Spoiler Alert or Spoiler-Free?

This post started when I was going through my daily comment routine: Going through my Bloglovin’ feed, checking out new blogs, clicking on Twitter links… You know. When I came across a review for a book that I really loved! I always like reading reviews for books I’ve already read so I can (hopefully) share the joy with the other person, so I went through the review and…. OH MY GOSH. THEY JUST GAVE AWAY A HUGE SPOILER AND THEY DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT. Seriously. They didn’t even think it was a spoiler, but in my opinion, it gave away an entire plot twist and a really surprising moment of the book.

** And before I go any further, no matter how many times you ask me, I will not tell you who this person was or what the book was because I’m not trying to point fingers orΒ attack here.Β This incident merely led me to all these THOUGHTS and FEELINGS… and I also need advice. **

So now what do I do? I was in a major pickle. I didn’t really KNOW this person. I think we’d commented on each other’s blogs here and there, very sparsely, so I didn’t exactly feel comfortable saying, “HEY. Your review. I think that’s spoilery!” Because if you don’t know me, I’m very much a people pleaser and I hate hate hate to start up drama or step on anyone’s toes. You know what… even if it was one of my closer friends, I might not even say something because I don’t want anything to ruffle their feathers!Β I’m really afraid of confronting someone and then they get upset with me or think that I’m being all high and mighty because I’m judging their review.

Here’s a little something about me if you didn’t already know: I have a MAJOR fear of spoilers. MAJOR. I’m one of those crazy people who won’t even read a blurb in full or (confession time!) sometimes I don’t read them at all and just trust recommendations from my friends because I have read spoilers in blurbs before! I like going into books blind because I’m so afraid of reading even the smallest spoilers. Granted, most of those blurbs that have spoilers? They’re nothing major. But even things that happen in the first quarter of the book, although setting the entire base of the novel, can be total surprises that I don’t see coming and just that shock or anything that gets my emotions stirring can add that much more to an awesome story!

It may seem a little extreme, my intense fear of spoilers, but I just love feeling like I’m personally experiencing the story and I like to go through it as the characters would. I love being fully wrapped up in a book and losing myself in the story. That’s just my personal preference so I just try REALLY, REALLY hard to avoid an extra info that’s not necessary for me to start a book!Β I always feel uncomfortable approaching someone and telling them something negative about their review like that. I don’t want anyone to take offense, but maybe after reading, you didn’t think that was a spoiler whereas other people who haven’t read the book would.

This is where the advice part comes in: When is the right time to tell someone their review contains a spoiler or a possible spoiler? If I know the person well enough? Always? Never? Personally since I try to hard to keep my reviews spoiler-free (with the obvious exception of talking about previous books in the same series… Because you kind of have to), I would absolutely ask everyone to tell me if my reviews ever contain something you think is a spoiler for the book being reviewed! I try so hard to keep these books fresh for myself and I would hate to ruin it for someone else. If I ever write a spoiler in a review, PLEASE TELL ME. I promise that I will not get mad at you! I will thank you for telling me that my review was spoilery and ruining things for other people!

I was talking with Sharon and Jamie on Twitter about this topic when it first came up and I think a sort of “informal blogger pact” is just what I need! If I ever write a spoilery review, I want someone to tell me, no hard feelings. Let me/the blogging world know if you would like the same!

So what do you do if you see a spoilery review? Do you tell the person? Do you just try to skip the spoilers? What’s the common blogger courtesy?

 

59 thoughts on “Spoiler Alert or Spoiler-Free?

  1. eightbitbrit

    That’s tricky. I mean, sometimes people will do a whole plot synopsis, or have it put up for discussion, so spoilers are going to be a thing that is there so people can discuss. I always try to be vague. But I can’t stand book reviews that are 2 sentences because they don’t want to give anything away, but then there’s nothing even really explaining what happens in the book! I feel like they just put the blurb and then slapped some stars on it. I don’t know,

    Oh about spoilers, I’m reading Game of Thrones right now, and I never watched the show (but it’s exactly the same I’ve heard) but I have the internet and everyone posts spoilers and memes from it, So I know what’s happening for this and the next 2 books, but I still want to see how they got to that point, you know?

