25 Favourite Young Adult Book Covers of 2021

Today’s post is sponsored by Entangled: Teen and Shadow of Light by Molly E. Lee!

Title Shadow of Light (Book 2 in the Ember of Night series)
Author Molly E. Lee
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Publication Date November 30th 2021 by Entangled: Teen
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book DepositoryBarnes & NobleIndieBound

I just saved the boy I’m falling for from a gruesome death by a demon. And what does he have to say? I’m the key to opening the gates of Hell. I mean, a thank-you would’ve been nice. Or another scorching-hot, forbidden kiss. Either way, destiny will have to find someone else to torment, because I’m so done.

Or I was, until my little sister starts cackling exorcist-style and stares at me with eyes that aren’t hers. They’re Marid’s, the Greater Demon I just kicked back to the dark realm he came from. Possessing Ray whenever he wants is his ultimate revenge.

The only way to break the tether between them includes a road trip through Hell, aka the Ather. I quickly discover nothing is as it seems in this place. Yeah, there are realms of terror, greed, and desire, but there’s also peace, and a beauty I never knew existed…and it’s eerily familiar.

With each obstacle we encounter, I slip a little further into the chaotic energy of my growing dark powers. And when an unexpected betrayal hits me square in the chest, I freefall into them.

Fate painted me as the monster of nightmares, and after this? Destiny is about to learn just how monstrous I can be.

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design.

Book cover design can play an important role in a book’s success or failure. While certainly not the only contributing factor, for the casual reader perusing the shelves of their local library or bookstore, a book’s cover offers one of the earliest introductions to the story contained within its pages and can help differentiate it from the thousands of other titles surrounding it. Book cover design is one of my passions, and given that I spend much of the year celebrating it in its many shapes, forms and iterations in my regular feature, Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover, I thought it might be fun to compose a list of what I thought were some of the most effective, eye-catching and beautiful examples of book cover design for in 2021. You can find Pop! Goes The Reader’s Favourite Book Covers Of 2019 Here and 2020 Here!

Please Note: I’ve done my best to provide credit for the cover designers, illustrators, artists and photographers responsible for the work below whenever possible, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited individual responsible for any of these book covers below or if I’ve made any mistakes, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

The covers below are listed in no particular order.

01. You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Cover design by Kerri Resnick, Cover art by Yang Se Eun

02. Cool For The Summer by Dahlia Adler
Cover design by Kerri Resnick, Cover art by Clarie Allison

03. Like Home by Louisa Onomé
Cover art by Bex Glendining

04. Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan
Cover design by Kelley Brady, Cover art by Jeff Östberg

05. Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi
Cover design by Maeve Norton, Cover art by Ana Hard

06. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Cover design by Chelsea Hunter, Cover art by Ericka Lugo

07. Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
Cover art by Jay Bendt

08. Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

09. Tahira In Bloom by Farah Heron
Cover design by Amanda Hudson, Cover art by Christina Chung

10. Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb
Cover design by Laura Mock, Cover art by Lisa Perrin

11. Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
Cover design by Jessie Gang, Cover art by Michelle D’Urbano

12. When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey
Cover design by Karyn Lee, Cover art by Dion MBD

13. Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield
Cover design by Kerri Resnick, Cover art by Gank Pansuay

14. Love Is A Revolution by Renée Watson
Cover design by Jeanette Levy, Cover art by Alex Cabal

15. What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, Cover art by Corey Brickley

16. The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He
Cover design by Aurora Parlagreco, Cover art by Aykut Aydoğdu

17. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Cover design by Rich Deas, Cover art by Moses Lunham and Rich Deas

18. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Cover design by Alison Impey, Cover art by Tran Nguyen

19. The Project by Courtney Summers
Cover design by Kerri Resnick, Cover art by Marie Bergeron

20. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Cover design by Terri Nimmo, Cover art by Ashley Mackenzie

21. The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley
Cover art by Khadijah Khatib

22. Fire With Fire by Destiny Soria
Cover design by Mary Claire Cruz, Cover art by Viv Tanner

23. Into The Bloodred Woods by Martha Brockenbrough
Cover design by Stephanie Yang, Cover art by Marcela Bolívar

24. Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Cover art by Lisa Sterle

25. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Cover design by Laura Eckes, Cover art by Casey Weldon

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Hi! I’m Jen! I’m a thirty-something introvert who loves nothing more than the cozy comfort of home and snuggling my two rescue cats, Pepper and Pancakes. I also enjoy running, jigsaw puzzles, baking and everything Disney. Few things bring me more joy than helping a reader find the right book for them!