Since my last post on “bookalikes” a few weeks ago, I’ve been keeping an eye out for covers that share similar themes or make use of the same sort of visual ideas, and I’ve come across a number of designs that seem to be very much a case of great minds thinking alike. The covers in this post aren’t as obviously “twins” as the ones in the previous post, but they’re definitely siblings, or perhaps cousins at the very least.
Girls (and one guy) lying down: This is probably my least favourite cover trend at the moment–yes, even more so than the girls in dresses trend. These covers are frankly disturbing, and sadly there are plenty more that I haven’t included here. Girls apparently lying injured, helpless, or possibly dead on the ground? Makes me feel so very empowered and valued as a female. An interesting exception is the cover of Undercurrent, which features a male model.
Girls on the vertical: Poison Shy and Revived (review) offer a slightly different take on the above girls-lying-down design in that the entire image is rotated. Interestingly, these covers don’t bother me nearly as much as the ones above: perhaps because we see more of the characters featured in the design, and that they don’t seem as damaged and submissive. The rotated design hints at a world that isn’t as it seems more than it does a powerless girl without any agency of her own.
Watercolour teacups: Each of these initially started off in my “scribbly font books” file (why yes, scribbly fonts are The Thing at the moment), but I thought that the approach to the teacup motif was similar enough that they might be contenders for a bookalike post. The composition is fairly similar in all of these, as is the use of colour and the background elements.
Middle eastern-inspired borders: An elegant if not especially creative motif, these sorts of archway frames can be found all over the place in translated works and books set in places other than the West.
Stars and constellations: Of these it’s the David Mitchell and Lydia Netzer that I think are closest in design, but I found it interesting that both The Dog Stars and The Age of Miracles kept popping up as suggested purchases along the way. The cover design version of “if you like that, you’ll like this,” I suppose.
Background image showing through text: I have an entire post on these sorts of designs coming up, but I found these two in particular eye-catching in that although the design itself is very similar, colour-wise they’re almost the inverse of each other.
Freaky picture frames, oh my! I love the design of the Megan Miranda book, but tut-tutted a bit when I came across the very similar design of the Jenny Valentine cover below. Wildwing and The Fine Art of Truth or Dare take a slightly different approach, but it’s hard not to ignore the similarities between these. (Interestingly, Wildwing is the only one where the model’s face isn’t obscured)
Windswept hair and vivid text: When I came across White Lines it took me a moment to think where I’d seen a similar cover before, and I had to check to see whether it was indeed the exact same image used in the original cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar (NB: the Larbalestier cover was changed after publication to better reflect the ethnicity of the protagonist). It wasn’t, but they’re certainly strikingly similar.
Creepy baby prams: I have read so many books about horrific children this year that I’ve kind of been put off the idea of having kids of my own. These two designs recall a sort of Rosemary’s Baby freakishness for me–interestingly, both use an old-fashioned type of pram.
Silhouettes against a dark sky: Although The Uninvited is the odd one out here in that it doesn’t feature a rooftop, it certainly shares the creepy child silhouette motif, and there’s a good deal of similarity in the colours used:
Incidentally, every time I see the cover of We Saw At Night I for some reason think of Robert Cormier’s We All Fall Down, which isn’t especially similar, but obviously jogs some sort of memory in me. Given the subject matter of the Cormier, it could probably easily be rejacketed with the other cover design:
Tigers: These two aren’t so similar in design (although they do share part of a pretty similar image) but every single time I see The Orphan Master’s Son I immediately assume that it’s Vaillant’s The Tiger (which is brilliant, by the way)
Girls in a forest looking over their shoulder: Yeah, these two are pretty similar, what with the curved forest in the background and the girl-looking-back thing. Poison looks a little more lively, though, thanks to the colour in the forest and the typography, whereas Wolf Pact seems to be a pretty standard YA paranormal read.
Greyscale lovers and aqua fonts: The background image of these two covers is pretty similar, and each time I see them I wonder whether they’re part of a series.
Cover model twins: The lovely Ebony McKenna, author of the Ondine series (which you should go and read, because it’s great) pointed out in our last bookalikes post that her first book has a twin, and explained that the costs of purchasing exclusive use of an image can be prohibitive to some smaller publishing outfits. Although the cover model is obviously the same, I think that these cover designs are different enough that it’s not immediately noticeable. What do you think?