I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of your typical YA book cover. Pretty girl with half a face (or no face at all) looking wistful and romantic on a beach or in a field of flowers that can’t possibly be real. If I wanted to lie in a field of rainbow flowers, I’d have to catch the first flight to imaginary land because there are no such lovely fields near my house.

Okay. Rant. Officially. Over.

I like bold, artsy covers that dare to forgo the pretty girl and/or pretty boy. Happily for me, these covers are popping up more and more. These are my top 10 favorite covers of 2012… so far (not including yet unpublished books whose covers have been revealed).

P.S. My choices do not reflect the quality of the book itself. I have not yet read some of these books.

1) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (March 2012)


Me: This is beautiful. Read the evolution of the cover design here.

2) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (January 2012)


Me: I like the contrast of black and white photography with a splash of vibrant color. Having read this book, I also like how the cover captures the passage of time.

3) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (January 2012)


Me: This cover says “Screw the pretty wistful girls with their long hair fluttering in the wind, the certain result of a strategically placed fan in the background and the muscled, brooding boys who lean just so against their lockers.” This cover is not afraid to be simple and bold.

4) The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (July 2012)


Me: No idea what this book is about, but I want to read it because the cover is simultaneously lovely and disturbing.

5) Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss (January 2012)


Me: Bold, pretty colors, simple type. This cover sells itself by not overselling itself.

6) The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (February 2012)


Me: The plot of this book sounds a tad too dystopian for me, but the cover made me read the summary. I’m a sucker for handwritten type.

7) The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman (April 2012)


Me: Half a pretty face? Check. That said, the shadowed type more than makes up for it.

8) Large Mammals, Stick Insects & other Social Misfits by Felicity McCall (February 2012)


Me: Type as art. You don’t need half faces when you have letters.

9) All These Lives by Sarah Wylie (April 2012)


Me: Yes, this cover contains half a face, but the murky, mysterious reflection in the water speaks to me. Here’s to turning stereotypes on their heads.

10) The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (February 2012)


Me: You know when a TV actress is pregant in real life but not pregnant on the show and the writers try to hide her protruding bump with large boxes and strategically placed furniture? Sometimes, I feel like YA novels are trying to do the same thing — hiding the protagonist’s face instead of her stomache. Some of these efforts are cheesy. This one is endearing.

What do you think? Have I missed any amazing covers? Are any of my picks so unworthy you find yourself yelling at the computer screen? Let me know.

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