From Nancy Drew to cult fave Weetzie Bat to yes, those blonde Californian Wakefield twins of Sweet Valley High that soapy social Lev Rambin recently impersonated, all have undergone frequent makeovers to keep their covers looking fresh to new generations of young adult readers. Print has an article about the ever-changing cover designs of classic YA literature. Check out, for example, the different covers of Judy Blume novel about s-e-x, Forever.
The hero or heroine of a typical YA novel is trying to make sense of the world and his or her own place within it, but the physical book is a clearly defined object unto itself. Indeed, it's an accessory, explains Marc Aronson, author of Race and a longtime YA writer and editor. "It has to sit comfortably next to all the other objects in the reader's world, their magazines and clothes and music. It's all about a sense of coolness and intelligence. It's a style—it's saying, 'We are exactly who you are. This is the world you'll feel comfortable with. Nothing about this book is going to make you feel awkward to carry it and wear it. It's as sleek and cool and as with-it as you are.'"