We’re human. We judge. And we definitely judge book covers. 
But what makes a book cover better than the rest? What makes it memorable?

A made-up cover features a woman staring behind the ice. The title, "Numb" lingers behind the ice.
Book cover concept. 
Photo from Stephanie Stott on carbonmade

I’m counting down my favorite covers from 2020—from fresh off the shelf to upcoming releases.

I Killed Zoe Spanos — Kit Frick (Book Cover #6)

Book cover for "I Killed Zoe Spanos" by Kit Frick features a woman drifting in a blue pool wearing red glasses.
Book cover for I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick.
Photo from Amazon.

I Killed Zoe Spanos uses the modern-day, simplistic book cover trend to its advantage. Its vector style-blue on white, black on blue-demands attention. The most interesting part is the red glasses perched atop the girl’s face, drawing the viewer to a mysterious figure in its reflection.

Blue Ticket — Sophie Mackintosh (Book Cover #5)

Book cover for "Blue Ticket" by Sophie Mackintosh features the title in red text. A girl in a blue dress with blonde hair looks at a doorhandle.
Book cover for Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh.
Photo from Amazon.

Longing. Despair. Suspense. Don’t you love it when you feel emotions oozing from a book cover? Blue Ticket’s cover is no exception. The title stands out against a moody tiled backdrop, forcing readers toward the blonde bob on the right and where her gaze lands at the doorknob. This leaves viewers wondering: who is it beyond that door? Do we even want to know?

Burn — Patrick Ness (Book Cover #4)

Cover for "Burn" by Patrick Ness. The cover features a gray dragon against a black background. Orange and red fire burns around the dragon.
Book cover for Burn by Patrick Ness.
Photo from Amazon.

Burn by Patrick Ness is practically boiling with rave reviews. The cover alone makes me want to read it now. A dragon snakes across a mountain of fire. Its barbed tail curls around the author’s name. The title stands in the center, rippling with flames.

There are plenty of fantasy book covers out there, laden with serpents and sword-fights. Burn proves that, with enough creativity, a cover can truly stand out.

The Lightness — Emily Temple (Book Cover #3)

Book cover for "The Lightness" by Emily Temple. A volcano spewing smoke is on the top of the cover while a girl with fingers to her lips is at the bottom of the image.
Book cover for The Lightness by Emily Temple.
Photo from Amazon.

A volcano vs. a pouty girl. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a cover quite like this.

Paired together, these two images tell a turbulent story. There’s something brewing in this book’s pages. I, for one, can’t wait to see what Emily Temple has in store.

Safe — S.K. Barnett (Book Cover #2)

Cover for "Safe" by S.K. Barnett featuring the title in white glowing text. A woman with an orange glow and purple shadows on her face peers behind the title.
Book cover for Safe by S.K. Barnett.
Photo from Amazon.

It’s hard to scroll past Safe on Amazon without feeling watched. 

Tinted orange and purple, a girl’s face lingers beneath the title. Her gaze follows the viewer, peeking out. Her expression is an enigma. Is she smiling? Watching something we can’t see? The uncertainty is intriguing and disturbing.

The Kingdom of Liars — Nick Martell (Book Cover #1)

Cover for "The Kingdom of Liars" by Nick Martell. A shattered moon lurks behind a crumbling city.
Book cover for The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell.
Photo from Amazon.

With legendary writer Brandon Sanderson’s stamp of approval, it’s safe to say The Kingdom of Liars is just as captivating as its cover.

A fragmented moon drifts over crumbling alleyways. The city itself is bathed in a yellow glow. There’s a mysterious air about the entire kingdom, and I’m curious to know why the streets are so empty.

Which book cover is your favorite? Which ones didn’t make the list?

Let me know in the comments. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post where I rank my favorite book covers from the past decade!