    But about spoiler paranoia, before I read the 2nd book in the newsflesh trilogy, I wouldn’t even look at the third book because I didn’t want a chance to glimpse at the back cover and see something. I left it on the shelf, someone was going to buy it for me and I told them I couldn’t even have it in my house. So, yeah, I’m all over the place on this one.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh, I agree! Those two-sentence reviews drive me crazy!
      I’m reading GoT right now too!! I just started A Storm of Swords and I’m a little over 200 pages in and I feel like I need to SPEED READ through it so it doesn’t get spoiled because I don’t know HOW but somehow the BIG THING that happens hasn’t been spoiled for me yet. I’m trying really, really hard haha! πŸ™‚
      And yes — I’m totally the same way with books in a series! I actually am trying to go into the Mara Dyers series TOTALLY blind because I heard from several people that it kind of messes with your mind so I actually haven’t even looked at the synopsis of book one! I’m trusting my friends on this one and I want to be TOTALLY surprised.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!!

  2. Christine @ Oh, Chrys!

    Wow! I’m sorry that has happened to you! I can recall when you were reading GoT and people were letting loose with spoilery on Twitter (though in their defense the book was out long enough). I seem to encounter spoilers on Goodreads a lot. This is funny since Goodreads has the heavenly option to hide such reviews. I do not have a major fear of them as you do, but they are irksome!

    I would love to think my reviews are anti-spoilery, but maybe I have dropped some bombs without knowing. If I ever did, I would just love someone to tell me about it nicely. I know it is hard to confront someone, close or distant, for you though. I do understand why too. Many would get offended for something so helpful. If I ever do release an uncensored spoiler, please don’t feel awkward to tell me. Hehe.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Somehow — I have no idea how — I’ve avoided most of the GoT spoilers. FINGERS CROSSED I can still keep avoiding them!
      I find a lot of spoilers on GR too, which is weird, right!? Kind of sad since most of my friends on GR are bloggers and you would hope they wouldn’t post spoilers as they’re reading, but I guess it does happen!
      Thanks for the advice! I would definitely tell someone privately, and it seems like that’s the popular advice! πŸ™‚

  3. Amy @ bookgoonie

    I’d hope someone would DM or email me a kindly MSG. Because if I did it, it would be unintentional unless it is one of my reviews that says SPOILERS ahead.

    I’m the same way. I don’t read blurbs and mostly stay away from everything related to books on my upcoming pile for sure.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh totally! I don’t think the spoilers are really ever intentional, but it also depends on what people think are really spoilers. It’s hard!!
      I totally avoid my books too until I read them haha! then I’m like, “OHHH I had no idea this happened! cool!”

  4. Natalie

    I am just as afraid of spoilers as you are!!! Half the time I don’t even read the blurb on a book if I’ve had enough people recommend it to me, and I swear at least 30 percent of my TBR list on goodreads I have no idea what the books are about!! Haha.

    Now, as for spoilery in a review: If I posted a review that someone found a spoiler in, I would most definitely want them to tell me! I don’t care If we haven’t spoken that much before, as long as it’s done in a respectful way. A DM or an email would be perfectly acceptable, but just don’t @ mention me on twitter for all to see! Fair enough? I think so.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Haha SAME HERE. I feel like people think I’m weird that I want to read a book but TECHNICALLY I don’t know exactly what it’s about hahaha!
      I totally agree — I would never call someone out in public! It seems like a lot of people are saying that they’d want to be addressed privately but they would want someone to tell them — So that’s what I’ll do in the future! πŸ™‚

  5. Brianna (The Book Vixen)

    I only read reviews for books I’ve already read, and for books I’ve never heard of before. If I come across a spoilery review (which I have, many a time), I make a note to myself so as not to read any reviews on that particular blog for books I have yet to read. Do I tell the blogger? No. One reason is that we don’t all agree on what makes a spoiler. For me, if it’s not in the book blurb, I consider it a spoiler. I know not everyone else feels the same way, and that’s okay. Another reason is one you mentioned – I don’t want to ruffle feathers. If someone were to contact me (privately I’d hope) to say that my review was spoilery, I’d be grateful and would look into it.

