Bookish Fun: Book Covers with Autumn Vibes

Everyone has a favourite season. Mine, by a long way, is Autumn. I love watching the leaves change colour from green to gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow, and finally getting to break out my warmer wardrobe again (I own A LOT of sweaters). While all you northern hemisphere people are enjoying the first few weeks of spring, in the southern hemisphere I’m currently throwing my usual ‘Thank god, summer is over party’. With this in mind, I thought I’d do a fun little post to showcase some book covers which really capture those Autumn feelings. Leaves, warm colour schemes, coziness, rustic vibes, all that wonderful goodness. Enjoy!

Did I miss any notable ones? What’s your favourite Autumn feeling book cover?

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?

And That’s a Wrap 2020: Favourite Book Covers

By now I’m pretty sure you’re all aware how much I adore pretty book covers. I have been known to pay ridiculous prices for individual books purely because the US cover looks nicer than the UK version. I’m just that damn superficial. So in wrapping up this monstrosity of a year I thought it’d be nice to have a look at some of my favourite covers among 2020’s releases. I haven’t read many of these but hey, that doesn’t stop me from being able to admire their cover designs.

  • The House on the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune: There’s something so peaceful about this cover. I like the illustration style and colour choices. The title font also matches the scenery very well.
  • Where Dreams Descend – Janella Angeles: That imagery, those rich reds, goodness I’m in love. The perfect amount of drama and mystery for a story about dueling magicians at a circus.
  • Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia: I’ve been talking about my adoration for this cover all year. I love the colour contrast, perfectly spaced out title letters, and the eerrieness of it all
  • Boyfriend Material – Alexis Hall: Sure, it’s another romance cover with the cute illustration trend but doesn’t it look like so much fun? I love the use of red & blue and the designs of Luc & Oliver.
  • You Had me at Hola – Alexis Daria: SUCH A GORGEOUS ILLUSTRATION. You can feel the sizzling chemistry. I love the shading, bold, sunset style colours, and swoonworthy-ness of it all.
  • Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe: This is a super cute illustration but what I like the most is the way it’s framed with the characters between the buildings on the crosswalk.
  • Harrow the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir: Isn’t this the most badass cover ever? The bone style text, the skeletons, Harrow’s powerful posture. So cool. Perfect for a story about necromancers.
  • We Free the Stars – Hafsah Faizal: This colour scheme is gorgeous – those oranges and purples… Also, the way the image layers over itself to create depth from background to foreground is great.
  • Burn Our Bodies Down – Rory Power: It’s tough pinning down what draws me to this cover. I think it’s the mysteriousness and danger of it, the intensity of the woman’s gaze through the field.
  • The Sun Down Motel – Simone St. James: I appreciate when covers get creative and manage to incorporate titles into an image rather than as an overlay. The design also perfectly suits the novel.
  • A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik: What I like about this one is that it looks like the cover of a magical textbook, one you should be especially wary of.
  • Dark and Deepest Red – Anna-Marie McLemore: I love the use of silhouettes here and the way the red script of the title takes center stage. It’s dark but still whimsical.
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars – Christopher Paolini: Staring at this cover is like looking into a pocket galaxy…underwater. The blue is gorgeous and really draws the eye. I can’t help finding it calming.
  • Clap When you Land – Elizabeth Acevedo: The duality is what makes this cover so interesting. There are so many great little touches e.g. using green & pink to create harmony and difference, the text which looks like an old airport board, the planes to divide the image. It’s great overall.
  • The Shadows – Alex North: This is a really simple cover but it employs fantastic use of graphic design with the image of the skeletal hand formed by the shadows of the walking figures.
  • All Our Shimmering Skies – Trent Dalton: This cover is a riot of colour. It draws the eye immediately and I especially enjoy the way the text looks as though it’s sitting among the flowers.

What were some of your favourite 2020 covers? And what was it about them that grabbed your attention?

Babelicious Book Covers: International YA Covers

Something that never fails to give me those warm, happy tingles is discovering an aesthetically pleasing book cover. Oh, boy. It’s so good. There are a lot of factors that go into creating an awesome cover (I did an entire post on it, in fact) and sometimes publishers really excel while others, they bomb. Hard. I spend a lot of time talking about and comparing US and UK book covers which, being from Australia, makes sense. However, I thought it would be a fun change to have a look at some awesome international covers for popular young adult books. For reference, I’ll be popping the original US Covers towards the left and their international counterparts on the right.

