We’re nearly halfway through the year and I’ve had a really busy week, so haven’t finished any books to review (I know, the shame), so I’m going to do a retrospective today of all the cover art of books I’ve read this year, and pick out some good, bad, and great ones.
The reason I’m writing this is because when I was glancing at my site, the GoodReads widget on the side showed my currently reading, and all three of them are blue/purple, which I thought was quite fun.
Although, looking at them now, there’s a lot more red in The Gift than I thought. In any case, having looked at the cover flow of my 2017 books, a few themes become immediately visible.
Some of these I really liked, because the darkness made them so visually striking. Sometimes I Lie, for instance, or Ariadnis, work really well. And I’ve made no secret of how much I love Maria V Snyder’s books’ cover art. I really don’t like, however, the Tamora Pierce covers. They just don’t work for me at all. They’re too dark for the lightness of the stories contained within. And I’m not entirely sure I should have included Give Me The Child in this section, but it’s too hard to take it out of the mosaic now.
I also wasn’t sure about The House of Mountfathom, because it’s white around the outsides, but I put it in the black section because the overall feeling of it is quite dark.
2. Mostly/largely White/light
Have you noticed that He Said/She Said is in both of these first two categories? Yeah, the half and half split was something I found really interesting. But there are several books in there this year which are a starkly bare background, with the title standing out like a beacon. I think this is really effective, since it puts the black/white contrast right in front of your face before you even pick up the book. It’s interesting that it’s mostly red and black used as the accent covers on the white books. Maybe that’s because they’re such strong contrasts?
On the other hand, there are a few with soft pinks and blues and greens on the white background, which gives them a much more gentle feel. All very intriguing.
One thing which really intrigued me with this group was the massive range of genres it covered. From YA fantasy to women’s fiction, with thrillers in-between, there’s nothing about a white background which affects your ability to slot into any genre. I thought this was pretty interesting!
3. No faces
So many of these books have people on the covers, but their faces are either partially or entirely obscured. I thought this was interesting, especially since it was mostly the women’s fiction that did this. Was it to make it easier to identify with the characters and imagine them in our heads, rather than getting caught up in the cover model? This is something I’d love to know more about!
Admittedly the two Violet Vaughn books have side views of both characters, but it’s not exactly a full view of either face!
Apparently I’m drawn to books which have a big splash of red across them. Maybe because it’s such an eye-catching colour? The Diabolic, although it doesn’t look particularly red here, has a red spine, which is awesome.
5. Patterned covers
Rather than having an image of a person or a thing on the cover, lots of the books I’ve read just have the title and a patter/mostly only a pattern on the cover. This tells you almost nothing about the book. Is this a good thing? Yeah, I think so. Means you go in with fewer preconceptions. The Lost Sister, which you can see above in the Red section, had a very misleading cover – I was expecting something very different to what I got, so perhaps patterns are better for not creating preconceptions?
6. None of the above
Of course, there are a few books that don’t fit any of the trends I’ve picked out above. They stand on their own, and both actually look really nice. I’m sure if I thought about it I could come up with a category that they and a few others would fit into, but nothing is coming to mind right now.