Top Five Tuesday: Top 5 Books With People on The Cover

Title Card: Top Five Tuesday - Books With People on the Cover

I seriously can’t believe August is over. Not only does that mean summer is coming to an end, but it means today is the last scavenger hunt-inspired Top Five Tuesday. Top Five Tuesday was started by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm and is now hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads, and this month, each week’s theme was based on book cover designs.

Today’s Top Five Tuesday prompt is “top five books with people on the cover,” and it was hard to limit it to five because there were so many contenders. It’s already sparked some ideas for potential spin-off posts, so let me know if you want to see similar posts in the future! To help me narrow down my list, I ended up choosing five of my favorite illustrated covers that had people on them, and in an unexpected twist, ended up choosing a lot of books that I haven’t read.

1. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, Rachel Lynn Solomon 

Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Designer: Laura Eckes, Illustrator: Caitlin Blunnie

“A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.

Things I love: pastel covers, cake, and weddings. (I also love cynical romantics, but you can’t see those on the cover.) We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This has been on my TBR for the longest time, and the cover design is what first caught my attention. Initially, I mostly liked it because of the cake and lavender background, but then I saw the cutest art and the cover design’s grown on me more and more.

2. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, Axie Oh

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Retellings

Designer: Rich Deas, Illustrator: Kuri Huang

“Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is an enthralling feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale “The Tale of Shim Cheong,” perfect for fans of Wintersong, Uprooted, and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.”

Axie Oh’s books have the greatest covers. When I first saw the cover, I immediately though GHIBLI VIBES and added it to my TBR. Then I saw Spirited Away in the comp and the fact that it’s a Korean folktale retelling, and now The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022.

3. Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Sue Lynn Tan

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Retellings

Designer: Rich Deas, Illustrator: Kuri Huang

“A captivating debut fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.”

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is another one of my most anticipated reads for 2022. Like The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, it’s another historical fantasy inspired by Asian folklore, and it’s cover is also designed by Kuri Huang. I added it to my TBR when I heard the synopsis, but then I saw the cover and got even more excited about it. I wish I had the words to articulate it better, but the moon, the wispy clouds, Xingyin’s dress, the VIBES 😍😭

4. Instructions for DancingNicola Yoon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Designers: Martha Rago, Neil Swaab, Illustrator: Renike, Hand Lettering: Jyotirmayee Patra

“In this romantic page-turner from the author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, Evie has the power to see other people’s romantic fates—what will happen when she finally sees her own?”

There’s so much I love about the cover of Instructions for Dancing. The teal background, the typography, those bright pink flowers, and of course, our dancing couple. It’s the only book on this list that I’ve actually read, and one of the few books from one of this month’s Top Five Tuesday whose story I loved as much as the cover.

Review: Dancing Through Life (Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon)

5. A Magic Steeped in Poison, Judy I. Lin

Pub Date: March 22, 2022

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Designer: Rich Deas, Illustrator: Sia Hong

“Judy I. Lin’s sweeping debut about a young tea-maker who takes part in a cutthroat magical tea brewing competition that could be the key to saving her sister’s life.”

The cover design of A Magic Steeped in Poison is so unique. I love the vibrant colors and the crazy fantasy vibes. Judy Lin’s description of why the cover is so amazing is much better than anything I could say and gives Sia Hong’s design all the love it deserves the cover, so I’ll just tell you all to look at her gorgeous design for The Order of The Pure Moon Reflected in Water instead.


I know there are definitely books with people on the covers that I missed because there are so many good ones out there. What are some of yours?

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