Trending Thursday: Silhouette Romance

Welcome to Trending Thursday, a weekly post in which I spot a YA trend of some sort and we can discuss.

I've done two recent posts about covers that talked about face-avoidance on YA covers -- the fact that many readers don't want a photo of the main character's face on the cover and the ways that cover designers seem to get around that.

You can check out my post on Headless Covers here and my post on Obscured and Shattered Faces here.

Today, I wanted to talk about the silhouette, another solution to not showing a character's face directly. There are several different variations on this theme. 

First, there's what I call Silhouette Romance. Pastel and sweet, it evokes walking hand-in-hand along the beach at dawn. Thank you, Only Everything, for mixing up the color palette, though the font is romantic and I still think I see clouds.

What I Thought Was True Second Star Catch a Falling Star
Don't Call Me Baby Summer of Yesterday Only Everything

Then there's what I like to call Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  By changing changing the color palette to moody blues instead of gauzy pastels, and switching up the setting to something more menacing -- an alley, a forest, a lair --  there's a new element of suspense and mystery.

Lair of Dreams Untold Book of Blood and Shadow
Get Even pic name Forget Me

Then there's ... what should we call this one? Silhouette Futurism? Amping up the color palate gives these more of a high energy, sci-fi feel.

Burn Out Flams Raging Star

Then we have what I'll call Silhouette Standoff. The figures are not running, but taking a stand against something or someone. Oppression? Dystopia? That white block text?

Illusive Young World Idols

Classic Silhouette --  these are solid black and have a sweet old-fashioned feel. The problem with that is that they can make a book feel young. Can you tell the YA from the MG?

Nightmare Affair Unspoken Weather Witch
pic name pic name pic name

What are your thoughts on these? Do you have a favorite? I'm not a huge fan of any of them. I'll take those shattered faces...


  1. I LOVE the classic silhouettes! (Gah! I can NEVER spell that without spell-check. XD) It makes me think the book is going to be thrilling and creepy. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the Silhouette romance ones, because they all tend to merge in my head and I can't tell them apart! I've always gotten Second Star and Catch a Falling Star confused. >.<

  2. I hadn't realized how similar books looked like till that you put it together.

  3. I really like the silhouette covers like these, sometimes some are harder to remember from other ones though.

  4. Haha! I prefer the shattered faces too. I can't say any of these is really amazing!

  5. I don't have a favorite one but they all look so pretty ...I like the dark and light palette more :)

  6. I'm not a huge fan of these, but I like the Silhouette Futurism, not all of them, mostly those from the Dust lands and Across the Universe series. I think they're pretty.
    Great post!
    Lis @ The reader lines

  7. I like them, especially the pastel ones. Just finished 'summer of yesterday' and I really liked it!!

  8. I have to admit the Silhouette Romance ones are really pretty... Though I don't think I'd really enjoy reading them. And Silhouette Standoff- haha, okay, that's pretty funny, but so true! Not really a fan of Classic Silhouette though... I gotta say, I've never spotted this trend! Good eye! ;)

  9. I love silhouettes, especially the futuristic ones! Love the bright colors. The pastel ones are really summery, but I think there's only so many of those covers you can see before they all start blending together. The classic ones are great too, but they do leave me wondering which ones are MG. I swear I always get confused with those sorts of covers.

  10. I love today's topic! I love book covers and I liked your take on them. I did noticed the difference in colors, especially how they have to cater to that genre. Good post!

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  11. This is a really interesting topic. I like Silhouette Romantic Suspense as they are somehow the most alluring to me, or something. I mean Classic Silhouette are nice but somehow that suspense motif on covers is really grabbing to me. Great post, Jen :)

  12. love all these covers. Don't know all the books you listed, but I will check them out.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. I agree about the classic silhouette one. It does make it hard to tell if the book is MG or YA.

  14. oh how I LOVED this post!! you are very true about all the silhouette trends! I definitely like covers with silhouettes on them :D Get Even is pretty cool, as well as What I Thought Was True!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  15. This is my favorite kind of face avoidance so far!

  16. I like the Classic Silhouette the most-I'm still bummed about the cover redesign for Unspoken because this first one was so gorgeous!

  17. I LOVE the silhouette romance covers. The colors are gorgeous and they call my name to it though they really do look a little too much alike. I know a lot of people were getting Catch a Falling Star and Second Star confused (the titles didn't help). I love the classic silhouettes too.

  18. Haha, silhouette standoff, I love it! I think my favorite silhouettes are the classic ones, they look rather old fashioned and vintage cool, like something you'd find in Anthropologie. :-)

  19. I've always thought this kind of covers (with the silhouettes) instilled a certain kind of mystery to the characters of the books, and frequently, I prefer them over the ones where the faces are shown. I love it when we readers are left with our imagination. There is just so much room for creativity here, too, because you're not limited to designing something that will "fit" the face chosen.

    Nice discussion, love :)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews


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