Book List

10 Foreign Covers so Beautiful We Wish We Could Own Them

June 13, 2018
Casey Nugent
Riveted Editorial Board

I absolutely adore beautiful book covers. Good writing is important, but a good cover design can really bring a book to the next level! A fun thing that I’ve noticed is that so many of my favorite books actually have different covers in different countries. There are so many cool, stunning international versions of books that it makes me totally envious! I rounded up a few of my favorite foreign book covers — check them out below!

10 Foreign Covers so Beautiful We Wish We Could Own Them

1.City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – UK Edition

The US covers of the Mortal Instruments books are absolutely iconic, but there’s so much rich imagery in these books that there’s plenty of room to play with cover designs. This recent UK adult repackage of City of Bones is totally stunning, and features so many intricate little details — the angel wings contain runes, the Mortal Cup, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Institute, and, of course, Jace and Clary themselves. And it’s PINK! Seriously considering hopping a plane just to grab this one.


2. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard – UK Edition

This one might be a bit of a cheat considering the UK is actually the original publisher — making the US the true foreign edition — but I’m putting it on here anyway because, just wow! The color scheme here is stunning, and the swirling heart affect clues you into what a sweet, romantic book you’re picking up.


3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld –  Russian Edition

Uglies takes place in a universe where regular looking people are considered Ugly, and everyone has to undergo plastic surgery at sixteen. And not just any plastic surgery — ultra-advanced, high-tech plastic surgery, which allows for wild, inhuman appearances. That means cover designers get to have a lot of fun with this series, as evidenced by this Russian version. The flower embroidery is beautiful, but the lines across her face and the expression on the model betray there’s something sinister underneath that beauty. A true stunner!


4. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid – German Edition

The Diabolic is another great sci-fi novel that plays with the idea of beauty and power, and of the sinister underbelly of an elite ruling class. The German take on Diabolic portrays that excellently. There’s something deeply sinister about the greyscale of the cover and the bright blue of the eye – you know there’s more to this girl than meets the eye.


5. The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale – UK Edition

The Beast is an Animal is a dark, atmospheric fantasy that will send you reeling. The UK cover really leans into the classic fairy tale feel — but still leaves you with the sense that this story will be more Grimm than Disney.


6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – German Edition

Aristotle and Dante meet at a swimming pool, so it’s appropriate that the German version of the book features one prominently. But this cover also absolutely captures one of the main conflicts of the book — the inner turmoil of Ari. The figure in the pool is anything but relaxed, and you get the feeling immediately that this peaceful, beautiful book will have a great amount of depth.


7. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – UK Edition

The town of Sparrow is cursed. Every year the spirits of three witches return to down men in the murky waters surrounding the towns. The UK cover really leans into the water aspect, creating a beautiful image that manages to also feel sinister — look at that hand reaching up! Spooky!


8. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – Dutch Edition

Autoboyography is a sweet, tender love story, and this deceptively simple Dutch cover absolutely captures that feeling. I adore the clean lines and silhouetted figures — who convey so much in just a little body language. And the typeface is stunning! Plus, the title is a little different in Dutch — directly, it’s My Version of You. Adorable!


9. The Empress by S.J. Kincaid – UK Edition

The UK cover of The Empress uses the same central image as the US cover — a live raven rashing into the statue of a dove — but a very different background color. There’s something so striking about the colors here, and it totally leaps out at you.


10. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell – Dutch Edition

Similarly, the Dutch edition of The Last Magician features a version of the image on the back cover of the US edition. But this picture of the Brink is a fantastic front cover too, and definitely captures the dark, fascinating magic lying behind this book.

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