Copycat Covers: YA Book Covers That Make You Look Twice
Okay, I admit it. I’m getting older and having more trouble remembering things like the names of YA books I’ve read. I can sometimes remember them by their distinctive covers, but lately, that’s gotten harder because of the trend to make all the books look similar to one another. I don’t know if that’s deliberate by the publishers or just because there are so many YA books being published now (particularly paranormal books), and there are an finite number of covers artists can come up with. I know that the topic of covers is one that we never get tired of writing about, judging by the number of recent posts on the topic.
I could go on and on about how the covers of these books, mainly paranormals, objectify the female body, or parts of the female body, and portray the female characters in a passive role without giving the reader any hint about what the female character is actually doing in the books, but I’m going to leave that for a future post.
If you don’t want to wait for that future post, check out the excellent blog post “Cover Trends & The Female Body” at Stacked for an in-depth look at this topic.
Given these covers, is it any wonder they all blend together in my mind?
My goal in this post is just to point out some of the covers that are very similar or virtually the same. Why? I can only guess that in some cases one book is popular and publishers are hoping that by using a similar cover, it will encourage people to pick up the other books too.
Other books with similar covers have been published years apart so that might just be a case of publishers revisiting covers after a number of years, because they know most of us have very short-term memories.
Or there are the covers that look similar because the same illustrator did both series.
There are also the similar-looking covers that do reveal something about the plot and the strength of the female characters.
I realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I know it must be difficult to come up with unique covers given that thousands of YA books are published every year. But it would be really nice to see more one-of-a-kind covers (and I know they exist because they’ve been featured in other posts). Publishers, please continue to try to publish YA books with uniquely distinct covers, if only to help me remember what I’ve read!
— Sharon Rawlins, currently reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and listening to Croak by Gina Damico