Rating book cover changes

Cover changes can be hit or miss. When a book gets a cover redesign, whether it’s for a paperback edition or an anniversary or a new addition to the series, there’s a chance that it’s going to be absolutely beautiful and make you curse the designers for making you buy yet another copy. Then again, there’s the chance that the redesign is hideous. Which, in my opinion, should be illegal.

Today I’ll be rating twelve book cover changes and deciding which of the covers I like best!


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Image result for carry on rainbow rowell vs.  Image result for carry on rainbow rowell

These two are so different it’s hard to compare them! When I first saw them, I preferred Cover 1, which is simple and striking with the bright colors and silhouettes. However, Cover 2 has grown on me the more time I spend with it! The illustration is beautiful and dynamic, the colors pop, and I think the book stands out more on the shelf.

Cover 2 wins!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Image result for harry potter cover vs. Image result for harry potter cover vs. Image result for harry potter cover

Harry Potter has had a lot of different covers, but these are the three main US editions! Cover 1 is obviously iconic and brings back plenty of nostalgic feelings. The illustrations on Cover 2 are just gorgeous. Same with the illustrations on Cover 3, though I admit that I’m not as big a fan. Maybe the black and white just doesn’t strike me as much? Between Cover 1 and Cover 2, though, I have to go with Cover 2. Seeing that scene in Diagon Alley when Harry really encounters magic for the first time is just the perfect one for that cover, and the colors are absolutely gorgeous!

Cover 2 wins! (with Cover 1 in second place)

Mistborn/The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Image result for mistborn vs. Image result for mistborn

Brandon Sanderon’s books are sadly plagued with bad covers (in the US editions). These ones aren’t as bad as some others, but they could be so much better. That said, I much prefer Cover 2, since it looks slightly less cheesy and also shows Vin in action!

Cover 2 wins!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Image result for the lightning thief vs. Image result for the lightning thief

This one is tough because they’re actually so similar and I really like them both! When it comes down to it, I think I prefer Cover 1, partly for nostalgia, and also because where the heck did that statue on Cover 2 come from??

Cover 1 wins!

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Image result for the goose girl vs. Image result for the goose girl vs. Image result for the goose girl cover

Every time I see Cover 2 I cry a little about all the potential readers it probably turned away. Needless to say, that one is my least favorite. Cover 1 definitely has a special place in my heart, since that’s the edition that I originally read. But in the end, I have to go with Cover 3, since it’s just breathtaking and visually striking. Well done, cover designers!

Cover 3 wins! (with Cover 1 in second place)

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Image result for princess academy vs. Image result for princess academy vs. Image result for princess academy new cover

I’ll be honest – none of these are fantastic, in my opinion. Cover 2 is Not Great (why did designers insist on putting people on covers in the early 2000s???), and while Cover 3 is slightly better, I have to go with Cover 1. I like the simplicity and the artwork of the girls traveling down the mountain, and I think it gives a better sense of the book’s vibe than the others.

Cover 1 wins! (with Cover 3 in second place)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Image result for shadow and bone vs. Related image

Cover 1 certainly shows the Russian inspiration of the story, but I can’t get over how beautiful Cover 2 is. The stag and the swirling pattern behind it! Plus, the dark blue and gold is much more striking than the grey and black.

Cover 2 wins!

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Image result for the diviners cover vs. Image result for the diviners vs. Image result for the diviners

This series has so many different covers, it’s ridiculous. Cover 2 is obviously Bad – why are the people glowing and why are they standing there?? (Guess which cover my copy has). While Cover 3 is pretty and symbolic, it doesn’t capture the feel of the book nearly as well Cover 1, which is pretty much perfect. Whyyyy did this series have to change its covers! The universe is so unfair sometimes.

Cover 1 wins! (with Cover 3 in second place)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

13638125. sx318  vs. Image result for vicious ve schwab

I’ll be honest, the first few times I saw Cover 1, I thought he was looking down into this weird fire factory. Anyway, I think Cover 2 is way better. It’s simple yet striking with its bright red, and the image of Victor walking down that road of bones is soooo perfectly symbolic.

Cover 2 wins!

