Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014 Book Cover Trends in Contemporary YA

While surveying a list of upcoming contemporary YA  releases, I noticed some interesting trends. Gone are the girls with hair across the face (so 2013 y’all).  Since I’ve yet to read even a single contemporary YA released in 2014, I can’t tell you the popular topics (except romance, always). 

But here are some trends I gleaned while scrolling through hundreds of book covers. 

  1. Maps, maps, maps. Whether we’re trying to go somewhere, or to leave somewhere, we need a map. I’m guessing we’ll see some road trip books.
  2. Hearts. Maybe this never went away. But a ton of contemporary YA features hearts this year. Love.
  3. Stars. Not the kindergarten-drawing type, but the glinting ones with purple galaxies around them (see Across the Universe if you don't know what I mean). This is a trend in YA lately, not just book covers. Books about space and aliens seem to be gaining popularity lately. Seems to be popular for titles too (The Fault in Our Stars, etc)
  4.  Kisses. Yowza, it looked like the romance novel section of the library where I was embarrassed to go with my older sister when I was that age. Now, it’s all over YA covers. Most are a tad more tasteful than romance novel covers. (Found more than a few upside down kisses, too…thanks, Spiderman).
  5. Threesomes. Not that kind, you perv. I’m hoping this isn’t indicative of a surge in love triangles, since I’m sick to death of those. But lots of YA covers this year have moved from the single face, to the kiss, and beyond. Crossing my fingers it signals an increase in friendship novels.
  6. Cursive. Titles (whole or single words within the title) are turning to cursive just as schools are turning away. Will young people be able to read this strange new font? Lol…  
  7.  Last but not least…there is always a random object that seems to pop up on covers, even when it has little to do with the book. And…this year’s random-object winner is…the dandelion! I know, it’s nothing new. But its popularity has only grown this year. Look for lots of dandelion fluff on covers this year.

Have you spotted any trends I failed to mention? Feel free to share!


  1. Yes. Since I like dystopian and apocalyptic type stuff, I notice that anything in the dystopian genre must have fire on the cover. Except for the Ally Condie series (yes, a 47 year old man read Matched). I have noticed the dandelions, come to think of it. Maybe we're getting back to nature. Nice blog, btw.

  2. Good catch. Can't believe I didn't catch the fire, but you're absolutely right!