The Six Kinds of Great Book Titles: Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, loves! Today I am so excited to share a guest post from Alyssa Carlier, one of my FAVES who had taken a bit of time off from the blogosphere! She writes amazing stories, she has awesome blogging tips, and so much unique content, so I am so glad she’s rejoining us, and I am so, so happy to host her (and her fabulous giveaway, make sure you enter!) with a guest post AND quiz! I love a quiz, so of COURSE I took it. I’ll tell you my results at the end! Read on for Alyssa’s fun post! 

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is honestly as impossible as completely clearing your TBR.

But a cover isn’t the only thing that gives us readers the first impression of a book — a title can decide whether I read a book or leave it to languish on the aforementioned TBR.

AND. Don’t you ever get titles mixed up because they seem so familiar? It’s not that publishers are conspiring to befuddle us bookworms — but because certain titles

In fact, title trends definitely exist, and I’ve noticed 6 different types of titles for popular books. And it’s not random which books have which kinds of titles …

(Pssst! I’m holding an international giveaway for swag of quite a few of these books, so don’t miss out and keep reading!)


To be fair! Not all book titles fall into this pattern. But a shocking number of them do, so I did the only sensible thing … create a quiz so you can:

Find out which kind of book titles you like best!


So what does it all mean? Let me now explain each trend and give some examples.

Fair warning — I haven’t read all of these, since some of the blurbs on my TBR sounded super interesting! Click on each cover

1) The Adjective Noun: down with big brother.

Okay, so technically it’s Animal Farm which fits the bill here, but I couldn’t resist the 1984 reference.

At first I thought: wow, there are a lot of genres here. but they can more or less be summed up as: the main character and their small group of friends make a stand against authority. And even if they’re not classified as dystopian, you should definitely expect some sort of a dystopian world from these sort of titles.

2) Colour Me Numbers

This type of title is really a subset of the Adjective Noun, but includes colours/numbers for whatever reason! It takes a little mental acrobatics to fit them perfectly into The Adjective Noun’s plotline,

However, many of these books are fantasy, and like to subvert a few of the classic tropes too. Expect to see much moral ambiguity and anti-heroes here.

3) The Thing of Nouns: i bid you stand, men of the west!

This one’s fairly obvious. It’s ALL THE FANTASY, often with warring empires and medieval princesses and oh so much magic. They’re not at all shy about hiding their melodrama, either, and each sequel — oh yes, this is the sort of title that means a heck of a lot of sequels — only takes it up to eleven.

4) This and That: *trails off in dark sparkles*

I know what you’re thinking. Dark sparkles??? Yeah, I know, that’s some awful purple prose there.

But you should definitely expect lush (and much better) writing from these titles! But beaneath the pretty words, there may be an eerie note — whether it’s horror like Blood and Salt, or the hint of magic and curses in The Wrath and the Dawn …

5) Mysterious-single-word: welcome to level seven.

These titles tell you so little. They could literally be about anything! It’s definitely one of the more melodramatic kinds of titles.

Fittingly, these tend towards the speculative side, with complex worldbuilding and magical/scientific systems. They often have a pinch of moral complexity too, so these aren’t your summer beach reads.

6) Baffling (and Somewhat Incomplete) Sentences

Perhaps the book world is running out of single words for titles, because I’ve recently noticed this new trend of titles that are sentences or clauses. But what really sets these titles apart is how they don’t really make sense at first sight — but once you read the book or even the blurb, it just clicks.

These are close cousins of the mysterious-single-word title, but more common in new releases! They also span more genres, and include most of the contemporary that I’ve read / is on my TBR.

And that’s it! Thanks to Shannon for hosting me here, since I just relaunched my blog at If you liked this quiz, you might also like my takeout army where I share bookish fun like stats of villain deaths in popular books!

And I hope you’ll join the international giveaway below for some pretty sweet book merch!

3 bookish prize packs giveaway: V.E. Schwab swag, Society6, and more!

Was the quiz right?!? Have I missed out on any book title trends, or am I outrageously wrong on these? Comment away!

About Alyssa Carlier

Alyssa Carlier writes (and more often rewrites) novels about girls in worlds of magic, madness and murder. Sometimes she remembers to blog about books and shares her best book blogging tips with other booklings. Alyssa hasn't noticed Jedi mind tricks work better in second person than third.

Thanks to Alyssa for this awesome post! I am so glad she is back to blogging!!

(Also, I got the adjective-noun! Not surprising; see The Hunger Games haha. How about you?)

Posted July 5, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Giveaway, Guest Post / 13 Comments


13 responses to “The Six Kinds of Great Book Titles: Guest Post & Giveaway!

  1. I got the Thing of Nouns. Which makes total sense because fantasy. So yeah… fun quiz! The Baffling Sentence titles always get me… I’m always wondering what they mean and if reading them would solve the mystery lol. You can stroll the YA contemp section and get a megadose of these!!

    I do like a good Mysterious One Word title occasionally. Adjective Noun titles are pretty awesome too.

    Great guest post! I’m all thinking about titles and analyzing them now lol.

  2. Margaret Appel

    ROFL I got The Thing of Nouns is ALL THE FANTASY, with empires and medievalism and magic. These titles are our resident drama queen. Drama?!! Me?!! NEVER!! But unicorns? ALWAYS!!

  3. Ughhh, I hate fantasy titles. I never know WHAT book people are talking about because they all sound the same!! I do kind of like the single mysterious word titles though– which is what I got on the quiz!!! The titles that make me super curious to read are ones that are like How to ____ or The Secret of ______ or Confessions of ______. For some reason I must know what these secrets, confessions, or ways to do whatever it is.

  4. I got the Adjective Noun, which I think would have been true a few years ago. I read the synopsis of Rebel Seoul, which sounds extremely interesting, and decided I wasn’t interested in it. I guess I’m still drawn to those titles, but I haven’t had the interest in reading them for a while. I’ve been going toward Baffling (and Somewhat Incomplete) Sentences.

  5. It’s funny because I sometimes choose books totally based on their titles. And I know I am a fan of the long titles, the ones that are a real mouthful and also are sometimes so clever. Examples are A Game of Thrones (it also just suits the novel so well), My heart and other black holes (I had to read it!) and The Sky is Everywhere. Also, the firebird trilogy titles <3 A Thousand Pieces of You!

    My review:

  6. I got the adjective noun, which makes sense because I love books about friendship and adventures! I hate the single word titles, I need a little more haha. The incomplete sentences I’m okay with though. That category made me think of John Green’s new book: Turtles All the Way Down – what the fuck is that about? 😀

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