Simon v the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli: Indonesia & Thailand

How cute is the Indonesian cover for Simon?! The colour scheme is fairly similar to the US cover but I love the illustration. You’ve got this great image of Simon literally hiding from the world, surrounded by objects relevant to the story – his laptop and phone for chatting with Blue, Oreos, and an iPod (music being super important to Simon and the overall book). Perfect cover choice!

While it’s not my favourite design, the anime-ish drawing of Simon on the Thai cover is pretty fun, especially with the mysterious, hooded Blue figure in the background. I also like the fact that they kept the idea of the speech bubble title and red background from the US cover.


A Darker Shade of Magic Series – V. E. Schwab: France, Indonesia & Bulgaria

Something I’ve noticed writing this post: France has some amazing book covers. Like, damn. The artwork for the “Shades of Magic” books in particular is gorgeous (the work of the ridiculously talented Charlie Bowater). The characters are almost exactly how I would imagine them to look plus the lighting, backgrounds, and colours are all fantastic.

Although I quite like the Indonesian cover’s font and the incorporation of the map into the ends of Kell’s coat, I’m not as fond of this one as the others. The Bulgarian cover, on the other hand, is awesome. I love the use of the compass in bold, bloody red and Kell at the centre.


The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer: Norway, Korea & Thailand

I’m not normally a fan of models in strange poses on book covers but I can’t help finding the editing on the Norwegian ones super pretty. They really do capture the great mix of fairytale and sci-fi that The Lunar Chronicles have. Although each image is quite different from the US versions (more about the people than the objects), it’s still easy to identify which fairytale the book is referring to.

I think what draws me to the Korean covers is their use of bold, solid colours which really makes the imagery and titles stand out. The art style is simple but fairly nice to look at as well. The Thai covers are heavy on the sci-fi side – space-y colours, planets in the background, obvious light sources… It’s different but it works.


Warcross – Marie Lu: Germany & Spain

As Warcross is set in futuristic Japan and centers around hacking and e-sports, this leaves a lot of room for bright, eye-catching, sci-fi cover designs. For some reason, the German cover gives me serious Ready Player One vibes. There’s this great dystopian feel to the way it showcases the contrast between the big, bright parts of the city and its darker underbelly (something Emika delves into). The title text is also really cool.

I feel like the Spanish cover perfectly captures the sense of wonder and possibility Emika experiences in being introduced to technologically advanced and exciting Tokyo. You really do get the sense that this is the sort of place where VR capture the flag type competitions could be a big deal. I do wish they’d done more with the text though.


The Selection – Kiera Cass: Vietnam & Persia

The Vietnamese covers for The Selection books are very similar in feel to the US covers except they use illustrations instead of photographed models. And well, I have absolutely no problem with this because the illustrations are pretty and suit the books just as much as the originals.

I’m not sure what it is about the Persian cover, but I like it. It probably doesn’t fit the actual story very well considering The Selection is supposed to be set in a dystopian future. However, I like the romantic, historical feel of it. Also points to both covers for remembering America’s red hair.


The Diviners – Libba Bray: Germany, Spain & Australia

Whoever is handling The Diviners covers around the world, you’re doing a top notch job. I adore the clear 1920s feel of both the German and Spanish covers. The costuming on the German version is lovely and the woman’s head popping up from the border on the Spanish cover is really cute. The title fonts on all three are great, too. I will say though that Australian cover probably captures the darkness and mysticism of the book more than the others.


The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo: France

Okay, I really tried not to include another bunch of French covers, but WOULD YOU LOOK AT THESE GRISHA COVERS?? They’re just….*heart eyes*. Gosh I wish I’d continued with my French studies at university. The colouring, borders, font, imagery, it’s all so gorgeous and Alina looks like such a badass.


Caraval – Stephanie Garber: China, Russia & Iran/Persia

It turns out that Caraval has a smorgasbord of cool looking international covers. The Chinese cover is 100% my favourite. The artwork is stunning. I especially like the layout with the girl in the sweeping dress at the front, Caraval itself in all it’s glory, and then the back of Legend’s glorious top hat above the title. It just feels wonderfully mystical and adventurous.

