This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers! #2

Not too long ago, I compared book covers from different countries and you all seemed to really enjoy that. Therefore, I’m bringing this feature back and hope you all enjoy another round of pitching UK/US covers against German ones.

Obviously these are all my own, very subjective opinions! BUT I’d love nothing more than to hear your thoughts in the comments below, because the discussions were a lot of fun last time around. Also, as a little heads up, I don’t actually know which covers are from the US or the UK – I just either pick the one I own or see the most.

ROUND #1

a face made of stars with their eyes closed only the title of the book written in white all caps below it - "Sleeping Giants"       The cover is white with one robotic eye with a light blue iris. The black font takes up most of the space saying "Giants - Sie sind erwacht"

The Themis Files are one of my all time favorite Science Fiction series and I’m the proud owner of the hardcover copies, which I will gladly display on my shelf. The stars are actually all made to look shiny and silver and it’s such a treat to look at.

The German cover however … WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? First of all, “Giants – They have awoken” (which is the translated title of “Giants – Sie sind erwacht” sound so incredibly menacing and that message is just underlined with the cover. It completely loses the whimsy and curious feeling of wanting to explore space and discover who might else be out there. All the German cover gives me is evil robot vibes.

Right out of the gate, I have to hand this to the UK/US cover! So much more beautiful!

Read my review of Sleeping Giants here.

ROUND #2

A girl, who's face we cannot see, is riding a bike on a beach. The cover text says "Along for the Ride" in dark blue and "Sarah Dessen" in a lighter blue font     You can see the bare feet of a girl who is sitting on a washing machine and the back of a boy in jeans and a dark blue shirt. The title says "Because of you" in the curve of the washing machine door in red font and "Sarah Dessen" in orange font

In terms of the themes shown on the covers, both versions of Along for the Ride are valid. If you’ve read the book, you know that it ties into the story either way, but I have to admit that this isn’t an entirely fair fight. The cover on the left is a recently updated version, due to the release of the Netflix adaptation a couple months ago. While the original version from the 2010s still shows a girl on a bike, it has the same “outdated” look as the cover on the right.

I’m not super mad about the “German” cover, especially considering from when it is, but I’m definitely confused about the title change. Why choose something English, but not the original title? Sure, I know that they worry about people understanding it and “Because of you” is easier, but it still feels like an incredibly odd choice and not as fitting.

As I said, it wasn’t fair to begin with, but this one goes to the UK/US one again, just because it looks fresher.

Read my review of the Along for the Ride and the comparison to the movie here.

ROUND #3

a cubic looking red bird is mirrored by a blue one. The title of the book is "This Is How You Lose the Time War"       The background is a dark blue, on the right upper corner are blue leaves with geometrically placed light blue dots. On the lower left corner is a branch of deep red berries. The title of the book is "Verlorene der Zeit"

This Is How You Lose the Time War is a unique book and I can see the struggle of having to encapsulate that in a cover. I enjoy the simple background and the fractured birds from the English language cover, but I also understand the thought process behind the German one.

They once again chose to change the title, which would mean “Lost ones in time” if you translated it. Personally, I prefer the wittiness and the promise that comes with the original English title more. The one the German publisher chose makes me think about stranded people, rather than a complex story about how love can topple the best of plans.

This is very much a personal preference, but I’m once again here for the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #4

a blue and green landscape of a small mountain town with figures skating on a frozen lake to play hockey. The title says "Beartown" in large white font that partially gets hidden by the tree line       a blue and green landscape of a small town. The title of the book is "Kleine Stadt der großen Träume", which means "Small town of big dreams"

Sometimes changes can be much more subtle, but still impact a lot. At first glance, these two covers are obviously very similar, but again … curious choices from the German publisher.

For those of you who don’t know, Beartown is a book about a Swedish High School hockey team that is about to make it big and help out the entire town with their success. The original cover has the hints of boys playing hockey right there, but because the German publisher amped up the saturation and made the green color more prevalent, it now looks like a small town with a field of grass rather than a frozen lake.

This is one of the few occasions where I’m actually fine with the translated title though. “Small town of big dreams” makes a lot of sense in this context. I’m going to say this is a tie, despite me actually leaning more towards the original cover.

Read my review of Beartown here.

