Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Reviewing 101: An Alphabetized List of Words Everyone Should Use Less

If you read a lot of mainstream book jackets, book reviews, and/or book blurbs, you find yourself swimming in a sea of hyperbolic adjectives with a very low turn-over rate.  I've compiled a list of the most egregious offenders that should, at all costs, be avoided from here on out.  

A –  Arresting
B –  Bold, brave, beautiful

"Levine evokes the early stages of longing with beautiful, arresting prose." - wikipedia

C –  Complex, compelling, captivating
D –  Devastating, dystopian

"Both utterly realistic and fantastically dystopian...”- Minnesota Herald Tribune

E –  Exhilarating, explosive, epic

"Lyrical and explosive, this debut book of poetry explores Alex Lemon's experiences as a brain surgery patient." - Tin House

F –  Forceful
G –  Gripping
H –  Haunting

"Haunting.” - Real Simple 

I –  Irreverent, inspired, intimate
J –  Juvenile
K –  Killer
L –  Luminous, lyrical 

See entry "E" above.
M –  Moving

...turns what might have been just a clever mash-up of disaster epic with sensitive young-adult, coming-of-age story into a genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal... -New York Times

N –  Noteworthy
O –  Of-the-times, observant
P –   Post-modern, profound, poignant
Q –  Quirky


R –  Reminiscent, redemptive, riveting, remarkable
S –  Suspenseful, stunning, stirring, smart, sentimental, subtle

“Haunting…a bittersweet coming-of-age tale…tender but unsentimental and buoyed by subtle wit” - People

T –  Tasteless
U –  Understated, uplifting, universal

Playing out almost ballet-like, not only because of the landscapes or timeless (and of course, melancholic) Wagner soundtracking - but the sheer understated drama and tragedy of it all is incredible. - melancholia tumblr

V –  Vigorous
W – Whimsical, witty
Y –  Youthful

I'm in no way walking away from this blameless, either... But I do feel a new zeal for challenging The Generic.

What are your buzz-word pet peeves?


Kelly said...

I'm dying over the photo reference for "quirky."

Becky said...

Cool post! I never read the back of books for just this reason. They say virtually nothing, lol.