Thursday, February 12, 2015

Do Certain Buzzwords Make You Pick Up a Book?




Yesterday I was looking through Goodreads and checking out 2015 and 2016 releases and realized that I am a very predictable person when it comes to my fictional tastes. I definitely have TYPES when it comes to books, going so far as to label certain reads as "Gillian books" because they tick so many of my BOXES. I'm not a picky reader and often love things outside of the Gillian book parameters, but I've still definitely got a SWEET SPOT. Because there are certain buzzwords in synopses or premises that grab me every. single. time.


http://blahandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/You-had-me-at-hello-GIF-Jerry-Maguire.gif

I have so many beyond that, too! Feminism, Victorian, gods, baking, sex positivity, pirates, parallel universes, LGBTQI+, and obviously anything that hints at romance tropes I love. Fake dating? Best friends with feeeeelings? Boys next door? Princes and paupers? Princesses and rebel kings? Oh look we made it this long without me mentioning Bellarke GOLD STAR FOR GILLIAN

There's not really a point beyond this post other than me wondering if you also have buzzwords that grab you. Also it's always fascinating to hear people with completely DIFFERENT words than I have, like people who gravitate towards grief, suicide, illness, bullying drugs, country music, angels, and any number of things that don't necessarily grab me at first glance.

Or maybe it's certain descriptors that pop up frequently in synopses. "Quirky" and "epic" and "star-crossed". Dark, gritty, lush, searing, witty, humorous, brutal, bloody, quippy, light, sweeping, sexy, richly imagined, and on and on and on.

So what grabs YOU in a synopsis/description/premise/pitch? Do you have any of the same magic words as I have? Or maybe you're someone drawn to the things that don't really speak to me (but that I totally can and have loved in the past)! What gets you at hello?

23 comments:

  1. I do! I'm not really sure what they are but I know when I see them I'm like EEEE MUST HAVE. I also have buzzwords that have the opposite effect :-( I am highly predictable with my book obsessions for sure.

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    1. Totally agree Kristen, I have almost all of your words Gillian (SUCH GOOD WORDS!) but when I see a book with certain words I can't always articulate I know I want it! And there are others (grief, for fans of John Green, gritty, etc) that make me turn away. But it's not always cut and dry, I have to see/hear it and then I'll know.

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  2. I probably do! I'm not sure what they are, but I have found certain summaries grab my attention better than others. I love the words you listed though; they're fun!

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  3. I'm pretty sure I have a bunch of buzzwords that make me want to pick up a book! You've actually made a pretty accurate list up there, so apparently we share a ton of buzzwords in common ;)

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  4. I love books to do with Paris, twins, "boy-next-door romances", books that seem to feature strong family bonds, sarcasm, a bookworm character, fantasy, spies, boarding schools, espionage boarding schools, princesses, mermaids, Greek mythology...yep, those are the first ones that come to mind!

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  5. Another buzzword: Genderbending.

    But honestly pretty much anything on your buzzword list will be on mine because Gillian books are Christina books also in 99.7% of cases.

    And it's not really buzzwords, but I will continue to fall victim to comparison marketing until the day I die. Yeah, it's probs a lie, but if a blurb mentions Firefly or something, Christina is going to read it. And she will talk about herself in the third person while she does it.

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    1. YES I'm a sucker for comparison marketing! I've become smarter (yeah Falling Kingdoms is NOT YA Game of Thrones, thanks for playing) but certain blurbs or author/book comparisons make me drool, especially if the reviews from people I trust seem to agree with them. "For fans of Anna and the French Kiss and Louise Rennison." A blurb from Sarah J Maas/Cinda Williams Chima/Kristin Cashore. The opposite also works, if it's blurbed by an author whose work I didn't enjoy, I might not pick it up. And I do love the key words richly imagined, lush, dark, gothic, magical, romantic, witty, hilarious.

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  6. We have a lot of the same magic words. Assassin, Forbidden, London, and Secret Society, are some of the big ones for me! :D

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  7. GILLIAN I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO MENTION BELLARKE, WHAT THE HELL.

    My list overlaps with yours quite a bit and then takes a dark turn because I also respond to things like 'zombies, murder, gore, creep, horror, monsters, haunted vaginas, etc, etc' basically I'll read whatever, which you know miss hey meg read the selection

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  8. This is a great post! Now that you've really made me think about it, I've got a lot of words too. I think my top ten would definitely be: royal, gods, forbidden, vampires, gothic, dark, mysterious, queen, warrior, competition.