The Russian cover has a few bits and pieces that look somewhat out of place (the woman on the left) but overall, it’s vivid and eye catching. The use of colour suits the story and I really like the idea of the big, voluminous dress flowing across the centre.

What I like about the Iranian/Persian cover is that it’s different from covers I usually see. I enjoy the simple red, white and black colour scheme and the use of silhouettes. It looks nothing like the other covers here but still manages to give the same sense of mystery and magic, although with a little danger mixed in.


Do you have a favourite non-US/UK cover for a young adult read? Link me up! I’d love to see it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers that Make me Happy

Let’s be real – 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year. Every time I watch the news, I’m hit with a constant stream of misery and awfulness occurring somewhere in the world. Considering the mental health stats at the moment, everyone is having a rough time. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to use this week’s TTT cover themed freebie (hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) to showcase some book covers that bring me joy and elevate my mood. Sometimes it’s the colour and others it’s the imagery. Ten seems pretty short for this post (especially since I’m literally just copying book covers like the lazy person that I am) so I’ll do 12 this week.

I hope that this post lifts your spirits just the tiniest bit (and yes, there are quite a few YA contemporaries here).

What book covers give you a burst of joy just by looking at them? Spread the happiness around.

Battle of the Book Covers: US VS UK (Round 3)

That’s right, we’re back again to match up US and UK cover designs in a battle to the death to see which comes out on top! Looking at the scoreboard from rounds 1 & 2, the US is currently in the lead by two points with 12 to the UK’s 10. Let’s see what happens in round 3.


The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

As with Erin’s first book, The Night Circus, I love both covers. However, this time, the designs are completely different in style. I like the simplicity and clearness of the US cover. It’s very understated and elegant. On the other hand, the paint swirled background of the UK cover is so lovely. I also think it’s really cool that they’ve tried to make it look like a battered hardback. If it weren’t for the weirdly placed male silhouette in the middle, I probably would give this to the UK but as it is, it’s a tie.

VERDICT: Tie


Call Down the Hawk – Maggie Stiefvater

Both of these covers use the same image of the hawk in flight, however, to different scales and with varied colour schemes. While I like the style of the title on the US cover and the orange is visually striking, I definitely prefer the UK cover. I love a good bit of pastel and the background here is both warm and soft. I also really appreciate that the burning trees in the bird wings are much more visible and bright.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

This is a very easy decision from where I’m sitting. Out of these two, the UK cover does absolutely nothing for me. I plan to buy this book at some point in the future and am 100% sure I’ll be ordering the US version. The font, colour contrast, ominous & fairy-tale-eque look of the image…the US cover wins.

VERDICT: US Cover


The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

I actually really like both of these covers. They’re doing a lot of things right. Both have nice colour schemes, easy to read fonts, and elements that catch the eye. I enjoy the ‘painted on the side of a building’ look of the UK cover with the figures sitting on top – it’s different and rustic. However, for some reason my eyes keep darting back to the US cover’s tree with its gorgeous autumn coloured leaves.

VERDICT: US Cover (It’s a close call though)


Wayward Son – Rainbow Rowell

These two books give me a very similar vibe – the text is similar, the art style is the same (just a different image), and both go well with the Carry On US Cover. The colour contrast between the yellow and aqua on the US cover is eye catching and I’m loving the smirk Simon has going on. And YET, I have to go with the UK Cover. I mean, just look at Baz’s suit! LOOK AT IT. Bonus points for the addition of Simon’s tail wrapping around the title and the fun image at the bottom which really suits the road trip story.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

With the US cover, I appreciate that they tried to do something different by using the painted image. Unfortunately, the painting just isn’t my style. I can’t help feeling that it looks too basic, almost like something a 12 year old would paint in art class? I do really like the layout though, with the title down the middle on the door. The UK Cover is simple but clean. I enjoy the colour palette, the font choices, and the texture provided by the bedspread and paneled flooring.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

Fun fact, the US cover for this book is actually a redesign done in response to Americans saying how much they wish they had the UK cover. As someone who owns the UK/Aus cover, I can definitely see why because it’s pretty darn nice. So nice, in fact, that even with a redesign the US cover still doesn’t top it. The look of the city against the water, title fonts, sneaky little silhouette of Locke looking like he’s about to steal everything you own – it’s simply a great cover.