    Great discussion topic!

    1. Brittany Post author

      That’s very, very true. And I think that’s the issue I had when reading this review that brought this topic to life — I don’t think the blogger thought it was a spoiler. As someone who had already read the book, I felt like that was a HUGE surprise when I read it but when reviewing it, it could just seem like a plot device. It’s hard to say! I would never confront someone publicly, but sometimes I feel a little uneasy even saying something privately. If it was an obvious spoiler like “SO AND SO DIES” I think I would have said something, but this one was sort of a grey area so it was harder to decide!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      Haha no, don’t worry! It wasn’t you πŸ™‚ I promise I will send you a little private note if it ever happens, but you’re good! πŸ˜€

  6. Debbi Michiko Florence

    This is the exact reason I don’t often read book reviews because like you, I am total anti-spoiler! Sometimes I will just read enough of the book inside flap to see what it’s about but even so, I rarely read the entire flap copy. I’ve had movies/tv finales spoiled by cruising FB status. It makes me want to cry!!!! πŸ˜‰ And I read a book review once that gave away the ending – not in so many words, but I was able to guess what the ending was and when I read the book, I was right (and also no longer surprised).

    That being said, I would probably tell the person if they gave away something important if I was good friends with them. just because I’m one of those conflict avoider types. πŸ˜‰ But if it were a friend, I would definitely say something. It’s a hard thing to deal with on blog-land. Some ppl don’t mind spoilers. Some ppl are find with given them away, but often they will at least have a big “SPOILER ALERT” at the start of their post.

    Let me know what you decide. I’ll be curious. And I truly appreciate your spoiler free reviews! πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks, Debbi! I know… This is why I avoid books I haven’t read on several occasions… Mostly if I know it’s a really twisty book, like Mara Dyer for example. I actually have NO idea what it’s about because I’ve heard it’s very trippy and messes with your mind so I decided I want to be as surprised as possible and I didn’t even go to the event when the author was in town!
      As far as telling someone about spoilers… Seems like the popular advice is to address privately (which of course I would not do publicly). I think it depends if it’s a grey area spoiler or an obvious spoiler… I’ll have to see what the future holds! πŸ™‚

  7. Mary Waibel

    I’m torn on this one.

    I do think if there are spoilers in the review, that you should be warned before reading the review (like in the title- add SPOILER or something like that.)

    But like you said, sometimes we don’t think what we’re saying is a spoiler. In those cases, I could see where a polite e-mail or DM to the person who wrote the review to express your opinion might be a good idea, at least so the person knows it might contain spoilers. I think the key is the tone of the e-mail or DM πŸ™‚

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Mary!
      I agree, it’s hard when you don’t necessarily think it’s a spoiler.. The grey area spoiler! In this case, it was something that TOTALLY surprised me when I read the book, but to others, when discussing it, it may just seem like plot device or a way to write the book. I think those are more difficult than obvious spoilers!

  8. Alison @ The Cheap Reader

    Maybe I’m odd but I don’t sweat too much over spoilers in reviews. The way I see it is reviews are a place for book discussions and for the most part they’re for the people who’ve read the book. I know I never read reviews for books I haven’t read yet (I might skim over them to see how the reviewer feels about the book overall).

    1. Brittany Post author

      I can see that! I don’t really read reviews for books in a series that I haven’t read yet, but if it’s the first book or a stand alone, I may read a review to get a feel for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! That’s a whole other side of it… Whether people read reviews for books they haven’t read or not. Interesting to see what people think about that! πŸ™‚

