Top Ten Tuesday: Colorful Book Covers

Hey there! Today I’m doing a Top Ten Tuesday post, which is a weekly book tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where we cover ten things for the selected topic of that week.

This week is all about colorful book covers! Who doesn’t love a good book cover? And when they’ve got lots of pretty colors on them? Oof, don’t even get me started! Here’s my ten choices for this week in no particular order:

10. The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

9. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

8. House of Earth and Blood: Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

7. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

6. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

5. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

4. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

3. Polaris: The Art of Meyoco by Meyoco

Welcome to the dreamlike pastel-colored world created by Meyoco.
Discover all with Polaris, her first commercial work collection.

Meyoco is an illustrator based in Southeast Asia who has gained popularity mainly on social media. Natural elements such as flowers, waves, leaves, stars, and bubbles are suddenly infused with a cute and lovely quality when Meyoco colors them in pastels. Meyoco’s wonderfully dreamlike illustrations have won her an increasing number of fans of her social media accounts; as of April 2020, the number of her followers has exceeded 1.22 million on Instagram and 270K on Twitter. This book contains about 240 illustrations that have been carefully chosen from those she has presented in her social media account. It also includes artworks that have been newly drawn for this book, along with some watercolor paintings from Meyoco’s early published collections: doujinshi, “Foliage”, “REVERIE” and “Bodies of Water”. Meyoco also explains the concept of her artworks in her own words. These cute characters and motifs drawn in lovely colors are sure to appeal to people all over the world.

2. The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

1 . The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


There are my picks for this week’s prompt! I know a lot of them have the red/gold thing going, but it’s such a pretty combo. What books have you read or own that have really pretty colors?

Armchair BEA 2016 Days 1 & 2

ArmchairBEA LogoExample

Made by Amber

Hey peeps, I’m joining in on Armchair BEA once again this year! If you don’t know what that is, it’s a way to join in all of the bookish fun from home while Book Expo America (BEA) takes place. I, like many others, couldn’t attend, so this is just a fun way to join in somehow! Since I totally forgot about this event with all of my excitement yesterday (more on this to come in my wrap up), I’m starting a little bit late. But that’s okay!

Day 1: Introduction & Diversity in Books

So the first day’s fun things include an introduction, so, here’s some things to know about me:

  1. What name do you prefer to use? Rayna is perfectly fine.
  2. How long have you been a book blogger? It’ll be two years in July. Crazy!
  3. Have you participated in ABEA before? Yes, last year!
  4. Do you have a favorite book? If you can’t pick one, then pick your most favorite of this moment. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas is DEFINITELY my favorite right now.
  5. If you could recommend one book blogger, who would it be and why? I’d recommend Dani @ Dani Reviews Things because she’s so upbeat about so many things, and she gives really well written reviews and topics. She’s a very nice person!
  6. If you could create a playlist that reflects your bookshelf, what would be the first song on the playlist? Man! I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain. I’m not even kidding. I’m pretty sure 97% of my shelf is by female authors with female main characters who kick ass in some way. WOMAN POWER, WOO!
  7. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason or not at all? I try to group my books into sections… like, my top shelf is some sci-fi and favorite fantasies, contemporaries… The next shelf is some favorites, the next is more fantasy, then more sci-fi/fantasy, then Harry Potter, urban fantasy, and more fantasy. Then the next is contemporary, lots of mix, but mostly fiction and contemporary, manga & comics, vampires, then a mix. Just look at the picture (this isn’t all of my books, just so you know, and it’s overflowing….):IMG_3143
  8. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far through your reading this year so far? I think I’ve learned that I’ve become a little tougher when it comes to rating books and I try to really think about it more. I’ve also learned that I’m very, very passionate about certain books and my feelings about them. I think that tends to reflect in my reviews, and I love that.

The second part of day one is a discussion on diversity in books and the publishing industry. Whose voices do we see? Whose voices do we need more of? Where do we find representation lacking and what can we as bloggers do to address that? What about negative or stereotypical representation?

I personally have seen a lot more authors of color, religion, etc. start to become published more often, especially in the YA world. I think a lot of people anticipate for it, and I, for one, enjoy the author’s work that are published! I don’t generally look to see if an author is of a “minority” or whatever it may be, but rather if I’m interested in the story and characters themselves. But I do understand the importance and I think it’s fantastic that there’s more diversity being introduced more and more.