VERDICT: UK Cover


Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mendel

Now these are two completely different covers and they’re both lovely. I love astrophotography. It’s gorgeous, magical and always makes you feel small in a big universe. The use of it on the US cover is really nice and the fact that they’ve kept the text simple works very well. On the UK Cover, I’m a big fan of the bold, pink title in contrast to the black & white image. I also love how the cover looks almost like a paper tole craft with all the different cutout layers. The white border is super pretty and really stands out.

VERDICT: US Cover (Another super close race!)


City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab

For these covers, the compositions are very similar. It’s almost as if two artists were given the same brief and asked to do a design in their own personal art style. While I usually love red covers, my preference here is definitely for the US cover. It looks so much more eerie with the grey-white background and blurred image of the girl & cat. I also think I prefer the design of the city skyline more on the US cover compared to the UK.

VERDICT: US Cover


Normal People – Sally Rooney

This was an easy pick in the UK’s favour. There’s something about the faces on the US cover that give me the creeps. Maybe it’s the fact that the eyes are just blank circles? Who knows? I appreciate the clean, blocky title text on both versions but it looks so much clearer and bolder on the UK cover because of the colour scheme. I have to give brownie points to whoever was bold enough to release a book in olive green because it certainly stands out in a bookstore.

VERDICT: UK Cover


And that ends round 3. Let’s take a look at the updated points:

US Covers: 17 Points

UK Covers: 16 Points

After all that, it’s still a very close race which actually surprises me! For some reason I thought the US had won more covers this round than it actually had. Guess it just goes to show, there are some good and bad covers on both sides of the ocean.

How would you have decided these match ups? Are my tastes in covers completely different from yours?

And That’s a Wrap: 2019 Edition

Happy New Year everyone! 2019 has finally come to an end and that means it’s time to look back at the year that was to get ready for the one ahead. This year was a different one for me. I read a lot fewer books than in 2018 and found myself stuck with some serious book burnout for a large part of it. I also feel as though there weren’t as many books this year that I can say I truly loved as there have been in the past. Still, that doesn’t mean it was a bad year – I re-read more books, read a couple of bigger books, and gave audiobooks a go. As for the nitty-gritty, here is my 2019.


Reading Stats

Favourite Covers


Books I Wasn’t So Keen On

  • Again, but Better – Christine Riccio: ABB had a cute premise and some funny/sweet moments but in the end was let down by multiple writing issues, an uninteresting first half, and the MC baring a little too much resemblance to the author…
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dwyer – Michelle Hodkin: Tropes. Oh, the tropes. A damaged lead, a bad boy love interest, mean girl nemesis, and an outsider bestie. I had a lot of trouble finding & understanding the paranormal plot buried underneath the not so great romance in this one.
  • Middlegame – Seanan McGuire: While I appreciate what this book was trying to do, unfortunately the slow pacing, lack of connection with the characters, and confusing timelines meant it wasn’t the book for me. I’m in the minority here though.
  • After – Anna Todd: I only have myself to blame. I went into this one expecting it to be awful but curiosity got the better of me. The relationship is toxic as hell, there’s pretty much no plot to speak of (argue, have sex, and repeat) and the writing is atrocious.
  • Nos4A2 – Joe Hill: Disappointed is the feeling here. There were sections I enjoyed but overall, I found it too long, the tone confusing, characters not likeable enough, and the execution of an interesting concept not as enjoyable or gripping as I’d hoped.
  • Caraval – Stephanie Garber: Even on reread, I really wanted to like Caraval, but it just has so many issues – a boring protagonist, vague magic system, game that’s not really a game, and a melodramatic climax. It does get points for atmosphere & speed-readability though.

Most Frequented Authors

  • Holly Black (4): Technically 3 books though as I read The Wicked King twice in 2019.
  • Jay Kristoff (4): I re-read the first two Nevernight books, finally got to read the third, and also tackled Jay’s new collaboration with Amie Kaufman, Aurora Rising.
  • Cassandra Clare (3): I continued with my TMI re-read/read and now only have 1 more book in the series to go.
  • Colleen Hoover (3): Hoover was a new author to me this year. While she’s not likely to be a favourite, I’ve certainly enjoyed her books so far.

