Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Judging Covers with The Husband, fifth edition

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Judging Covers

Book haul=judging covers. And this time the child wanted in on the action.

Let’s see how they did.

Book #1: Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughterpretty girls

The child says: It’s about someone who gets killed and the find the necklace at the bottom of the ocean. And they’re pretty. And they’re a girl.

The Husband says: Oh! Lee Child! That’s the guy I read! (This was said in response to an endorsement on the cover). Me: That’s your answer? The Husband: No. The book is about some bitch who’s gonna die.

Goodreads says: More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Book #2: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

crankThe child says: It looks creepy. Someone dying and a monster.

The Husband says: I think it’s pretty obvious. Someone is going to be doing some drugs. A teacher who gets high on crank. Because the white letters on a black background means it’s a blackboard.

Goodreads says:Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

Book #3: Skippy Dies by Paul Murrayskippy dies

The child says: It’s about someone named Skippy and he dies at the end and it’s funny.

The Husband says: Skippy dies. Via Slinky.

Goodreads says: Ruprecht Van Doren is an overweight genius whose hobbies include the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Daniel ‘Skippy’ Juster is his roommate. In Seabrook College for Boys, nobody pays either of them much attention. But when Skippy falls for Lori, all kinds of people take an interest including Carl, the school psychopath.

Book #4: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

stole my life

The child says: It’s about a boy who lives in NYC and he comes across a woman who he starts dating but she kills him.

The Husband says: Probably about a person who is unhappy with their life and sees someone who is happy and decides “that’s for me!”. Like a chick version of The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Goodreads says: In her own words, Stella Sweeney is just “an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband and two teenage kids,” working for her sister in their neighborhood beauty salon. Until one day she is struck by a serious illness, landing her in the hospital for months.

After recovering, Stella finds out that her neurologist, Dr. Mannix Taylor, has compiled and self-published a memoir about her illness. Her discovery comes when she spots a photo of the finished copy in an American tabloid—and it’s in the hands of the vice president’s wife! As her relationship with Dr. Taylor gets more complicated, Stella struggles to figure out who she was before her illness, who she is now, and who she wants to be while relocating to New York City to pursue a career as a newly minted self-help memoirist.

Book #5: Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnsonfortune smiles

The child says: Someone who is an orphan and wants to get a lot of money and he gets his fortune and it involves a tiger. 

The Husband says: Well, it’s obvious that it’s stories. So those stories are about scratch off lottery tickets, a sports team mascot, and maybe it’s about making money as a mascot. 

Goodreads says: These brand new stories from Johnson are typically comic and tender, absurd and totally universal. In post-Katrina Louisiana, a young man and his new girlfriend search for the mother of his son. In Palo Alto, a computer programmer whose wife has a rare disease finds solace in a digital copy of the recently assassinated President. In contemporary Berlin a former Stasi agent ponders his past.

And in “Interesting Facts”, a woman with cancer rages against the idea of her family without her.

Jana says: I think he did a good job this month. I sense a slight improvement in his judging skills. Either that, or the covers are just more obvious. It’s definitely one of those. And as for the child, she thinks every single book is somehow about death which means she knows her mama’s choices very, very well. 

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Series Navigation<< Judging Covers with The Husband, fourth editionJudging Covers with The Family, sixth edition >>


  1. Nadine

    Hahaha I was about to say that she guessed that someone was going to die in every single on of them. My favorite line “This book is about some bitch who’s gonna die.”
    Nadine recently posted…Story Behind the Picture – That Time at Idlewild ParkMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It was a fun little pattern. Clearly I need to vary the plotlines in what I read a bit more.

  2. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    It sounds like they were pretty spot on with some of the covers, and not so much with others. I’ve heard such wonderful things about Pretty Girls, and The Woman Who Stole My Life sounds pretty interesting too!
    Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders recently posted…A Chill Mansfield WeekendMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      He typically gets one or two right. The others, not so much. The child didn’t do too bad her first time out.

  3. Karen

    I like what they said about the Marian Keyes cover! Pretty Girls was so twisted. I don’t read too many books like this because I’m easily creeped out. This one made me not want to leave my house!
    Karen recently posted…Winter Reading Challenge // My Book PicksMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I figure if I can leave the house and use social media after reading YOU and Hidden Bodies, I’ll be okay with this one.

  4. Christina

    Via Slinky! Hahaha!
    Christina recently posted…Guilty PleasuresMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      He’s weird.

  5. Ali A

    “It’s about a boy who lives in NYC and he comes across a woman who he starts dating but she kills him.” – this sounds like my dating life
    Ali A recently posted…23 Things Emma & I Have Learned From DatingMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      LOLOLOLOL!!! Feel free to use it as the title of your book.

  6. Amber


    As I said on Instagram, Pretty Girls is good, but disturbing.

    I also read The Woman Who Stole My Life but I found it slow at times.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday!My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I figure that’s how most books are. As long as it’s not the whole book and it’s engaging enough, a bit of story drag is okay for me.

  7. Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    Crank is definitely about a metaphorical monster, so the child wins that one. I actually know someone who makes his living and a decent amount of money as a professional team mascot…but he’s a bear, not a tiger. Maybe I should tell him that he needs to write a book!
    Erin @ TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted…Aussie Author Challenge 2016: Book OneMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      She definitely did win that one and was very proud of herself when I told her.

  8. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Too funny! They should do this professionally. Because who wouldn’t read a book with “some bitch is gonna die” as the blurb? I totally would! The Slaughter books does sound good and I read Lee Child too. 🙂
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…Honoring Martin Luther King, JrMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I am NOT going to tell him to do this professionally because he’d legit try to figure out how.

  9. ellesees.net

    ha! these were good –the guesses cracked me up on a few, esp from the hub.
    ellesees.net recently posted…Best Dry Shampoos For Brown HairMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      What I post is the edited version :/

  10. Linda sheridan

    Love this. Keep them coming. Love that you included your daughter!!

    Love. Steph’s. Momma

    1. Jana (Post author)

      She asked to be included and I couldn’t say no!

  11. kristen

    oh my gosh, the child’s judgements are hilarious! i would love to do this with KC… i love reading your husband’s thoughts on the covers.
    kristen recently posted…Pinspired Outfits LatelyMy Profile

  12. Amanda

    “Someone dying and a monster.” Bahahahahah! She’s giving your husband a run for his money!
    Amanda recently posted…“Work like you don’t need the money!” And some other sayings I don’t agree with.My Profile

  13. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I love love love that she wanted in on it.

    Judging Covers is now a family affair!
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Thursday Thoughts: readjusting after vacationMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      It definitely is. She’ll probably be a fixture going forward.


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