Judging Book Covers: Upcoming Release Edition

About four months ago, I wrote a short post where I spoke about a few pretty books! In one part of the post I mentioned some upcoming books and I feel like it’s been a while since I perused NetGalley on the hunt for some gorgeous upcoming covers. Obviously judging a book by their contents is probably the best way to go, but since I almost never read the synopsis, this is the method I use!

To make things interesting I’ve decided to switch things up and give my first impressions based on the cover of the book (this part is ensured to be nonsensical) and then read the synopsis to see if I would actually read the book! *Gasp* I know, me actually reading a synopsis? Unheard of. But it is a sacrifice I am willing to make for this post.

**All covers link to Goodreads**

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First Impressions: Um. So cute!! This cover makes me think of summer and raspberry ices! I love the font of the title too, literally anything with a script like title and I’m sold!

Will I Read This? Aaah, so you’re telling me that this book is about a Cuban American teenager who gets shipped off to the UK where she works in a bakery and then meets a boy who works at a tea shop and then they FALL IN LOVE?? You’d have to fight me to make sure I didn’t read it.


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First Impressions: fhajkfhdiue IS THAT A MERMAID LADY IN THE BACKGROUND??? Also, the boy on the cover is giving me Milo Thatcher vibes which I am 100% here for!

Will I Read This? So (to the best of my understanding) this is a graphic novel about a Vietnamese boy who is struggling with coming out to his parents, and story is told with the help of a series of Vietnamese fairy tales. I don’t see how I can NOT read this book. So once again the answer is a resounding yes I will read this.


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First Impressions: As a New Yorker, I’m actually contractually obligated to read every single YA book that takes place in NYC. It’s a hard undertaking, but it is what it is. I love the taxis and the brick buildings, and I love the pink beanie! Wish I could pull that off.

Will I Read This? Ooooh, this plot honestly sounds like the plot of a late 90’s rom-com and I am here for it! It’s the classic, girl finds out about boy’s side hustling scheme and blackmails him into helping make her more popular at school. Again I’m going to have to say, yeah, I’m going to read this. (Book 3 and I think it’s obvious that my judging based on covers system is ~flawless~).


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First Impressions: It looks like a birthday party! Confetti! The guy in the back looks like he’s wearing Justin Beiber merch, so that’s an interesting touch. And I love the purple overalls, tres cute.

Will I Read This? !!!! A book about queer theater nerds who put on a production of Les Mis! I would probably be in physical pain if I didn’t read it. My only complaint is that it comes out in December, which means I can’t read it immediately * sobs *.


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First Impressions: Sooooo, I made the mistake of reading the synopsis before writing this first impressions bit. Oops. But! My first impression was like, oh cool, some kind of school related thing, maybe someone gets bullied. Who knows?

Will I Read This? This book is about two teens who fight against their school administration after a teacher gives an assignment for the students to argue on behalf of the final solution (the ruling in Nazi Germany to eradicate all Jews). After reading that, it’s kind of obvious that the raised hands on the cover are supposed to be symbolic of the heil salute. Apparently, this is inspired by a true story, and though I know that as a Jew I should probably want to read this, I have to be honest and say that I probably won’t. I don’t really need to go around reading a book about anti-semitism since I already have enough of that first hand.


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First Impressions: A picture inside of a picture!! And the colors are so pretty! The color style of the cover kind of reminds me of the covers for We Are Okay and Hold Still. Both of which I have not read yet, but, I still love their covers.

Will I Read This? So lemme tell you about this one. A queer romance that explores gender identity written by a transgender author. If you’re not convinced that I’m going to read this by the description alone, just look back at the gorgeous cover.


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First Impressions: Well purple is one of my favorite colors, so to see it featured in a cover gives it automatic points. Also, stars! Shiny! I’m also left with questions, are the stars a penpal? What did they write back? How long did it take for the letter to come?

Will I Read This? This is a compilation of short poems. Now, while I do enjoy reading books told in verse, poetry compilations aren’t really my thing. This means that I probably won’t be reading this book.


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First Impressions: PURPLE. PURPLE. PURPLE. Also, this looks like a Fantasy! Based on the cover and the title, and I love fantasies! Are those little stars on her dress?? Stars and purple seem to be a reacurring theme recently.

Will I Read This? AH! A queer fantasy retelling of Phantom of the Opera!!! The magic system is song related, the main character is promised to be absolutely brutal, and the synopsis says the main character is reunited with her childhood friend. So. Friends to Lovers?? Anywho, yeah, um definitely going to read this.


