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Book Cover Judgements

We constantly hear the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We try to apply this to ourselves metaphorically when it comes to observing other humans; however this advice is not as applicable in the world of books.

Covers of books are very important because a lot of times they can determine whether or not a reader will pick up the book! And it all depends on which details catch the reader’s eye.

There are many different kinds of book cover designs, and I will elaborate on the kinds that attract me.

  • Simple Background vs. Crowded and Crazy

I prefer a simple background that draws more attention to the title of the book, as the title is often the main focal point of a cover that is bland. I like these kinds of covers because they allow me to think for myself what the book is about rather than already hinting at it for me. If a cover is too chaotic, I might just jump to a conclusion of what it is about rather than picking it up and reading the summary on the back. Some of the books below are examples of what I think are simply covered:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red queen aveyard

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

  •  Central Symbol

Many popular YA dystopian books have a circular symbol or design on the cover. Readers later discover what this symbol means or refers to if they feel drawn enough to pick up the book and find out. I like these kinds of book covers because they are usually pretty simple as well and they are vague enough to let me imagine for myself what the story might be. Here are some of the popular books that have been adapted from page to screen and/or follow the usual recipe for dystopia:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

hunger games

The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth


The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

  • Central Figure

Covers that display a central figure, most of the time the main character of the story, always catch my eye because they are usually depicted in cool profile shots or with interesting outfits or in interesting situations. It is still vague enough to avoid spoiling the story. Below are examples of a few favorites of mine in the types of covers that I just mentioned:

The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass


Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

city of bones cover

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