Surprises

  • Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson: After a lukewarm reaction to An Enchantment of Ravens, I wasn’t sure whether I should read this. I’m so glad I did, because I ended up loving the characters and the world building. Magic, monster books, demons, sword fights, all the good stuff. Would 100% read a follow up if it were ever published.
  • Legendary (Caraval 2#) – Stephanie Garber: So, it turns out that people were right when they said the sequel was better. While I still had issues with Legendary, I enjoyed it more than I expected. The world & characters were better fleshed out, Tella was a more interesting protagonist than Scarlett, and, of course, there was Jacks.
  • Eggshell Skull – Bri Lee: As someone who previously avoided NF like the plague, I was shocked by just how engrossing, heartbreaking, and horrifying this was. To everyone out there who asks why women don’t report sexual assault, I wish I could make you read this.
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses – C. G. Drews: I’ve only ever been able to read PaperFury reviews in small doses so I went into this with low expectations. It ended up being a fantastic YA read with wonderful autistic rep, a sweet brotherly relationship, great use of the found family trope, and plenty of genuine emotion.

Disappointments

These 3.5 star entry disappointments can all be narrowed down to too high expectations on my part.

  • Aurora Rising – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: I LOVED The Illuminae Files so I was majorly looking forward to this release. AR wasn’t a bad read, just missing that spark. I had trouble connecting with the characters and found the choice of antagonist… odd. However, points for world building and plot momentum.
  • King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo: Another case of not a bad book, but unmet expectations. The characters, world and dialogue are great, but unfortunately the plot bored me in sections and by the time it picked up, it wasn’t really what I was looking for.
  • The Queen of Nothing – Holly Black: You have no idea how excited I was for QoN – this series has been my addiction. In the end, a lack of twists, scheming & violence, and several not properly/satisfyingly wrapped up plotlines put a damper on it for me.
  • The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi: I went in expecting a Six of Crows-esque heist in historical France with magic. What I got was A LOT of confusion. A great cast of diverse characters and good plot momentum certainly lessened the blow, though.

Favourite Characters

  • Spensa Nightshade & M-Bot (Skyward – Brandon Sanderson)
  • Alex Clairmont-Diaz (Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston)
  • Daniel Arlington (Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo)
  • Louise le Blanc (Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin)
  • Zoya Nazyalensky & Nikolai Lantsov (King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo)
  • Silas (Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson)
  • Jude Duarte & Cardan Greenbriar (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black)
  • Declan Murphy (Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer)

Favourite Ships

  • Henry & Alex (Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston)
  • Josh & Hazel (Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren)
  • Jude & Cardan (The Folk of the Air Series – Holly Black) AGAIN
  • Elisabeth & Nathaniel (Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson)
  • Andie & Clark (The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson)
  • Owen & Megan (Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberley & Austen Siegemund-Broka)

Re-Reads

One of my goals for 2019 was to do more re-reads. In the end, 8 of the books I read this year were re-reads which is not too bad at all. I think I’ll try to aim for something similar in 2020.


2019 Posts I’m Proud Of


Favourite Adaptations

  • The Witcher – I was eagerly awaiting this one. Sure, they were things that could have been improved but I really enjoyed it. It’s even encouraged me to go back to the books.
  • Looking for Alaska – I liked this so much more than the book. It really added additional depth to the characters whilst still retaining the general flow of the novel.
  • Killing Eve – While I haven’t actually read the books KE draws from, I’m addicted to this series. The acting is fantastic, the twists keep coming and once I started, I couldn’t stop.
  • His Dark Materials – It’s always good to see an adaptation respect the book/s it draws from. The series looks fantastic and the casting is perfect.

And that’s a wrap on 2019! I’m looking forward to a new year filled with wonderful books (fingers crossed) and wish you all the best going in 2020.

Battle of the Book Covers: US VS UK (Round 2)

It’s time for round two of the book cover battle – US VS UK covers! Because we all need a fun post once in a while. As of round one, the US is in the lead, 6 points to 5. If you missed round one, check it out here. Let’s see how they both fare this time around. As before, US covers will be on the left and UK on the right.