  9. Monica

    Now I’m running through my memory and wondering if that’s how my reviews are – eek! I hope not! Like you said, I work very hard to make sure my reviews are as spoiler-free as possible with the exception of sequels because sometimes it just can’t be avoided. If that’s the case, I put a huge bolded warning at the top of the post to let readers know. If this blog is a repeat offender, I might send a short email just to let them know “hey, this has happened a few times.” Maybe the blogger isn’t aware of it – sometimes when you get to the end of a book, it can be hard to remember if something is a spoiler or if it was a red herring. I never want someone to be afraid to read my review posts, though, so I would absolutely want to know. Great thoughts on an important topic!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Don’t worry! It wasn’t you! I don’t feel like your reviews are ever spoilery πŸ™‚ You do a fantastic job of explaining your feelings without giving anything away.
      True.. this was the first time I ever noticed anything on this person’s blog and since we didn’t know each other WELL… it was hard to say. It was also sort of a grey area spoiler? For me, it was a huge surprised when I got to that point in the book, but maybe this blogger saw it coming OR didn’t feel like it was spoiler after finishing. I didn’t want to address that if maybe I was just making a big deal out of nothing haha! πŸ™‚

  10. Christina @ Allodoxophobia

    I don’t mind small spoilers that won’t ruin the book – especially if they will help me decide if I want to read it or not. But major cliffhanger endings, no way, don’t out that in a review. I try to be conscious when I’m writing, but I’m sure my idea of spoilery doesn’t always match everyone else’s. Now I’m paranoid that it was me! I think if I saw something really outrageous I would say something gently.

    1. Brittany Post author

      That’s true.. That’s why I tend to avoid reading the details of books I haven’t read yet. Sometimes it’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid tiny spoilers when reviewing because you have to say SOMETHING about the book haha! Don’t worry, it wasn’t you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      that was the hard thing about this specific situation.. I don’t think the blogger thought it was a spoiler and maybe it wasn’t for a lot of people. It was just a huge surprise for me when I read the book so it felt very dramatic to me… But maybe a lot of other people saw it coming! Who knows. I guess it will be something I’ll have to address in the future should I feel it’s a big issue!
      Thanks for your thoughts!

  11. Charleen

    My reviews will never have spoilers for the book I’m talking about. If it’s a book in a series, I put a statement at the top stating if there are spoilers for previous books or not.

    What is a spoiler? To me it’s anything not mentioned in the blurb. And yes, even blurbs can contain spoilers (some more annoying than others), but unless it’s something really bad that makes me cringe that some publisher decided it was a good idea to include it, I figure it’s fair game.

    The most important thing is to be clear about what you’re offering. If your reviews are more of discussions, just warn readers that there may be spoilers ahead and it’s fine (and I’ve seen blogs that have both “Reviews” and “Discussions” to make that distinction, with big disclaimers on the Discussion posts).

    However, since we all have different expectations and not everyone is upfront about spoilers, I do tend to avoid reviews for books that I already plan on reading, unless I know and trust the blogger (or my curiosity just gets the best of me… usually it’s fine, but I’m always afraid of getting burned).

    1. Brittany Post author

      Thanks for your thoughts on this, Charleen!
      I agree.. Pretty much anything not in the blurb is sort of a spoiler for me… Which is why I tend to avoid a lot of reviews for which I haven’t read the book yet. It’s hard to know what’s “right” to include and what dangers on a spoiler. I guess you can’t please everyone because some people want to read more info in their reviews and others want to go in blind, like I do, and want more feelings than details.
      I agree — I think it also depends on the blogger. I have several “trusted” blogger friends who I know are very careful about not spoiling things and I know generally how their reviews read so I know what I’m getting into before I start reading their review.

  12. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    I try to only read reviews for books that I’ve read so that I’m NOT spoiled, but will skim if I’m interested in reading the book. The place where I’ve seen the most spoilers, though, is on TWITTER! I had one series completely ruined for me when someone tweeted at an author about killing off a main character in the fourth book when I had only just read the first. Needless to say, I haven’t continued that series — and I haven’t forgotten!

    Great post!

    1. Brittany Post author

      Oh, that is SO so true. Twitter is a TERRIBLE place for spoilers, especially when people live Tweet TV shows… I don’t know how but (knock on wood) I’ve still be able to avoid spoilers for GoT and Downton Abbey… I should probably catch up on those soon before it’s too late!
      AHHH that’s the worst when you find out a character gets killed off! I think that would definitely (no pun intended) kill the series for me. You’d just expect it for the rest of the series! What a bummer πŸ™
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

  13. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a spoiler in a review for a book I hadn’t already read. But I have seen them.