As far as lacking, I think it’s lacking a lot of things. Like, a lot. I’d love to read more about people of different religions, cultures, race, gender, sexual identity, etc. I think that as bloggers we can really voice our concerns on as many platforms as possible until a change is made.

And as for the negative and stereotypical representation: it’s always going to be there. I’m sorry to say, but it will be. Not everyone is of a like mind, or can be, for that matter. But we can still make leaps and bounds to erase it as much as possible.

Day 2: Aesthetic Concerns – Books & Blogs

This topic is all about how we look at books and blogs: pretty covers draw us toward the books, and pretty, clean, organized blogs make us coming back for more. But is that really all there is?

The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to) and type? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?

I don’t know that I judge a book by its cover, if I’m being honest. I seriously don’t! Okay, if a book cover is kind of hideous I’m just like, “What is that?” But I… okay, yeah, I judge. Shush. But sometimes I am surprised when it comes to books because they can have a really hideous cover and have some of the best content, and then some of the most beautiful covers are just…not good inside.

Oh man, I try SO HARD to make sure my covers match in some way, but I know that that’s not always the case. I love it when a series flows so, so nicely. But then sometimes the publishing industry just loves to see us readers squirm and change the covers mid-series. Like. No. But as far as the art matching the words on the inside, yes, I do think it’s important. Don’t have just random colors and big font. Try to make it look at least decent.

Some good examples of the art matching the content of the book:

Like, look at those covers. Not only aesthetically pleasing, but also matching to the content! I love it!

So yes, I do think that aesthetics are important, but they aren’t everything, necessarily.

The Blog: As a book blogger, in whatever form that takes, branding is important. Your colors, your fonts, your style of review, all of these things come together to make the “brand” of your blog – something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all your various content, immediately recognizable to the people looking for you. What do you do to create a brand on your site? Do you think about these things?

I’m going to be honest: I don’t think about it super often. Like, I love the fonts I chose for my blog for the titles and the body of my posts. And I love my minimalist theme because I don’t want to be distracted by colors, personally, on my own blog. I’ve changed my banner and icon a couple of times, and I’m still not satisfied, so I think that’s one thing I’m going to change several times, probably.

I don’t know what I’d call my brand, actually. Simple? Clean? Long-winded? I try to make it easily accessible and organized to the best of my abilities, and that’s what I look for in my own blog. When I write reviews, I focus mainly on the characters because they’re, you know, the biggest part of the story. I then try to focus on the plot, or certain aspects of the plot where I can’t spoil things for people (at least not majorly).

As far as recognizability? I don’t know if when people see my blog they instantly think of it as being my blog? When I look at other people blogs, I notice colors or certain fonts or styles in which they write their posts, so I’m assuming it’s the same for people who read my blog?

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

So that wraps up the first two days of Armchair BEA! I’m sorry this is kind of late, but better last than never, right? Tell me all of your thoughts on book aesthetics, as well as blog aesthetics! Do you think about them often and do they affect what you pick up or look at? Also, what do you think about the diversity being shown in books and the publishing industry today?

Beautiful Covers: White

Hey, remember this weekly thing that I was doing and I only had the color white left to do? Yeah, I don’t know what happened! But, here it is! The last color for Beautiful Covers that I’m going to talk about. I love covers and seeing what publishing companies and their teams can come up with, and I definitely haven’t been disappointed.

Today’s color: white.

White is a beautiful color and it can really make other colors stand out against it. It can mean the difference between a sleek looking, well put together cover, and a hot mess.

1 . The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

thebookthief

I got the special anniversary edition specifically because of this cover. I’ve never read the story, but I really want to because so many people love it, and as soon as I saw this cover I just knew that I NEEDED it. It’s really beautiful in real life and it has a really cool texture.

2. The One by Kiera Cass

theone

These covers are all beautiful, but this one is definitely my favorite. I love how it looks like a wedding dress and how the dress bunches and has curls and stuff. It’s so lovely.

3. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

warbreaker

Awesome female power! This is a book about being able to see colors with the magic of breath (not what you breathe), and so I love how the cover alludes to that detail from the book. (Yes, I got the UK cover specifically because it’s way lovelier than the US version.)

4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything

I’ve loved this cover since I saw it: how there’s nothing up top but everything down below. There’s so much color and vibrancy and it hints to a lot of allergies people have and what the main character has. It’s really lovely.

