Top Ten Tuesday: Ten minimalist book covers that are killing the design game

top ten tuesday                covers

Hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  

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The hipster is strong with this one.      

c.j.'s selections                         ten ten ten

American War - Omar El Akkad 

Not only does this book sound phenomenal (it's an adult dystopia), but it's cover is absolutely striking. The dark background with a simple barbed wire motif expresses the bleak violence of the theme way better than some fancy complicated photomanip. 

This Is Our Story - Ashley Ellston 

There's nothing creepier than taxidermy. The shadowy white deer head against a plain, shadowed background and the small title text just scream getting-axe-murdered-in-an-abandoned house. Perfect for a YA thriller. 
Girls Made of Snow and Glass - 

You almost wouldn't know it's a fairy tale retelling if the title didn't suggest it so strongly. Which is great. It's mysterious. Stark. The icicles have the suggestion of a crown, or a torture device. It lets you know that this is no ordinary fluffy fairy tale romp. 

A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo 

I'm completely in love with this cover! So much that this is the second time I've featured it. It's dramatic and dark and beautiful, and so simple. Just a single hand with only the faintest color, and the black fingertips as a stark contrast and centerpiece. 

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett - Chelsea Sedoti 

This one is much more on the sunny side than our selections so far. They could have gone all sorts of cliche with this, but the daisy petals are a brilliant play on the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not game, giving this a touch of whimsy. 

Ghosts - Jason Reynolds 

This is the ultimate in minimalism. It's almost entirely yellow background, sucking in the eye and drawing it down to the tiny boy running off-screen. It gives you the feeling of staring at a snapshot of someone's life. 
The Ship Beyond Time - Heidi Heilig 

Heidi's series has great minimal covers, especially this one. The swirl of water and tiny ship give it a nautical flair without being obviously pirate-y. It's a lot classier than some overwrought photomanip with gaudy text. 
Blackhearts - Nicole Castroman

Speaking of awesome piratical minimalism, Blackhearts does another great take. It plays on the classic ship in a bottle for a cover that looks sleek and classy. 
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard 

Red Queen actually does a fantastic job at bringing minimalism to fantasy. Like Girls of Snow and Glass, it gives you a subtle sense of a dark, dangerous fairy tale world--although the crown and blood is a little less subtle about the violent part than GOSAG's icicles. 
Every Last Word - Tamara Ireland Stone 

You know so much about this book just from those three little shreds of paper with their hand-drawn text. You get a sense of bleakness, loneliness. You can guess that it's a contemporary of a more serious bent. It conveys so much emotion without being obvious about it. 

Your turn!  What phrases or tropes make you want to throw a book on the fire and never look back? Metaphorically. 


  1. These are really good. Sometimes less is more. Great TTT!
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. I do LOVE the cover of every last word! It's still a book I've yet to read (been meaning to!)

    Wendy @ Book Scents

    1. Isn't it gorgeous? I've been meaning to read it too.

  3. This is such a clever take on the prompt! Minimalistic covers are always elegant and these are no exception. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

    1. Thanks, Zoe! They're so cool to look at and so creative.