Battle of the Book Covers: US vs UK (Round 4)

It’s been a while since I last put some US and UK book covers in a battle to the death. Okay, it’s not that dramatic. Still, I think it’s time to put the score board back up and see which region’s covers reign supreme. Just in case you need a catch up, here are rounds 1, 2 and 3. At this point the US is in the lead on 17 points with the UK right behind on 16 points. You guys know the drill by now, US covers on the left and UK on the right. Let’s dive in!

Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

While I do like the idea of the renaissance style painting and the text on scripts of parchment on the US cover, I love the elegance of the UK version. The gold, nature based designs around the letter are stunning.

Verdict: UK Cover


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab

This was an easy decision, especially considering how much money I forked out to get a copy of the US cover sent to Australia (UGH). I’m not sure what it is about the UK Cover, but I’m just not really a fan. The squiggly lines look a little odd and I wish that the text had been more elegant. The US cover is so simple but the text with the star constellation incorporated is magical.

Verdict: US Cover


The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett

Now this is a tough one. I love the semi-abstract nature of the imagery on both covers. There’s so many organic, flowing lines. I also feel like both covers capture the idea of two sisters being different parts of a whole very well. In the end though, I’m going to go with the UK cover but only just! It’s mostly because I find the colour scheme easier on the eyes than the shades of blue, green, orange and pink blended together on the US version.

Verdict: UK Cover


The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

I’m definitely a fan of the starry sky background on the top half of the UK cover but the rest of it is kind of boring, especially the snooze-worthy title font. The US cover, on the other hand, is an example of a simple cover which still looks engaging. I love all the little images inside the ovals. They remind me of airplane windows. The colour contrast of the yellow and orange with the navy is nice, too.

Verdict: US Cover


Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Another difficult match up, again because the concepts are similar but the styles are different. I love how both covers utilise half the girls’ faces and a clear sense of colour contrast. I think I like the more realistic art style of the UK cover better, however I prefer the colour scheme (the use of green and pink to create harmony and difference is well done) and layout of the US cover.

Verdict: US Cover


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is another pairing where the publishers have executed a same-same vision with small differences. It’s a tough choice. I think the title stands out better on the UK cover and I like the way the dress falls at the bottom. I also feel as though the brown wall offers good contrast against the green. However, the US cover screams old Hollywood more and I believe it captures the sexy, glamorous image Evelyn portrayed to the world a lot better. Very Marilyn Monroe.

Verdict: US Cover (By a smidge!)


If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha

My god, that yellow and red overlay on the US cover is gorgeous. I love the way the title text takes up a lot of space and cuts through the colour so cleanly. Yet, the UK cover is really eye-catching, mostly because it’s super weird to look at. You just find yourself staring at it trying to make sense of what’s happening. I’m torn on this one, guys. There’s stuff to like about both. Tie it is then.

Verdict: Tie


If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

Considering how much I loved this book, I wish I’d bought the US hardback now. The skull, script and dark lighting are making all my dark academia dreams come true. The UK cover (which has since been redesigned) is very simple. I like the ’embossed’ bordering and big dramatic title text, however the dead sparrow image only really makes sense if you’ve read the novel and look kind of odd if you haven’t.

Verdict: US Cover


The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

There’s something very soothing about the US cover for The Bone Clocks. Maybe it’s the reflected sky or perhaps it’s those beautiful layers of perfect circles, one after the other. Still, I definitely find the UK cover more striking and visually dynamic. The colours, sense of movement, and all the tiny details to pick apart make this one the stronger cover in my opinion.

Verdict: UK Cover


A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson

Both the US & UK covers have the same concept here – a messy looking murder board – but they go about it slightly differently. I have to say, I’m more a fan of the US cover and it’s mostly because the title text is better integrated into the image than the splat-on-the-page approach of the UK cover. I also feel like the slightly grayer background feels more ominous looking than the stark white which is what you want for a mystery novel.

Verdict: US Cover


City of Girls – Elizabeth Gilbert

This is another set of covers with somewhat similar concepts, this time with the use of showgirl costume feathers. I appreciate the colour scheme and bold, theater style text on the US cover, but there’s something about the image of the showgirl peering over the top of the text in the UK version that I really like.

Verdict: UK Cover


My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell

I have to say, I don’t really like the US cover for My Dark Vanessa. I appreciate the incorporation of the butterfly as a reference to Vladimir Nabokov who wrote Lolita (which is referred to many times in this book), but the image doesn’t do much for me. The UK cover, however, features one of my favourite colour combos on covers – orange and blue, a complementary pairing. I also love the bold, blocky title text woven into the hair strands. So clean looking.

Verdict: UK Cover


Okay, better stop before I get too carried away (which is easy to do when you’re looking at a bunch of cool book covers). Time to check the score board!

US Covers: 24 Points

UK Covers: 22 Points

It seems that the US is still in the lead. Hm, interesting. Better get your act together UK, you’re falling behind. As always, how would you have decided these match ups? Any favourite covers among the bunch?

8 thoughts on “Battle of the Book Covers: US vs UK (Round 4)

  1. Being from Canada, sometimes we get the US covers and sometimes the UK ones. I don’t know what the method of choosing is for which one we get 🤷🏻‍♀️ but it’s interesting to think about! Also, we have a version of Hamnet called Hamnet & Judith with a different cover entirely! Took me ages to realize it was the same book.

    1. That’s very interesting, I didn’t know. I always assumed you just got the US covers. I guess you never know which cover you’re going to end up with then which must be frustrating. In Aus, we pretty much always get the UK cover.
      Oh really? They even changed the title, that’s so odd. I wonder why.

  2. I love the “If I Had Your Face” US Cover. What I don’t like about the UK cover is that it makes the race of the face ambiguous. This seems to happen a lot in the publishing industry. The writer and the main characters are Asian, yet cover art often makes the race (if it’s even shown on the cover) ambiguous or not obvious. I think that’s why I prefer the US cover (in addition to loving the colors, as well)!

    1. That’s a good point! I didn’t even think of that which is definitely my bad. There really should be more diversity with cover models. If the lead character is ethnically diverse, the model should be too.
      I think the UK cover was trying for an artistic representation for plastic surgery but they 100% could have gone about it better. Agreed, those colours are gorgeous.

  3. I agree, there should definitely be more diversity in cover models. I had a really interesting conversation about this in a library class I took. There is often a lack of cover diversity, I think, because it’s not on most people’s radar’s. Hopefully, in the future, the publishing industry will take representation into consideration when they’re picking what should go on the cover.

  4. I love these posts, it’s so interesting to compare! I’m in the UK so I usually end up seeing the US covers online then getting confused when I can’t find the same one in a store 🤦‍♀️😂

    I’m definitely prefer the US cover for Clap When You Land. I have the UK one and when you actually look at it in person you can see that both sisters’ faces are the same illustration, just flipped and recoloured. That seems so lazy to me! They’re not twins, and I much prefer the design where you can see they’re distinctly different people.

    1. I really enjoy comparing the different covers, especially when they look nothing alike. Haha, I get confused sometimes too!😂
      Ah, that’s definitely a good reason to prefer the US cover. I didn’t realise it at first but now that you’ve pointed it out, I see what you mean. What a bummer.

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