October 17, 2019 • 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 The Simple Tales for creating the beautiful feature banner you see before you.)


Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

[spoiler title=”What is Moxie?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.[/spoiler]

I love the photocopy look of the hardcover, which is a reference to the zines that Vivian (the main character) makes to bring attention to the sexist rules at her school. The girl on the cover has her fist up like she’s ready to fight, or that she’s saying WE GOT THIS, LET’S FIGHT BACK.

I like that the paperback cover keeps the color palette of the hardcover. I love the handwritten squiggles because it’s a reference to zines. When at my bookstore, every time I pass by it, I can’t help but stop because of how striking it looks. I kind of wish the image of the girl took on a more photocopy look like the hardcover.

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? The paperback.

Here To Stay by Sara Farizan

[spoiler title=”What is Here To Stay?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant.

But not everyone is happy that Bijan is the man of the hour: an anonymous cyberbully sends the entire school a picture of Bijan photoshopped to look like a terrorist. His mother is horrified, and the school administration is outraged. They promise to find and punish the culprit. All Bijan wants is to pretend it never happened and move on, but the incident isn’t so easily erased. Though many of his classmates rally behind Bijan, some don’t want him or his type to be a part of their school. And Bijan’s finding out it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends . . .[/spoiler]

Although the hardcover and paperback are illustrated, they highlight very different things. I find the framing of the guy on the covers to be interesting. With the hardcover, the cover is a close up of his waist and above. The basketball is cut off, like it’s showcasing that’s not the main focus.

With the paperback, the cover has the entire body of the guy in motion that says basketball is an important part in the book, and it is. It’s what causes the conflict—Bijan becomes a star basketball player and an anonymous cyberbully starts photoshopping terrible pictures of Bijan to look like a terrorist. I like how striking the red cover is, how the guy in the cover is moving, and how the title is framed. Also, that typography ain’t bad. ;)

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? The paperback.

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

[spoiler title=”What is Bridge of Clay?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?[/spoiler]

Uhhhh, these covers are a weird one. I wouldn’t pick it up if I had no idea who Markus Zusak is. The hardcover looks like old wallpaper with these very old looking images of jockeys on horses, animal skeleton, a typewriter, and so on. Although the type for the title is a serif font, I love the effect of the black smudged around, almost like it’s bleeding.

In the paperback, the image on the cover is exactly what the title says it is—a bridge of clay. It’s kind of sad with silhouette of this boy walking towards his family at the end of this bridge. They’re almost out of reach.

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? The hardcover?

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

[spoiler title=”What is Windfall?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.[/spoiler]

That palette choice of the hardcover of Windfall is so amazing and striking! It works so well together, and the gold of the animal figurines doesn’t detract from it. I love the blurring of the confetti falling down onto this pale light green background. I love white strip of paper for the title has creases where it’s been folded. It’s an excellent touch. The designers did a fantastic job on this cover.

The paperback cover is cute. That’s a nice shade of pink. I like the different color confetti that’s drawn into the wall. It kind of looks like it’s in the shape of a heart that has been cut off at the top. Otherwise, it’s okay? It isn’t exactly memorable since I’ve seen covers that has a couple posed like that.

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? The hardcover!

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

[spoiler title=”What is Little White Lies?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]”I’m not saying this is Sawyer’s fault,” the prim and proper one said delicately. “But.”

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother’s “society” might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father’s identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart.

The one thing she doesn’t expect to find is friendship, but as she’s drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn’t the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother’s glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past.

As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer’s search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.[/spoiler]

Any new cover would be an upgrade from that weird hardcover, but somehow the paperback still disappoints me despite it being cute. I really like the font used for the title, and the way the flower looks like it’s exploding. I see pruning shears, but what is that on the right side?? The paperback cover is just a too simple. It’s certainly cute with each illustrated debutante with a weapon—scissors, wrench, and handcuff—behind their backs, but that’s it?

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? Neither. :((

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

[spoiler title=”What is Undead Girl Gang?” open=”no” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again[/spoiler]

Let it be known, I LOVE ENAMEL PINS, hence I AM A SUCKER FOR THEM.

I am allllll about the hardcover design! ALL THOSE PINS, YES PLEASE. You have an “UNDEAD GIRL GANG,” monster pinky promising, a sword, and so on pins! It’s so cool! What more can I say besides screaming PINNNNNNSSS at the top of my lungs?

The things that I like about the paperback are the curvy model the designers uses for the cover (REPRESENTATION OF A BODY TYPE THAT ISN’T THIN!!!) and the shadows of the hands reaching out to the model and the title. It’s cute. Otherwise, this isn’t a memorable cover that I’d want to reach for.

Final Verdict: What cover do I like better? The hardcover.

Which cover design do you prefer? Would you buy the the hardcover or paperback cover?


3 Responses to “HOLY, MOTHER COVER! • YA Book Cover Redesigns”

  1. I love the hardcover of Windfall and Undead Girl Gang too! I wish the covers of Little White Lies are a bit more representative of the debutante like in Rebel Belle series; the paperback redesign looks like for a bride-wars kind of book!

  2. I absolutely ADORE the original hardcover of Windfall- so much so that I totally impulse bought it even though I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to love it (which I didn’t lol). I’m torn between liking this trend of cover redesigns between hardcovers and paperbacks and also hating it because it’s another reason to spend money if you end up liking both!

  3. Jess C says:

    Yeah you are right, Bridge of Clay got two pretty odd covers. The second one looks like adult fiction, I feel like they put that Book Thief sticker on it so people would recognize the author. I kind of like Little White Lies first cover (even though it doesn’t match the book) it has the exploding flower trend that was popular for a quick minute, but the text is super out of place. The new cover kind of reflects the book more but doesn’t capture the over-the-top teen drama-ness of it.

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