I did my first cover roulette post a while ago for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and it was so fun I wanted to do another! Luckily I found another popular book that has had many different editions made, and I wondered…
What other awesome covers have I missed?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is over a decade old now, which was a startling realization. This book was probably the first dystopia novel I read, and as far as I can tell set off a whole chain of young adult dystopia novels coming out around the same time. It blew me away. Judging by all the other cover versions I found for various years and countries, I wasn’t the only one. ^.^
*A note on this set: some of the images I could find were smaller than the others, but they were so interesting that I wanted to include them anyway. Please forgive the inconsistency in sizes and enjoy the range of styles!
The Cover I Know
Identifiable primarily by the mockingjay symbol with the arrow, the mostly-black cover, and the blocky text for the title.
2009 Serbian: not that different
This is pretty similar to what I know. The author’s name is even the same sound if you said it aloud, so I’m sure I’d know what this was if I saw it at a bookshop or at the airport.
2009 English: Different / ugly
Ahhh… forgive me, but this just is not a design I like. It feels like a late 70s sci-fi cover design, with the illustration and flat colors. I get more of a zombie vibe from this too, with the blood and chomps out of the title.
2019 Romanian: The bird is alive!
The mockingjay is taken to life here, with a stronger focus on the bird than a symbol of it. Bet they were stuck for design when the “Mockingjay” book in the series came out, eh? “DAMN, we already used that for the first book’s cover!! Now what?!” Definitely a step away from the dark color theme we’ve seen.
2010 Swedish: I see Warcross
All I can see in this one is Marie Lu’s Warcross with that blocky title design. This does look creepier though, but the girl on front seems ot be wearing a sleeveless dress with vines wrapped around her neck… not sure I remember that scene, but it has been a while.
2009 German: LOVE
I LOVE THIS. Except I 100% would not expect the story within. This to me looks more like it would be about woodland fairies (hello Holly Black), with some darkness from the blood on the leaves. Even the title font seems woodland-ish!
2009 Italian: Terrifying Robot
This is the same as the German one above in that the cover looks different from the story. I see a robot here, with scary mechanical eyes. I think maybe they’re supposed to be tiny fires, but it’s hard to see the details so it comes across robot-ish.
2009 Russian: A Love Story
This makes this book look like it’ll be some cheesy romance, and also I’m uncomfortable with the shirtless twelve year old boy on the cover. Can you imagine how disappointed someone would be thinking this was a love story and getting tributes instead??
2009 Japanese: Actually, I see it
This feels like a perfect fit, actually. Good job Japan. And now I want a graphic novel version….
2012 Georgian: Hella dark!
OKAY, we’re definitely back to the dark color scheme. I love this one, though. We’ve got the girl on fire, with her boy, and mirroring the format of the mockingjay pin. I mean, that’s technically a perfect rep for this story. Nailed it.
2008 Danish: Werewolves
There kind of are werewolves in this book, right? I can stretch that last awful scene and say there are werewolves. So the full moon feels pretty ominous when you look at it that way. Otherwise it maybe doesn’t match a whole lot.
2011 Thai: arrows, I think?
I’m not really sure what this is showing. Arrow heads maybe. But I love how very different the design is from all the others! It looks like it would be some kind of simulation novel, with the edges like pixels.
2011 Norwegian: subtle fear
This looks more like a war book to me, but hey I guess that’s not really that far off. Fire, blood, and targeting. Bows don’t usually have sights like that, but the idea is there. Also.. this design-heavy cover is SO far from the original I know, I would see it and think “oh hey, that author has the same name as The Hunger Games one” and assume it was a different book.
Would you be able to guess?
Honestly, I added more covers than usual for this set because there were so many interesting ones! I think it says so much about the country and culture to see what design choices they make to help the book sell. Absolutely fascinating. And that German one? Gorgeous. I might get a copy just to look at it. Let’s just take another look, shall we? 🤩