    If I ever put something spoiler-y in a review, I’d want someone to point it out to me (so please, if it was me, let me know! πŸ™‚ I try very hard not to put spoilers in my reviews because I want readers to enjoy a book every bit as much as I did.

    Thanks for bringing this up for discussion!

    1. Brittany Post author

      No worries, it wasn’t you — But I agree! I would like to know if it was me. If I HAVE to include a spoiler from a book because I really, really want to talk about it, I definitely hide it so people won’t accidentally stumble upon it. It’s hard when it’s something that may or may not be spoiler. That was the tricky one!
      Thanks for your thoughts on this! πŸ™‚

  14. Kelley (Another Novel Read)

    Oh my gosh. I would DEFINITELY want to know, if it were one of my reviews. I don’t care if we’ve never “met” before and you’re a completely new visitor to my blog! I don’t want to be spoilery!

    I’m the same as you. I rarely read the description/synopsis (and if I do, I hardly ever read it all the way through), because I love just experiencing the story with no preconceived ideas or expectations.

  15. Kay @ It's a Book Life

    This is a great topic! I’m glad to finally be reading your post about spoilers. πŸ™‚

    If someone sees a spoiler in one of my reviews and I didn’t have the spoiler caution warning before hand then I would totally love it if they told me! I would feel really bad about accidentally including a spoiler and ruining the book for someone. I always try to read over my post to make sure I don’t have spoilers in them, I actually get nervous about this because I know how heartbreaking it can be if you are reading a review and there is a big spoiler in it without any warning!

    I actually just read a review not too long ago that made me want to cry because their review gave something big away and it made me not want to even read the book anymore. To be honest, I didn’t even think to tell them because I didn’t know that blogger that well. I do think however that if I see a spoiler on a blog that I know pretty well I would just give them a quick, hey I think you have a kind of big spoiler in your review type comment.

  16. DeAnna @ Mommy's Reading Break

    I can totally see your dilemma here. I, too, hate spoilers. I actually had the BIG THING that happens at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince spoiled for me by a book title that came up in a search. It was on some Facebook app that was similar to Goodreads, and I was VERY unhappy! Anyway, I really don’t know whether you should contact the blog owner. I suppose you could, and just use “I” statements, like “I’m not sure if everyone would agree, but I found X and Y to be spoiler-y. Just thought you should know.” I try really hard not to put spoilers in my review, though. Sometimes I find things spoiler-y but then realize they’re in the synopsis, so I will probably mention it. With that being said, since I do try so hard, if it is my blog you’re talking about or ever happens in one of my reviews, please tell me!

  17. Candice

    I don’t mind people putting spoilers in their reviews as long as they give ample warning. If I’m writing something that I know will be spoilery in any way, but really want to include it in my review, I make the font white so people can highlight if they want. I feel like this is a good compromise.

    However, I think sometimes things that we think aren’t very spoilery may be considered huge spoilers to other people. I honestly don’t mind if someone points it out to me, but I always put my thoughts first – not in a mean way, obviously, but if I feel something is necessary to my review and is something that isn’t a shocker or a spoiler, I’m not going to change it. But I do consider what they’ve said.

    Anyway… I think with reviews it’s tricky because we want to talk about the books and certain scenes, but we also don’t want to spoil anything. And even if we say “Warning: There be spoilers ahead!” in blog feeds our content still shows up…

    Why can’t things like this have easy answers?! Great idea for a post topic!

  18. Elizabeth @ Don't Take My Books Away

    Oh, gosh, I’m probably guilty of including spoilers in my reviews (but it’s been months since I’ve written one, so it can’t be me you’re talking about, lol). I want to talk about the book and avoiding spoilers is HARD if you really want to discuss a book. Now, I would never put the twists to a book like Gone Girl up on my blog because that book has to be experienced spoiler-free, but like… a romance? You know those two are going to end up together in the end so I don’t really feel much that is holding me back from saying that they end up together. (Is that even really a spoiler? I don’t know.) If I am a lousy spoiling jerk, though, I’d probably want someone to tell me. It can be hard to draw the line between revealing enough to keep someone interested/incite discussion and saying too much. I’d rather know when I’ve crossed the line than continue being a spoiler.

