This fun feature is a mini workshop invented by Rosie Amber. We look at book covers just from their thumbnail pictures at online selling book sites and make quick fire buying decisions. We look from a READERS Point of View and this exercise is very EYE OPENING.

To join in with the #FridayFiveChallenge please read the rules at the bottom of the page.

Yesterday I received an email from Goodreads with a list of suggested YA titles.  I am often disappointed that so many of the books are about zombies or fantasy but one cover drew me in.


I will read anything about the sea, fiction or nonfiction, romance or tragedy.  Exploring the book on Goodreads and  Amazon I discovered that this is the third book by American author Ruta Sepetys and the second one to be about the effects of World War Two on the ordinary people of Europe.


Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

This seems an apt time to be reading about refugees taking hazardous journeys even though it promises to be a traumatic read.

Most readers seem to be very enthusiastic about the book:-

 I really enjoyed Ruta Sepetys’ new book SALT TO THE SEA. I liked the format of short chapters with alternating protagonists, and I liked that each character had a secret to reveal, but most of all, I enjoyed learning about an event of historic significance.

Others, take the opposite viewpoint:-

The story is told in very short chapters of 2-3 pages (sometimes just a few sentences) and the perspective jumps between four different people – Joana, Florian, Emilia and Alfred. Personally, this didn’t work for me. We spent so little time with each character before moving on that I constantly felt distanced from them, never making an emotional connection. In the beginning, the rapid movement between perspectives even made it difficult to follow the story.

But the majority were positive:-

There are very few books that I recommend to every single person, regardless of what genre they like to read or their taste in books. But Salt to the Sea is one of them. From the moment I read the first page, I knew that this book would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Salt to the Sea is incredible. The characters, the writing, the plot. Everything is unparalleled.
It’s shocking and honest. It’s eye opening and emotional.
This book is perfect in every way. I highly recommend it.


And then I looked at Amazon.co.uk.

What a disappointing cover.  I can see the point of the barbed wire, but I would never have chosen this book at first glance.

So shall I BUY or will I PASS?

At £4.99 for the kindle version it is a little expensive when I already have so many books in my TBR pile, so I will PASS today but I will keep the book on the back boiler and may BUY in the future.



What have others chosen this week?

Shelley has found a sweet little kitten

Cathy reveals an electrifying cover

Rosie is going on a road trip on the back of a motorbike!

So now it’s your turn.


Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier.

2) Randomly choose a category.

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appeal.

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?


Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

9 thoughts on “#FridayFiveChallenge

  1. Totally agree about the covers, the US version is much better. As Rosie said, the storyline sounds interesting although it’s not my usual type of book. It’s a PASS for now but I’ll certainly add it to my ‘future book list’.


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