One of my mother’s favorite stories to tell is how I once judged a book by its cover when I was 6 and then it turned out to be one of my most favorite series of all time, Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. But, imagine you are a slightly sensitive 6-year-old. Doesn’t this cover look like an adult fantasy book that you would not enjoy? It doesn’t say satire, whimsy, and fractured fairy tales.
Because of that, I try not to put too much stock in a cover. I know some book people like to collect beautiful covers, but my focus for my books is the story and not the cover. Like the way I feel about my friends, it’s what’s on the inside that counts! I know that authors have next to no say in their covers, so it’s all marketing and frankly I hate being manipulated so I try to focus on things that the author does control, namely the writing, the story, and sort of the synopsis.
All of that said, I’m human. I like pretty things as much as the next person. Here are a few books with covers I think are so pretty, regardless of what’s on the inside.
That pink, the beautiful star-shapes. I love the contrast with the dark image of Shazi through the windows. And her gaze, direct, judging, fearless. This cover was so memorable and so distinctive. I really liked the blue of The Rose and the Dagger, but whew! The pink and the glare really made this one for me! Also, hooray for a brown girl on the cover of a YA book!
I wanted to read these books as soon as I saw the cover. The style of drawing really appeals to me, and the way it really demonstrates the historical-scientific style of drawing research animals makes me love them even more. And the colors!
This cover is so pretty and was so different from anything else I’d seen. I know that Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost has a really similar cover, but for a while, this was the only book I knew of with this lovely style cover. I like that it gives you a face, which draws you to the book but it’s not defining what the character looks like because she has so much makeup and face paint on she can still be pretty much whatever you want underneath it, whatever serves your imagination. *Update* I’ve got some mixed feelings the more I think about this cover. I haven’t read the book to say whether it is appropriation or not, but I’m thinking that probably I should get to Labyrinth Lost and see whether that one actually incorporates cultural appropriateness in the story.
These covers look so great together. I like how they are all misty, like you aren’t sure which you are supposed to be looking at, the sillouette or the image within it. It’s a little bit spooky, but not aggressively so. I think the suit the books really well, and look awesome as a trio. I can’t wait for the next one (book and cover)!
As of this point there are only two books in this series, but both of the covers are delightful! SOOOOO pretty and memorable. I love the way each of them is contained within glass, but shows a world happening behind the focal point. And the counter-world reflection below each of the main images! I read the first book, and found it kind of boring, so I am not currently planning to pick up the next one. I will, however, gaze dreamily at these two covers.
These books have the best witchy covers. I’ve only read one, The Winter Witch, which was a really good read, though its cover isn’t my favorite of Backston’s. That one goes to the shoes. Perfectly witchy shoes on The Midnight Witch, and yet perfectly civilized beautiful shoes. And, the whole thing looks very human, with one tipped slightly like she’s just stepped right out of them.
I think this book has one of the best re-tellings covers I’ve ever seen. It really gives you the space Snow White vibe, and the red parts are shiny and raised, like an alluring perfect apple. The book didn’t wow me, but I still adore this cover.
What would any blog post of mine be without mention of Patricia C. Wrede or Bec McMaster? (Except, I don’t actually love romance novel covers, shhh!) Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles have been re-covered 4 times, at least since their first printing in the late 80’s/early 90’s. While the paperback put me off, this set from Jane Yolen Press has always captivated me. This is one that I actually went out of my way to collect as they aren’t available, aside from as retired library books. Trina Schart Hyman’s art is lovely and they suit these books so well. I do wonder what happened to the rights that they don’t use these because they are by far my favorite of Wrede’s covers!