Hello all, I’m starting a new feature. I, like many fellow bookworms, are quite particular about book covers. I will judge a book by its cover and I will not be made ashamed thank you very much. As much as we all love a good rant, here I will talk about book covers that I think are particularly good and why they’re good. As with almost everything on this blog there will be a good deal of spoilers in these posts as good covers will always tell us something about the book they’re advertising. In the end, covers are advertising and if you don’t have a good cover it’ll be harder, but not impossible, to sell people on your book.
Wow, I just made so many puns right now. Don’t worry though, it’s a common occurrence. Alright, let’s get to it. The very first series we’ll go with is They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Behold it in all its glory:
Alright, so let’s talk about the first, most obvious part of this cover. The first is it features two people who are obviously close (we know this due to their non-verbal communication). This helps us establish a connection to the title. It endears them to us, especially because we know they’re both going to die at the end. Leave it to Silvera to tell us both of these beloved characters are going to die at the end and still get people to read it. The man’s a genius I tell you. I digress, the silhouettes also become more important as we discuss the other two elements. The deep blue establishes the tone of the book and the skyline in the background gives us the setting.
Maybe I’m just a noob, but I totally didn’t realize the other two symbols on the cover at first. The first would be the grim reaper in the shadow of the two boys and second being the skull in the sky. These two elements were particularly notable and good because they hint at what the book is about, but don’t directly tell us. Leaving aside the fact that the title does a pretty good job of doing this on its own but let’s just pretend like you can’t see the title.
First, the skull in the sky hovering over the two silhouettes could potentially symbolize the death call and how it constantly looms over the heads of everyone who lives in this universe. People fear the death call and this gives it some power over them, almost like it’s looking down at them from the sky, always watching. And yes that sounds creepy, it’s supposed to be. It’s this constant presence that refuses to leave the minds of everyone and it’s embedded into every part of society from apps to the economy.
Second, the grim reaper that is created out of the two boys shadows is particular to the stories of Matteo and Rufus. It illustrates that the boys are both being followed by death. Remember, if we couldn’t see the title this tell us death surrounds both of them, not just one or the other. This isn’t a story about one person who’s dying and the other who’s left behind. Both of these people are being dogged by death. It also gives a sense of urgency to the characters. Not only are they being followed by death *spoiler everyone is being followed by death (sorry to get a bit morbid on you)* but they’re almost being chased by it. The shadow is behind them to remind our beloved Matteo and Rufus that they cannot outrun death. Their time to die in the next 24 hours is as much of a part of themselves as their shadow.
TL; DR: The skull in the sky represents the death call to society as a whole, whereas the shadow of the two people on the cover shows us death is personal.
Well, that’s about it. Let me know how you like it. Do you agree with my assessment of this cover? Did you like reading my assessment? Tune in next Thursday for another cover analysis!