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Top 10 YA Covers of 2016

Let’s face it, pretty things are pretty, but identifying them takes a very specific eye. I like to think I have a good eye for good design. It comes as part of the territory of being a graphic designer. As a reader, I have a problem with buying books just for their covers. So this year I decided to round up my top 10 book covers of 2016 to show you all that I deem “pretty.”

I made my list after sorting through roughly 1200 entries for the YA 2016 List on Goodreads. Really, there are that many titles on there. And frankly, I judged based on thumbnail images. I didn’t read any of the book descriptions until I had narrowed down my list to these 10 books. I didn’t care about “story” with this, just what caught my eye, and based on how quickly people make decisions and how expansive both bookstores and online stores can be, we’re all judging based on that tiny little thumbnail beside the title. It’s something designers have had to focus on in recent years, which means covers have gotten a bit simpler (depending on genre), and a lot cleaner in style. Because those little guys are near-impossible to read the titles on if they’re not clear or short.

Also, I have not read all the books on this list. I’m not interested in reading all of them. But what I do know is that every time I’ve gone to the bookstore this year, these are the ones I pick up most and gravitate toward for their imagery. Let’s talk about why I like them.

What are some of your top covers for 2016? Were they on my list or not? What are some of your favorite books from 2016 (let’s try to make a not-so-great year a little better by talking about something we love–books). Share your favorites in the comments!

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