5. When We Collided by Emery Lord

whenwecollided

Okay, this is more of an off-white kind of color, but I just love this cover, okay? The splashes of color make it stand out more and the “handwritten” title looks playful and fun against the background. So pretty.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

I can’t believe Beautiful Covers is coming to a close! For now, anyway. I’ll probably do more in the future for different categories, but I thought that this was a fun little thing to do and share some of my opinions on some beautiful covers out there.

What are some of your favorite white covers? Do they have any splashes of color on them or are they all white?

Beautiful Covers: Black

Hey peeps, welcome to another Beautiful Covers! I’m working my way through the rainbow, so check out the rest of the colors when they come out over the next several weeks! This is the second to last week I’ll be doing for colors, so I hope you check back next week for the last color.

Today’s color is: black!

Black is a tricky color because it can mean totally different things to many different people. It can mean darkness and despair, nighttime, mystery and secrets. I think black covers are quite gorgeous in their own ways, especially when combined with accent colors.

1 . Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

sixofcrows

Can we just appreciate this cover for a moment? LOOK AT IT. That wing! Those hidden buildings! The font! Everything about this cover screams gorgeous and I think that it’s an eye catcher. Plus, the pages are edged in black, too, so bonus points for that.

2. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

vengeanceroad

Okay, I know this is mostly orange/brown/yellow, BUT it has an undertone of black, so I’m including it here. I love how the colors and shapes and font pop against the dark background and how it really holds true to the theme of a Western without being too over the top.

3. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

thisiswhereitends

I think this one is a very powerful cover because when you know what the content is about you can make the connection of the shattered pieces of chalk alludes to the characters in the book. I think picking the plain black background with the colorful pieces was an awesome design choice.

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

thenightcircus

I love this cover so much, ahhhhhh. Again, I love how things stand out against the black background and this is no different. The silhouettes of the two main characters looking back at one another, and then the circus in between… lovely!

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

twilight

I love this cover, I’ll admit it. I think that it’s simple and stands out against the crowd. When it first came out I thought that it was stunning and that it really piqued my interest. I still think it’s lovely and a good design for the first book as it kind of alludes to what’s “forbidden.”

And there you have it for this week! I actually had an easier time picking out black covers than I did any other color. Weird.

Let me know some of your favorite black covers and what you think of my choices. Do you like it when images pop from a black background, or are you more into the subtle side of things? Let me know!

Beautiful Covers: Orange

Hey peeps, welcome to another Beautiful Covers! I’m working my way through the rainbow, so check out the rest of the colors when they come out over the next several weeks!

Today’s color is: orange!

Orange is a fun color that I think really brightens and livens up many things, and so here are some of the covers I think are lovely with orange:

1 . Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

lolaandtheboynextdoor

I love, love, LOVE these covers so much. Each showcases a different part of the world and I think that it does so in a classy, simple way. The orange hues really reflect what sunsets probably look like on the golden coast, so this is just lovely. Plus the typography is sleek and clean.

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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This cover is not only pretty, but it’s really cool because when you remove the dust jacket there is a lot of writing on the cover and it looks wicked cool. I’m a sucker for nebulas and clouds and such, so this just speaks to me. Plus, space.

3. Fire Falling by Elise Kova

firefalling

CAN WE JUST APPRECIATE THE BEAUTIFUL ART ON THIS ONE? Because wow, I love this cover so much. I love that it showcases Vhalla and Aldrick and that it shows their personalities in this book really well. The oranges in this cover are much more toned down and subtle, but still there as it shows Aldrick’s fire power around them. And the typography and everything about it is beautiful.

4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Celaena is bae. I love this cover and this book because ALL THE FEELS. OH MAN. But also because the covers for these books are so perfect: they always show Celaena as a warrior on the front, and her more formal side on the back. The fire colors on this cover really kind of reflect what happens in the book because there’s a lot of chaos that ensues, for sure. I think the stance she has is strong and that it speaks to who she is.

5. Firelight by Sophie Jordan

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Now, I know a lot of people don’t like faces on covers, but I love this cover so much! This whole trilogy, really, is very lovely and I think that the way it shows Jacinda (the main character) on this cover is awesome because it’s a story about dragons and she is a dragon, so having the scales on her face is a great way to show what she is. I love iiiiiit.

So there you have it for this week’s Beautiful Covers! I almost completely forgot about it as I’m trying to post every Thursday on a new color, so… yeah. But I didn’t miss it!

Let me know some of your favorite orange colored covers and what you think of my choices!