She’s prepared to capitalize on the media frenzy and save her dad’s job in the process — but the sudden appearance of an actual ghost throws a wrench into her plans.

Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns book cover

Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns

In this gender-bent retelling of Taxi Driver, a Desi rideshare driver living paycheck to paycheck pursues a romantic relationship with a wealthy white passenger, only to have it all blow up in her face when her new girlfriend betrays her trust.

Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby book cover

Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby’s latest essay collection touches on the stellar highs and epic lows of her post-bestseller career, from walking the red carpet with Sarah Jessica Parker to chronic diarrhea.

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor book cover

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

This Good Morning America Book Club pick revolves around a mysterious automobile accident that killed five people — and the story of the amnesiac servant who was found inside his employer’s smashed-up Mercedes.

The Merry Dredgers by Jeremy C. Shipp book cover

The Merry Dredgers by Jeremy C. Shipp

When her sister falls into a coma after coming into contact with a group of cultists who live in an abandoned theme park, Seraphina does what any good sister would: join the cult to solve the mystery of Eff’s illness.

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor book cover

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor

In this new novel from Booker Prize finalist Brandon Taylor, three young people in Iowa City decide to go for one last hurrah before their lives change forever — only to have their farewell gathering provoke unexpected evolutions of its own.

Chrysalis by Anuja Varghese book cover

Chrysalis by Anuja Varghese

Revolving around the most intimate questions of our interpersonal relationships, Anuja Varghese’s short-story collection explores connection and distance through a fabulist, feminist lens.

Want more great book-quiz content? The quiz offers you a work of historical fiction to read, based on your opinions regarding period pieces, while this one allows you to design your dream vacay — and suggests the perfect book to add to your beach bag.