Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover – Issue Six: Dystopian

“Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover” is a semi-regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

I think we’re all familiar with the age-old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. And you know what I have to say about that? Rubbish! Covers are an invaluable part of a book’s package. A truly great cover can tell you a lot about the novel contained within its pages. Book covers can also catch your attention and attract you to a novel you might otherwise ignore. So go ahead, judge a book by its cover – We all do it!

For the fifth instalment of Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover, I’ve decided to take a look at the covers of the dystopian genre. Unlike last week’s edition, while I had little trouble finding a slew of covers from which to choose, I did struggle to find a number of dystopian covers I truly liked. Because of the material on which they’re based, dystopian covers tend to be more stark and barbarous, which isn’t a style I typically enjoy, nor do I find that they focus as much on typography and colour, both of which are aspects that I find very important in a cover’s design. That said, I still managed to find quite a few examples of dystopian covers that I think are absolutely lovely!

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite dystopian covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

23 responses to “Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover – Issue Six: Dystopian”

  1. Barbs says:

    I really like all of the Marie Lu covers. I think they are really strong yet don’t jump in your face.

    I also like the one of Matched. It’s so sad that they changed a lot in the German translation (

    Another one I like is the cover of “Partials” by Dan Wells. It really shows what the book is about.

    • I completely agree in regards to Marie Lu’s covers for the Legend series. It’s actually one of the few times that I preferred the re-design over the original product! I really like the spray paint effect they used on the following two novels.

      Wow, you’re right – The cover for the German translation of Matched is quite a departure 🙁 What a shame!
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

      • Barbs says:

        While I’m still glad the German covers have some resemblance it’s sad that they changed the colors… they are so important!

  2. Jen says:

    I always look forward to these posts, Jen! The thing I love about dystopian covers is that there’s always some sort of symbol on it and I really like reading the book and finding out just what it means. But a lot of covers are starting to branch out in covers, which I like! I love the cover for Mystic City. Beautiful post, as always!
    Jen recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (#9)My Profile

    • Aw, thank you so much, Jen! It’s nice to know that there are people out there who enjoy looking through them as much as I enjoy putting them together. They’re definitely a labour of love 😀

      You make a really good point about the use of symbols on Dystopian covers, which is something I’ve never noticed until now. You can really see that even in the small selection of covers I’ve highlighted in this post. I think my favourite example of that tactic would have to be the covers for the Possession series by Elana Johnson. The use of colour and simplicity is superb.
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  3. Love this feature! I especially love “Above” but I haven’t read it due to so many lukewarm reviews.

    I love End Games, it looks vey Dystopian and love the design. again a book I haven’t read though:))

    Cinder is amazing of course:) And Mystic City is truly one of my favorites:)
    DannyBookworm recently posted…Sizzling hot & heartbreakingly vulnerable- Wild Cards by Simone ElkelesMy Profile

    • Thanks, Danny! It’s so much fun to put together every week and it’s nice to know that others are enjoying it as well 😀

      If it makes you feel any better, I’ve read very few novels on this list, too. I’m not a big Dystopian reader at the best of times, and at the moment the only ones I’ve read are Cinder, The Forsaken, Mystic City, and Matched!
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  4. Aubrey says:

    It’s funny you have The Program on the list because it was the book cover of that book that made me put it on my to-read list. 🙂
    Aubrey recently posted…A to Z Book SurveyMy Profile

  5. I absolutely love the way you transitioned from color to color in your post. Your cover feature is always so lovely. Great job making dystopian pretty. 🙂
    Jennifer | Book Den recently posted…August 26 | Currently ReadingMy Profile

  6. LOVE these posts! What was is Love Minus Eighty?! Gotta look into that book.

    I noticed you included Cinder here and I’ve been trying to decide how I categorize that book. I’ve never been sure if I could call it dystopian or not. It seems more like just a sci-fi fantasy to me, but hrm. Now I’m wondering even more.
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…5 MORE Reasons Your Blog Makes Me SadMy Profile

    • Thanks, Kelley! They’re a blast to put together 😀

      If it helps at all, I really struggled as to what to classify Cinder as, too! I came this close to including it in last week’s selection of science fiction covers, but felt that the dystopian setting most defined the novel and therefore settled on it instead. I’m still not sure I made the right decision 😆
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  7. Hazel says:

    Dystopian is one of my favorite genres to read but often times the covers are pretty much the same- tough and edgy. You really picked out the best of them! I love love love the cover of Forsaken. The cover of the second book is equally beautiful and uses an orange/pink scheme! I haven’t read both of them but I’m definitely getting copies because I need their gorgeous covers on my shelf.
    Hazel recently posted…Behind The Blog Monday #1: Bad Boys or Nice BoysMy Profile

    • Thanks, Hazel! I don’t read very much in the way of Dystopian so this week’s feature was a bit of a struggle, but it’s nice to hear I managed to highlight some of the best the genre has to offer in terms of book covers 😀

      I can personally attest to the fact that the cover for The Forsaken is even prettier in person, and the novel is quite a bit of a fun. I really liked it when I read it last year 🙂 I’ve yet to read the follow-up novel, but I must admit I was a little disappointed by the cover’s re-design. I wish it had followed more closely in the same vein and design as The Forsaken.
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary CharactersMy Profile

  8. Betty says:

    These covers are awesome! Black, Red & Gray always looks kick ass on a cover! I have a bunch of these books and always felt pretty awesome reading them. haha Unlike some of the really awful contemporary covers with the horrible models attempting to look sexy! I love THE END GAMES cover!!!
    Betty recently posted…Random Rantings: “Don’t Try To Make Me Grow Up Before My Time” – Louisa May Alcott, Little WomenMy Profile

  9. Frasier says:

    As I told you last night, I love and adore this series you’ve started. AND I have dystopian issues myself. Mostly, I read a lot in one mass rush and omg, please give me a break I NEED A BREAK. But I can’t take a break because everything IS DYSTOPIAN.

    Back on topic, I do think you’ve picked some AMAZING covers. It is nice to see that trends are changing. At least somewhat.
    Frasier recently posted…Don’t Look Now (PERSEF0NE #2) by Michelle GagnonMy Profile

  10. Dystopians always have my favourite covers. I just love the grungy, worn look about them!
    Nikki @ The Paper Sea recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: The 100My Profile

  11. I love this feature you’ve been doing (having only discovered your blog today I’ve looked through a bunch of them). My favorite of the ones you list above has to be Cinder. The cover for Scarlet is awesome too!
    I am 100% guilty of ALWAYS judging a book by its cover. Unless someone tells me that I MUST read a particular book, I only pick up ones with covers I’m attracted too. I’m probably missing out on a bunch of great books but this is one way I am able to limit the choices I make.
    Helen @ My Novel Opinion recently posted…Necessary Lies by Diane ChamberlainMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Helen! 😀 It’s so nice to know that this feature is a big hit with my readers as I absolutely love putting it together every week.

      Of these covers, Cinder is definitely one of my favourites as well. I remember the first time I saw it in the bookstore – I had never heard of it at the time, but was stopped in my tracks and felt compelled to buy it even though the synopsis didn’t sound like something I would ordinarily be drawn to. And I’m so glad I read it! It was one of the few times when judging a book by its cover really paid off 😉
      Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…One-Week HiatusMy Profile

  12. YES! I love love love love the cover for The End Games! And alsooooo Cinder!And Matched, even though I did not love that book, gorgeous cover though.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Saints | Gene Luen Yang | Book ReviewMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge