Friday Faceoff – It’s only words, and words are all I have…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer and is currently hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog. This week the theme is a cover featuring words, so I’ve gone with Room by Emma Donoghue.


This cover, produced by Little, Brown in September 2010, is very simple. Just the single word crayoned across the cover in different colours. But it is sufficiently different to make you stop and look twice – and when you know the protagonist is five years old, then it makes sense. I think it’s clever and eye-catching.


This edition was produced by Picador Classic in June 2015 as a Kindle edition, so I appreciate that this one needs to sing out as a thumbnail, but my problem with it is that the pale blue with the reflected sunlight gives a light, airy feel. And when you read Jack’s account – even the five year old is describing a cramped, cold and damp place without much light. However, that doesn’t prevent it being eye-catching and attractive.


Published in August 2010 by Picador, this cover is just boring. Especially as it ruins the simplicity by covering the blue backdrop with lots of blurb, clearly showing that not even the publishers felt the cover stood on its own merits. This is the one I really dislike.


Produced in 2012 by Picador 40, this black and white cover is very effective. I far prefer the image of the mines and stone walls surrounding the little shed to the pale blue of the other covers. I think the black and white is striking and would certainly grab my attention on the bookshelves. This one is my favourite.


This Picador offering, published in July 2010, has the small shed that features in the failed attempted above, but also has a blurred image of a small boy sitting on the floor. This addition makes all the difference, I think. There is something very poignant about it and turns the idea from something implied to the reality of imprisoning a child. Which is your favourite?

32 responses »

  1. From what you described about the book, I have to agree with the black and white one. That one is the only one that gives me the vibe of someone trapped or imprisoned. The first one just looks cutesy and reminds me of the Rooms to Go logo because of the word and the colors. The second one makes me think of the Windows OS logo lol. The black of the third one has an interesting claustrophobic feel to it though, so I like that one for that reason.

    • Yes! I completely agree. While the book isn’t anything like as grim as you might imagine from the blurb, neither is it particularly cosy – and my gripe with some of these covers is that they make it look that way.

    • I enjoyed reading your choice, DJ – it was enjoyable to read something different! Yes… I’m glad you thought my choice worked well – it just stood out from the other offerings.

    • It is certainly a really emotional read – I recall the ending where I was left with the feeling that poor little Jack wanted to return to the safety of the one room where he and Ma were just together again… A heartbreak.

  2. I agree that first cover is definitely eye catching, maybe just because it only has the text and that’s it. That second one does have an airy feel and does look catching, but that’s too bad it doesn’t fit the book as well. The black and white one is very well done too. I think I also prefer that one over the pale blue ones. That last cover almost has a thriller feel somehow, it’s a bit creepy. The addition of the child on the cover does change up the whole feel of the cover.

  3. I have to agree with that black’n’white. The window cover looks like such a strange choice, considering the setting of the story. The black’n’white’s got that touch of something not quite right, though you’re not sure what until you read. Excellent choices! 🙂

  4. I really like the simplicity of the first cover and think it fits really well with the book.
    Great choice and I love your cover choice too – never seen that one before.
    Lynn 😀

  5. I think I like the first one the most, maybe because it stands out from all the other blue ones (and the black and white one just doesn’t catch me enough).

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