Let's be honest - we do judge books by their covers. If the artwork on the jacket of a book grabs you, you'll probably stop, take a closer look, possibly even thumb through the pages. Personally, I'm an extremely visual person - and maybe even a little shallow. Because I honestly can't bring myself to own a book with a crappy cover. I will rip that thing off or wrap it in duct tape or do SOMETHING to make it more aesthetically appealing.
I'd like to conduct a (highly unscientific) survey to find some of the best YA book covers out there, so please leave your suggestions in the comments! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
I pretty much love everything about this cover - the color scheme, the font, the flower on the cover. But I think the best thing about it is the fact that you don't fully understand the symbolism in the poppy until you finish the book. I love that moment when you're reading and suddenly you understand exactly why the artist used that image/that model/those colors.
CRASH INTO ME by Albert Borris
The first thought I had when I saw this cover was, "That kid must have lost a bet or something, because that is a crappy tattoo." And then I started reading. And, like in JELLICOE ROAD, I found out pretty quickly that this artwork has a lot more symbolism than I originally thought. I'll give you a hint: It's not a tattoo. But you'll have to read the novel to learn more. ;)
ANOTHER FAUST by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Like I said, we're shallow people. So I'm sure you appreciate this cover for the same reason I do: those are some pretty boys and girls wearing pretty clothes on a pretty Gothic staircase with pretty glowy moth thingies flying around the very pretty title. Enough said, right?
SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater
There is something both simple and intricate about the artwork here. It's like the more you look at it, the more you see. I love it. I love it so much that I can barely form a coherent critique of it.
EYES LIKE STARS by Lisa Mantchev
Look at that. LOOK. AT. THAT. That is an awesome cover, right there. The fairies and the stage and Bertie with her blue hair... GAAH. *overdoses on the pretty*
THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea M. Campbell
I'm cheating a little here, because this book hasn't even come out yet - but I already want to read it, just based on that cover. I love the comic book style and the dark green color scheme and the fact that I already have a bit of a feel for the character. Fan-freaking-tastic.
THE WANDERER by Sharon Creech
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo
Okay, I'm cheating again, because these two books are technically middle grade rather than young adult - but I have to pay homage to my two favorite books. I love that these covers give you a glimpse of the story. They're both very artsy, but they capture the themes and moods of the books so well.
So what do you think? Did any of the books on my list find their way onto yours? Have you had any experiences where the book jacket caused you to eventually buy the novel?
I am a cover whore, I admit it. As an author it terrifies me, this concept that someone will or will not pick up my book based on a part I had no control over! But as a reader I fully admit to doing it. I LOVE the SHIVER cover, bc it stands out, and bc I'm drawn to highly graphic designs. I generally don't go for photographic covers involving faces, only bc I like to envision the characters myself as I read. I'm much more iconic/object-centric in my preferences :)
I agree with you fully about the awesomeness of the EYES LIKE STARS and SHIVER covers, although I like the SHIVER cover a little less. I was so afraid of accidentally getting ink smudges on it when reading the book, it's so white! (Yes, I've ink-smudged book covers before...sadly.)
My absolute favorite book covers at the moment are the ones for Carrie Jones' NEED series. I'm biased, though, 'cause I suffer from Pretty Glitter-Gold Is Pretty! syndrome. :P
On January 15th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I can't say it was ever the cover that was the reason I picked up a book (mostly because if I've ever had a time when it was, I don't remember it) though I totally agree with you on the Crash Into Me and Shiver covers. Shiver's cover has been staring at me since Christmas. *is dying to read it*
What do you mean that's not a tattoo???? *needs Crash Into Me*