Favorite Book Covers [The 2020 Edition]

At the end of the year, we like to look back at our favorites reads – Popular Books Worth the Hype, The Best Books [Kim] Read This Year, Favorite Audiobooks [Tanya] Listened To and now, our Favorite Book Covers.


War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi

Cover Art Art Directed by Tony Sahara and Kristin Boyle Kristin Boyle & Tony Sahara; Illustrated By Neko

War Girls

This book screams bad-ass babe … with bionic parts! I love how the character of Onyii is represented here – strong, powerful, eye catching and standing out against the muted, faded colors of a tattered city. Such a strong cover for a really strong science fiction book – a futuristic reimagining of the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria during the late 60s. Tochi Onyebuchi discusses more about the inspiration behind the book in this short YouTube video.

Get A Life Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert

This book and cover is almost the complete opposite of War Girls. The focus here is on the bright red font of the title with a smaller representation of the main characters Chloe Brown and Redfern Morgan. I love the choice to have them (and Chloe’s cat) illustrated. This book is a rom-com, and the cover captures that silly, playful vibe.

Nothing to See Here, Kevin Wilson

Cover Designed By Allison Saltzman

The cover art to Nothing to See Here, a boy with his top replaced by fire, just so perfectly sums up what this book is about – kids that can spontaneously combust. But more importantly, it invites you to open up the book and read more, because there has to be quite a backstory! I also love the vintage feel of the cover. For more about the cover design process, read Allison Saltzman Creates an Exceptional Design for Nothing to See Here.

+ KIM +

From our #WickedGoodReads best of covers I loved Home Before Dark because the cover glows in the dark and also Gideon the Ninth for the fantastically spooky rendition of Gideon in her skeleton face paint. I kept looking at that face and realizing that I really loved the faces on a lot of the other books I read this year. Here are my favorites. 

With The Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo

Cover art by Erin Fitzsimmons & Erick Davila

Epic Reads did a write up of the cover design process including some of the other cover choices. Wow! I don’t know how they were able to choose because the other cover mock ups are all so insanely beautiful! This book is completely stunning inside and out. 

Looking at the cover above I can also recognize that I’m usually drawn to bold, bright colors and bold text. Completely opposite of my personality in real life because I’m more of a gray, blue, green, white fan in what I wear and how I decorate my home. I guess books are where I get my bright color kick. Another cover that caught my eye and really stood out was American Street. 

American Street, Ibi Zoboi

Cover art by Natalie C. Sousa & Elaine Damasco

Again with the bright colors and bold font. I also love the silhouette of Fabiola on the front. The white background really makes the design pop. I also really like the use of two colors on the font.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power

Cover art by Regina Flath and Aykut Aydogdu  

This cover made Paste Magazine’s list of best book covers of 2019 and it’s easy to see why. Again, it’s bold and commands attention even though it’s more on the muted color scheme than my previous cover picks. So in 2020, it’s been all about the books characters on the cover for me. I’m over plain text and no context as to what is inside the book. I need the cover to hint at the plot, demand attention, and stand out for me to want to grab it off the shelves. 

Those are our favorite covers from the books we read this year? Which book covers are your fave?


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