Like most book lovers, I appreciate a beautiful cover. But what I’ve learned is that not everyone has the same tastes when it comes to the cover designs they appreciate. So today I’ve decided to take you through the kinds of covers I love, the ones I don’t enjoy, and the ones that have grown on me. I also want to just mention Shannon’s series of Unfortunate Covers of Your Favorite Books at this point, since it proves what a difference covers can make, and also, how subjective cover love can be!
When I first had the idea for this post, I expected it to be really simple to write, so I was surprised to find that was not the case! One of the things that made writing this post so difficult was the fact that my taste has changed over the years! As I was scrolling through all the books I’ve read on Goodreads, I passed by many covers that I know for a fact that I used to love, but they no longer gave me that same feeling! So these covers you’re seeing now are all covers that I still love, and on top of that, are all books I would recommend! You’ll notice a lot of similarities between most of the covers, but I had fun breaking down exactly what I like about each specific type of cover.
Generally Beautiful Covers
We’re starting with a variety of books that I just adore! I wanted to start out with some books that have some common themes that you’ll see in future sections, but that also stand out. These are books that just work for me, even when similar covers might not!
When I was first thinking of writing this post, the book that I immediately knew would be at the top of my list was Felix Ever After. As you’re about to see, I love, love, love illustrated covers, and this book was no exception. One of the things I enjoy most about this illustration is how realistic Felix looks, while the flowers add this almost dreamlike and ethereal feeling. Plus, the combination of colors is just stunning! But this shouldn’t surprise me since I already know I love the illustrator’s work! I’m going to leave their Instagram here for you to look at, but Alex Cabal was also the one behind the cover for I Wanna Be Where You Are and A Song Below Water, and their work will even feature again in a later section!
Sea Prayer is one of the few non-illustrated covers that I think is absolutely beautiful! I love how the soft colors all blend together to create such a dreamy landscape. This cover is a bit of an anomaly because I tend to dislike blurry covers (as you’ll see later on), but I think that this kind of art works for me every once in a while. Not enough to be able to create a whole section of covers that look similarly, but enough to show you that my taste does vary from time to time!
My inclusion of Kiss Number 8 might be cheating, since it’s a graphic novel, and therefore the cover matches the artwork inside, but just I couldn’t miss out on a chance to recommend this book. More importantly, though, if you’ve read my post on graphic novels, you’ll know that I have a particular art style that I like, and the cover art for Kiss Number 8 is the perfect example of the kind of style I’m referring to! For me, bold lines and bold colors are the way to go! (Although ironically, the artwork inside the book itself is all in black and white).
Scumble is another unexpected cover, since the cover doesn’t quite have clearly defined lines (which you’ll see quite a lot of in the next few sections). But there are still so many elements of this cover that I love. For one thing, there’s the color palette. I’m a sucker for a nice sunset ombre, and this cover is no exception! On top of that I love the little details that get bigger and bigger, and how well the cover matches the story. The easiest way I can explain my love for this cover is by explaining how much I love this book. And I love this book a whole lot!
So while I went into more detail with each and every book in the last section, there’s really not much to say about this section except that I like it when there are minimilistic covers! Having one focal point to draw in the eye, and only using 2 or 3 colors just works for me in any genre since in order the books listed are a fantasy, a YA contemporary, a poetry collection, and a romance. Although technically Red, White, & Royal Blue might fit best in the next category, so let’s talk about the next type of covers that I love!
I know some people might disagree, but I happen to love it when a book features the typography alone! I find these kinds of covers to be so striking! Plus, there’s usually some sort of playing with colors, which I adore! And I think that the font can fit a book very well, and kind of give you a taste of the writing and the story to expect! I’ve noticed that I tend to like more blocky fonts, but I have nothing against a more swirly font every once in a while, as long as the title is still easily legible.
Books I Love With Covers I Dislike
Now we come to the covers I dislike. Now to be clear, these are all books that I love and would definitely recommend! I just don’t like the aesthetics! There are two things that stand out to me that most of these books have in common. For one thing, the colors are very muted. Whereas my favorite covers had bold, bright colors, these books have more dull color palettes. Another thing these books have in common is the blurriness or lack of focus. I love illustrated covers because I find that the clean lines draw me into the cover. When I can’t easily make out what I’m looking at, I don’t find the cover to be that appealing!
Upcoming Releases With Pretty Covers
Remember when I mentioned that I loved Alex Cabal’s work? Well A Pho Love Story was also one of their creations! Once again, I love the colors used, the little details, and the mix of fonts that make the title stand out! One of the things that I particularly love is how most of the cover is this soft lavender, while the detailed characters have these darker reds and greens and blacks. All that contrasted with the white font just really works for me!
As for Honey Girl, the cover immediately grabbed my attention, which led to me reading the synopsis and deciding I need this book in my life ASAP! The fall tones are just beautiful, and although the picture looks very simplistic at first glance, the illustrator, Poppy Magda, did an amazing job of adding in these wonderful little details that show you show complex the cover actually is!
Then I just had to include A Rogue of One’s Own, which is probably going to be a cover read, and very possibly a cover buy. Now I read Bringing Down the Duke last year, and really enjoyed it, so you’d think it would be obvious that I’d read the next book. But we already met the love interest in book one, and I wasn’t the biggest fan, so I was on the fence about whether I wanted to read this book. But then I saw the cover, and suddenly my interest was piqued! And the more I stared at the beautiful blue background and the bright colors of the characters, and the lovely font, the more I was convinced that I needed to read this book! So it definitely had to get a shout out in this section!
Fangs is another graphic novel, but I just adore this cover so much that I had to mention it! It’s combines my love of bright colors and striking images just so well! Sarah Anderson is the author of Adulthood is a Myth, which I love, and combined with the cover art, I just know that I’m going to adore this story when it comes out next week!
So there you have it! The things I look for in a book cover are bright colors, something bold, and a pretty font! And if something is illustrated, there’s a 99% chance I adore it!
Now this post could have been a whole lot longer had I included covers I loved but books that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend. It would have been longer if I hadn’t made categories and instead just showed random books that I enjoyed and talked about what I loved about each one in particular. But I think this post is long enough without those additions. And the good news is that if you like this post, it’s possible that I’ll do a follow up with some more variety in the future!