The Cover Wars: The 2019 Edition

Today is my turn and I am superbly late putting up this week’s batch of covers but the ones I have chosen are beautiful so I hope I will be forgiven.

This week I am featuring books by POC writers that are coming out in 2019. I love all of them and I hope you do too.

At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

Release date: March 5th, 2019 | Goodreads

Nafiza: Whoever chose the colour palette of the cover clearly knows what they’re doing. From the stance of the model to the flowers to the birds, the composition of this cover is designed to catch the eye. I would pick this up without knowing anything about it and that’s what good covers do. This will look amazing on my shelves.

Jane: What a stunning cover! That colour contrast is so eye-catching – the yellow just pops right off the page against the blue. The storyline sounds pretty rad, too – girl gangs, tough girls, trying to find your place and your self.

Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal for readers of Sabaa Tahir and Alwyn Hamilton.

All hail the Girl King.

Sisters Lu and Min have always understood their places as princesses of the Empire. Lu knows she is destined to become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while Min is resigned to a life in her shadow. Then their father declares their male cousin Set the heir instead—a betrayal that sends the sisters down two very different paths.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu goes on the run. She needs an ally—and an army—if she is to succeed. Her quest leads her to Nokhai, the last surviving wolf shapeshifter. Nok wants to keep his identity secret, but finds himself forced into an uneasy alliance with the girl whose family killed everyone he ever loved…

Alone in the volatile court, Min’s hidden power awakens—a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign…or allow Min to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could turn out to be each other.

Release date: January 8th, 2019 | Goodreads

Nafiza: I follow Mimi on Insta and recently got the other Book Warriors to do the same. She has an amazing feed full of her wonderful pets so if you like cats, you will probably want to follow her. Now that I have plugged her Insta, let me talk about the cover. I have been wanting to read this book ever since I saw the synopsis a long while ago and I am so glad the cover seems to channel the fierceness and the grace of the main character. I love the background, the sparks, and most especially, the expression on the model’s face.

Jane: Yup, I am one of Mimi’s new Book Warrior followers – anyone who is as obsessed with cats as I am is already a winner in my books! I love this cover – that stance is so fierce and strong and determined. The back copy sounds good, too – epic fantasy with strong female leads.

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

Release date: January 29, 2019 | Goodreads

Nafiza: I can’t remember if I have shared this on a Cover Wars post before but I reckon it’s okay if I shared it again as I cannot share it enough times. I love this cover for many reasons, the most prominent of them being the fact that the model on the cover has a realistic body type. I like the blue background which focuses attention on the model and I like her expression which clearly indicates that not everything is roses and cream in her life. This book is important as I reckon will be the message contained within it. There will be some girl somewhere who will take heart from Rukhsana’s story and how amazing is that?

Jane: This one has been on my radar for a while now, and I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on it. I love that Rukhsana gets to be front and centre on her own cover, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see more diverse, authentic LGBTQ stories coming out – in the world of queer YA there’s still a massive gap in the literature, especially where non-white protagonists are concerned. There are so many queer experiences that need to be shared, so that queer kids everywhere can see stories that resonate with them. I know that Rukhsana’s story will connect with so many readers.  I absolutely cannot wait to read this. CAN.NOT.WAIT.

Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.

Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, the first book in Swati Teerdhala’s debut fantasy trilogy captivates with electric romance, stunning action, and the fierce bonds that hold people together—and that drive them apart.

Release date: April 23, 2019 | Goodreads

Nafiza: I adore covers in which the model seems to be suspended in action as if all we need to do is look away and she will spring into action. The title and the synopsis all promise that this book is going to be one I am going to enjoy. The cover is just the sweet (organic and well ripened) cherry on top.

Jane: This is stunning. The crouching character, ready to launch into action, then disappear into the shadows like a whisper. Even before I read the blurb I knew that this was the story of an assassin – the cover works so, so well. Wow, this sounds so exciting and gripping. I am so here for the strong female leads. Oooh, and it’s a trilogy, my teen readers love their trilogies, so they’ll be happy!

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Release date: March 12, 2019 | Goodreads

Nafiza: I adore the progress (or denaturing) of the couple as you move from the top of the cover to the bottom. And the back copy is so superbly intriguing. The conflicts are so ripe and full of possibilities. I love the light colours which make the slow deterioration of the relationship even more pronounced. I’m just excited for this book.

Jane: Oh dear….that cover just kind of makes me sad! It’s like watching love evaporate over time. There’s an interesting sort of “butterfly effect” note here – how much are you willing to risk, to destroy, to save the one you love? I was a bit surprised by the back copy – I had sort of assumed it was a realistic, contemporary YA romance, but the addition of time travel adds a slightly ominous, darker, unexpected twist, which I really appreciate.