Monday, 2 April 2012

Book Blogger Confessions- Spoilers

The idea of this is to recount, perhaps even vent in order to ward off violent outbursts, about the nuances of life as a book blogger.

Spoilers in reviews: Do you read them, do you include them? How to you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?

In a nutshell, I think spoilers are necessary a lot of the time, but please warn me (a) when they're coming and (b) how important they are as part of the overall plot i.e. Major or minor.

In general, I'm not too fussy about spoilers. I hat when the ending is ruined or a major plot twist is told, but the minor spoilers about who dies or little revelations don't matter too much to me because until I read the book, I won't see them as overly important and I might still be surprised and awed when I do read them. I've only ever been exposed to one spoilers against my will. The scene was:

[Alex is sitting in a classroom with friends, one of whom is reading. The room is noisy with many people conversing at once.]

Alex: Are you not reading # anymore?

Friend: No, I finished it last night.

Alex: And what did you think?

Friend: It was good, but I didn't understand the bit when (person) dies towards the end.

Alex: ...

Friend: You have read it right?

Alex: No...

Friend: GOD, I'M SO SORRY! HE DOESN'T ACTUALLY DIE- I WAS JUST TESTING! [Puts head in hands, ashamed.]

Alex: ...

[Alex bursts into tears because spoilers of that magnitude make him feel like the who world has spontaneously imploded.]

That was nice. I like interludes!

The only other spoiler was the last Harry Potter book because I couldn't bear to read it if, 7 hours later, something terrible happened and the 7 years I had dedicated to these books ended in heart-wrenching despair.

When it comes to spoilers in reviews, I only like to include them (and, admittedly, see them included) when a book is in a series. I figure that in order to review a book properly you have to be consider everything and if that means revealing something from book 1, then you have to do it to have the honest review. Often, said spoiler will be a huge thing and it can be annoying if its importance is diminished or even ignored in the next book. Other times, it just has too much of an impact and to ignore it would be like not reviewing the majority of the book. You should review a book as if it's the first in the series or a standalone: so if knowledge is given which you are expected to know, you should write your review in the same vein.

I think you should always warn someone you're going to be putting a spoiler in because some people are more sensitive about them than others.

That was great question though!

Can I ask whether anyone else has ever had a story like mine: with someone spoiling something completely by accident?


  1. It's hard to avoid them when you're reviewing books from a series. Things have happened over the course of several books but if people aren't caught up yet they may not not know people are together/broke up/dead even though it happened maybe two books ago.

    When in doubt add a warning I guess.

    I do like some spoilers and like I said I peek at the end sometimes but I don't want the entire story described or even the how's of the spoiler. I still enjoy the journey.

    I peeked at the end of Mockingjay because if a certain boy died I would have been crushed. The joke was on me though because I thought I was in the clear but the context was totally different after reading the whole book so I'm still surprised even after being spoiled.

    That's horrible about how you were spoiled. That just ruined everything!

    1. Yeah, Karen, I would have punched somebody if a "certain boy" had died, too. It was my worst fear about MJ, by far. I was all ready to internet-rant if things hadn't gone my way.

  2. Can't say that I have been spoiled that way , and its tough when reviewing books.

  3. Yes. Except the people involved didn't care that they'd spoiled it because they didn't see the bad in spoilers.

  4. I know a crop of younger bookworms in my hometown that are horrible about spoiling books for their friends. It's for a good reason, though--they get so excited about whatever they've just read, that they forget that they have other reading friends around who haven't finished the book or series in. Right now, they're all pressuring each other to finish the Hunger Games trilogy so they can all finally talk without ruining the series for somebody.