    That said, I don’t really get too upset when I come across spoilers in reviews because if I really want to avoid them, I avoid reviews, blurbs, etc. entirely!

  19. Kristina

    I’m sure we are all guilty of spoiling something for someone but I try my best as well to stay away from anything even remotely spoiler like and if I think it might be I warn them away right at the beginning. Great post, especially “I’m sorry” LOL. Also, just think. . .we will be done with the GoT books before the next season so no one will be able to ruin anything there soon enough. I’m happy that you haven’t had it ruined since it is such a huge series. πŸ™‚

  20. Lauren

    Okay. It was so hard for me to take this post seriously with all those Friends gifs. I LOVE FRIENDS! So thank you for that because you easily just made my day.
    But onto the topic at hand…
    I think it’s super important to just email the blog author and let them know if their review contains a spoiler — especially if the review didn’t warn readers of spoiler alerts. I’d hate to look at a review I think is spoiler-free, just to know if I’ll like the book, and then get a whammy of a spoiler. What’s the point in reading the book then?? Maybe the author didn’t realize they did it, but I’d still gently let them know. Guaranteed they won’t get mad or anything. In fact, they’ll a) be thankful for you letting them know and b) be super happy you even read their review.

  21. Charlotte

    I am guilty of this actually. But it’s just so hard to create a good review without giving a bit of spoilers here and there. I feel my review would lack substance if I can’t throw two or three spoilers out there.

    Should you happen to stop by my blog and read my reviews, I’d appreciate it if you can message me kindly if it’s full of spoilers. thanks. And I’ll try to improve my reviews the next time. πŸ˜€

  22. Angie

    I run two groups on goodreads and this is where it gets serious. I am the moderator of the Stephen King Fans group… and we are strict about spoilers. This is because there are so many people in the group reading along and don’t want the story spoiled. King’s books also have spoilers to other books in new books so we try to monitor that too. I believe people should tell people about spoilers right away. People do get mad about it sometimes. We have had members get extremely mad because we had told them to mark the post as a spoiler (if they don’t we’ll just delete it). It’s hard to do but if you have ever read King you understand why we do this.

    Anyways.. most people don’t want to be spoiled so I don’t think it’s a bad thing to tell them about it.

  23. Christina @ Christina Reads YA

    I personally don’t mind spoilers and may be like the reviewer in question, but I would say, even if you haven’t interacted with me a lot, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you… even if it’s something like, I loved your review but I think you might want to put a spoiler tag, or warning here. I think that telling the person exactly what you wrote here – that you are a huge spoiler-phobe, and you don’t mean to offend – would work quite fine; the way you say it is what matters, I think, but that’s all. Honestly, I don’t think I would even mind if you flat out told me in a comment I’d spoiled the book. I’d feel horrified that I’d done that to you, but I would not, by any means, feel offended by your comment (unless, say, you cursed at me, but I can already tell that you would not do that :D). Hope this all works out for you! Sorry that the book in question may have been ruined!

  24. Kezia D

    Ugh I HATE spoilers! My friend spoiled me some parts of Clockwork Princess even before I started the series. And there are also spoiler-filled reviews on Goodreads I accidentally read cause it’s not hidden and there was no warning at all that there would be any spoilers! 😑 I always try to be as spoiler-free as possible when it comes to writing reviews. Surely I don’t want to ruin other people reading experience!

  25. Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages

    I would absolutely want to know, it’s hard because I know some people can be really sensitive or defensive (I am not one of those people, you could comment on my blog and tell me I just wrote the worst review in the history of reviews and I would go shrug and go “meh”) and you never know what you might say to will offend someone.

