Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shelf Analysis - The Big Red Dress

So, has anyone else noticed something rather red about YA covers as of late? Big, red and rather poofy?

Yes, I am talking about all the gorgeous red dresses that are gracing YA book covers. While I absolutely love all these covers, I am rather perplexed by the trend.  Was there a fashion notice that I missed?  Should I be rushing out and buying matching gowns to go with my books?

Dark Heart Rising by Lee Monroe
Forgiven by Janet Fox

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Captured by Maggie L. Wood

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Die for Me by Amy Plum

ETA: Two new YA finds with red dresses on the covers.  This is just getting crazy!

Dark Angel by Eden Maguire
Supernaturally by Kiersten White (Thank you, Maggie, for pointing this one out!)

I feel like I've missed some out - are there any other red dress books I've skipped?  Not that seven nine is exactly a small number... in fact, I didn't realise how many red dress books there were out there until I put together this post. And any thoughts on the trend?  While I like it, I'm not sure I get it...


  1. I think with those, it's probably a contrast thing. The background is very stark, sometimes even done in greyscale, so the brilliant red stands out all the more and makes the character wearing it seem so much more vivid in the mind of the onlooker.

    Still... that is an aweful lot of red dresses. Brilliant blue or green would work just as well with that trick, but those colours get used far less, for some reason.

  2. I'm not sure, but it certainly is dynamic. So beautiful! They all seem to be alike as well. Dark backgrounds and a female swishing in a red dress.

    Btw... this added like 5 books to my TBR pile.

  3. Hello, sorry to bother you, I'm trying to set something up and I'm looking for UK Bloggers. It seems that ARC (Advance Reading Copy) book tours are becoming increasingly US restricted and I am trying to gather a large amount of people exclusively from the UK to set up our own ARC tours. Of course, I need a lot of people of I'm going to prise some good ARC's off of the Publisher's grubby hands...
    If you're interested please visit me!


  4. @Tea and Tomes - You're right about the contrast - the dresses are extremely vivid against the dark background. But I also agree that a bright blue/purple/green/any other color would work just as well. Like the cover to The Body Finder....

  5. So, I have a BIG thing for Red Dresses. Red just happens to be my favorite color. I will admit it, I would probably buy these books simply because of their kickass covers :)

    That Bookish Girl

  6. Well, now that you mention it, there does seem to be a big red dress thing going on! I love some of these covers - especially the Aussie Unearthly cover, Die for Me and Falling Under.

    I guess the red hints and danger, but also seduction?

  7. I love all of these covers - Unearthly is beautiful. Like you I don't necessarily get the red dress trend, but I like it!

  8. I am so glad you put together this post! I noticed this trend as well and even mentioned it to my sister. I don't get it either but I must admit these covers do catch your eye and the dresses are lovely.

  9. The sequel to Paranormalicy also has a red dress ... although from what I remember it's not all that poofy.

  10. Gorgeous covers! I'm not sure if UK is going red, but I thought US is going blue (where I'm at). Our Unearthly cover is actually all blue - yours kinda threw me off :)

    There's a lot of color trends floating about, I have to admit. I guess red must be making the rounds!

  11. If we're going to get analytical, it might be symbolizing the girl's sexuality. At least, if we go Red Riding Hood way. As it is, I think they just wanted attention...and red kinda screams for it. :D

  12. How funny! I was just preparing an Artsy Shelf feature for my blog on that exact theme! (I did simply Red dresses once, and now I was planning on a YA red dresses). You found some I hadn't seen before which makes it even more interesting than mine could have been. I think it's really eye catching, especially since most of them are on neutral backgrounds.I love them!



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