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First Impressions: So when I went to copy this cover off of Goodreads the cover became super big and I got to see allll the details of the cover, which are absolutely gorgeous. I want to know more about the magic she’s doing with her hands! And what’s with the gem in the middle of the O in Legendborn? What does it signify? I must know!

Will I Read This? This book is about a secret society of students who hunt down demons, and a girl who gets dragged into it on a mission to solve the mystery behind her mother’s death. Honestly, all you had to say was magic secret society related to King Arthur and my answer would be yes!


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First Impressions: Purple again! Which as you all should know by now means that I’m automatically sold. I also love how the trees are forming a little archway, and the flowers by the roots are so pretty!

Will I Read This? Oooh, this book sounds so creepy!! Children disappearing into woods? Unconscious boys lying in the middle of the road? I would be honored to read about Wendy solving the mystery of the creepy child eating woods.

This was really fun to do! I think that I learned that I’ll read pretty much anything and that I’m (mostly) great at judging books by their covers! (Ignore the two books that I said I wouldn’t read). What I did notice while sifting through covers for this post is that contemporaries usually have much prettier covers than fantasies. Which is kind of a bummer since I tend to read more fantasies anyways. But! If you’d like a post of upcoming fantasies that sound interesting but have unfortunate covers, let me know! Because I’d love to roast the god awful covers while hyping their plots.

Are you looking forward to reading any of these books? What are some upcoming books with pretty covers that you want to read?

50 thoughts on “Judging Book Covers: Upcoming Release Edition

  1. omg i’d never heard of the magic fish before, but it sounds SO GOOD. the incorporation of vietnamese fairy tales is making me so interested πŸ‘πŸ‘ sasha masha’s cover reminds me of we are okay and hold still too! ahh, its synopsis sounds so intriguing and i really need to read more books with trans authors, i guess i’m adding it to my tbr 😭 and legendborn and lost in the never woods both have amazing covers and premises! i have such high hopes for them πŸ₯Ί

    i really loved reading this post, chana! i’d love to see a post where you talk about fantasy books that sound good but have awful covers 😎 i feel like the bone shard daughter by andrea stewart is one of them lmao

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    1. Yess, I love graphic novels and Magic Fish sounds so good! Also, already from the cover alone, I can tell that the art is going to be gorgeous 😍 Yayy, I’m happy I’m not the only one to see the similarities in the design πŸ˜‚ And yes! I also definitely need to add more books by trans authors to my TBR, so I’m really happy I found that one!

      Hahaha, Bone Shard Daughter is definitely one that’s on the list! To be honest, I keep on hoping that it’s like a preliminary cover or something and that a prettier cover will soon be revealed πŸ˜… (but like with fantasies track record probably not).

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  2. Ooh these are all soooo pretty!! I’ve literally just added half of them to my TBR already πŸ˜‚ I’m a total sucker for a good cover.

    I definitely agree with you about contemporaries getting the best covers – fantasies deserve beautiful art too! πŸ˜„

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    1. Aah, that makes me so happy!! I’m glad you found books to add to your TBR, and I am absolutely guilty of adding books to my TBR based on just the cover πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      They do! And I feel like there’s so much you can do with a fantasy cover, but so many of them get ugly fonts and designs 😭

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  3. This was a fun post to read! So many books I haven’t heard about before and immediately added to my TBR. Book cover designers are really doing their jobs with all of these new contemporaries, I want them all on my shelves πŸ˜…

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    1. Right!! I don’t even read that many contemporaries usually, but seeing all these covers just makes me want to read waaaay more of the genre πŸ˜„ Yay! I’m happy you found books to add to your TBR, hopefully we’ll both enjoy them when they come out!

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    1. Hahahhaa, thank you!! πŸ’•πŸ’• Yesss, Legendborn looks so good!! When I started reading the synopsis I was automatically interested but THEN I saw the King Arthur part and was like, yeah, I *defintely* have to read this πŸ˜‚

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  4. Did I just add a ton of books to my goodreads?? Oh yes. The Magic Fish looks adorable and so sweet, and that cover!! Also I’ve been hearing so much hype over A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow and I absolutely cannot wait to read. I think it’s one of my most anticipated for the second half of the year!! Hope you enjoy all of these!! πŸ₯°

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    1. Yesss!! Getting people to add books to Goodreads is my ultimate goal in life πŸ˜„ Right!! The cover to The Magic Fish gets me even more excited knowing that it’s a graphic novel. Because now I know I’m in for a lot more beautiful pages just like it! A Cuban Girl’s Guide sounds amazing, I hope you enjoy it when it comes out! πŸ’•

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    1. Thank you! ❀ I’m happy you enjoyed it! They’re both such beautiful covers! I can’t wait to read them both!