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  9. Tudors, Tsars, dragons, warrior + princess (because together is better), assassin (assassin princess??), retelling - all those are awesome from your list! Would definitely pick them up and read the synopsis.

    Stuff that repeatedly draws me in is Powerful, Deadly, Vengeance, and if it hints at complex characters with ulterior motives, I’m all in.

    …and now looking at my words I realize that I sound pretty bloodthirsty O_O

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  10. I definitely have words! Let's see... Dragons, magic, royalty, vampires, assassins, forbidden love, curse, twins, parallel universe, thief, jinn, time travel... There are probably more but that's a pretty good idea of my tastes. Fun post!

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  11. Yes, yes, they do. And I'm trying to come up with some different ones from yours, but you pretty much hit it spot-on. Anything to do with assassins, princesses, princes, rebels, curses, dragons, thieves. Queens, magic. FAIRYTALES always. I also love blurbs that mention oh so casually that the two main characters hate each other/their families are enemies/they come from different worlds (which, YOU KNOW, will make them constantly clash and then ultimately fall in love with each other). That is my romance trope weakness: hate-to-love.

    It's hard to pinpoint it, though. Most of the time it's just a feeling, a MUST HAVE THIS OR I'LL DIE feeling. Dramatic? No, not at all.

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  12. Assassins are definitely something that grab me too, but to be perfectly honest, I don't read a lot of blurbs... I mainly go off recommendations that others have given me!

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  13. I agree with like 90% of your list lol so YES THOSE THINGS, and like Christina said GENDERBENDING. Other than that I would add MASQUERADE BALLS because that will never get off my wishlist. (Life needs pretty dresses, okay??) And Japanese-inspired stories. And specifically GREEK mythology because I need it like I need air.

    I doooo like country music stories a whole lot too though, so I guess there we might differ? I blame my Nashville obsession. And I regret nothing. *longs for Jesse's Girl*

    Similarly I do have buzz words that make me run in the other direction though: suicide, illness, star-crossed lovers, grief, skeletons in closets... does NOT want - unless trusted friends tell me otherwise.

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  14. Definitely anything dealing with Imperial Russia/Romanov dynasty (and if it's Nicholas II + co., if the blurb mentions one of the children escaping/surviving, I get all starry-eyed). I'm currently on a huge Hapsburg kick, so if a book mentions that family (particularly Sisi) I need it now.

    This is more of a buzz..phrase? I guess. But any book set during the Civil War where a woman goes off the fight (usually disguised as a man). YES PLEASE!

    There are also some that send me running: any kind of HEAVY topic (cancer, dying, etc), comparisons to so-and-so (I've been burned far too many times).

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  15. Ever since I got sucked into fantasy I'm all about buzzwords because there are countless of fantasy books out there! Other than the ones you mentioned, anything that has to do with parallel universes, mental disorders, time travel, travel, road trips, and any YA on a serious topic like suicide and depression.

    Simply put, buzzwords are the best!

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  16. I respond really strongly to: Feminism, Gods/Goddesses, Space, Blood, Murder, Foreign Country, Hate to Love, and all of the words you've already mentioned especially sex positivity. My god yes. Oh and I probably would also add in sexually confident because FEMINISM WINS EVERY TIME.

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  17. Ha, I know it's tacky to leave links to your own posts in comments, but I just wrote a post about this same question last week (http://ofdragonsandhearts.com/?p=1369). There are some words (or topics or whatever) that I fall for every single time and I'm sometimes disappointed because the topic isn't all that well-thought-out. But yeah, I also go for Austen, thief, dragons and assassin :)

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  18. Oh! Love this! Also, I wanted to note that your tweets about this post were just so epic!

    Anways, my own list: Princesses, magic, Norse/Viking, mermaids, space/aliens, mental illnesses and Scandinavia. Pretty boring list.

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  19. Ohyes, I have quite some words that make me immediately think I NEEDZ TO HAVE THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.

    Fairytales. Thieves. Pirates. Assassins. Magic. Epic journey. Quest. Battles. Princes/Princesses. Parallel world. Strong (female) characters.

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  20. D) all of the above. :)

    I know that if the book's synopsis has one of those "Fans of such-and-such book with love this!" things I don't pick it up (because it sullies any concept of originality with that novel, sets a false assumption, and is general just a marketing ploy). Frustratingly, it's never the author putting that claptrap in there, but the publisher...so I try not to judge too harshly. Mostly.

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  21. Assassin. I will read anything about assassins. Assassins with a heart of gold. Yes please! Assassins who are just plain evil? OMG, YES PLEASE!

    But, things like 'for fans of' make me not want to read a book...

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