Friday Face-Off: Circus


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town!”
~ a cover featuring the CIRCUS

Mogsy’s Pick:
Pantomime by Laura Lam

This week is another head-to-head contest. Coming up with covers featuring circuses was certainly not a problem, but I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite books! Yes, Pantomime is a story about a circus, the greatest circus in all of Ellada. But peel back the layers, and it is also a coming-of-age story dealing with matters of gender and sexuality. This fantasy YA novel follows an intersex teen named Micah Grey as he embarks on a journey to understand his non-binary identity and what that might mean to him physically and socially as he attempts to find his place in the world.

Let’s check out the covers:

2013 Strange Chemistry (left) vs. 2015 Pan Macmillan


And as a bonus, here are the covers to the sequels too, even though I haven’t read them yet:

Shadowplay by Laura Lam

2014 Strange Chemistry (Left) vs. 2016 Pan Macmillan (Right)


Masquerade by Laura Lam

2017 Pan Macmillan


As much as I love the new designs, I’m going to have to go with the original covers. They’re more mysterious and enticing, and they just grab my attention right away. I also generally prefer covers with people on them, and seeing these covers also makes me feel nostalgic for Strange Chemistry.

What do you think? Which one is your favorite?

26 Comments on “Friday Face-Off: Circus”

  1. I prefer the Pan MacMillan covers because of the colours and the design. More eyecatching. I would pick these off a shelf to read the blurb but I wouldn’t pick up the other covers. They don’t entice me.


  2. Although the 2013 cover seems more appropriate with the teen’s inner arc (it really suggests a dramatic and character-driven tale), I actually love those Pan-MacMillan covers! They just scream “circus” to me! I would totally pick those up 😀


  3. I’m pretty sure I own the first one in this series. I do like the black covers with the colorful designs but they almost seem too plain. So overall, I’m going to have to go with the Strange Chemistry versions. Seeing them makes me more apt to pick up the books. However, for people collecting them, I can see why they would go with the Pan-MacMillian covers – so they would all match!


    • Yeah, it’s too bad Strange Chemistry shut down! It would have been interesting to see what their artist could have come up with for Masquerade. But you’re right, if you want to have all your books match now, you’d have to go with the Pan Macmillan 🙂


  4. I have no preference for once. I am just excited to see Shadowplay has a release date! This may be my favorite ongoing YA series and it feels like it has been forever since I read something from it.


  5. I love this series, although it feels like YEARS since I read Shadow Play. I’m looking forward to the third book, if it comes to the US. And I agree, the original covers are much more interesting that the resign.


  6. I think I like the Strange Chemistry covers too, although I do kinda like the newer Pantomime one. they’re all great. The SC Shadowplay one is really nice and I like Masquerade too.


  7. I totally agree with your cover choice – I love that Strange Chemistry Shadowplay cover. I still haven’t read this series – but I will. I’ve got a cunning plan! To try and split my books 50/50 with review/personal books – I simply have to start tackling all the books I buy, it’s becoming quite horrific.
    Lynn 😀


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