They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

This match up is a very easy one for me. I’ve actually put off buying the UK/Aus cover at my local bookstore because I’m so determined to get the US hardback. The design and imagery is gorgeous – the skull in the sky, the shadows coming together to form a grim reaper, it’s great. I also love how clean the colour scheme is.

VERDICT: US Cover


The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

Now, this is a tough one. Why? Both covers have the same colour scheme and very similar design styles. While the hand on the US cover does look a little awkward, I really like the image of the circus tents with the famous clock overhead. The swirls around the title are super pretty, too. Meanwhile, the cut out figures on the UK version are great and with the font, the cover really encapsulates the spirit of the novel. Honestly, I think this one might just have to be a tie. A point for both.

VERDICT: Tie


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

This is a tough match up because I quite like both covers for different reasons. The US cover has this fabulous complementary colour scheme going with the orange and the blue. Meanwhile, the UK cover is so clean looking. I really like the use of the matches (it’s all very symbolic) and the font choices. Hmmm, I think I’ll go with the the UK cover on this one. There’s just something about it.

VERDICT: UK Cover


Enchantee – Gita Trelease

If we were going off use of colour, the US cover would win here. I love the rustic, french flag like appearance and the torn paper effect through the middle. The cursive script for the title is quite nice, too. However, the weirdly obscured model at the centre does put me off somewhat. I really like the UK Cover as well. The fancy entrance gate is sweet, especially with the coloured accents against the black, and I appreciate the symmetry of it all. Difficult decision but I keep going back to the US version. Still, I’d be happy with either in my bookcase.

VERDICT: US Cover


The Institute – Stephen King

On first look at these, I found myself leaning towards the UK cover but the more I look at them, the more the US cover has grown on me. The bright blue of the UK version is lovely and I quite like the image of the boat with the reflection of the institute in the water. Still, there’s something about the muted colour scheme of the US cover which feels very rural America. I love the clean lettering and the design of the bedroom within the train car is very visually interesting.

VERDICT: US Cover


Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

When this book first came out, I was very much on team USA. I liked the way the image was cut to make it look like an album cover, the “worn” edges, and the muted but classy colouring. But, after buying and looking at the UK cover as I read it, that version eventually began to pull ahead for me ever so slightly. The title font has such fun 60s vibes and the colour scheme is very period appropriate. It’s also super eye-catching when you have it lying about. A very close call on this one.

VERDICT: UK Cover


And I Darken – Kiersten White

As you guys know, I am not a fan of people on covers. The images always seem to look forced. Weirdly enough, I don’t find this particular cover that bad. I haven’t read the book itself yet but from what I know of it, this cover seems like it encapsulates the dark, bloodthirsty vibes of it and the central character. Nevertheless, I still find myself leaning more towards the spear and bright purple flowers. It’s just that little bit more visually dynamic.

VERDICT: US cover


Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Another challenging match up. When I first started this post, I was leaning towards team UK but as I’ve continued to compare them, I’ve changed my mind. With the UK cover, I love the brushed on title font and the image of the house figurine brightly burning down in the centre. Yet, from what I know of the book, the US cover seems like it fits very well with the story, which is about the events affecting the residents of a small community. The flames subtly showing through the front windows are also a great touch.

VERDICT: US Cover


Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

I love this book and while both covers are certainly great, I’m more in favour of the UK version here. Charlie Bowater’s art is always stunning, but I can’t help finding the straight on, character based image a little odd. Spensa, why are you trying to stare into my soul? Points for the stunning purple sky background though. I quite like the art for the UK cover and the small touches of yellow to contrast the shades of grey.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty

The last match up for round 2 of the book cover battle. Although the US cover is far brighter, there’s just something I don’t like about it. I don’t know if cheap is the right word but for some reason that’s all that will come to mind. While the UK cover isn’t exactly dynamic either, I do like that it looks the gates to a mysterious, fantasy city. There’s a sort of elegance to it. Then again, this might be one of those books you have to read to properly appreciate the US version (it’s on my TBR, okay?!). At least for now, I’m going with UK.

VERDICT: UK Cover


And that brings us to the end of round 2. Let’s check back in at the updated scoreboard shall we…

US Covers: 12 Points

UK Covers: 10 Points

Looks like the US has started to pull ahead a bit. Guess I’ll have to wait and see if round 3 can even things out again.

