Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 157: Young Adult Contemporary (Part 39)

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.


It’s the first edition of Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover in 2023! Illustrated covers are still going strong this year, which I’m personally thrilled about. While saturated gem tones are also still popular, I’m excited to see the use of some of softer, more pastel colour palettes and delicate line work as well, as in examples like Fake Dates and Mooncakes and The Boy You Always Wanted. If this sampling of designs is any indication, we can look forward to another phenomenal year in young adult book covers in 2023!

Please Note: As always, I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the stunning covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer and/or artist responsible for any of these book covers or if I’ve credited someone incorrectly, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves attribution.

Important: I unequivocally support the HarperCollins Union, who have been on strike since 11/10/22 in order to fight for a much-deserved fair contract for their workers. That said, this post does include HarperCollins titles so as to acknowledge and honour the work of the designers and artists who created them. The HarperCollins Union has explicitly asked that HarperCollins titles not be boycotted, which you can see here. To see a complete list of how you can best support the HarperCollins Union, please click here. A portion of the proceeds made through the purchase of books via their Strike Solidarity Bookshop Page go directly toward their hardship fund.


01. Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Cover design by Casey Moses, Cover art by Myriam Strasbourg


02. The Boy You Always Wanted by Michelle Quach
Cover design by Molly Fehr, Cover art by Fevik


03. The Wrong Kind of Weird by James Ramos
Cover design by Gigi Lau, Cover art by Natalie Shaw


04. Love Letters For Joy by Melissa See
Cover art by Reen


05. Something Like Possible by Miel Moreland
Cover design by Julia Bianchi, Cover art by Bex Glendining


06. When We Had Summer by Jennifer Castle


07. No Boy Summer by Amy Spalding
Cover design by Deena Fleming, Cover art by Jeff Östberg


08. What She Missed by Liara Tamani


09. Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler
Cover design by Kerri Resnick, Cover art by Petra Braun


10. If You Still Recognize Me by Cynthia So
Cover design by Julia Tyler, Cover art by Karyn Lee


11. Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
Cover design by Chris Kwon, Cover art by Leni Kauffman


12. We Ship It by Lauren Kay


13. As You Walk On By by Julian Winters
Cover design by Kaitlin Yang, Cover art by Cannaday Chapman


14. Rubi Ramos’s Recipe for Success by Jessica Parra
Cover design by Olga Grlic, Cover art by Petra Braun


15. Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant
Cover design by Catherine Lee, Cover art by Michelle Rosella D’Urbano


16. Dear Medusa by Olivia A. Cole
Cover design by Casey Moses


17. A Whole Song and Dance by Sarvenaz Tash
Cover design by Zareen Johnson, Cover art by Sara Alfageeh


18. French Kissing In New York by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Cover design by Casey Moses, Cover art by Andi Poretta


19. Brighter Than the Moon by David Valdes


20. Not Here To Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill
Cover design by Regina Flath, Cover art by Monique Aimee

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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!

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