This week I want to feature a cover type that’s becoming more popular. With the emergence of unique, hand-done multicolor typography on YA covers comes the idea of a mess.
Not just any ordinary mess, though. Messes that are somehow simultaneously messy and aesthetically pleasing to the reader. Whether it’s through typography made from paint smudges or a miscellaneous grouping of items spelling out a word, this type of cover can help effectively convey a specific theme that applies to the novel.
Without further ado, here are four examples of contained messes on YA covers!
Spoiled by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
This is the book that prompted the whole post. Revolving around the life of teen Molly Dix who’s just found out that her biological father is a famous movie star, she moves to LA and dives into celebrity life, meeting her spoiled half sister and learning about the other family she didn’t know she had.
Although the cover doesn’t scream HOLLYWOOD in big block letters, I do think it’s an accurate representation of beauty and the sisterly dynamic that is hinted in the book’s summary. Eyelashes, lipstick, powder, and paint all seem very characteristic of some of the book’s main motifs.
I have not read Spoiled, but I do think the cover works very well in conveying what the novel is about.
Messy by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Naturally, I had to include the sequel to Spoiled in here too to show a wider range of materials.
Going along with the makeup motif, the lipstick, eyeshadow block, and mascara all work well in spelling out the words. I do think that the first book’s cover is much more aesthetically appealing with the colors and creativity, but the second book does an equally good job of creating that same idea for the story revolving around the spoiled half sister.
Note that there is an alternate cover edition that does not include these objects, but rather clothes strewn over a pink background.
Beautiful by Amy Reed
I really love the starkness of this book cover.
The messy words written in lipstick do a very good job in working with the model’s bored expression and her own makeup. The novel revolves around the journey of Cassie who decides to take on a new persona after moving from her small town, undergoing a full makeover and being that outgoing beautiful girl she’s yearned to be.
This cover does a really good job of showing how beauty isn’t perfect–especially with the messiness of the title’s typography which helps challenge the idea of what beauty is.
Ink by Amanda Sun
Although vastly different from the makeup-motif of the past three covers, Ink by Amanda Sun creates a lovely drippy effect that happens when making ink paintings.
I like how the pigmented water drips down on the cover, giving the idea of a coming change or disorder in the MC’s life as well as looking pretty in general. The way the cover works with the Japanese watercolors helps emphasize the exotic setting.
Do you know of any other books with messy looking covers?