    It’s also hard because people think of different things as spoilers. I remember reading reviews for Nantucket Blue and The Program (after I had finished both books) and thinking that some of the things people wrote were things I would have considered spoilers (and therefore I didn’t mention them in my review). But I guess other people don’t see them as spoilers.

    Great discussion post!

  26. Alexa Y.

    I’m actually one of those people who likes going into books blind too! I usually read the summary when I first see the cover or hear of it, but it’s almost always a guarantee that I forget everything in it when I start a book. I like it better that way as, like you said, it’s much more of a surprise!

    Back when I first started blogging, I was NOTORIOUS for including spoilers, minor and major. I would already say it at the start of my review, but let’s get real — it was just NOT right, which I realize in retrospect. These days, I pretty much avoid spoilers like the plague in my reviews!

    Personally, if I felt like something had been spoiled for me unintentionally, I would have been sad. So if I see something that would be a potential spoiler, I would probably say something about it… but probably only if we’re friends of a sort. It feels kind of odd telling a “stranger” that.

  27. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    I love this post, not just for this post, but for all the comments where people go “Was it me?!” I was one of those people as soon as I finished this post! I mean, I always do my best to not put out spoilers but I’m sure there are times where I slip. I can’t imagine I ever slip on a LARGE spoiler, but smaller ones… I’m sure it happens. I would much rather someone tell me if I were to do something like that than let it go. I wouldn’t take offense, but actually be thankful! I would feel horrible to ruin a story for someone else by slipping up like that. >< If anything, this post is great just because it reminded me to be careful and double check my reviews before I post them.

  28. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I’m a little late to the discussion here, but I’m going to leave my two-cents anyway πŸ™‚

    So, personally, I would never tell someone their review was spoiler-y, even if I found it a bit frustrating. It just doesn’t feel like my place. I mean, unless that someone told me to always let them know if they got spoilery in their review, like you just did. Otherwise I think it feels a little too critical to someone I don’t know. That’s just my opinion.

    And as for spoilers in reviews – as long as the reviewew gives a warning, I don’t mind it at all. I think one of the best things about book blogging is nto just reviewing books, but expressing our feelings about books, and sometimes that requires spoilers. And if the reviewer gives a warning then that’s okay by me.

    I try not to be spoilery in my reviews, but sometimes I just need to get my feelings out.

    1. Brittany Post author

      Agreed! Sometimes it’s hard to avoid spoilers, but I think if they’re clearly marked, then the reader has also been warned and they know what they’re jumping into!
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  29. Eveline @ Eveline's Books

    I always put ‘this review may contain spoilers’ above my review. I cannot decide for someone what they call a spoiler, so by that they are warned. I do a quick recap of the book if the blurb is vague, but never with major plot twists or spoilers in it. I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but sometimes I just can’t explain how I feel about the story or a certain character without spoiling something of the book. I know how irritating it is to hear some major spoilers before you read the book, but sometimes I just can’t avoid them in my reviews. I hope that the warning is enough then.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I think that’s totally fair! If there’s a warning, the reader is aware. That’s why I generally try not to read reviews for books I haven’t read yet! Sometimes I like to check them out though to see if I’m interested, but if the review is marked as containing spoilers, then I know to avert my eyes!
      Thanks so much for commenting! I appreciated hearing your thoughts πŸ™‚

  30. Reem @ I Read And Tell

    Hmm, I frankly don’t know what I would do. On one hand, I would better point it out, because yeah, some people don’t realize they just made a major spoiler, but like you, I HATE confronting people. maybe I can drop it in subtle way?

    For myself, I tend to stay away as much as possible from spoilers. I atleast tag and hide them if necessary. I have a fear of spoilers like you too, and the thing is, some people who negatively rate a book don’t bother warning us about spoiler because you know.. it’s a “bad” book. I’ve seen this happen quite a lot, and even though they are reviewers I love and respect, it still bothers me.