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Image result for jane unlimited cover vs. Image result for jane unlimited cover

This is an instance where the cover was changed between the hardcover and the paperback, and while I understand why they did this (that shiny material can’t be cheap to produce), I can’t get over how much better Cover 1 is. Cover 2 does a cool job of foreshadowing some things, but, like…shiny! The hardcover is so breathtaking in person.

Cover 1 wins!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Related image vs. Image result for the book thief cover

Cover 2, the tenth anniversary edition, is striking in its simplicity, and I love the reference to the books that Max makes with the painted over words. However, Cover 1 is just so iconic! The darkness, the uneven font, the ambiguity of the dominoes. Beautiful! But I own both of these covers (and the British edition as well), so I guess I’m the real winner here.

Cover 1 wins!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Image result for seraphina rachel hartman vs. Image result for seraphina rachel hartman cover

*crying* WHY would you create that monstrosity of Cover 2 when the perfect cover is right there?? This is definitely my least favorite cover change of all of these, since Cover 1 is absolutely gorgeous and Cover 2 is just *gestures helplessly* that. Ugh.

Image result for disgust gif

Cover 1 wins!


What are your favorite – and least favorite – book cover changes? What do you think of my ratings?

x Margaret 

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25 thoughts on “Rating book cover changes

  1. I’ve been lusting over the UK paperback cover of Harry Potter (the one with the stars and spines that sort of fade into each other) but I refuse to let myself own more than one copy of a book! The struggle is real! I agree with all your choices. We’re book cover soul mates 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh there are some…interesting changes between some of these!?! One of my fave changes is Anna and the French Kiss – I SO prefer the newer covers!! 💚💚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The third cover for HP combines with the covers for the rest of the series to make one giant picture. I love them all together, but individually I don’t love them. So I totally agree that cover 2 is my favorite ❤

    Also I agree with you, I like the cover 2 for Vicious! I just don't like the art work of one. It looks like a paper doll cut out and I just am not a fan. But its funny that you thought he was walking down a road of bones. I thought he was standing on a pile of bones! Tho now that you said it I can see why you think it looks like a road 😂 I wonder which one it was meant to be? A pile or a road?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do like the complete picture formed by the HP covers, but individually they don’t stand out much!
      And that’s so interesting that you saw it as a pile of bones! I can see that now that you mention it… I guess it could be either!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a fun post! You always have such cool post ideas 😊
    I love illustrations on covers, so I love cover 2 for Carry On and Harry potter! And wow, the newest Goose Girl cover is stunning! 😍 I’m also bitter about The Diviners cover, I wish I owned the first one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha this is a fun idea! I agree the US Mistborn covers are rather tragic; that’s why I specifically created a Book Depository account so I could get the UK covers. And yes, the HP covers are all stunning! I do prefer the first two as well, but I don’t think I’ve seen HP covers I’ve dislike yet. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 😫 I remember when I found out that they changed the Seraphina cover, and I was so sad! The original series covers were so much better!

    And I personally like the second Carry On cover /so much more/ than the original. It’s just so vibrant and I just love the illustration style. 💕 As for the US Harry Potter cover changes, I’ve always wondered why they decided to have Cover 2, and then make Cover 3 a few years later😂 I love all three of them for different reasons, but compared to Cover 1 and the reasoning behind Cover 3, Cover 2 just feels like it was unnecessary. I also really like Cover 3 because I’ve been a fan of the artist Brian Selznick for many years now, and I just admire his art style so much.

    Such a cool post! I love seeing other people’s opinions about covers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. UGH I’m so salty about the Seraphina cover.
      And I definitely see your point about the HP covers! It seems like there are just SO MANY now… Probably to make nerds like me buy even more copies 🤷‍♀️ And I also love Brian Selznick’s art!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was such a fun post to read! 🙂 I personally prefer the original Grisha covers because they give off such an atmospheric vibe, but the new ones are gorgeous as well 😍 When it comes to Vicious I like the white hardback cover, but the red one is my second favorite for sure! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah I totally hear you about carry on- I originally preferred the original, but the second one has grown on me. Yeah I feel the same about lightning thief too. Completely agree about the cover for goose girl. Definitely agree about the covers for vicious, book thief and Seraphina as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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