I’m always screaming about flowers, just in general, but especially on books, so I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity of this week’s That Artsy Reader Girl topic to just weep over all the beauty of our natural world. Whether it’s flower crowns or a legit forest, the natural world is one of my favorite places to be, and you can always expect me to wax poetic about it in my own books, so I guess here’s me putting it into the universe now that I want a book as gorgeous as the ones below?
I didn’t know how much I needed the combination of snakes + flowers in my life, but the cover of Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Barshadoust is just everything. The only thing that could possibly make it better is if there was also a sword, but seriously, what a combo. Snakes are just the cutest little babes in the world, and to twine them with roses?? UGH. I love this cover so much, and it makes me want to write things with snakes so bad.
I think I’ve probably screamed myself hoarse about Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender in general, never mind the cover. Because it was the cover, entirely, that made me buy this book in the first place. I was hyped because the plot sounded great, but THE COVER. Felix wearing a flower crown is so good, both before you’ve read and after, when you know how beautiful the confidence and joy on Felix’s face on the cover is. Flower crowns are always going to get me, though, and I love to just sigh over this cover and how lovely it is as often as possible.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles is such a heartbreaking book that the softness of its cover always catches me by surprise. You wouldn’t think, just from looking at it, that your heart might literally be one page turn from being torn from your body because look at how pretty and gentle that cover is! It’s so deceiving, although there is something in that gentleness that, looking back now, I can see how it’s all going to turn out. Nonetheless, this cover is gorgeous, and it’s largely in part because of the flowers.
I read The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston a few years ago now, so I don’t really recall what it’s about, but I do know that there’s a lot wrapped up in the orchard that the plot is centered around, and I’m always going to be hyped about stories with orchards. The language that pretty much everyone writes around trees is just gorgeous, but it’s especially elevated when it’s about an orchard because there’s so much more inherent love in trees when you’re constantly looking after them.
The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody is probably the most nature-driven book, and the details on this cover just get to me every time. The little cluster of mushrooms is definitely my favorite, especially when they’re scattered throughout the pages of the book, too. But this cover is even more beautiful in person, the colors on it just so vibrant and lively. The cover is perfect, too, for all the wandering through the forest that Barclay does inside the book.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is probably one of my favorite covers ever, and even though there’s nothing specifically nature-driven about the plot of the book, it feels so fitting because Harrow has such a way of describing her settings that feel like you’re right there, kneeling in the high grass with wildflowers all around, staring at a door that shouldn’t be there. And I can feel myself in January’s heart, surrounded by impossibilities, in a way that makes this cover so visceral.
Much like Felix Ever After, the flower crown on the cover of All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is a big part of why I ended up buying the book. I mean, look at it. Don’t even get me started on the gorgeous blue & pink background because that flower crown is stunning, and I think it’s pretty much a given any time I see them now that I’m just going to instinctively buy the book. I mean, I haven’t been led astray yet. In fact, all flower crown books have been five stars so far, sooooo.
I was so damn pleased when the cover of Horrid by Katrina Leno actually reflected the inside of the book. Like, honest to Satan, I did not expect that ending at all because who actually goes that hard anymore? Who blatantly shows you the path to villainy and then actually carries through with it? No one! And I want more of it! Show me how characters have the potential to go rogue and awful, AND THEN DO IT. This book is hella creepy, and I love it.
I mean, honestly, if you thought we were getting through this list without Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore, what are you even here for? I probably could have picked any McLemore book because all of their covers are just glorious and usually steeped in nature, but the inside of Wild Beauty reflects the outside, and it deserves to hold the spot of honor here. I mean, look at it! If I hadn’t already loved McLemore, I would have bought this book just for the damn cover.
Not only does the cover of Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke feature nature, but so does the title and the plot, so win/win/win? I’m just dying over here waiting to find out if Tucholke is going to write another book in this universe because it’s just utterly wondrous, and I need to be wrapped up in her insane mind again. And also, look! We finally got a sword!