Monday, April 02, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #5

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here

Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.

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

I hate spoilers. Seriously, hate. Someone told me a major plot point of a Harry Potter book before I read it, and I cried for hours. A friend of mine always reads the endings of books first - she says it's to see whether the book is worth reading. I don't get that at all - I hate knowing anything about a book beforehand! The less I know, the better - I need just enough information to get me to read the book, and that's it. For me, being surprised is one of the main joys of reading, so I hate when a book review spoils a book for me.

But even though I hate reading spoilers in other people's reviews, I struggle with what to do with them in my own. Usually, I try to avoid them - I'll leave out that point completely, or I'll be really vague, hoping someone who has already read the book will get it but someone who hasn't won't. But sometimes I just have to talk about that plot twist or that surprising ending because it played such an important role in how I feel about the book. Then I usually put a spoiler warning and write it anyways.

In some book reviews, it's hard, though. What if there's a big plot twist right at the beginning, and you can't really talk about the book without mentioning the plot twist? That was the case for me in Jo Knowles's See You at Harry's - that review was crazy hard to write. I try to do what I already mentioned - be vague, or put a spoiler warning. But I feel bad when, because of my vague-ness, my review is super-short, or when half of my review is spoilers that people who haven't read the book can't read. But I just don't know what else to do!

Spoilers just suck. I don't want to stop reading book reviews before reading the book, but sometimes I'm too scared of spoilers to read any reviews. I feel bad about it, but if reading reviews means I won't enjoy the book as much, I just can't read the reviews. 

Spoilers are a hard topic - I have a hard time avoiding them in my own reviews, but I hate coming across them in other people's. But I think the most important thing is just to always put a spoiler alert before writing something that is even only slightly spoiler-ish, since different people have different opinions on what counts as a spoiler.

So that's what I think of spoilers. What do you think?


  1. That's my problem when I can't discuss major spoilers that directly effected my opinion. 
    When I'm vague I find that people didn't really understand whether I liked or disliked the book but there are so few books with really cool plot twists and I would hate to ruin it for anyone. 

  2. Ooooh... I have to admit, I'm SOMETIMES one of those people who reads the end first... not because I want to know whether to continue, but because I can't help myself. I always end up hating myself for it.
    I'm getting better at avoiding it, and enjoying reading books not knowing more :)

    BUT. Spoilers in reviews? I don't like them. I accidently read a MAJOR spoiler for Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and well... it's kind fo a big deal. I'm NOT happy.

    I try to avoid them in my own reviews. If I'm reviewing a series, it's sometimes impossible to review book 4, without including something about book 3, but even so, I try to keep it vague. I can think of ONE occassion where I've deliberately included a big spoiler, but I marked it clearly, and put BIG warnings... and it was for a sequel to a book with a MASSIVE and really upsetting cliffhanger... and... to be frank, I think for a lot of people, the reason they were reading was just to find out... but... I deleted it later. It didn't feel right.

    It CAN be hard to avoid spoilers... but we owe it to each other, I think? :)

  3. I don't do that either (takes a lot of restraint, though!), but that, at least, I can sort of understand - when the suspense is so high you can't take it anymore and just need to know right now. But my friend does that before even starting the book! She borrows books from me a lot, and she always reads the description and the ending to decide whether or not to read that book, which I don't get at all. Reading and finding out along the way is how I like it :)

    Finding spoilers in reviews is the worst. But I think, if you give a fair warning, that's okay - it's those people's fault if they read on anyways and want to spoil it for themselves. I think if we all just agree to always give spoiler alerts, we're good :)

  4. Spoilers are definitely hard to deal with. I try to never write them in my reviews, and don't like to read them in other reviews before I read the book. But after, sometimes I like to read them to see what others thought of them, especially if they're big twists or surprises.


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