As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the many novels I read over the year I started blogging–the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Because whatever the old adage says, a cover has the power to make or break a book, and here I share my personal list of 2017’s best covers in Young Adult fiction.
1. Now I Rise by Kiersten White
This and the first book in the series, And I Darken, both have such gorgeous covers that absolutely evoke the power plays, scheming and bloodthirstiness of the series. The UK cover is also wonderful in its own way:
Although it doesn’t have that epic feeling of the US cover, the art of Lada in both books captures a savage, ruthless young woman, exactly the way we like our reimagining of Vlad the Impaler.
2. The Empress by S.J. Kincaid
I have to admit, this is one of the cases where the US cover beats the UK cover hands down. The gunmetal grey/silver palette gives the design an epic feel not dissimilar to the US covers of The Conqueror’s Saga. When you see the shattered splinters on the cover, it’s quite an omen for what actually happens in the book. This novel would have been great either way, but I can’t deny that the perfect cover art drummed up my hype to read it.
3. Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Invictus is high-tech time travel for history nerds, and the cover gets that. It promises loads of fun jumping through the fabric of spacetime, while also hinting at a healthy dosage of intrigue underneath the surface. I like the simplicity and elegance of the cover–no excessive art, no frills, just confidence in the story. It can’t hurt that Invictus is a great book, too.
4. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I didn’t love this book, but it does have a beautiful cover. Mysterious, enigmatic, dazzling–just like the eponymous Caraval is supposed to be. If Caraval didn’t actually live up to my expectations, the cover was always there to keep me reading. The UK paperback cover, although less elaborate, works surprisingly well when paired with the book’s physical design:
I also like the aesthetics of the various “hand-written” letters/notes that pop up throughout the novel.
5. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Like Caraval, I’m not the biggest fan of this book, but the cover is lovely. For me, this is exactly how a high fantasy cover should look, with vivid art that’s more conceptual than realistic. Personally, I don’t like covers with art of the protagonist on them as much, with a few noteworthy exceptions (And I Rise, as mentioned above, and the Court of Thorns and Roses series is quite nice too).