Okay, this is probably the first discussion post that I’ve done in a while (actually, have I ever done a discussion post before?), but it’s something that’s been bothering me for a while, so I felt the need to vent about it.
My rant today is on the topic of spoilers, not just in reviews, but when others comment on blogs and give out information that is vital to the plot.
First off, I am a firm believer in letting others discover twists and turns in the plot for themselves, unless they otherwise want to look them up. I appreciate the fact that Goodreads has the ability to allow reviewers hide anything they might find to be a spoiler, and that readers have to click on the link to show it. This is so awesome (and to be honest, I never click to show the spoilers), and I’m sure that everyone else appreciates that feature, too. I also appreciate when bloggers note at the top of their post that that particular review or discussion will have spoilers in it – that way readers can check out the post at their own discretion, and is in depth as they would like, depending on whether or not they actually want to see something that could be potentially spoiler-y. Some bloggers even create two versions of reviews – one with spoilers, and one without. Again, I find this to be incredibly helpful for those who have already read the book, or those who are just gaining insight to whether or not that particular book is for them.
Personally, I’m really not a fan of spoilers. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while or you’ve just started reading, you’ve probably noticed that in a lot of my reviews, I tend to be a bit vague. For instance, if a book I’m reviewing is a part of a series, I might leave out a lot of the plot in my review in case others haven’t gotten to it yet, or even started the series. I instead talk about the novel overall – sure, I’ll discuss the plot and how I feel it fit in with the rest of the books, but I don’t give away details or anything. I’ll discuss the characters, the tone, etc., but I steer away from anything that could ruin it for someone else.
The same goes with books that have a really drastic plot twist that affects the novel as a whole. This is the case in some books, especially thrillers, such as We Were Liars, Genuine Fraud, or There’s Someone Inside Your House. I’m not being lazy by making this reviews short, and you’ll find that I will discuss other things in depth, such as how I felt about the characters, the narration, etc., but I do keep them short, because I don’t want to let anything slip that might give away vital plot information that can ruin the book for other readers.
Another thing that I just noticed today was the fact that someone posted a comment on my review for We Were Liars asking about the plot twist. Since this wasn’t a regular commenter on my blog, it did require moderation before it would post, but unfortunately, I had to delete it because it gave the entire story away. I felt really bad about it, but I didn’t think approving that comment would have been the way to go, as it completely spoiled the whole book (I know, it’s an older book that almost everyone has read already anyway, but it’s the whole idea behind it). I always approve comments, but this one time I just couldn’t.
I prefer going in blind with the majority of the books I read so spoilers usually just annoy me. When I look at reviews, what I want to know is if the book is worth my time. Things like the quality of the writing, potential triggers and how characters are portrayed (stereotyping is a pet peeve of mine) are the types of stuff I want to find out about. I do not need an in-depth essay on every aspect of the story. I have always found that to be a little pointless because what need do I have to read the book if the review has basically summed it all up for me?
Exactly! If you already know what exactly is going to happen in a book what is the point in spending hours reading it? I love getting the overall idea of what the book is about, but I like to tackle it myself from there.
I try not give spoilers away in my reviews. I like going in blind and not knowing stuff. Great post!
Thank you! This has just been irking me for a while now I guess and I needed to vent. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to know things about a book before reading – it has too much influence over how you perceive the book if you know too much, I think.
I don’t put spoilers in my reviews. I want to encourage people to read the book, not ruin it for them. I get irritated when the Internet spoils books (or TV shows) for me.
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Review: Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Same…I try to stay away from any talk of books or tv shows until after I’ve read or watched!
I don’t know if I’m always successful, but when I write my reviews, I try not to give away much of anything that isn’t already in the book’s synopsis. That way I have enough detail so that my comments on the book make sense, but not so much that I’ve given away major plot twists, etc.
Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra recently posted…ARC Review: The Blackbird Season
I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to not really wanting to give too much away in reviews. I pretty much write my reviews the same way. It just irks me when people comment on a post that clearly says “I’m not giving too much away so I don’t spoil the book” by mentioning the plot twist that gives the whole story away.
Great discussion, Kelly! I try as much as I can NOT to reveal any spoilers in my reviews, because I just hate reading a review filled with spoilers. I really want to discover the story and all of the plot twists myself. Obviously, bloggers are allowed to write reviews with spoilers, as long as they put a warning beforehand and/or hide the spoiler-y parts, in order for everyone to be okay with reading the actual review 🙂
I never want to give anything away in my review, I always try to be vague because that’s how I would appreciate others to do as well 🙂
I agree with you on the comments: I try NOT to give things away in comments, or try and remember to warn people by writing, SPOILER or something, in all caps ahah.
Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks recently posted…Review: Girl Out of Water, Laura Silverman
Thank you for stopping by! I like the way you write your reviews – they’re always thoughtful and spoiler free. I definitely agree about how to warn people if there’s an upcoming spoiler – even just writing it in all caps is a great way to make sure people don’t accidentally have the book ruined for them!
If the review is positive and you are wanting others to want to read it, then leaving spoilers out is really important. It becomes harder to leave out spoilers when you write about a book you did not enjoy, because I believe you should justify why you gave the book such a poor review. I usually add spoilers to my negative reviews, or my DNF’d reviews so I can make points about what I did not like or why I couldn’t finish the book. But there will always be a warning, from me on that.
I definitely agree with you – it can be hard to post a review without spoilers if you didn’t actually enjoy the book. I’ve written quite a few of those and they’re really difficult to write. I’m glad to know you at least post warnings when you post spoilers though!
Spoilers in book reviews make me very sad! I hate to know big, important things in the book/s I want to read. It takes away that special moment of figuring out everything for yourself, along with the characters.
As for my own reviews, I keep them spoiler free. Sometimes if I do feel the need to discuss something that might be considered spoilers, I put big, bolded caps “spoilers in this paragraph” so people can easily skip to the next without possibly being spoiled.
I have never had a comment on the blog that spoils a book, but if I did I would probably delete it or edit out the bits that were spoilery, and just tell the commenter I did that for other readers who may not know how the book ends.
Spoilers can be hard to avoid sometimes in the book community, but they do happen. Even when people talk about their reactions to books (like crying etc) it kind of gives away important things, and that annoys me, haha.
I hope you don’t get spoiled any time soon!
Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Five Things You Should Know About The Well by Marie Sexton
You made such wonderful points in your comment – I usually read reviews expecting to see spoilers and just kind of skip ahead, but when someone posts a comment that spoils the whole book it really irks me. I never delete comments but this time I had to because of how much of spoiler it was. It’s so nice to see that there are so many bloggers who actually take other readers into consideration when writing their reviews. Thank you for being so awesome =]
Kelly recently posted…The Thing with Feathers by McCall Hoyle
I hate spoilers and I mostly write spoiler free reviews but there are some books which are hard to review without adding few minor spoilers and in that case, I warn the readers before they get any further which contains spoiler-ish stuff.
Raven recently posted…Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel [Review]
I agree – sometimes it can be really hard to write a review without adding spoilers for some books…especially ones that already have a vague synopsis or a lack of details.