ROUND #5

the background looks like a light wooden floor, with crushed pink flowers strewn on it. The title "It ends with us" by "Colleen Hoover" is written in a slightly darker pink than the flowers are colored over the entirety of the cover      

It Ends With Us is the only Colleen Hoover book I’ve read, but since it’s having its renaissance on TikTok/BookTok, I thought I could feature it as well. To begin with, the German title translates to “Just one last time”, which fits the novel still, but conveys a very different message to the original title in my mind.

Again, these covers aren’t super different from one another and yet … the UK/US one just looks better. There’s something about the German one that makes it seem cheap, maybe it’s the white background, maybe it’s the changed font for the author’s name? I don’t know, but my vote goes to the English cover again.

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it, you’ve made it! The UK/US covers are the obvious winners! I don’t even need to tally the exact points. I really tried to put more effort into finding good German covers this time around, but somehow they keep disappointing me. Maybe I’ll have more luck next time?


What did you think of the revival of this feature? Would you like to see more comparisons in the future? Let’s chat!

This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers!

A while ago, I saw a post over at Lais @The Bookish Skies comparing Brazilian and American book covers and I was super intrigued by the idea. Somehow, I forgot about it though, or other things just became more pressing, until I watched Jack Edwards and Steph Bohrer compare UK and US book covers over on booktube. I just knew, I had to do this for German covers (and titles? Cause they often change them?) before I’d forget it again. So, in short, we’re going to compare UK and US book covers with those published on the German market! I don’t know who does it better, but this post might give us an indication.

(This was really inspired by all the people above, please check out their content!)

ROUND #1

       

I don’t remember if the left cover is the British or the US version, but whichever one it is, but I fully intend to finally read the book this year and that’s the version I own (I think).

For once, they did not actually change the title, but I legit couldn’t find a cover image without the silly “BookTok sensation” sticker. When they’re not actual stickers and cannot be removed from the book, I often feel like they might just become my villain origin story.

In general, there’s just something more mysterious, luxurious and enticing about the English language cover. This round clearly goes to the US/UK!

ROUND #2

       

Okay, where do I even start? They stuck to translating the title correctly, but that’s about where I stop liking the German cover.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a very slow paced, atmospheric book. It’s about prejudice and perseverance. It’s about love and life and family. There’s a lot of harsh realities and even a murder mystery, but I feel like the German cover leaned into that last bit way too hard. Somehow, the darker color scheme makes it reminiscent of crime and thriller books rather than the celebration of nature and societal commentary it is. Again, points go to the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #3

        

There are a couple different variants of the English language cover, but they’re mostly in the realm of what is shown above. Please, do get ready for the translation of the German title though – I still can’t believe they called it that: “Destiny is a lousy traitor

While I think the German title sort of relates to the story, I just don’t know where they got that particular phrase from. It feels clunky (in German) and I would have never guessed it’s supposed to be TFIOS. The rest of the German cover is also just so random. 1) they ignore the stars in the OG title, but put them on the cover, 2) there’s a random city skyline? and 3) Is that a dandelion floating about?

The English cover isn’t particularly creative, but I feel calmer looking at it. English language covers keep winning.

ROUND #4

        

I chose the blue cover, because it’s the one I own. I know there are different versions out there, but it’s what’s on my shelf, so it’s what I’m going to judge it on.

I kind of like the German one more, but wish the head wasn’t part of it? I’m just confused, is that supposed to be Achilles? Either way, it looks a little more exciting than the blue cover, which is just very plain. So, while I don’t feel compelled to give either one a point, this one reluctantly goes to the German cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #5

        

They tried to do entirely too much with the German cover! Why do they always want to pack half the plot into the imagery, when a nice understated font can be so much more enticing. I don’t even know if the person in the crystal ball (where is that even coming from) is supposed to be Addie or Luc. I feel like this just leads you astray, because so much of the story actually takes place in the now. This is a disaster … English language cover wins again!

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it for today! The UK/US covers easily won with 4-1 points! If I ever do this again (should I?), I will have to make sure that I do a better job at finding nice German covers. Although … there are several reasons I don’t own many German editions and it’s apparently not just the language …


What did you think of this post? Would you like to see more comparisons? Let’s chat!