How Have YA Book Covers Changed Over The Years


I have been apart of the book community for about 10 years. I started booktube back in 2010 when I was just a wee lil freshman in high school. Since then I’ve noticed some cover trends over the years. I thought it would be fun to reminisce about them a little bit and see how much the covers really have changed since the 2000’s.

The 2000’s feel like it was mostly the year for fantasy. There were so many books about vampires and witches and werewolves. While looking at the covers from the early 2000’s, I noticed a lot of the covers are pretty simple. The covers appear to look much darker than current books. I’ve also noticed that the covers have mostly one worded titles!

Here are some covers from early 2000s: 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld \\ 2005
Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast \\ 2007
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer \\ 2006
Eragon by Christopher Paolini \\ 2005
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare \\ 2007
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins \\ 2008
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater \\ 2009
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl \\ 2009
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick \\ 2009

As we move in the mid 2000’s, around 2010, the covers seem to become a little more colorful. 2010 appears to be the year in which faces and people on covers started to become a pretty big deal! Honestly, this was probably my least favorite cover trend. People on covers were so… boring. Plus I didn’t get to picture the character how I wanted to because I kept having the book cover person in my head as the character. Contemporary appears to be more popular now but fantasy is still there!

Here are some covers from around 2010:

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews \\ 2012
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver \\ 2010
Heist Society by Ally Carter \\ 2010
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa \\ 2010
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins \\ 2010
Amy & Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson \\ 2010
Matched by Ally Condie \\ 2010
Delirium by Lauren Oliver \\ 2012
Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout \\ 2012

As we move into now, 2020, the covers become a little more creative. I feel like the colors become a little more exciting. The covers also seem to still have people on them but they’re more cartoonish. The book titles also appear to be getting a little longer. Overall, I think the 2020 cover trend is my favorite! There is just something about them. I don’t know how to explain it!

Here are some of the 2020 covers:

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski \\ March 3rd, 2020
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace \\ February 4th, 2020
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez \\ January 7th, 2020
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore \\ January 14th, 2020
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord \\ January 21st, 2020
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu \\ March 3rd, 2020
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie \\ March 3rd, 2020
More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn \\ July 21st, 2020
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust \\ July 7th, 2020

Do you have a favorite cover trend? I like the cartoon like ones and the ones similar toAmber (1) Woven in Moonlight! I think they’re so cute. :3


18 thoughts on “How Have YA Book Covers Changed Over The Years”

  1. Wow I loved this trip down memory lane. The 2020 era is definitely my favourite so far. Covers now just seem more innovative and have thoughtful designs. I love Charlie Bowater’s illustrations, that could be a trend all on its own!


  2. I love the newer cover style. They’re such beautiful illustrations – I could easily see myself buying a print or poster of some of them!


  3. This was really very interesting! My favourite book covers are probably the very minimalist ones which are also probably a bit dark. Also, neutral shades on book covers look gorgeous.


  4. I hated the trend of faces on covers!! I feel like YA books have changed a lot through the years. Post Twilight it was like paranormal books were the THING! Which honestly I’ve been super into lately and I cant find many recent YA paranormal reads that look good so I’ve been digging into the early 2000s and finding some gems I never read.

    Then I feel like post Hunger Games dystopian was really big. It became super popular and suddenly a huge genre when before that it kinda blended with sci fi.

    Now I feel like YA fantasy is in the spotlight. After the success of Six of Crows it has become a huge genre.

    I just kinda noticed this trend recently when I picked up a backlist paranormal book with gothic vibes and then wanted more and couldnt find any big paranormal recent releases. And then when you posted this I thought about the biggest successes of each time period and it all kinda made sense! Now I must continue my hunt for good YA paranormal reads lol


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