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?
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 myfavourite 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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
As I’ve mentioned many times before, we all judge books by their covers. It’s inevitable. It’s the reason bookstagram is as popular as it is. Sometimes you get some dodgy ones, and other times you get absolutely gorgeous, eye catching ones. If you missed my post from last year about what I look for in a good book cover, you can find it here.
Below are a few new favourites of mine that I’ve come across over the last several months. Of course, this is merely a judgment on covers, not the stories inside them. I hope they brighten up your week.
Have you seen any great book covers recently? I’d love to hear about them!