How did you score the covers from round 2? Any favourites here?

Battle of the Book Covers: US VS UK (Round 1)

We all love a good book cover. As the thing that invites you to want to pick up a book in the first place, it’s something extremely important to get right. But what’s even more challenging? Trying to design to equally good covers for the same book for different markets. I definitely do not envy cover designers’ jobs! As we all know, UK and US covers can often end up looking very different and I think it’s safe to say, that we all have our preferences. In the past, I have even been known to order the US version of a book online where I massively prefer the US cover to the UK cover found in Australian stores. For this reason, I thought it’d be fun to do a comparison of some US vs UK covers to see which versions come out on top. I’ve seen this done by a number of people in the past and couldn’t resist trying it out for myself. For reference, US covers will be on the left and UK on the right.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

This is a set of covers where I actually like both versions despite them being completely different from one another – one light, one dark, one graphic and the other using a real model. Normally I’m not a big fan of models on covers but I feel like this shot actually captures the serious tone of the book. Meanwhile, I like how simplistic the US version is. It’s clean and striking. So for this one I’m going to sit on the fence and give both a point.

VERDICT: Tie


One Of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

The bold red text was good choice for both of these covers – very striking. However, while the UK cover definitely has more Breakfast Club vibes (one of the book’s influences), I like the look of the US cover more. I think the picture cutouts look kind of cool and the marker effect on the text itself is a nice touch.

VERDICT: US Cover


The Devouring Gray – Christine Lynn Herman

This cover match up was an easy winner for me. There’s nothing wrong exactly with the US cover, but I just can’t resist that neon lettering and foggy landscape on the UK cover. You can tell they’ve clearly tried to cash in on the Riverdale market with the design but we’ll let that slide. Also, fun fact, the UK edition comes with pink stained page edges to match the text.

VERDICT: UK Cover


Caraval – Stephanie Garber

What a tough match up. Designers took a similar approach to the style of both of these covers, they just happen to use different colouring, fonts and shapes. Just looking at the images, I’d say that I lean ever so slightly onto the US side of things. I prefer the font choice and the use of the blue against the red is gorgeous. But, owning the UK edition, I know that the cover is foiled and to use a technical term, it’s pretty-shiny. I also really like the cute little stars. *sigh* Decisions, decisions. Okay, I’m going US. Choosing and sticking with it.

VERDICT: US Cover


Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Now, here we have two completely different cover designs. This is another tough decision. The US cover looks so damn badass. I love the use of the shadows and the text is pretty awesome. On the other hand, the art on the UK edition is gorgeous. The longer you look at it, the more of the smaller elements you pick up on within the overall artwork. I also love how bold the coloured suns on the front and back look against the rest of the black and white. A close race, but I’m going UK on this one.

VERDICT: UK Cover


I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

Although the rainbow lines on the US cover are certainly eye catching and the overall look is cheerful, the UK cover takes this one for me. I love the use of yellow, the way the text looks painted on (which fits perfectly considering one of the characters is a painter), and the inclusion of the sun itself.

VERDICT: UK Cover


The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw

Visually, I think both of these covers are very pretty. They have similar font choices and image motifs scattered throughout. Still, I’m going US. I love the pastel sheen look to the imagery and the text against the night sky background. It’s just super nice to look at.

VERDICT: US Cover


Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Another US win for this round. I just adore the simplicity of it. Also, how cute is the little ‘&’ sign formed out of the headphones? The UK cover looks a little blah to me. I think it might be that the paper cutouts seem a bit weird and wonky.

Verdict: US Cover


Circe – Madeline Miller

Another match up of two beautifully designed covers. I really like the contrast between the black and the gold imagery on the US cover. The design itself fits well with the fact that the story is based around Greek mythology. And yet…my heart is set on the UK cover. If I hadn’t seen it in real life it may have been a closer decision, but as I have, I know just how nice that coppery cover looks in real life. That metallic background against the beautifully designed floral patterning is simply stunning.

Verdict: UK Cover


Call it What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

As with Caraval, the designers of these two covers have taken a very similar approach with regards to image choice and layout. The pink and blue of the UK cover is very sweet and bright, still I have to say I’m ever so slightly more a fan of the US edition. I like how the text changes to give emphasis to certain words and the way the coloured hearts stand out against the blue background. A close call though!

