May 30, 2014 • Cee • Holy Mother Cover


Inspired by What She ReadsPure Imagination Blog, and Stacked.

I admit I’m a book cover snob. Who isn’t though?

Book covers are the first thing that attracts readers to a book. A good cover can draw someone is, just as a bad cover can easily draw someone away. It can essentially make or break a book. Holy, Mother Cover! is where I showcase the book covers that stand out (or make me cringe) and discuss cover changes.

(A big special thanks to Georgie at What She Reads for bestowing me this fabulous name and to Charlotte at Gypsy Reviews for creating the beautiful feature banner you see before you.)

Welcome, people of Armchair BEA! This is my beloved book cover feature! Just because we aren’t at BEA doesn’t mean we can’t look at gorgeous book covers!

For this theme post, I bring you covers of books about witches! I’m pretty excited because witches are cool. ;)

When I was looking for gorgeous covers of books about witches, I couldn’t find a lot that I liked. Most contain a girl, and I’m generally not a fan of those. Awfully disappointing. Though, I did manage to find these lovely ones!

THEME: Witches!

Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Bad has one of the best covers I’ve seen this year. I love that each word of the book title is arranged horizontally, acting as a mirror for the other word. It’s a great representation of the book. You have two sides: the white witch and the black witch, the good and the bad. I really love the red smoke, which also looks like blood diffusing in water. You just know that somebody is going to get hurt in this book. And can you see anything else with this cover? There’s a face! When I first looked at the cover, I didn’t see it. It’s like an optical illusion! That’s fucking awesome!

Conversion by Katherine Howe

I really like the eeriness and uneasiness I feel when I look at Conversion. Sure, it looks very simple and stark with a bird and the thorn branch, but it’s a powerful image. I love that the bird isn’t the typical crows, but a yellow colored one (I believe it’s a yellow warbler?). I think putting the warbler makes the cover more ominous because warblers are known for their sweet voice and the yellow color exudes that warmth. That’s unexpected for what we know of witches. If the warbler moves a bit, its feet will touch the thorn, and who knows what will happen to the bird, right? It’s like this bright, sweet bird is getting snuffed out. I don’t know why but to me, the cross and the dots in the ‘O’ totally scream ‘WITCH’ to me. Maybe it’s a bit satanic? Hahaha.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness 

A Discovery of Witches is an unexpected choice. I like that it’s just symbols, which totally screams “witch” to me, instead of being heavily illustrated or photographic. The symbols also kind of remind me of tarot cards, and the future. (Weird, yeah?) I like the background because it makes me think about the night sky. The lettering on the title is makes the title pop out more, since it’s 3-D. I personally wouldn’t buy it based on the cover alone, but it’s a unique cover, and I have to appreciate that.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

I have to go with a beautiful old classic. The Witches. I remember being slightly afraid of this cover when I was younger. To me, their faces were perfect interpretation of witches. I remember feeling like if I stared at them too long, they’d cast a spell on me. (Ha!) Quentin Blake, the artist, has a distinct style to the way he illustrates, and made a unique interpretation of witches that became perfectly engrained in Roald Dahl’s books. It works. That cover is part of my childhood, so I have a soft spot for it (even though I’m still slightly apprehensive of the witches).

The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

Adorable. That’s how I would describe The Witch Family. I love the usage of the watercolors (which I’m not actually sure if the cover looks exactly like that). It creates such a whimsical feeling to the overall cover. I really love the colors, especially the lightness around the pale yellow moon and the green title color (the latter of which pops out). The font of the title and author name are very cute. The little curls at the edges of each letter gives the title an extra personal touch without being overwhelming. And can we talk about the illustration? It’s so cute. I love that the little girl is just having the time of her life, while an actual witch sits next to her on the broom, enjoying herself as well. (And look at how fabulous the witch looks wearing fabulous black boot heels and crossing her ankles. I love it!) Also, the cats are such a great addition. This cover is the definition of CUTE.

Which witch book has the best cover? Do you agree with any of my choices? Do you have a suggestion for my next cover theme post?


17 Responses to “ARMCHAIR BEA 2014 | Special Holy, Mother Cover! Theme Post! WITCHES!”

  1. I have Conversion to read and review from the First to Read program, and I did not even realize it was a witch book. But I love the cover. The bird is awesome!

  2. Shannelle C. says:

    I’d totally comment about everything else and how pretty those covers are and yes, Roald Dahl, but all I can say is there’s a face in Half Bad? Like, I started at it and tried to find that face and I see absolutely nothing. Where is this face that you speak of? *stares at it some more*

  3. I love the Half Bad cover, it looks a lot better in person too ( I’m always seeing it in my local shops)! Although I am heading towards Conversion, me = simplicity and I love the significance of the Canary and I love the colours!

