What Makes Me Pick Up A Book? My Top Ten Bookish Buzzwords {Top Ten Tuesday}

170418 TTT Buzzwords

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Hi guys, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s all about what makes you decide to pick up a book.

I have a lot of bookish buzzwords. A buzzword is basically a specific word or phrase, mentioned in the blurb or in reviews, that makes you immediately interested and makes you want to pick up the book. So without further ado, let’s get into a few of my top bookish buzzwords!

Mythology / Retelling

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller red-winter-by-annette-marie Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This is a rather broad buzzword, but it gets me anytime. If a story has any mythological elements, I’m in. Mythological creatures like dragons, centaurs or kitsunes? I’m in. Is it a fairytale retelling? No matter how many I’ve already read, I’m still in.


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Nothing gets me as emotional as books with amazing friendships. If a summary or review mentions friendship as a big aspect of the book, I’m pretty much already running to the bookstore.

Magical Worlds

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Even though I love contemporary as well, I’m just a big sucker for fantasy. Give me an amazing magical world to get lost into, with an intriguing magical system to learn, politics to discover and so many magical characters to fall in love with, and I can just read the day away.

Morally Grey Characters / Antiheroes

Half Bad by Sally Green Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Let’s be honest, the super good, kind, heroic and brave characters are boring. But introduce me to a morally grey character or antihero and I’m in love. Give me compelling back stories, motives and character development and I’m getting out the fictional wedding rings.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe

I love when characters feel so real that they basically jump right of the page. When they feel so real they almost feel like your real-life friends or family. So when a story manages to focus on characters and makes me feel all the things for them? I’m in.


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour Wanderlost by Jen Malone Paper Towns by John Green

There’s something about roadtrips that intrigues me. I love reading about them. I’ve always found driving around to be therapeutic so I guess it’s for this reason that I can’t say no to stories where characters find themselves on a roadtrip.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore Nevernight by Jay Kristoff Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This overlaps a bit with the morally grey characters or antiheroes, but it can also stand completely separate. Either way, if a blurb has the word assassin in it, I will pretty much have already put it in my shopping cart before you could have finished reading the rest of the blurb.


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell falling-kingdoms-by-morgan-rhodes The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is my favorite romance trope. I can’t help it. I’m a huge sucker for this and no matter how many times I’ve already read it, I will continue to keep reading them.

Abilities / Powers

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Maybe it’s because I was obsessed with X-Men when I was a kid (and to be fair, I’m still obsessed now that I’m an adult). But give me a story where the characters develop super powers or special abilities? OH YES!

Ragtag group of characters becoming friends/family

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Cinder by Marissa Meyer The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This may be oddly specific, but I LOVE it when a ragtag group of characters comes together because of circumstances, decide to work together, defeat the odds, and in the process become close friends and form their own little family.


a-quiet-kind-of-thunder-by-sara-barnard the-hate-u-give-by-angie-thomas More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I feel like diversity should be a standard in all books and stories in general, not just a buzzword. But even still, if a book has been praised as beautifully diverse with amazing rep, it’ll go immediately up to the top of my priority list. So I’m counting it.

Do we share some favorite buzzwords? What are some of your bookish buzzwords? Please let me know if you have any recs for me based on these buzzwords!

42 thoughts on “What Makes Me Pick Up A Book? My Top Ten Bookish Buzzwords {Top Ten Tuesday}

  1. Prabhleen says:

    I agree with all of them! Also fictional wedding rings?? HOW did you think of this??? Hate-to-love is a trope which I absolutely adore, because IT. HAS. SO. MUCH. ANGST. I want to read more of books in which there are magical schools, because I need something when I get annoyed at school??? (which is basically everyday tbh) I’d rather sleep and read the whole day❀️? #priorities
    Prabhleen recently posted…BOOKS I WANT TO READ ASAP!My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Haha, I am a collector of fictional wedding rings πŸ˜‰
      Hate-to-love is one my fave tropes as well, no matter how many I’ve read, I just can’t get enough. Oh and magical schools are definitely a must as well! They are definitely a lot more fun than real school…

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks! Yes, retellings are a must for me too πŸ™‚ Haha, yes, I was wondering how to name the ‘ragtag group becoming like family’ thing as well… I eventually went with this, but I’m sure there must be an easier name for it. Oh well, as long as it’s clear what I was talking about πŸ˜‰

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks! I was wondering whether to include diversity in this list, because I feel like it’s something that should be intrinsic to every story, not just something to draw attention. But it does also draw my attention, so I ended up adding it anyway πŸ™‚ Anti-heroes are great too!

  2. Cori @ bibliopathictendencies says:

    Oooh. I love this list. (And I see a ton of my favorite books on here – Aristotle and Dante, Song of Achilles, Half Bad, Simon!) Seriously, I think this list could have been my list! Especially antiheroes and character-driven. Half Bad is one of my favorites, so I really need to stop putting off Six of Crows and ADSOM!
    Cori @ bibliopathictendencies recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #1: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A BookMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Retellings and character-driven stories are the best! The ragtag group is such a great one, but it’s not so easy to describe. As long as you get what I mean it’s all good though πŸ™‚

  3. Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    I agree with Retellings and Mythology – definitely buzzwords for me!

    I need to read more books with amazing friendships and both The Raven Boys and Truthwitch are high on my TBR.

    Magical Worlds – again, I’m IN!

    Antiheroes – Yes please! (loving Kaz!!!!)

    Assassins are another one that seem to do it for me and I really need to try Nevernight soon! Graceling wasn’t a huge hit for me but I’m determined to try more of the series.

    Enemies to Lovers is one of my favourite EVER tropes and I loved The Wrath and The Dawn. Falling Kingdoms is super high on my TBR.

    The Darkest Minds I also need to read!

    I also really enjoy the ragtag group thing and didn’t realise I did until you mentioned it so specifically!

    Please give Island of Exiles a try when you have a chance for the Diversity thing! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration Part IXMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yay, glad we have so many bookish buzzwords in common!
      Also, aaah so happy you love Kaz! He is amazing indeed πŸ˜‰
      Nevernight was so much fun! And the rest of the Graceling series features different characters and even different periods, so maybe if those were what you liked less about Graceling, you may enjoy the rest more…
      Enemies to loves is amazing and I can never say no to it πŸ™‚
      Oh, I didn’t know about Island of Exiles, checking it out and adding to TBR right now!

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Ah yay! Definitely, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say no to any story containing magic πŸ™‚ If it then has magic, assassins, enemies-to-lovers and friendship as well, I’m sure I’ll fall in mad love with the story πŸ™‚

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