Sunday, August 19, 2012

Discussion Post: Spoilers in Reviews?

<sorry no picture; didn't have time to look for one that was allowed or to upload one of my own.>

This is the concluding post, for now, about some items I've been thinking about lately. Personally I am very pro-spoilers but I have been thinking about a few things relating to them.

I like spoilers because I like knowing what is going to happen. I live on the West Coast so I can check out what East Coast people say about my favorite dramas before watching them for myself. I can also choose not to; it's all about having options! I especially like having spoilers in book blogger reviews because sometimes they can really shift your reading experience. Say an unexpected couple kiss and it makes you squee or maybe the author killed off your favorite character-isn't that going to greatly affect how you feel about the book? And you need to communicate that to the reader but you should also give them the option to decide how much they want to know.

Of course, you definitely have to warn people. If the review comes before the book is officially published, then it definitely needs to be marked. But when does that run out? I remember people having spoilers galore about Mockingjay within 24 hours and not always marking them as such (I was upset because my book was not delivered the day of release despite Amazon's promise). I also feel like some spoilers are necessary in order to properly discuss that book as well as others. However now it's been two years since the release-do you still mark spoiler? At some point, do you no longer have to warn your readers? I feel like this is more relevant for classics blogs but still applicable here.

Another element related to spoilers is the goodreads and publishers synopses that feature spoilers. For me, Glamorous Illusions did this. I was very interested to find out how an aspiring teacher, the daughter of farmers in Montana, ended up embarking on a grand tour of Europe and goodreads told me right away instead of enjoying the very emotionally powerful opening chapters that laid the groundwork. I usually jump on goodreads to pursue reviews after reading the first chapter or so and was really disappointed in this instance. I've seen other reviewers mention similar problems with the official synopses for other books as well.

So do you love spoilers or do you avoid them? Is there a time-limit on how long something has to be marked as spoiler? And how do we get other sources to edit their info so there's not a spoiler?


  1. I hate spoilers but I agree it makes discussions difficult! What I prefer to do is find out who has also already read it and conduct open discussions via email!

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with spoilers. I sometimes have spoilers in my reviews, but most of the time they are major spoiler free. In my opinion all reviews are technically spoilers because they voice what's going to happen to a main character, they give little hints about the ending (sometimes). In the end I think I love spoilers more than I hate them because it doesn't really bother me if I know that "so and so" are going to kiss or "Ted" is going to die.

    Great discussion post!

  3. I really dislike spoilers because i like to be surprised. But sometimes reviews do have to reveal at little about the book to get people interested in it. So the spoilers i definitely don't include are the ones revealed near the end. if a spoiler is for a revelation in the beginning of the book, i'm okay, but not for the end.
    Fantastic discussion idea!

  4. I get disappointed if I read a review and it is filled with spoilers, especially if I haven't read it or any of the series. I try not to put things that will completely give away everything in my reviews. Sometimes its hard especially if the book is sooo good. So I do a lot of backspacing, so that I don't do it. Great discussion post. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  5. I also don't mind spoilers as much as most readers. I've been known to skip to the end and check the ending, then go back and finish. I know -- I'm terrible!

    But I would never want to spoil a book for someone else, so I try my hardest to keep my reviews and posts as spoiler-free as possible.

  6. I love spoilers when it comes to certain TV shows or movies (I knew what was going to happen in Season 2 of Downton Abbey before I watched it thanks to viewers in the UK) but not so much with books. I didn't want to know what happened in A Game of Thrones but I found out about the loss of a major character thanks to a review of season one of the TV series on Amazon. I was not so happy about that.

    With books, I really don't want spoilers though I do sometimes look ahead if I am trying to decide if I want to keep reading a book. Or if I just have to know if a character makes it. It was hard to not look ahead when reading the last Harry Potter book :)

    I think it is best to not put spoilers in book reviews because people feel so strongly about it. If you really want to discuss a book without having spoilers visible, you could do what Sheila at Book Journey does by creating a Spoiler button or having a spoiler page. It is a very creative idea and allows people who have read a book (or don't care about knowing spoilers) to have a discussion about it.

  7. I love this discussion post! You lay everything out so well. I don't mind, and sometimes even like, spoilers in reviews just so long as I'm given the option whether or not to read them. (Warnings, blacked out text, html spoiler tags, etc.)

    I REALLY don't like it when I'm blindsided by a spoiler though. I dislike that so much that I'll stop following a blogger if they do it often enough.


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