UK vs. USA book covers!

I don’t know about you, but I find cover changes really interesting—especially when books in the same language are given completely different covers.

Sometimes both covers are hideous, sometimes both covers are different but equally beautiful, but most of the time there’s one cover that’s much nicer and, credit where credit’s due, the US have been knocking it out the park recently…

All UK covers are on the left, while all US covers are on the right!


Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

I honestly don’t know what’s going on with the UK cover. It’s not the worst cover I’ve ever seen by any means, but the US cover is so pretty and captures the feel of the book for me a lot more than the UK cover does. I think the UK cover gives off a steampunk vibe, and that’s not how I’d describe this book at all.

Winner: USA


The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

While I think the UK edition is very pretty, and it’s gorgeous in the flesh, I prefer the simpler US design. I haven’t read the book yet, but I feel like the US cover captures the mood of this book more than the UK cover does.

Winner: USA


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

The US edition isn’t ugly, but it’s far too busy for me. Personally I think the UK edition is gorgeous. Rather than try to fit everything included in the book on the cover like the US edition, the UK edition is so much simpler and far more impactful as a result. It doesn’t hurt that it uses mint green, either, which is one of my favourite colours. I love fantasy covers that don’t have people on them, so the US edition was never going to be my preference.

Winner: UK


Circe by Madeline Miller

I actually like both of these covers a lot. I love how Greek the US edition is and, again, I love its simplicity. (If you hadn’t guessed already, I’d choose a simple cover over a busy cover any day.) That being said, I do think the UK edition is so, so pretty and it’s beautiful underneath the dust jacket, too, so I just prefer it.

Winner: UK


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I don’t like the US editions of this duology at all, they don’t appeal to me in the slightest and I think I dislike the US edition of Muse of Nightmares even more. The UK editions catch my eye a lot more because they’re one, bold colour and then a simple design on the front – not to mention the matching sprayed edges.

Winner: UK


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I love the UK editions of all of Chambers’ books. I think the US editions are really fun, but the UK editions are beautiful and I love how they also appeal to readers who wouldn’t usually reach for science fiction.

Winner: UK


All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

Honestly, I don’t love either of these covers. This YA novel is set in the 19th century, but I don’t think either of the covers make it obvious that it’s historical fiction – particularly the US cover, with its cover model who’s wearing eyeliner and appears to have dyed her hair bleach blonde. The UK edition, though, is just a bit… meh. I think the UK edition captures the quiet mood of the novel more, but I think the US edition has to be the ultimate winner because it’s much more eye-catching.

Winner: USA


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I love both of these covers! This is my favourite novel, and a UK edition was finally released last year which, naturally, I bought to add to my collection. I think the UK edition is really pretty, but the original US edition is always going to my favourite; I love that cover art a lot.

Winner: USA


The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

I wouldn’t say I dislike the UK edition of this novel, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I think the US edition captures the mood of this novel much more. The UK edition gives off a whimsical, potential fabulism vibe and that doesn’t fit this book at all. It’s a fairly gloomy novel.

Winner: USA


The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

I have a feeling I’m going to have an unpopular opinion here, but I prefer the UK edition. My only criticism of the UK edition would be that I think the cover makes it seem more Middle Grade than YA, but other than that I think it’s really pretty. There’s nothing wrong with the US edition, but I find it a little boring?

Winner: UK

Which covers do you prefer?

19 thoughts on “UK vs. USA book covers!

  1. Molly's Book Nook says:

    I actually prefer the UK for most of these BUT I haven’t read them. So I think you have more authority on which one works better or not lol


  2. Emer @alittlehazebookblog says:

    I feel sad for Americans that have to buy those covers of Laini Taylor’s STD series. The uk hardbacks are just STUNNING! And I’m so glad I own them. I’m in agreement with you on Foundryside, like the uk cover makes no sense when you see what genre the book is. 🤯🤯🤯 I’m not a fan of the US cover of the mercies because I find the colour palette too jarring but you make an excellent point about the UK cover not quite capturing the essence of the story…but it’s pretty so eh 😂😂😂
    Uprooted is an easy UK winner. I’m always tempted to buy it when I see it in shops. 😍😍😍 Circe no contest with USA. The uk hardback is one of the most beautiful books in existence. End of! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
    Oh but those Becky Chambers American covers… I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THEM! They are so brash and almost cheesy. I think they do a great disservice to the content of the wayfarers series. The Wayfarers books are aspirational I feel. They’re the type of speculative fiction that gives one hope for the future and the uk covers give them that more ethereal feel while still being very sci fi but also as you said, capable of crossing genre.
    I’d give the nod to the UK covers of all the remaining books, but that’s interesting what you said about O’Donoghue’s UK cover giving off vibes that don’t really match the content. And yup, UK girl from nowhere has a middle grade vibe but it’s soooo pretty! I think I like ornate, floral detail on my books. Or I like a light pastel palette. Really interesting and fun post Jess! 💜💛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books says:

    I always enjoy these posts because I’m a total sucker for cover design. UK covers seem to often have a more illustrative style and bright covers, while US covers are more simple and make use of pictures a lot. Sometimes the UK covers are really beautiful, but I tend to generally like the US version better. Which is a shame… as I live in Europe they’re more expensive. Oh and US paperbacks are more floppy than UK paperbacks, which is a HUGE advantage.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books says:

        That’s interesting. I do think it has a lot to do with what you’re most used to. I watch a lot of american booktubers, so the us cover is often the one I see first. Maybe that’s why I like those more.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. acquadimore says:

    Definitely agree about Foundryside! The US cover is somewhat unusual for a fantasy book, while the UK one looks extremely generic. I don’t know the book but it reminds me of so many generic Italian fantasy covers that did not match their own books…
    And the US cover of Strange the Dreamer is puzzling, there’s so much wonderful imagery in that book that one could adapt and this one looks like half of a discarded candy wrapper?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Yes, that’s such a good way to describe it! No shade to the designer at all, it’s clearly a cover design that the publisher liked, but it doesn’t appeal to me at all. I still have no idea what’s going on with the UK edition of Foundryside…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dinipandareads says:

    Awesome post, Jess! I actually agree with you on all these cover opinions! I tend to like UK covers more than US covers for the majority of the books I own, but there are definitely exceptions. Like The Foundryside cover–the US version is so much more appealing than the UK cover 😂 They should just make it all the same LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thanks Dini! I know, I really don’t know what’s going on with the UK cover of Foundryside. I tend to prefer UK covers – being British, I’m sure part of that is that it’s what I’m used to – but I think there are more illustrations on UK covers, whereas US covers tend to have more people on them which I don’t really like? There are definitely exceptions, though!


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