Top 5 Tuesday || Books with People on the Cover

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People on the cover of books can be hit or miss.

Thankfully, it’s Top 5 Tuesday, not Worst 5 Wednesday, so we get to talk about the hits today (thanks as usual to Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads)! I’m a huge fan of illustrated covers, especially ones in a more painterly style, and today, we’re including a lot of that.

You guys, I have so much love to give. This might be my favorite topic this month!

Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (The Locked Tomb Series)

Gideon the Ninth CoverHarrow the Ninth Cover

Yes, I know I’m already cheating! Yes, I know this is two covers! But if you put these two covers side by side, it looks like Gideon and Harrow could be reaching out to hold hands, which is all I want for them and their emotionally constipated necromancy nonsense.

Plus, look at the details! The artistry is absolutely freaking unparalleled here, and I’m forever in awe. Honestly, it’s entirely possible the covers for the rest of the series (yes, series, it’s no longer just a trilogy!) will knock me dead, and I’m okay with that. Fitting, given the subject matter involved.

And friends, if you’ve read all the way through Harrow the Ninth, let’s talk about one little detail on the Harrow cover that has me losing my mind over its brilliance. Hint: 👀👀👀


A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow (A Song Below Water #1)

A Song Below Water Cover

I’ve been so in love with the cover for A Song Below Water since I first saw it. It’s just so colorful and beautiful, and the details on Effie and Tavia are outstanding once you get into the story!

Really, though, just a cover image doesn’t do it full justice. I have a hardcover copy, and the spine is a lovely shade of yellow that makes everything else on the color pop in such a lovely way.


Witchshadow by Susan Dennard (The Witchlands #4)

Witchshadow Cover

Iseult, my beloved. 🥺 She’s my favorite character in this entire series, and it’s finally her turn to be the focus! I’m so excited to see where she goes next, and also feeling a little guilty I haven’t read this yet. But it deserves my full attention (plus a Bloodwitch reread, so I’m prepared for maximum detail spotting), and so I’m going to give it a read when I’m well and truly prepared for it.

Heading back to more visual joy, though, I love how dark this cover is, with the bright title and the lightning illuminating the top of the cover. It exudes power, and it makes me unbelievably excited to see what earthshattering changes are hiding in its pages! 💜


I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

I Killed Zoe Spanos Cover

The cover of I Killed Zoe Spanos is marvelous in its simplicity. I love the stark contrast of the red against all that blue, and the silhouette reflected in the sunglasses. It’s such a cool vibe for a murder mystery, the kind that’s perfect for a clear, hot summer day.

A hot summer day with the impending threat of murder, of course.


The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

The Girls I've Been Cover

The Girls I’ve Been makes the list because it’s genius. The very first line of the summary is “Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls,” and the lack of a face on the cover lets you imagine every single one of those girls. And maybe she’s faceless, but she’s also a threat. You can feel it in the beckoning motion of the hand, the sharpness of every detail (pun on the author’s name only slightly intended). I get big time Leverage vibes here, which is no surprise since Nora’s mom is named after the character Sophie Devereaux (an easter egg I highly approve of), and how am I supposed to do anything less than adore that?


So there you have it. The best people on the cover I can dream of, at least for now. With all the talent out there in the world, I’m sure this list could easily grow to ten or twenty! These are the five most centered in my heart right now, though, and I’m hoping you have some love for them too.

Of course, whether we’re in the same boat, or if you think I have poor taste, let’s chat! Nothing better than weighing the merits of cover design, right?

7 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday || Books with People on the Cover

    1. Isn’t it just gorgeous? Like I said, it looks even better in person with those extra color pops from the spine!

    1. WHY THANK YOU. I can probably dig up another five, let’s be real. YA is ESPECIALLY knocking it out of the park with people covers!

        1. Listen, that’s the secret trap of T5T. You set a topic, and suddenly, all the possible answers go flying out of our heads and we have to scramble to collect them. 😂

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