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  5. I love this post! I often decide what books I am going to read based on their covers and I am always looking for books with nice covers. Some of these covers were so amazing!! Also a lot of these books sounded so good and I haven’t heard about all of them before this so thank you❀︎

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    1. Thank you!! Ahh, yess, cover-reading twinss πŸ˜‚ Yay! I’m happy this post helped you discover new books πŸ’•

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  6. I too love ALL these covers, but funnily enough I have had to stop myself with a few of them because I didn’t think they’d end up being my jam. Like the cute sounding ones inexplicably make me sad, so I need to avoid them, at least for now (I think it’s the whole being stuck inside without any future hope of human contact, I need to read about plagues and disasters and such hah). ALSO ironically enough, I am reading The Assignment right now! I of course get your reason for not wanting to read it. It’s framed differently than you’d think, but still, it’s obviously a very tough subject matter, and I completely see why you want to avoid!

    I want to read Ruinsong and Legendborn, no question!

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    1. Ugh, yes, cute sounding books in 2020 is a struggle πŸ˜“ Especially when I’m reading books that *take place* in 2020, but it’s alternate universe happy 2020 where people had proms and were able to go out and do things πŸ˜…

      Ooh, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it! From the synopsis alone I felt like the story could go in a variety of ways, but I’d love to see thoughts from someone who’s actually read it!

      Yess, they’re both so pretty and they sound *fantastic*! I hope you enjoy them when you get to read them! πŸ’•

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    1. Right! It looks so pretty AND the synopsis sounds pretty good! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it πŸ’•

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  7. These covers are beautiful. I received widget of When The Stars Wrote Back but I didn’t download it for the same reason. I’m not poetry person and honestly I’m not sure if I will interpret them right moreover I don’t know how to review them.

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    1. They are super pretty! Yes, exactly! I feel like poetry is very beautiful, but I’m just not the type of person who reads it, or who would interpret it right πŸ˜…

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  8. Um so these covers are all stunning and I am forever jealous of book covers for being prettier than myself haha.

    I am OBSESSED with the Cuban’s Guide cover omg. That synopsis sounds amazing omg I’m so excited. Also, I read 90s rom-com AND I WAS SOLD. I need not read any more. But also Magic Fish sounds so great and I’m on the hunt for 2020 graphic novel releases so def adding that to my radar

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    1. Hahaha, an absolute mood! * sigh * Why can’t we be as pretty as book covers?? πŸ˜“

      Right!! Literally, anything that sounds remotely similar to a 90s rom-com I’m like, this is my moment, I MUST read this! Yayy, I’m so happy this post helped you find books! πŸ’•

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  9. These are such nice covers! I really love that illustrated covers are more of a thing now, because I love all the bright colours and blocky shapes. I just think it’s really eye catching!
    I agree that contemporary covers tend to be prettier, which is a shame because I love fantasy! I find fantasy covers are more likely to have realistic looking pictures of people on them, which I’m not a huge fan of. I’d like to see some more stylised or illustrated fantasy covers with bright colours, or just some really cool typography!
    Great post! πŸ™‚

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    1. Same! Illustrated covers make me so happy! I also love how even though illustrated covers are one type of style, there are so many different and unique covers within that style. Aah, I also dislike realistic looking people on book covers πŸ˜“ I’m hoping that more fantasy’s lean into the illustrated cover trend, just because I think they’re a lot more appealing to the eye πŸ˜‚

      Thank you! πŸ’•

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    1. I know! I saw that while I was looking at the description on Goodreads and was like πŸ‘€πŸ‘€ must. read. this. book.

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  10. I’m shocked to hear that you don’t read the synopsis. :O I definitely judge books based on their cover – otherwise, what am I supposed to take into account before clicking on them? The title? Titles mean nothing, usually. So, the cover it is, but I do read the synopsis to decide if I’m truly interested or not.

    I kind of love you and hate you for making this post – love you because it’s an incredible post, but hate you because I now have six goodreads windows open, all of them books I’m planning on adding to my to-read list. *sighs* I love all of these covers, and I’m happy your method of judging books works so well for you. πŸ˜€

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    1. Hahhaa, I started avoiding synopsis after I kept on getting spoiled for the book while reading them πŸ˜‚ Usually I just go based on different recommendations I get or vague descriptors that I’ve heard about the book. It’s very hit or miss, so I’m glad that I read the synopsis for the books in this post!

