Awards: Best Book Covers of 2020

Yup, we’re totally judging these books by their covers and we’re not ashamed to admit it. This year’s book cover trends led to imaginative and beautiful covers like the ones on our nominees for Best Book Cover of 2020 in the annual She Reads Awards.

The biggest book cover trend of 2020 was illustrations, both abstract and realistic. The best book covers leveled up their illustrated book covers by layering the title fonts in with the images and incorporating cultural and story symbolism.


The nominees for the Best Book Cover of 2020 are:

It Is Wood, It is Stone by Gabriella Burnham

This colorful cover is giving off beautiful Brazilian vibes in the best way possible. The bright yellow shade makes the perfect backdrop for the fun floral design enveloping the main characters. After taking one look at this inviting book, you’ll certainly want to join the party on the pages ahead.


Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

This book was definitely judged by its cover, and rightfully so. Set in a public pool, it’s so simple yet intriguing, leaving the reader wanting to be a fly on the tiled wall. We can’t help but wonder what these two swimmers are talking about and this cover only makes us want to know more.  


All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

This book deserves a spot on your coffee table, based on the creative cover alone. Full of mystery and beauty, this artwork features a man adorned in a floral crown and a story to tell. From the title of the book to the ominous gaze of the eyes, this cover is ready to take you somewhere you’ve never been.


The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao

When you can’t stop staring at the cover, you know you’re looking at a book you want to read. You’ll likely spend some time studying what appears to be a faceless woman whose features have been replaced with vivid stokes of multicolored paint and a butterfly atop her head. Positioned against a bright yellow background, you’ll feel like you’re looking at a piece of art.  


The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

With its strategic splashes of red, this black and white cover will leave you feeling haunted. The star of the show is the beautiful female clasping her hands while looking right into your soul. One glance at this book, and you’ll feel the need to open it and get right into the story.


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

This cover embodies everything you might envision when thinking of a seedy motel in the middle of nowhere. Straight out of the ‘80’s, this neon sign completes the look by including the classic ‘Vacancy’ sign on the marquee. As soon as you spot this cover, you know it’s not a place you want to stay but it will absolutely be a book you’ll need to read.


The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

There is a lot going on with this cover and we are here for it. The contrasting primary colors give off a high vibration while the origami-like typeset papers leave us wondering what the words on the pages are trying to tell us. Most certainly the cover girl also has something to say, so let’s crack the cover and find out!


Fable by Adrienne Young

With her piercing blue eyes, face full of freckles, and fiery red hair, this cover is lit! This girl is gorgeous, and we get a sense that she’s also in trouble. With half of her full, crimson lips covered, we also get the feeling that she is trying to tell us something… and the reader is more than ready to hear it.


Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

This multi-faceted cover lets us know that the story we are about to read is layered with narratives. The front of this book is beautified with bright shades of orange and yellow paired with a splash of complimentary muted tones. Beyond the background is the featured character, unapologetically staring right back at the reader just begging to be heard.


And the winner of the She Reads Award for the Best Book Cover of 2020 is…

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

You can’t see her eyes, but you know there are secrets behind them. With a green tapestry behind her, a red dress on her body, and yellow flowers in her hand, you can tell that she is stunning but her demeaner gives off a sense of despair. This cover does a great job in persuading the reader to want to know more.


Click here to see the rest of the She Reads Best Books of 2020 Winners

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She Reads Editors

The She Reads Editors are always scouting the best books for all your #TBR piles. We’re offering up our favorite books, from classics to debuts, bestselling to the next big thing. Read along with us on social, too!

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