Every year, we try to write about horror or scary books throughout October. While there are more posts planned, I thought I’d take the Halloween/October spirit of things into a little bit of a different direction.
Let’s talk about the moon. More specifically, let’s talk about the moon as it appears on YA book covers. It’s interesting that the moon is a trend-y sort of image in cover design. I didn’t think it was until I started to look through YA books published by year. We’re in a moon upswing, after a handful of years where we didn’t see it on covers as much as we currently — and soon will — see it. When we did see it as a cover trend a few years back, it was a pretty solid indicator of a werewolf story. Now? Not so much.
All of the books on this list feature a moon on the cover, even though not all of these books fall into the horror/scary/thriller categories. I think this could make for a fun display because the visual of it is great. I’ve noted places where the book is part of a series.
Descriptions come from Goodreads, unless otherwise noted. If you can think of other YA books with moons on the cover, feel free to let me know in the comments. I stuck to covers where it was obvious the image was a moon, rather than something that could be the moon.
Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt: Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone, but has no idea of what she wants for herself.
Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe (October 28, first in a series): Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help–but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save. (Description via Goodreads).
The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (series, with ALL covers featuring a big old moon on them): After a meteor hits the moon and sets off a series of horrific climate changes, seventeen-year-old Alex Morales must take care of his sisters alone in the chaos of New York City.
My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp (March 2015): Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out. Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart? (Description via Goodreads).
Starbreak by Phoebe North (second in series): After five hundred years, the Earth ship seventeen-year-old Terra and her companions were born and raised on arrives at Zehava, a dangerous, populated world where Terra must take the lead in establishing a new colony.
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey (first in series): In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a New Escientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi.
A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn: Marni, a young flower seller who has been living in exile, must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and a life with the father she has never known–a wild dragon.
Bright Coin Moon by Kirsten Lopresti (November 18): Lindsey Allen, seventeen, aspires to be an astronomer but her eccentric mother decides they must move to Los Angeles to become psychics to the stars, and soon Lindsey must either betray her mother or her new mentor.
Dove Arising by Karen Bao (February 24, 2015): On a lunar colony, fifteen-year-old Phaet Theta does the unthinkable and joins the Militia when her mother is imprisoned by the Moon’s oppressive government.
Defy The Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell: Seventeen original stories that take place in the absence of light.
Girl On A Wire by Gwenda Bond: A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American! Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies. Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque. As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall. (Description via Goodreads)
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion– and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.
Fateful by Claudia Gray: When seventeen-year-old Tess Davies, a ladies’ maid, meets handsome Alec Marlow aboard the RMS Titanic, she quickly becomes entangled in the dark secrets of his past, but her growing love puts her in mortal peril even before fate steps in.
Nocturne by Christine Johnson (second in series): After the tragic events of the summer, Claire wants to worry about nothing but finding the perfect dress for the Autumn Ball, but her worst nightmares come true when someone learns that she is a werewolf, placing everyone she knows at risk.
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (second in series): Alpha wolf Calla Tor forges an alliance with her masters’ enemies and tries to rescue her pack from imprisonment in Vail.
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby: At age seven, Anna watched her mother walk into the surf and drown, but nine years later, when she moves with her father to the beach where her parents fell in love, she joins the cross-country team, makes new friends, and faces her guilt.
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed (March 24, 2015): Naila’s vacation to visit relatives in Pakistan turns into a nightmare when she discovers her parents want to force her to marry a man she’s never met.