Verdict: US Cover

And that’s the end of round one! At this point the scoreboard reads as follows:

US Covers: 6 points

UK Covers: 5 points

It’s pretty close so far. Guess I’ll have to see how things change after the next match ups.

How did you score these covers? Was it the US or UK covers that caught your eye more?

Top 10 Tuesday: The Good & the Bad of Cover Re-designs

This week’s edition of Top 10 Tuesday (brought to you by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl) revolves around cover redesigns. To ensure there’s a little variety, I’m doing five re-covers that made my eyes do that love heart thing they sometimes do, and five which I believe should have been given a miss by publishers.

Covers Re-Designs that Hit the Mark

The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare

I’ve mentioned these recovers on my blog multiple times in the past. The cover designs, the spine images – I adore them completely, and The Infernal Devices re-covers are equally beautiful. I already owned all but two of these in their original covers when I went out and bought them as a set. I ended up giving my old copies to my sister and definitely have no regrets.

The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins (10th Anniversary Editions)

I’ve already bought a second set of these books previously but if I hadn’t, trust me, I’d buy these ones because dammmmmnnnn. They’re. So. Freaking. Lovely. I can’t even explain what it is, I just can’t stop looking at them. I’m such a sucker for anniversary editions *sigh*.

The Mortal Engines series – Philip Reeve (Ian McQue 2018 Redesigns)

I’ve never read this series but ever since this version of the covers started showing up in bookstores, I’ve found myself picking them up a lot and considering it. The artwork is really lovely and I imagine that it captures the world of the stories fantastically as well. Even the font choice is kicking butt.

His fair assassin series – Robin lafevers

This is another series I’ve yet to read but looking at these cover designs in comparison to the previous ones featuring random models in capes and flowing dresses, I feel as though these are a huge improvement. I like the colours and the close ups of the different weapons. Far less embarrassing for me to be reading on the train.

The Grisha trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

These redesigns were so stunning that I actually changed the covers I was buying after book one even though I knew it meant I’d have non matching books. Yep, that’s how much I like them. I think I’ll eventually have to buy a matching copy of book one because (a) it’s purrrdddyyy and (b) I really do mind the matching situation.


Cover Re-designs that…Didn’t

Shatter Me series – Tahereh Mafi

I honestly wouldn’t blame you for thinking this one was a joke – someone’s terrible attempt at photoshop. But no. These are literally the covers being sold in bookstores in Sydney. Worse, these came after the stunning eye designs currently used. Just, why? WHY??

Ember Quartet – Sabaa Tahir

Okay, so Sabaa’s reasons for the cover redesign prior to A Reaper at the Gates were great. I am all for increased representation and ensuring that young readers are able to see themselves in media. However, I just find that the way they went about it ended up looking a little bit cheesy and awkward. I can’t help finding the way the models have been arranged really odd and posed. So YAY for rep but nay for design.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (50th Anniversary Edition)

One word: Creepy. Were the designers of this cover out of their minds? Not only do I have no idea how this even properly connects to the story, but it makes me feel downright uncomfortable. Burn it.

Strange the Dreamer duology – Laini Taylor

These covers aren’t what I’d call bad. They’re just really, really boring and pale in comparison to the absolute stunning beauty of the original covers. The fact that they were released so soon after the original versions is a little confusing to me. If you’re going to do a redesign that fast, at least make sure it’s as attractive as the original. On this count, not so much. Snoozeville.

Movie/TV tie-in Covers – in general

Yep, it’s the dreaded film/TV tie in cover release. I refuse to buy these. I get that the publisher is trying to appeal to the market of people who enjoyed the adaptation and make more money but at the same time, the book came first so why should it be suddenly taken over by the adaptation, especially if in many cases that adaptation completely changed aspects of the story. There’s also the issue of: what if the adaptation sucks and you’re stuck with a reminder of it forever? And lastly, a lot of adaptation book covers just look like awkward inserts of the movie poster with ‘Now a Major Motion Picture’ stamped across it. No thanks.


And that’s 5 + 5 = 10 covers. What are some covers that are not original designs which you’ve either really liked or wanted to hide under a bed somewhere?