The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Notable YA Covers of 2017


So here it is, Merry Xmas, everybody’s having fun, my YA (and middle-grade) covers round-up for 2017. This is far from my area of expertise (I mostly work on the adult trade side of things), but until someone else steps up to do a annual post on YA covers with design credits and publisher details you’re stuck with me. Sorry.

All the picks are, of course, mine, but thank you to all the designers who have helped me over the year with covers, suggestions, and credits, and special thanks to Erin Fitzsimmons at HarperCollins and Sarah Creech at Simon & Schuster who helped me with this post in particular. Happy holidays! 

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson; design by Erin Fitzsimmons (Katherine Tegen Books / January 2017)

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller; design by Jenna Stempel-Lobell; Illustration by Matt Blease (HarperTeen / July 2017)

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren; design Laurent Lint; illustration by Allison Colpoys (Simon & Schuster / September 2017)

Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan; design by Matt Roeser (Candlewick / April 2017)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber; design by Erin Fitzsimmons and Ray Shappell (Flatiron / January 2017)

The Circus by Olivia Levez; design by Nathan Burton (Oneworld / May 2017)

Nathan’s cover for The Island by Olivia Levez was on my list of Notable YA Book Covers last year:

Dear Martin by Nic Stone; design Angela Carlino (Crown / October 2017)

Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy; design by Helen Crawford-White; embroidery by Jane Crawford-White (Pushkin Press / July 2017)

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon; design Alyssa Nassner; illustration Amanda Lanzone (Amulet Books / March 2017)

Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens; design Heather Daugherty; illustration by Jen Heuer (HarperTeen / August 2017)

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera; cover art by Dana Svobodova (Simon & Schuster / February 2017)

Everybody Hurts by Joanna Nadin & Anthony McGowan; design by Leo Nickolls (Atom / August 2017)

Good and Gone by Megan Frazer Blakemore; design by Katie Klimowicz illustration Thomas Danthony  (HarperCollins / December 2017)

Goodnight Boy by Nikki Sheehan; design by Edward Bettison (Oneworld / July 2017)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; design by Jenna Stempel-Lobell; illustration Debra Cartwright (Balzer + Bray / February 2017)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; design by Maria Soler (Walker Books / April 2017)

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga; design by Jenna Stempel-Lobell; illustration by Monica Ramos (Balzer + Bray / November 2017)

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez; design by Connie Gabbert (Knopf / October 2017)

Jaya and Rasa by Sonia Patel; illustration by Zeke Peña (Cinco Puntos Press / September 2017)

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo; design by design Natalie C. Sousa & Ellen Duda (Imprint / September 2017)

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson; design by Matt Roeser (Candlewick / September 2017)

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds; design by Micheal McCartney (Atheneum Books / October 2017)

The Memory Book by Lara Avery; design by Sinem Erkas (Quercus / January 2017)

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu; design by Elizabeth H. Clark (Roaring Brook Press / September 2017)

Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland; illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love; artwork by Jeffrey Alan Love (Candlewick / September 2017)

The UK edition has a different, bright yellow, cover by Jeffrey Alan Love:

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed; design by Alex Robbins (Simon Pulse / October 2017)

Now I Rise by Kiersten White; design Jet Purdie (based on design by Margaret Hope); illustration Alessandro Taini 

The cover is based on Margaret Hope’s design for And I Darken with art by Taini, which was on my list last year: 

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus; design by Melissa Four (Penguin / June 2017)

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen; design by Joan Wong (Wendy Lamb Books / February 2017)

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager; design by Matt Roeser (Candlewick / October 2017)

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy; design by Aurora Parlagreco; illustration by Daniel Stolle (Balzer + Bray / May 2017)

The cover of Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy; also designed by Aurora Parlagreco and illustrated by Daniel Stolle was on my 2015 list.

Release by Patrick Ness; design by Erin Fitzsimmons; photograph by Andrew Yuzko (Harper Teen / September 2017)

Release by Patrick Ness; design by Ben Norland; illustration by Levente Szabo (Walker Books / May 2017)

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman; cover art by Teagan White (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / November 2017)

White’s cover for Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman was on my list in 2015:

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge; design by Rachel Vale; illustration by Aitch (Macmillan / September 2017)

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess; design Micah Kandros (Blink / August 2017)

Spurt by Chris Miles; design by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster / February 2017)

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman; design by Sarah Creech (Simon Pulse / September 2017)

10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac; art by Steven Wilson (Knopf / February 2017)

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins; design by Lindsey Andrews; artwork by Sean Freeman (Dutton / September 2017)

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada; design by Regina Flath (Simon Pulse / November 2017)

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom; design by Maggie Edkins (Poppy Books / February 2017)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green; design by Rodrigo Corral and Zak Tebbal; lettering by June Park (Dutton / October 2017)

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard; design by Lizzy Bromley (Saga Press / September 2017)

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli; design by Sarah Creech; illustration by Chris Bilheimer (Balzer + Bray / April 2017)

The cover for Becky Albertalli’s previous book, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, also illustrated by Chris Bilheimer was on my 2015 list.

Vanilla by Billy Merrell; design by design by Nina Goffi (Scholastic / October 2017)

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour; design by Samira Iravani; illustration by Adams Carvalho (Dutton / February 2017)

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard; design Elizabeth H. Clark (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / June 2017)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon; design by Regina Flath (Simon Pulse / May 2017)

Wildman by J.C. Geiger; design by Maria Elias; illustration by Jeff Östberg (Hyperion / June 2017)

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