      Yayyyy, I’m so happy you found books to add to your to-read list!! πŸ˜„ And I will make it my goal to make more posts that force you to open as many Goodreads tabs as possible πŸ˜‚

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  11. Oh my goodness all of these covers are so pretty?! And I agree. Contemporaries always have the prettiest cover! But like you, I’m more of a fantasy lover so that’s a bummer.

    The Magic Fish sounds interesting. And Ruinsong! Gosh that cover. Absolutely stunning.

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    1. Ah, right!! Like who gave these books the right! I half want to go back to the days when cover design wasn’t a big deal and all the books looked ugly, that way I wouldn’t be tempted to read so much πŸ˜…

      They both sound so good! I can’t wait to read them!

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  12. Oh my gosh this post is so much fun!! I haven’t heard of any of these but I just added a lot of them to my TBR and now I’m really excited for fall to get here so I can read them.😍 These covers are so beautiful, book covers just seem to get better and better as the years go on!! Lovely post, I really enjoyed this. xx

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    1. I’m so happy that you found books to add to your TBR!! πŸ˜„ Hahaha, that is always my problem with upcoming books πŸ˜‚ I find the books they sound AMAZING and then I see I have to wait 4+ months to read them πŸ˜₯

      Thank you!! πŸ’•

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  13. The first book seems like such a cute fluffy contemporary *heart eyes*, also the representation is great! Overall, this was such a fun post because I first looked at the covers, then read your impression and what it’s about later. Already waiting for part 2, hehe.

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    1. And the cover just conveys the BEST fluffy contemporary vibes πŸ₯° Aah, thank you!! I’m so happy you enjoyed the post! Also, that is definitely the best way to read it! ❀

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  14. YEEES to a post of upcoming interesting fantasy reads with unfortunate covers!! I do agree with you that contemporaries seem to have the prettiest covers compared to other genres, I’m not sure why that is? I’d be curious to know haha. I love the cover of A Cuban Girl’s Guide and can’t WAIT to read that one! πŸ˜€

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    1. Yayyy, I’ve already started compiling a list of ugly fantasy books, so the time will come soon πŸ˜† Yeah, I’d love to talk to a cover designer and find out why that is! Maybe it has something to do with like the target audience of the book?

      A Cuban Girl’s Guide looks so so cute! I can’t wait to read it too!

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    1. Same!! I don’t know why but for some reason covers with photographs always rubbed me the wrong way and I’d just avoid reading them πŸ˜… So I’m really happy with the uptick in illustrated covers πŸ˜„

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  15. I’m glad I’m not the only one that almost never reads synopses – sometimes they have too much information! I just go off of what other people say + the genres + the covers. Sometimesss if it’s a book I haven’t heard of before I will read the synopsis.. but reluctantly πŸ˜›
    You really picked some gorgeous covers for this post! And a lot of them have great descriptions to match – I’ve added a lot to my TBR because of this post! So thanks for that!
    And I would definitely be interested in a post on unfortunate upcoming fantasies πŸ˜€

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    1. Exactly!! I’ve been spoiled so many times from synopses 😭 Sometimes it’s more fun to go into a book with just a vague idea of what’s going on! Yayy, I’m so happy you found some books to add to your TBR 😊 And I’ve started collecting ugly fantasy covers, and I can’t wait to write the post!

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  16. i kind of did not notice the mermaid at first until you mentioned it and then my eyes were BLESSED b/c that cover layering is GORGEOUS.

    WHO was going to tell me about The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre, it’s so pretty and hip and that PLOT,,, i am s o l d

    you’re so right about the colour scheme of sasha masha resembling we are okay, that’s literally what came to my mind, too. (also can we talk about how nina lacour gets all the cool covers??? iconic???)

    ooh, legendborn cover has the same energy as arch-enemies, both books i haven’t read but i will One Day

    i really wasn’t aware of any of these books, THANK U for bringing them to my radar, they sound so good ❀

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    1. RIGHTTT!! I was like ooh cute cover and then OMG MERMAID!! The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre needs to have come out yesterday 😀 it’s for the good of humanity.

      Nina Lacour’s covers are all so cool! They make me want to read her books but I’ve heard that We Are Okay and Hold Still are *sad* and idk if I’m ready for that πŸ˜₯

      Oooh, Legendborn DOES give off arch-enemies vibes. You bringing this up reminds me of that I have to read Supernova, but that will happen One Day as well πŸ˜‚

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