The Keys to My Heart #5: Surprises Under the Cover

Posted February 27, 2014 by Debby in Uncategorized

This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.

#5. Surprises Under the Cover

I know it’s been FOREVER since I’ve done one of these happier discussion posts, but with recent book purchases I got inspired and just HAD to write about this. I definitely prefer physical books to e-books. Although I don’t have much shelf space, I just love seeing the final product with all its design elements and everything. What I love most is this current trend for publishers to hide some sort of nice surprise design under the dust jacket. I get ridiculously happy when I find one of these surprises, and often they become “must-read-asap” books.

Now, I find that there are like two different kinds of these surprises: a full-on print on the hardcover, or a detail embellishment. Let me share some of my favorite ones!

Detail Embellishments

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Golden and A Mad, Wicked Folly are small embellishments, just on the spine, but SERIOUSLY PRETTY. Not only are they shiny, but they both tie to the stories so well. I actually forgot about The Beginning of Everything‘s embellishment, but I was browsing the books on my shelf for this post and rediscovered it. It’s SO CUTE, and now that book is higher on my priority list to read.

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Better Off Friends was a total surprise, but it’s so cute how it echoes the cover. The book also alternates perspectives between the guy and girl, and at the top of each chapter, it has one of them on the swing. Total cute design. Cruel Beauty‘s rose is just adorable. The School for Good and Evil is nice too, though it may pale a bit in comparison to the others. But I love how they reuse the school crest everywhere. Ugh, I need to read this soon.

Full-on Prints

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Inferno was my first real experience with such a hidden surprise, and I just loved it. It really reflected the story well, buuuuuut then the book was kind of a boring mess. Oh well. A Monster Calls is already beautiful design-wise because of the illustrations, but I LOVE this print, seriously. I want to hug it forever. The Letter for the King you probably don’t know about, but it’s a recently released English translation of a Dutch classic children’s book. And I adooooore the print. I need to read this ASAP so I can poke you all to pick it up.

Prints I Don’t Own

The following books I don’t own, but I noticed via BookTube or Instagram. Awesome prints!
On the left is the dust jacket cover, and on the right is the cover underneath.

Pawn pawninside1
Pawn by Aimee Carter

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I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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The Program by Suzanne Young

Let’s Talk!

What do you think about hidden surprises? Do you love them as much as I do? Are there ones you own/know of that I missed? I’d love to find more to add to my shelves 🙂 (I know Dare You To by Katie McGarry has a full print, but I sadly couldn’t find a picture of the cover underneath.)

Let me know in the comments!

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23 responses to “The Keys to My Heart #5: Surprises Under the Cover

  1. Arghhhhh all these are so so so beautiful! I shamefully admit that I’m actually not a person who really owns hard cover books (I mean I have a couple) but I actually prefer paperbacks. Not nearly as pretty…but just easier to carry around with me since I’m a University student who has to do a lot of travelling between home and uni….but I am completely in love with all those prints you’ve shown. Eeeep! If only hard covers weren’t so heavy I would succumb to the pretty hahaha.

  2. YEEESSS! OMG I LOVE THEM SOO MUCH! There’s this book called Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer that not only has a killer (pun intended) cover but a sweet little surprise underneath the jacket. I’m not tempted to go and buy all the books you mentioned just because they’re gorgeous!

  3. These are gorgeous! I always think that putting a little bit of extra design into the Hardbacks can make them just look so amazing and special, unfortunately I’m just not a fan of reading Hardbacks and Hardback don’t really get sold in a lot of book stores in the UK so I’m always just more likely to buy the Paperback.


    And I miss them. My Kindle is a dear love and I seem to get ebooks all the time these days, but hard copies will forever be the best.

    I might go on a binge one month and just buy a load of my fave ebooks…

  5. I LOVE surprises under dust juckets. They’re my favorites! I really love the cover of Cruel Beauty. Gah, at some point I will get around to buying a hardcover of that book.
    I don’t think I have many books that have surprises under the dust jackets, but I was actually looking through my shelves a few weeks ago looking for them, and Wild Awake has a flower on the cover. I really love that under jacket surprise.

  6. I hunt killers is an awesome surprise, love it! I’m also going to buy Cruel Beauty in hardcover, because I love it. The rose is such a nice touch! I really like the one for School for good & evil too 🙂 I need A mad wicked folly and I think I might get it in hardcover too. Most of the times I prefer paperbacks, but these special editions are worth it.

  7. I LOVE THESE KINDS OF COVERS. I never ever think to look so when I actually do, it’s such a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to experience a surprise cover in a longgggg time because I primarily use the library for books. Or buy paperback. Part of me wants to go to the bookstore and just look under all the covers just so I can see them.

  8. Oh, maaaan, whaaaat! I didn’t know the hardcover of A Monster Calls had a print beneath the dust cover! I had the opportunity to buy it but I went with the paperback instead. I didn’t even think to look under the cover. Now I’m so disappointed in myself. 🙁

  9. I love hidden surprises! The surprises for Golden and A Mad Wicked Folly are beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a spine embellishment so that’s really wonderful. Whenever I get a hardcover, the first thing I do is to take of the jacket and see what’s underneath. I get really disappointed when it’s just blank but when I find something cool, it can make my day!

  10. This is a sincerely delightful post! I love the fun surprises beneath dust jackets on hardcovers, and you’ve definitely shared some of the prettiest ones. I also like the ones under the Incarnate series covers! 🙂

  11. Cee

    YES. I love these surprises! They are THE BEST. Whenever I go to bookstores, I always peel the dusk jacket so I can see if there’s embellishments on the actual hardcover. It’s become a habit now. It always bring me so much joy when I see there is one.

    Why can’t all covers be like that?

  12. Jasmine Baggenstos

    I always lift up the jacket when I’m browsing in a bookstore. I love finding a neat little surprise under the jacket and sometimes it makes the difference between whether I buy it or not.

  13. I love it when the hardcovers have cool prints/designs! It’s such a great surprise. It kind of sucks that I don’t buy physical copies anymore so I can’t enjoy them.

    Cool post!!

  14. I love it! Harlequin Teen does it with all of their books and I LOVE the blood spatter on I Hunt Killers. My hardcover of The Eternity Cure has some awesome shit under the cover too. This is one of my favorite things about buying hardcovers!

  15. These kind of surprises are one of my bookish favourites! I also love when when you open the cover, and the first page is designed (I’m thinking of Victoria Schwabs The Archived). I really liked Veronica Rossi’s Into the Still Blue, under the cover cover design – it was simple, but the bright pink font against the dark blue background was gorgeous! I couldn’t stop staring at it, haha

  16. I’m more for e-Books actually, because it’s less waste of natural resources/cheaper/greener. But I just love these little surprises printed books you featured in this post have, especially the Cruel Beauty‘s rose. That’s just gorgeous!

  17. *scrolling scrolling scrolling, sees Cruel Beauty, eyes bug out* I read an eARC of that one and then had to buy the hardcover because I loved it but didn’t ever take off the dustjacket!!!! I also really love illustrations inside the front cover, Sanderson’s latest novel Words of Radiance has a gorgeous water color painting of my fave character and I just about swooned, haha!