Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started on the Broke and the Bookish blog.
They set the topic, we make the lists. Visit their site to see more on this topicPeople often say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but we all do it. YA novels in particular often have very beautiful and enticing covers; I assume this is to attract reluctant teen readers. But as an adult librarian who is well aware of how little the cover has to do with the content, I am still a sucker for a well done book cover. This is a list of my top ten YA novels published/to be published in 2017 that have amazing covers. Some I have read, some I plan to read, and some I have little interest in and only plan to admire the cover.
Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray
I finished this book recently and I admittedly picked it up solely based on its beautiful cover. Luckily, this story lived up to the artwork. Noemi is a warrior, sworn to protect her home planet of Genesis against the forces of planet Earth. Abel is a mech (robot) from Earth that has been stranded in space for 30 years; during this time his programming has evolved into something he doesn’t quite understand. When these two meet, a journey across space ensues. This is a fun sci-fi adventure with a lot of heart.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This Beauty and the Beast retelling is another that I have read recently. The “Beauty” in this story is a fierce hunter and her prey is the beast. The cover of this book sets the tone for the story that takes place in a medieval Russia-type setting – there is a lot of snow and just the right amount of magic. For some reason I am not usually a fan of book covers with people featured on them, but I think this one was done well.
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Lazlo Strange is an orphan and junior librarian obsessed with the lost city of Weep. When an opportunity to venture to this forbidden and unseen city presents itself, Lazlo must take it. I am currently reading Strange the Dreamer and so far, it is just as magical and mysterious as the cover would have you believe.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Tea is a bone witch with the gift of necromancy who is given an opportunity to train under an older, more powerful bone witch who will teach her to control her powers. I was intrigued by the description of this book and the beautiful cover. Unfortunately I only made it about one-fourth of the way in before abandoning it. The story itself was just very slow and just not interesting. The cover is still beautiful though!
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
Wil is the daughter of a king who uses her as a spy to further the expansion of his empire. When she finds out she can turn people to gemstone with one touch, Wil must leave her home to find the truth about her curse. I read Lauren DeStefano’s book Perfect Ruin a few years ago and really enjoyed it so The Glass Spare is on my “to be read” list. The cover has a medieval kingdom feel; I am excited to see how the story lives up to the artwork.
The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Mariko is the daughter of a samurai and although she is an accomplished alchemist, she is also a girl arranged to be married for political gain. But on the way to her wedding, she barely escapes an attack by members of the Black Clan. Determined to find her attackers, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan disguised as a boy. With purple throwing stars adorning the cover of this book, I am expecting an exciting story from this one.
Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic
This book is about two sisters with very strange magical abilities. After their mother is attacked the sisters set out to find the truth about the magic surrounding their family and they unearth a wicked curse. I’m not sure if this story is my style but I love the whimsical cover art so I think I may try it.
Roar by Cora Carmack
Aurora Paven is being groomed to be queen of kingdom ruled by violent magical storms that are control by people called Stormlings. But Aurora has a secret; she has no magical ability and will not be able to protect her people as queen. When she learns there may be a way to gain the magic from the storms themselves, she sets out to do just that. Once again, I am not usually a fan of people on book covers but I think this one is beautiful and it makes me want to read about that world.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Scarlett has always dreamed of seeing Caraval, the once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show. When she finally gets her chance, she discovers that her sister Tella is at the center of the show this year. As she races to find Tella before the 5 days are up, she is whisked away by the magic of Caraval. This is one that I don’t think I will read, it is just not for me, but I still love the cover.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Kiko Himura has a difficult home life and when she doesn’t get into her dream art school, she jumps at the chance to tour schools with her childhood friend on the west coast. Now that Kiko is finally free, she must confront hard truths about herself and her past. This is a contemporary YA fiction novel, and while I don’t usually gravitate towards this particular subgenre, I can appreciate this beautiful cover. Plus purple is my favorite color.
So there you have it! Those are my picks for the best YA book covers of this year, so far. Obviously, don’t always avoid books with poorly designed covers and certainly don’t force yourself to read a poorly written book with an attractive cover, but it is definitely OK to occasionally judge a book by its cover!