Trending Thursday: YA Title and Cover Trends

Welcome to a new installment of Trending Thursday, a periodic post in which I discuss various YA trends. This week I'm looking at two trends:a title trend, and some recent YA fantasy cover trends.

When I posted over the weekend about downloading a new book, everyone was excited:

And I began to think about the title: A Madness So Discreet. I've read a fair amount of romance novels and I've seen this title format before:

A Soul So Wicked A Hunger So Wild A Jewel So Rare

I'll call it ... A Noun So Adjective.  It has been used before in YA:

A Need So Beautiful A Want So Wicked A Blue So Dark
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Okay, and what's with all the Sinister Hooded Figures in YA fantasy lately? And, uh, the typography in these three feels a little similar too...

The Novice Assassin's Blade Falling Kingdoms
Novice by Taran Matharu
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Falling Kindgoms by Morgan Rhodes

In 2010, Orbit Books did an infographic of the most common fantasy cover elements, and according to them hooded figures began to become popular on fantasy covers around 2009, though it seems like it crossed over to YA fantasy covers more recently. A previous trend had been swords and daggers, something I've been tracking  in YA for a while.

pic name pic name pic name

What do you think? Hood or dagger? Some of these covers have both! And what would be your Noun So Adjective title if you wrote a book? I'm going to think about mine....


  1. I like the hood. It gives it a more sinister aura. Been noticing the onslaught of those titles, too. And I, for one, am a fan.

    1. Ha - sinister is good. And the titles are fun. I was making up some of my own.....

  2. I really like the title trend. There are some really creative ones too.
    The sword and daggers things needs to end though. I'd love to see more covers like the cover for Uprooted in Fantasy books.

  3. I prefer the hooded figure over the sword, but I think they need to be a little bit more diverse with the font haha.

  4. There were so many hooded warrior books for a while there I got so confused I just didn't bother.

    I wonder if that happens often and they lose readers following a trend or if it's just me they lose because I'm lazy and hype adverse. lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. Yes i have noticed those covers and wondered what was up with them. lol I don't mind the hooded ones but the Nouns ones lol

  6. Well,despite being overused,I do love hoods in my covers.It gives the cover and the book a mysterious and intense feel that I really like.Plus I think they really suit the books especially if they're fantasy novels about assassins and warriors.

  7. I actually love the A Noun So Adjective trend! They make the book sound really intense. :) If there were to be a book ABOUT my life, it'd be A Book So Boring. xD No, seriously.

    The hooded trend works for me, too. It makes the main character seem eerie and mysterious--and I definitely want to uncover EVERYTHING about them. :) I don't like the dagger covers though, mostly because of all the negative space around them..

  8. I really enjoy this trending series! TBH, I'm a bit over the whole hooded character vibe - personally I prefer more abstract covers.

    You're also spot on re: the naming conventions for titles - I've seen SO MANY "A _______ So _______" lately!

  9. I actually like the hooded figured. It screams fantasy and mystery. You know you're in a crazy ride when you see them. :)

  10. Ahhh so many parallels and trends! I definitely don't mind it though, I can see why some genre's might have been that are eerily similar in typography and images but what works, works you know?

  11. Lol, I do love these posts, Jen. You've got eagle eyes and the observational skills that would conceivably be coveted by an FBI agent :) I'll have to think about A Noun So Adjective...

  12. I usually stay away from those trends in YA, I don't know why but hoods and daggers always equal "corny generic fantasy" for me. Noo I don't judge books based on its cover. :)

  13. I like the hooded figured on fantasy novels, it looks mysterious xD I don't like the dagger trend alone though, it just seems cheesy. Great post <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  14. Totally team hood over dagger. The hood is way more mysterious. And that is a great trend you picked up on with A NOUN SO ADJECTIVE - Mine would be a A MOMMY SO TIRED

  15. I can't think of a good "A Noun So Adjective" - I've got to say, I'm not a huge fan of that trend.
    Sinister hooded figures though, I can go for. They look so damn awesome to me!
    Not the biggest fan of the Defy cover, but I like the look of the other two dagger books.
    I love your Trending Thursday posts so much.

  16. I like the title trend. It's catchy and fun!

    I am not big on the daggers, but I do love the hoods :)

  17. Gotta say, I'm a fan of the hooded covers. They just look so badass. But the sword covers have to end, they are so unoriginal.

  18. I love these trend posts you do! So interesting.

  19. Ha, the A Noun So Adjective titles always seem so dramatic!
    I think I like the hoods, it totally screams Fantasy, haha. But it would be nicer if the fonts varied a little more. I'm sorta indifferent to the daggers.

    Great post, Jen!

  20. Yep! Like, The wonderous and the wicked, the beautiful and the cursed, her dark Curiousity, a cold legacy (eh, kinda..), the loveLy and the lost -- those are exemplifying two themes I guess, with the start using "A" or "The" :)

  21. Oh wow. I only know about The Assassin's Blade, but yeah, all of them look like they could be a part of the same series. Yikes.

  22. The Noun so Adjective is such a dramatic trend! I find it kinda cool! Not so much of a fan of the dagger trend, but the Sinister Hooded Figures is kinda badass, plus I loved The Assassins Blade so I might be biased. ;)

  23. I don't read a lot of fantasy, YA or otherwise, but yeah...all those hoods and swords! The three "hooded" books really do look like the same series. I didn't notice the trend with the "So" titles, but that's kind of hilarious!


  24. Until you mentioned all of these things, I tend not to notice the trends. But once they are all collected together it feels like a slap in a face. The familiarity of all the patterns we see - like hooded characters in fantasy - probably makes us more likely to buy them as well.


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