To be honest, cover redesigns are not necessarily something that I pay attention to, although it does bug me a bit when I buy a series and the covers are all different. It seems like just about every book has been redesigned at some point, whether for different editions or even the shift from hardcover to paperback. There are some trends that really tend to annoy me (movie tie-in editions, for example!), but for the most part, the contents of the book are more interesting to me than the cover itself. The only times the cover really puts me off is if it’s especially disgusting or scary. It took me quite a while to think of cover redesigns that I’d even noticed, let alone loved or hated, but soon started to realize that there were quite a few. This list ended up being a bit of a mixed bag in terms of whether I loved or hated the changes, but these are at least changes that I noticed, and that’s really half the battle.
As a side note, I was hoping to have the images inserted in a much better format, but for some reason I can either have them at a reasonable size or nicely aligned and centered, but not both. If anyone knows what I might be doing wrong, please let me know!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – Love the change!
I have copies of the first two books that I picked up years ago at a library book sale, and never read until this year. My versions have the odd covers with faceless people on them, but I very strongly prefer the more recent versions that I’ve seen, which are a bit more uniform in style. I’m not really a fan of people on book covers in general, and although both versions have that, I find the newer versions much more interesting than the giant people originally featured. I don’t know why, but something about the oversized and faceless people on the most of the original trilogy just looked weird to me, and even the three later Mortal Instruments books didn’t seem the most appealing. I don’t necessarily love all the cover art for the series in general (in either version), but at least the newer ones keep a consistent style across all 6 books.
2) The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi – Love the change!
It really bugs me that they started this series with a cover of a girl in a dress, and then immediately switched all of the remaining books over to the new design. Granted, I didn’t really like the original cover very much because I found it a bit generic. So many YA fantasy and dystopian series have girls in dresses on the cover, and it makes it harder to set this one apart. I haven’t bought any books in this series yet, so it at least won’t mess with my collection, but it just seems like such an odd choice to pick a design and then drop it so quickly. I’m not usually a fan of covers that focus on just eyes either, but these ones are designed well and I find it much more intriguing than a random girl in a dress.
3) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas – Love the change!
Again, they seem to have started out with one concept, and then immediately dropped it! In general, I tend to find that I like covers more when the whole series has the same style, even if I don’t necessarily love that style. This series was another example of a very generic-looking cover of a girl, which was switched out for a much more interesting and unique series of covers. I love the way Celaena is depicted on the cover art of the newer versions of the series because it seems like a much better fit for her as a character, and a better representation of the series overall. Also, as mentioned above, it makes the series stand out a bit more from all the other generic “girl on the cover” fantasy books.
4) The Grisha Triology by Leigh Bardugo – Undecided!
I can’t decide which of these cover designs I like better! The first covers that I saw featured a very Russian-inspired silhouette of buildings, which I really liked and thought they fit the theme so well! When I took out the series from the library last year, I was very surprised to see versions with very different cover art. The other covers were a dark background with the silhouette of an animal on it (a stag, snake, and bird, respectively for each book in the series). While I’m not sure I necessarily see as clear a connection between these designs and the books themselves, I still really liked them and actually can’t decide which I like better. I think I’d give the slight edge to the original building design just because it seems like a better fit, but I definitely don’t hate the animal covers.
5) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Not a Fan!
I think “hate” is too strong a word for this cover change, since I still think it looks fine, but I’m definitely not as interested in it as the original covers that I saw. The first version of this book that I’d seen had the yellow and blue figures on the front, and it took me a ridiculously long time to realize that it was silhouettes of the two main characters. I don’t mind the purple cover, but I found I had such a hard time separating this book from Harry Potter in the first place already, that having a cover with characters strongly reminding me of Harry Potter wouldn’t help. When I read it, I found myself thinking at first that it seemed like a bit of a weaker version of Harry Potter, until the story really took off. I think the first cover sets it apart a bit more, and also gets past my general dislike of people on book covers.
6) Warcross by Marie Lu – Hate It!
Again, hate seems a bit strong considering the covers are basically the same, but I don’t like how they changed the colour scheme for the cover of this book! The original cover was much more colourful and grabbed my attention immediately when I saw it on Goodreads, whereas I think I would have bypassed this book completely if i’d seen the gray cover first. I’m sure it looks better in person, but I can’t help feeling that the cover loses a lot of it’s appeal by stripping it of the rainbow design. The colours also make a nice reference to the main character’s (frequently mentioned) rainbow-coloured hair, and I just found that it made the cover a lot more intriguing.
7) Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh – Hate it!
I absolutely adore the original cover of Flame in the Mist! It was so beautiful and very easily caught my attention, long before I even knew what the book was about. Unfortunately, they moved away from that design for the paperback version, and then stuck with the newer theme for the sequel. Again, part of it is probably my dislike of faces/people on covers, but I find the blue version so much less appealing. It’s a beautiful colour and I love the flowers around the edges, but I almost find this cover kind of creepy. The cover for the sequel is a tiny bit better because they seemed to have attempted to blend the two styles a bit with the dragons and a less prominent face, but I’d rather they just stuck to the original design.
8) Vicious/Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – I love both!
I’m completely undecided on this one, since they are both very interesting cover designs. The original version that I first saw was the orange one with the man overlooking a city, so that was the version I was most used to. However, more recent versions and especially with the release of Vengeful, they’ve switched to the red and black design which is also very interesting. I think for the sole reason of matching covers, the red and black design works well because that is the colour scheme they also went with for Vengeful, but at the same time, I still really like the original cover because of how well it also reflected the story. It was partly the cover that first intrigued me into checking this book out, and I’m not as sure that the newer design would have drawn me to it as much at first. However, having read the book, I think it fits very well and is a creepy yet interesting design.
9) Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Hate it!
It wasn’t until very recently that I even realized there was a different version of these covers, so I guess I was lucky to get the versions I prefer. Again, I would say that hate is probably a strong word because the newer covers just don’t appeal to me as much. In the above images, the covers on the left for each pair are the ones that I was familiar with, and on the right are the newer covers that I recently discovered. In both cases, I strongly prefer the original designs which are much more striking and definitely capture my attention better. The purple version of Muse of Nightmares may be one of my favourite cover designs in general, and I’m not really sure what the designers were going for with the newer versions. I haven’t read these books yet so maybe it fits the story in some way that I’m not getting, but in terms of which I’d prefer, I’d definitely go for the originals.
10) Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville – Hate it!
This book is the only time I can really remember being disappointed by the cover that I got. I bought this book from Book Outlet last year because I planned to read it for my reading challenges, although I ended up not getting to it. Unfortunately, the version that I received had very different art from what I expected, and unfortunately I did not like it anywhere near as much. I loved the original cover because it seemed very creepy and atmospheric, and captured the dark fairy tale vibes of the title. The version I got was this light blue-green version, which just seems to detract from the overall impression somehow. I even saw that there was a black-background version of that cover, which I think would have been better than the blue. I like the font of the new one, but otherwise find it a bit disappointing overall in a way.
Yeah, Shatter Me was on so many lists this week! I think it might be a fan favourite for the TTT community at least.
Oh my gosh, we are basically of the same mind with regard to Flame in the Mist! It’s on my list, too. I totally fell in love with the original, and faces on book covers creeps me out a little bit, so I was so disappointed that the second book followed the new cover. I didn’t even realize Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares had new covers. Ewww. I LOVE the first covers.
Here’s my TTT post.