Sunday, 14 November 2010

Vouchers, Reviewing and Writing

Bookdepository is giving away -10% vouchers that we can share with friends, so if you want one, just fill in the form below - I'll send you one.

A few days ago The Undercover Book Lover (Not Really) posted about an article about the top 20 most annoying book reviewer cliches and how to use them all in one meaningless review. It's a very interesting article, and some of those clichés do make me think of reviews right away. I'm even guilty of some of them.

Here is the list:

1. Gripping

2. Poignant: if anything at all sad happens in the book, it will be described as poignant

3. Compelling

4. Nuanced: in reviewerspeak, this means, "The writing in the book is really great. I just can't come up with the specific words to explain why."

5. Lyrical: see definition of nuanced, above.

6. Tour de force

7. Readable

8. Haunting

9. Deceptively simple: as in, "deceptively simple prose"

10. Rollicking: a favorite for reviewers when writing about comedy/adventure books

11. Fully realized

12. At once: as in, "Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict is at once a compelling mystery and a gripping thriller." See, I just used three of the most annoying clichés without any visible effort. Piece of cake.

13. Timely

14. " X meets X meets X": as in, "Stephen King meets Charles Dickens meets Agatha Christie in this haunting yet rollicking mystery."

15. Page-turner

16. Sweeping: almost exclusively reserved for books with more than 300 pages

17. That said: as in, "Stephenie Meyer couldn't identify quality writing with a compass and a trained guide; that said, Twilight is a harmless read."

18. Riveting

19. Unflinching: used to describe books that have any number of unpleasant occurences -- rape, war, infidelity, death of a child, etc.

20. Powerful

The prize of the competition
The final item of this post is about writing, my own writing. Juliet Marillier Café and Mundo Mariller, together with the author Juliet Marillier held a creative writing competition to win a copy of her new book, Seer of Sevenwaters (that I'm anxiously waiting for).

I participated on JM Café, with a prose text. Unfortunately I didn't win. If you are curious about my piece, you can read it here.


  1. I read that article at The Undercover Book Lover (Not Really) xD I think I've used "Lyrical" in a review once to define the author's style, and the "That said"..well..that expression just comes out without me noticing.

    You just had to use Seer of Sevenwaters' cover in a post, didn't you?

  2. I know I've used "gripping", "poignant" (but I really like this word!), "page-turner", and of course, "that said".

    And you saw right through my ploy to use Seer of Sevenwaters' cover. An entire post so that I could sneak it in :P

  3. I knew it!! That's exactly what I thought when I got to the bottom of the post and saw the cover! "omg this post is a scam!" You can not fool me missy! Me smart.

    I know, poignant is a great word *poing-poing-poing-poing-poing*

  4. Yeah, guilty! I've used all of these! Will have to keep an eye out...great list!