This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.
#8. Illustrated CoversRecently I was talking with Christina from A Reader of Fictions. She’d just read Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan and was convinced I’d like it too. My first reaction? THE COVERS OF THE SERIES DON’T MATCH THOUGH. Seriously, Unspoken had the cutest illustrated cover, but when the sequel came out, they did a mid-series redesign and made it look like every other paranormal book series ever.
This got us on the topic of illustrated covers. They are so freaking delightful. It’s just so much more creative and unique than taking some kind of stock photo and pasting some words on it – and much more exciting than a pretty dress cover (though I’ve already professed my undying love for those as well). But, we don’t see many illustrated covers in YA. Middle grade books get them all the time – more often than not – because that’s the way to catch kids’ attention: have the most magical, whimsical, sparkly cover out there. I can even think of enough examples in Adult books – particularly chick lit – that have illustrated covers, though they’re usually not the most exciting. But when YA does finally have a nice illustrated cover for a series, it even frequently decides to REDESIGN the illustrated cover and go for the cliché YA routes. For example:
WHYYY WOULD YOU DO THAT?
However, Christina and I then went on a hunt, and though it was much harder than it should be we did manage to find some beautiful illustrated YA covers. Honestly, a lot of them are among my favorite covers ever, so publishers: take note. You can do illustrated covers AND make them look YA AND attract your target audience. It can be done. Of course, just using a stock photo and pasting words on it is much easier… but come on. You can do it!
Below you can find some of my favorite illustrated covers, both middle grade and young adult. Thanks to Christina for a lot of these 🙂 Click on a cover to enlarge the image!