Discussion: Cover Trends!

Posted November 19, 2012 by Kaitlynn in discussion / 19 Comments

You guys, I love covers.  I am totally willing to admit that I am a cover whore.  A lot of the time I go to the bookstore and I buy books because I like the covers.  I know that’s not always a good idea because some covers hide some really crappy stories but I know I can’t be the only one who does it.  These are just some of the books I’ve picked up for their covers.

Girls in Pretty Dresses!

This trend is getting a little old but I can’t help but love so many of these covers.  I’m all for eye-catching and these definitely catch my eye.  The bold colors, awesome fonts, and intriguing surrounding scenes make these more than just pretty dress covers though.  


Faces are hard.  This trend is one that I have a hard time with.  A lot of the time the faces just look awkward and I really hate when cover designers cut faces in half.  It’s a pet peeve of mine.  However, I think these are all done very well.  I like the angles, the colors, the details, and the fonts on all of these.  There is more than just a pretty face here!

Dystopian scenes!

These are some of my favorite types of covers and the main reason for that is that these covers don’t just appeal to girls.  A lot of YA covers these days are very girly and I can’t imagine a guy reading them.  These, on the other hand, I could see some guys reading.  Sure some of them still have girls on the cover but they are fierce and awesome, rather than just standing around looking pretty.  


These are also covers that I could easily see guys reading.  On the shelf these covers are very eye-catching and one of my favorite things about them is finding out what the symbols mean to the story.  The best thing about these covers is that they aren’t just stock images.  You can tell a lot of thought went into these and they work perfectly with the books.  


Illustrated covers aren’t really popular for YA but I see them on a lot of MG books.  I wish this was a more popular trend.  I think these are some of the most clever, gorgeous covers out there.  I have yet to see an illustrated cover that I don’t like and I can’t say the same about some other trends.  


I know quite a few people aren’t fans of couples on covers but I am!  I love that couples on covers don’t just mean romance.  Look at Enshadowed, for example.  It’s not a romantic cover and the story isn’t all about romance.  It’s a darker story and I can see that from the cover.  It can also be the other way around.  A lot of these books aren’t just cute romances.  They touch on more serious issues but I like that, from the cover alone, I can tell that the characters are going to get some sort of happy ending.


I’m not quite sure how I feel about this trend just yet.  I haven’t actually read any of these stories so I’m not sure if the covers work with the stories or if they are just there for looks.  However, I do know that Don’t You Wish is about an alternate universe and Pivot Point is about alternate futures so I can see how the reflections would work for those.  They are definitely eye-catching though.

Reaching/Holding Hands!

These covers are a lot like the covers with couples on them.  They carry so many different meanings.  They can be both romantic or mysterious or even, in some cases, sad.  I really just like that there are a lot of different ways to interpret these and usually they fit the books really well.  It’s also good that they can be girly but they can also be more masculine, like Ashen Winter.  

What are some of your favorite cover trends?  What are some of your least favorite cover trends?

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19 responses to “Discussion: Cover Trends!

  1. I’ve always been a fan of the illustrated cover, personally. They tend to be more unique and/or interesting. But when all else fails, I’m mostly okay with symbols on covers, like The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison or Divergent by Veronica Roth.

    And yeah, faces are my least favorite cover type ever. No matter what you do, a face is a face, plastered on a piece of paper. Never ever ever appealing. In my opinion at least. 😉

  2. Not unlike Renae above, I too am a huge fan of illustrated covers. I wish we’d see more of them in YA. Growing very tired of the dress, I can’t wait for publishers to steer away from this very worn out trend. I’m still excited about dystopian scenes, reaching/holding hands and reflection covers. Symbols work for me sometimes and are epic fail on others. A cover whore I totally am, I sometimes will not even pick up a book if the cover turns me off – sooo sad.

  3. Yes I love illustrated covers! They’re so pretty! I do like couple covers also- I have Pushing the Limits in my lap right now, having recently finished it. Although, honestly, I’m not a big fan of faces and symbols. Symbols bore me and faces… The wrong faces for a book are chosen so often that I’ve kinda given up on them. But dresses! Ahh I love pretty dresses! For example the selection had the prettiest dreads on the cover. Something I really love is when there’s a girl on the cover who looks like she can kick some serious butt. I love it when a girls holding a weapon because it tells me I’m in for a good, action packed story. An example of this is Grave Mercy.

  4. I love symbols the most on covers.
    I get totally pissed at naked dudes showing off their pecks and then seeing some totally unrelated title. Even if it’s some steamy romance kind of books, I don’t know, I just can’t stomach those. 😀

  5. I can relate to this because I too am obsessed with covers! 🙂
    Dresses are good and my favorite with this trend has to be The Luxe.
    I am one of those people who dislikes couple covers, but I am glad you like them. My main problem with them is how easy it is to go down the path of unoriginality, but some (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Meant to Be) add their own special details and are really cute.
    Faces and reflections do have a good chance of turning out well or turning out terribly, but the ones you featured are pretty nice-looking.

  6. I LOVE the illustrated middle grade books. It is a shame YA books don’t want to head to that direction. I also love the symbols and the dystopian scenes ones! Not a fan of couples. As for girls in pretty dresses and faces, they don’t really tell much about the story and i personally find them useless.

    Great post!!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  7. This is a really fun post! I’d say I’m getting sick of seeing girls in dresses IF it’s not related to the book. I really loved Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins but that girl was not in a fancy dress the entire book, whereas with Something Strange and Deadly, that dress was appropriate for the times.
    Some of the dresses are stunning, but overall a cover should be telling you more about the book while grabbing your attention at the same time. I get frustrated when the cover has nothing to do with the book!

  8. I am a huge sucker for couples on a cover! Because that usually symbolizes that there is a strong romance in it, which I love, though it isn’t always the case. A girl in a pretty dress will definitely make me want to know more, though it does start to feel overdone at times. And I do prefer for them to have something to do with the novel. I like anything with fire, blues and purples, and the hand holding. Covers that caught my attention before I knew what they were about have been Hush, Hush and Firelight. Really liked those. 🙂

  9. I’m definitely a cover person. I’ll totally admit that I do judge books by their covers from time to time. Like if a cover is really awful, I might avoid the book. I can’t help it! I really like covers with faces on them though, if they’re done right. Some face covers are absolutely dreadful, but when the right face and color scheme is chosen, I think it can add some depth/emotion to the book. I also like the pretty dresses, especially the cover of Something Strange and Deadly.

  10. Great post. I am such a cover person too, I don’t really have a certain trend I like. I just goes with whatever catches my eyes on a particular day. But it annoys me a lot when a book has different covers depending on which country you live in.

  11. Awesome cover selection! I love covers with reflections as well as those that stand out – the one’s that don’t fall into any categories. Middle Grade covers can be gorgeous too so I think its great that you included them 🙂

  12. Illustrated and Symbolic covers would be my favorite. I love it when the cover has something to do with the story. I’d flip back to the cover and gaze at it trying to makse sense of it.

    Anyway, awesome post!

  13. Christina Kit.

    I too love pretty dresses on covers, and couples too.

    What I love about covers with symbols is that you get to rip through the book to find what it means and when you do the whole cover takes on a totally different meaning 🙂

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