There is not enough time in the year to read all of the new YA releases that interest me, but there is enough time to write a blog post featuring my favorite covers.* These are all books I want to read based on the cover alone. Will I read all of them? No. Will I like pictures of these books on Instagram whenever I see them? Yes.**
*A few of these might have gotten pushed to 2021 because of COVID-19. I didn’t check.
**Also, I know most of these are colorful, illustrated covers. And that fantasy covers don’t usually intrigue me. Sorry. I am aware of my biases.
Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden
This may be my absolute favorite cover I’ve seen this year. The colors are gorgeous, the art is striking, and the layering is super intriguing. Also 10/10 on font choices. The mix-and-match both within the title and the author’s name is a stylistic quirk I love.
Layover Land by Gabby Noon
I’m a sucker for titles that are integrated into the art, so you’ll see a second title on a road sign later in the list as well. The combination of the colors with the vintage diner aesthetic is super fun and reminds me of that Guy Fieri cooking show in book form. Which is a good thing.
All These Monsters by Amy Tintera
Apparently, I either like lots of colors or no colors. While this isn’t the type of book I would normally read, the faux-texturing on the cover would 100% make me pick this up in a bookstore (or click on it in a virtual bookstore). And the cute little worm is an outstanding touch for a book about monsters 🙂
Miss You Love You Hate You Bye by Abby Sher
I love a long title, and I particularly love when the cover puts that long title front and center. I also appreciate a cover that immediately sets the tone for the book, which I feel like this one does. Finally, the colors, the boldness, and the simplicity of this one give it an early 2000s vibe (is that a thing?), which heightens the nostalgia factor for me.
The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand
While not my go-to style, this cover is fascinating and keeps me looking for a long time. I’m reminded of the old Cynthia Voigt covers (and not just because the author’s name is Cynthia!), but with a modern twist. (Sorry, I just looked and this was late 2019, but it’s too pretty to delete now.)
Goodbye From Nowhere by Sara Zarr
Orange has been my favorite color since I was a wee child, so I was predisposed to like this cover. But still. The stark background, the integration of the title onto the billboard, and the monochromatic landscape all make this book seem extremely cool.
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Sometimes a cover is just so gorgeous and beautiful and pretty and every other synonym of those words that I can’t help but want to read. This is one of those. It’s not a cover where I necessarily understand what the book will be, but that doesn’t matter because I want a blown-up print of this artwork in my bedroom.
The Quantam Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss by Amy Noelle Parks
Another one of my absolute favorites. The drawing style is perfect for this genre, the innovative layout is super fun, the colors are gorgeous together, and I appreciate the deprioritizing of the author’s name when a title is as memorable as this one. Another solid 10/10 cover design.
The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
Historical fiction covers aren’t always the most exciting, but this scrapbook-esque cover is exactly the vibe I love for this genre. Also, the layering of the collage elements mirroring the layering of different historical timelines is very smart indeed.
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
The “illustrated headshot of a fashionable teen” is one of my favorite cover trends in contemporary (or contemporary-ish, in this case) YA, so I limited myself to picking just one. And this beautiful cover won, hands down. I’m a sucker for symmetry and the hoops paired with the glasses reflecting palm trees…it’s basically perfect.
And my five honorable mentions! These covers definitely would have made the cut if the entire premise of my blog wasn’t centered around lists of ten: