Today’s post has probably been one of my favourites to write all month, because it is so full of BEAUTY. Yes, today I’m talking about all my favourite queer book covers. It took me so long to narrow this list down, I spent many hours frantically scrolling up and down through my Goodreads books trying to decide which are my favourites. So though I did narrow it down to these 20, I’m pretty sure if you asked me again in a week, I could give you another 20 I love just as much.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
On this day of my favourite queer book covers, it makes sense to start with my favourite cover of 2020: Felix Ever After. This cover has so much power, I am in awe. The red and yellow is so bright and fresh, the top surgery scars showing is incredible to see, the way Felix is standing with such strength, I just love everything. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should really just go out and buy a copy now. Felix Ever After is about Felix, a Black, queer trans boy who catfishes his bully and ends up in a quasi-love triangle.
She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard
This cover is too pretty to burn too!! I adore everything about this, the colouring is gorgeous, the pink hair, the font, everything is just beautiful. And the fact that it isn’t releasing until March 2021 is devastating. She’s Too Pretty to Burn is a thriller inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, but with sapphic girls and lots of murder. And it pretty much promises to be one of my favourite books of 2021 with that pitch.
The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey
This gorgeous gothic novel is as beautiful inside as it is out! I have a special edition of this book with these incredible painted flowery edges to match that intricate cover. The Animals at Lockwood Manor is a sapphic gothic tale set during WW2, when the mammal collection from the Natural History Museum is evacuated to Lockwood Manor to escape the Blitz. It’s a creepy and haunting story, but with a brilliant romance as well!
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson
Another book with such gorgeous colouring – the blue and pink trans flag background with those yellow flowers is just perfection. Plus, this book gets a special kudos for being my partner’s favourite cover on this list! All Boys Aren’t Blue is an essay collection from activist George M Johnson covering topics from gender identity to toxic masculinity to consent and Black joy.
Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
Okay but like, the combination of skulls and flowers is just beautiful and this cover is both so pretty and so deadly. Which makes sense since this is a book about an expelled phD candidate who works with poisons and antidotes and the obsessive relationship with her mentor.
Burning Roses by S.L Huang
Looking at my bookshelves, I really need more green spine so I love that at least one of these covers is green! Coming in September this year is this stunning sapphic retelling combining Western and Chinese fairytales. This adult fantasy features Red Hiding Hood and Hou Yi the archer joining forces to stop deadly sunbirds from destroying their country.
The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
If Felix Ever After is my favourite cover of 2020, then The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea comes a close second! That illustration is just so detailed, it’s even more gorgeous in person so I highly recommend you buy a copy! The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is about a genderfluid pirate who falls in love with a kidnapped noblewoman. And then they run into a mermaid and a witch obviously.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Rory Power apparently gets the most brilliant covers. Her debut, Wilder Girls, was just as gorgeous as her second novel, Burn Our Bodies Down, which releases in just a few weeks on July 7. This is a twisty thriller about a mother and daughter. Margot doesn’t know anything about her past, it’s just her and her mother. But when she finds a photograph of a town, she goes to visit to find out more about her past but history has a way of repeating…..dun dun duuuuun.
Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan
How badass is this cover!! So fierce with the red and black. Zara Hossain is Here has been pushed back till March next year for release, but the wait will just make me want it more! It’s about bisexual, Muslim teen Zara, who has been waiting almost 9 years for her family’s green card to be approved but now a violent crime has put everything in jeopardy.
The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
Just look at how beautiful this illustrated cover is! This scene feels so soft and personal. The Fascinators is a contemporary novel set in a world where everyone can use magic. But Sam lives in a town where magic is frowned upon. He needs the time he spends in his school magic club with friends’ James and Delia. But when he goes into senior year, everything starts falling apart and Sam needs to realise that there are some problems that magic can’t fix.
Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram
I can’t quite believe we are almost here, we have almost reached the pub date for the sequel to Darius the Great is Not Okay!!! Publishing August 25, this is the follow up to one of my all time favourite books. Darius is back in the US: he has a boyfriend, a place on the soccer team, and an internship lined up. But when his grandmothers visit, everything goes to pot and he’s no longer sure who he is, or what he wants. And he starts to think that maybe, he deserves better.
By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery
Yellow is my absolute favourite colour so there is no surprise to see this bright yellow cover on here!! I love the contrast between the soft sunshine yellow and the dark graphic skyline. By Any Means Necessary follows Torrey who, on his first day as a freshman, gets a call that his uncle’s bee farm has been foreclosed. Now he has to decide whether to save the farm, or escape the neighbourhood that’s slowly killing him.
We are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia
I think there’s a clear orangey-pinky-golden-reddy-purpley theme with my favourite covers, so clearly I just love Autumn colouring on book covers. I love all the illustrated queer covers we’ve got in the past few years and this is one of my favourites! We Are Totally Normal follows Nandan and Dave, after they hook up after a party, which was never meant to happen, especially since Nandan was sure he was straight. This is a book that very much gets into the nitty gritty of questioning your sexuality, and how that can impact the relationships around you.
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
I think this post is pretty much just a competition with myself to see how many times I can use the words ‘beautiful’, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘stunning’. And this cover is all of these words!! It’s just so soft and pretty and that purple is perfection. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them is a sapphic love story between Audre, a Trinidadian teen who has been sent to America after being caught with her secret girlfriend, and Mabel, the girl who helps her navigate a US high school.
The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
If that cover doesn’t make you want to read this, The Grief Keeper also just won a LAMBDA which should tell you how great this is! This is a book following two sisters trying to go to the US, but the only way they’ll get visas is if older sister, Marisol, takes part in an experimental study on PTSD treatment, where she will take the grief of others into her body.
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
Like a Love Story was one of my favourite books of 2019 and also has one of my favourite covers of 2019! It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of this cover on a screen, but the detail and intricacy of this illustration is so impressive in person. This is a book about friendship and love, set during the 1980s AIDS crisis and following three teens and the relationships they develop.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
I Wish You All the Best was another one of my favourite books of 2019, and I love the cover so much it’s one of the few books that sits cover out on my bookshelves. I Wish You All the Best follows Ben, who just came out as nonbinary to their parents. Who then kicked them out. Now living with their sister, Ben has to start at a new school, where they meet Nathan. This is such a difficult and personal book, and it fills me with such pain and anger but it’s ultimately hopeful and such a beautiful book.
A Neon Darkness by Lauren Shipped
This cover is such a whirlwind of colour and detail and I think it will be one that looks super powerful in person. A Neon Darkness is the second novel in Shippen’s The Bright Sessions series, based on the popular podcast of the same name, which follows superheros in therapy. A Neon Darkness follows Robert, whose superpower can make others want what he wants. So when he wants a Frisbee back, his father walks off the roof to get it to him quicker. And when he wanted to be alone, his parents disappeared. Now he’s in LA, and has found others with powers like his. But when someone without magic discovers them, their family might be destroyed.
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
I love intricately detailed covers, and this one is gorgeous – even more so in person as it has lovely spot gloss and foil everywhere. I also have a special edition that comes with blood red painted edges so it’s even prettier! The Deathless Girls is a sapphic prequel to Dracula, retelling the story of Dracula’s brides.
The Order of Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho
And my final book, and how beautiful is it?!?! It’s so soft and pure and just feels so peaceful and calming. This is a brilliant found family wuxia fantasty novella, following a votary who joins a group of bandits to protect a sacred object.
Well, if you’re wondering what the final tally was, I used the word beautiful 8 times, gorgeous 7 times and stunning only twice! Which is actually a lot less than I anticipated so clearly I managed to use some other words as well. Do you have any favourite covers among this list? Let me know in the comments!