    1. Brittany Post author

      I agree, that would still bother me, even if you thought it was a bad book….. I’ve disliked a few really big titles that people have LOVED. You never know who out there is going to love what you didn’t like!
      Tagging or noting them is the perfect thing if you need to include them. Sometimes I just HAVE to talk about a spoiler so I made sure to hide it! πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and comment πŸ˜€

  31. Rita @ Weaving Pages

    I agree with the blurbs. I have spoiled books before by looking at the blurb on Goodreads. The problem is, I get really excited to read a book so I’ll look it up on Goodreads and then go and also read the blurb of the 2nd book. Then, there happens to be a major spoiler and I just ruin book 1 completely. In my blog’s early days, I would occaisonaly put spoilers in a review but always warn people. Now, I try really hard not to do that unless I really need to say something!

    1. Brittany Post author

      I know, I do the same thing! I have to stop myself from looking at future books in a series. I don’t want to catch anything unwanted from a blurb!
      I’m totally okay with the warnings for spoilers! I think it’s just when people don’t disclose them… YIKES! I’d say that’s a BIG minority though. Most people are awesome about warning for spoilers πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for the comment and taking the time to stop by my blog!!

  32. molly @ wrapped up in books

    Gosh, I know I’ve included slightly spoiler-y information in reviews. I think regular readers know that I might give away parts of the plots, but that’s because my style tends to be analytical and so I break down the plot sometimes. I like spoiler-y over vague reviews, because I don’t have time to read everything, and they help me better recommend books at the library. I wouldn’t shy away from telling someone if I thought that they gave too much away, but that’s just my personality and i get having reservations. I wouldn’t mind if someone pointed out that I gave too much away, however. I also think there’s a different standard for brand new books as opposed to ones that have been out for years, but again, that’s just my opinion. If I don’t want to be spoiled for a certain book, I tend not to read reviews until I’ve finished.

  33. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I’m probably guilty of including spoilers. *shifty eyes* Sometimes I’m not entirely sure where the line is because people consider different things spoilers, and I’m not sure if I’m being vague “enough” and whether my review merits a spoiler warning, etc. I remember particularly being worried about the review I wrote for Shadow and Bone, which posted today. After reading your post, I went back and added spoiler warnings to two paragraphs, just in case.

    So, since I’m admitting to being sort of bad at telling what a spoiler is (I seem to have a higher tolerance for them than many people; I figure if the book is well-written, having some ideas about what happens won’t ruin it–like reading Shakespeare where he tells you the whole plot being he even starts the play), I would actually appreciate if people would just nudge me and let me know I might want to add spoiler warnings. I think privately, like a direct message on Twitter, would do the trick.

    Have you ever thought about spoilers in comments? I often put spoiler warnings on my comments on others’ blogs so random people scrolling by won’t read them, but sometimes the bloggers seem to think I’m weird because technically I’m talking to THEM and they obviously already read the book. πŸ˜‰

  34. Kelly

    I love spoilery reviews, when I’ve already read the book. But as a reader, I appreciate when those types of reviews are clearly marked. I hate when things are spoiled for me, and I would feel terrible if I accidentally spoiled something for someone else.

    I usually err on the side of caution, and stick a spoiler tag on the smallest things – just in case!

    It’s also why I often try to avoid reviews for books I haven’t read though – I’ll usually skim them to get a general feel for whether or not I’ll like the book, but I won’t get in to all the details.

    As for letting me know, if I had something spoilery in a review and hadn’t clearly marked it as a spoiler? I would LOVE for someone to let me know – through a comment, email, DM, whatever! Like I said, I would hate to be the person who ruined someone else’s reading experience.

  35. Molly | wrapped up in books

    I have a very different philosophy, but I read reviews for very different reasons. I don’t just recommend books to friends, I recommend them to readers for a living. And I can’t read everything. So when I am hand-selling a book to someone, I don’t give away the plot, but very detailed reviews that discuss plot elements help me understand the type of reader a book will appeal to, and I rely on them to be able to do my job. I wouldn’t be offended if someone thought my review was spoilery and they could definitely tell me — but I would say that it’s on them to not read reviews before they’ve read a book if they are afraid of spoilers. Knowing a plot element or even a twist doesn’t change the reading experience for me. It’s about language and story and feeling, not “what happens.”

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