  4. I just realised the ‘H’ in Half Bad isn’t exactly uniform with each end extending outwards a little, which is really interesting. Gah I love these small details!

    Somehow the moment you see Conversion’s cover, you get a sense immediately the book is going to be about witches. I think this is one of those covers that manages to bring out the atmosphere through those small simple details instead of the whole picture. Those subtleties in the typography with the sharp edges extending outwards like thorns and the dots and crosses on the ‘o’ really complete it.

    There’s just something about A Discovery of Witches. I’m not sure what it reminds me of but an astrology poster? The oldish kind? IDEK. Tbh when I first saw it I didn’t even know it was a novel LOL. It looked more like one of those ‘guides’.

    Gah I LOVE The Witches. I grew up with the other cover, the pink and teal one which sort of creeped me out more than this one because it looked like the witches were coming out from the main one lol. I do agree there is something to Quentin Blake’s illustrations. He manages to combine realism with a sort of cartoonish style. Although the witches were creepy, they didn’t scare the crap out of me and I really appreciated that because the illustration style definitely attributed to that. Also lol look at you just slipping a pun in there ;D

    The Witch Family is soooo cute. I’m so envious of illustrators who have enough talent to utilise watercolours. Despite the many stereotypes of witches on it, it’s so endearing :’)

  5. First thing I noticed on the Half Bad cover was the face in the blood. Very cool!

    Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

  6. I really like the Discovery cover. The symbols and the colors and the general ambiance of it just look creepy and mysterious and magical.

    Augh I didn’t see the face until you pointed it out, and that’s freaking terrifying! Face made of blood? *hides*

    I like the Conversion cover. It reminds me of that fairy tale where the witch would kidnap girls and turn them into birds. I can’t remember what the fairy tale was called but Bridget Zinn spoofed it a little bit in Poison, I think.

  7. I like the conversion cover. Its subtlety creepy

  8. I love the Discovery of Witches cover! And I agree with you–the Roald Dahl cover is slightly terrifying! I definitely would have been scared of it as a kid.

  9. I’m definitely a book cover snob, which is strange because most of my favourites are classics which come in leather-bound covers. But it’s one of the reasons I have really started appreciating YA fiction, it’s covers are gorgeous! I also don’t really like covers with actual people on them because often the poses are either really unnatural or they just don’t look anything like how I imagined the characters! I love it when they get creative with the covers though like ‘A Discovery of Witches’! I really want to read it but somehow haven’t gotten round to it yet! I just want to frame the cover…
    Thanks for your post :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  10. GASP, you forgot “Witch Finder” by Ruth Warburton XD That was a really good book. Hehe. I’m excited about Conversion! That was totally on my “Waiting on” a couple of weeks ago. And I’m tempted to read “Half Bad” since I see it EVERYYYWHERE.

  11. The Discovery of Witches cover is probably my favorite – it’s subtle and sleek, and also conveys the witch theme (as does the title of course…) I didn’t even realize Half Bad and Conversion were about witches!

  12. Have to admit, even though I didn’t like the book, the cover for Half Bad is BAD-ASS. I love that it’s on both sides too; and each one is kind of a reverse. Dark and light. It really does mirror the content so much!

  13. You really got me laughing about Dahl’s The Witches – now that is a classic. That cover brings back so much memories. I really like Half Bad’s cover as well. A symbolic cover always gets to me, especially when it is infused with significant typography too!

  14. I LOVE A Discovery of Witches, and I’ve seen Conversion around, but had no idea it was witch-based (I love witches). Definitely adding that to my TBR list. And I think Half Bad has a fabulous cover ;)

  15. Leah says:

    I worship any and everything Roald Dahl does, so clearly the winner here is The Witches.

    I’ve heard such. amazing. things about A Discovery of Witches. I was able to find it at work for $1, so I figured why not! I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I might save it for a series binge since the last is coming out soon. :)

    YES CONVERSION YESSSS. I loved – as in Top Read of 2012 – The House of Velvet and Glass and immediately bought The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I’m beyond excited to see she has a new book coming out and I’m VERY interested to see what she can bring to the YA game!

  16. Jackie says:

    I really like the cover for Half Bad. It’s so interesting, and it took a minutes for me to see the face in red ink (or is that blooooood?). I’m not a big fan of a Discovery of Witches though. The symbols are intriguing, but I think the overall design is too busy for my personal taste.

    Also, The Witches by Roald Dahl, ftw!

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