T10T: Cover Change Opinions

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated.

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

I don’t love this paperback redesign, but I don’t dislike it either. I prefer the original one because I’m really attached to it and because the color scheme is just better for the story, but the new one represents the content just as well – if it weren’t for the new tagline.
“Is it real or a nightmare” isn’t really meaningful to what the actual conflict is, in my opinion, especially considering that previous editions had “something is waiting to pull her under” and “something is waiting to pull you under” (my copy has this one. and I mean, it’s true), which are much better. Old cover or new cover [do tell me which one you prefer!], if you’re even marginally interested in emotional and introspective queer YA horror, you should try this.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

I’m sorry. This is one of the most hideous paperback redesigns I’ve ever seen.

I mean, it’s not like the first cover actually tells you anything about the content of the book, but at least it doesn’t look like something you’d throw into the trash, with a cutesy background that doesn’t fit the atmosphere of the novel at all (it’s a story about mental illness, and it’s all but lighthearted.)

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

This is a really interesting one, especially considering that both are meant to be paperback covers. The original one represents the content of the book really well, with the gloomy atmosphere, the ruined building, the unnatural-looking light of the wings – it’s exactly what this novel is. However, the second cover works better on something small, like a paperback, looks significantly less awkward, and still has a lot of interesting details. I might be biased because that’s the edition I own, but I prefer the second one, even though the first one is beautiful too.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Meh. The original cover has a lot of symbolism I really appreciate, because symbolism is… the backbone of this series, honestly, and all of that is lost in the second one. It is pretty, but while from the first one I can see “Russian-inspired fantasy involving magical shadows and something with antlers”, the second one doesn’t tell me anything but the fact that there might be something involving a deer.

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

This paperback redesign worked a lot better than the one of The Dark Beneath the Ice. The first cover is eye-catching and detailed and creepy and represents the book’s atmosphere perfectly; the second one is simpler and perfect for a smaller cover while also telling you that we’re talking about plant horror with skulls. Really good.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

I’m probably the only person on this planet who liked the old cover with the fake-looking snake. The second one is just boring, which is sadder when you consider how much of a wasted occasion it was – we could have had a cover with Xifeng looking beautiful and dangerous on it, and we got this instead. It’s not bad, it’s… it doesn’t tell me anything about the book apart from “vaguely Asian-inspired” and it’s not in any way memorable.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust


You had a quiet, dark cover that got the wintry atmosphere perfectly while also vaguely hinting at a crown without actually making it a generic YA fantasy cover – and you changed it for a generic YA fantasy cover with a crown on it that does nothing at all and has a bold “only one can be queen” tagline as if this were a competition for the throne story in a Three Dark Crowns style? This is bad.

(Yes, the misleading tagline is in the first one too, but at least it’s not in your face.)

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

On one hand, the first cover represents the inside of the book better, as it’s literally a scene from it, but the second one is perfect for a paperback (striking, simple design? yes) and I like what they did with that theme in the sequels too. An effective cover change.

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

This is really interesting, because as you can see from previous examples, the hardcover usually has illustrations/cover models on it, and the paperback has a simpler design meant to work on a smaller cover. Here, the opposite happened, and while I think the second cover is a little wasted on a paperback, I’m glad that it was changed, because the first one tells you nothing about the book and it’s not even that pretty.

Also, I love this trend of YA contemporary covers in pastel blue, pink and purple!

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (UK Covers)

Just no.

Tell me your opinions about these cover changes!

34 thoughts on “T10T: Cover Change Opinions

  1. i prefer Forest of a Thousand Lanterns’ old cover too! it’s just more eye-catching and has more of a personality imo. also both covers for Amberlough are so beautiful i love!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are! They are doing completely different things but both of them are perfect for Amberlough, which also isn’t that easy to represent visually; I’m so glad it got what it deserved.
      And same about FoTL. The old cover got some hate back them because it does look really fake, but at least it’s memorable and also represent the “evil queen” themes pretty well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really beautiful paperback redesign. The book didn’t work for me as much as I wanted it to, but I hope you like it! Amelinda Bérubé is really talented when it comes to creepy atmosphere.


  2. For forest of a thousand lanterns I also prefer the old one, not because it is that good, but because the new one is bad.. it kinda looks like an arc cover..


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m one of the people who actually liked the the old Forest of a Thousand Lanterns cover as well, the snake was just SO cool 🐍 I feel like the redesigned cover is a lot less memorable :/ If I can I’ll definitely be getting the original cover, because I still haven’t read the book 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t get why so many people were commenting on the old FoTL cover negatively when it got revealed! It’s not the prettiest thing ever, but I love the snake too and it represents the book pretty well, in my opinion. Anyway, I hope you end up liking it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list! I don’t mind the redesigns of the Grisha trilogy, but I do get the feeling that they’re redesigns for people who are already familiar with the series? Kind of like the new Harry Potter covers, showing the Basilisk on the cover of Chamber of Secrets and completely ruining the climax of the novel for anyone who’s unfamiliar with the story. I love that redesign of Here There Are Monsters!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am partial to the second one because I own it and in person it’s a lot more striking (and for the paperback, it’s perfect), but from a computer screen, the first one is the best for me as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Original covers are often the best, which is somewhat sad. I agree about HoSW, it might not be my favorite of the two but it is the one that got me interested in the book, so I can say that it does work.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hideous, in my opinion, who thought that was a good idea when the first one was a perfectly viable cover

      and I agree! the original US cover is better than both UK covers and represents the content of the book better as well.


  5. Have you ever designed book covers? I’m asking because you really seem to understand what should (and shouldn’t) be done to grab an audience’s attention without misleading them about the genre or storyline. 🙂

    My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aaa thank you! I’ve never actually designed any, but I’ve always tried to understand what makes them work, at least for me. And the snake cover of FoTL, while not perfect, really is the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. God, Acqua, these are such wonderfully valid hot takes. I actually seriously hated the House of Shattered Wings first cover and I absolutely adore the second one, it’s so simple but so lovely? Totally agree on the Shadow & Bone redesign (also, the way the second edition paperbacks are made randomly isn’t as nice as the way the first ones are made?) I hadn’t seen The Beauty That Remains redesign or the Here There Are Monsters redesign but I’m in love with both of them. The Amberlough redesign was so good! I honestly just feel like the first cover isn’t as aesthetically pleasing.

    I honestly don’t like either of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns’ covers that much and I totally agree, they could’ve gotten Xifeng on the redesign!!!!! It’s known as wasted potential in this house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked the first cover of The House of Shattered Wings, but there’s something about how unnatural it looks – almost jarring? – that, while appropriate for the book, is all but aesthetically pleasing, I agree. The redesign is a lot less messy.

      A cover with Xifeng would have been – and I think also sold – so much better. “It’s known as wasted potential in this house” = yes! that redesign is far too plain for a book about what’s basically a cannibalistic evil queen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ^^ SO true. I know the girl-in-shadow-except-for-half-her-face covers are cheesy but I feel like I would have liked that more. And I’m not a cover designer!! There are so many other ways to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

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