Are Spoilers In Book Reviews Okay? How Are You Going To Sell Me The Book If You Kill The Suspense?

I’ve been blog hopping a lot lately. It’s all good fun and I mostly like what I see, but… There’s this recurring problem I keep encountering.

It’s just the fact that half the reviews I read spoil the book for me.

Ron Weasley saying DAFUQ confused

This fact baffles me to the ends of the world! Like… We are reviewers, right? What is our goal? What we, as reviewers, are trying to do, can be one or more of the following:

✓ To inform the public of the existence of this really cool book
✓ To make the public hyped up for this really cool book
✓ To raise the suspense so the reader can’t help buying the book

You can append this list for me, I’m sure there are many goals for our work! But, bottom line – we write reviews to make the reader want to have to buy the book to find out what happens.

So let’s think straight for a moment. Say, we review the book like quite a bit of the reviewers do currently – give the full synopsis. Including what actually happens. How are you going to keep the reader in suspense when you’ve already told them what happens? How are you selling the book?

There is one and only one case when you’re going to want to do that.  It’s when the book was so bad, you don’t actually want anyone to buy it. But that is not the case I’m seeing on a lot of blogs right now. People are doing this for 4 and 5 star books.

The worst part is that I think a lot of them don’t understand they’re doing it. Oh, it’s not really a spoiler… I just said “I really liked the way the real bad guy was uncovered” – it’s just my opinion! Except, the premise says “Is she really the murderer, or is she innocent?” Good job, reviewer. You have taken away the reason I would have read the book. You have just told me there is “a real culprit” who isn’t the main character.

hermione slow clapping

(#truestory, BTW. This post in inspired by a review with this exact problem.)

So… Guys and gals, don’t do this. I can understand that you might want to include a spoiler purely for the sake of discussion with people who have already read the book – I’ve done that. But don’t do it in an ARC/obscure book review. Don’t do it before the release. Put it in spoiler tags. There are plugins for that, and it’s really not hard. You will at least give the reader the choice to see or skip the spoiler.

So this might have come across as a slightly angry post, and I’m surprised myself about how I feel about this (almost just as surprised that I incidentally used only Harry Potter GIFs in this whole post!) But it’s an important topic and the community would benefit a lot if we all just paid attention to what we’re doing with the little things. Nobody likes being spoiled! And even aside from that – you don’t look professional when you blog like that. I know you’re really capable of better! Even spoilers aside, the review is always much more interesting to read when it’s not the synopsis of the book.

Do you get tired of reviews that are dragged out synopses of a book? And have you ever been spoiled when reading one? Share your #feels!

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

70 thoughts on “Are Spoilers In Book Reviews Okay? How Are You Going To Sell Me The Book If You Kill The Suspense?

  1. I often give away some spoilers in my reviews, but I can’t stop myself because I need them to explain why I liked the character, or a certain scene or even the book.
    When I read other reviews, I don’t care about spoilers. If a book picks my attention I will read it! 🙂
    For example, I just read today ACOTAR, but I knew since months ago what would happen to the main character and such.
    I understand where your opinion comes from, as I wasn’t that surprised about the things that were happening in the book. But if a book is really good, then every scene, even those that I have heard of, will make me feel surprised and I will enjoy the book. 😀

    1. Really? That’s so rare that you wouldn’t be bothered by spoilers. Most people are. I still suggest including spoiler tags in your reviews – that way you can make it safe for everyone to read 🙂 the ones who like spoilers (like you) will click them and find out, and people like me can just skip it and be safe. If I read a spoilery review, I will often not return to the blog… Because it makes me feel so bad.

  2. This has been something that has frustrated me a lot. I always thought it was odd that people seemed to confuse “review” with “summary” of books. I’m not sure how literature is taught abroad in schools, but I know for me in America book reports usually only taught students how to summarize a piece of work. Some teachers would try to teach people how to analyze but it’s hard to teach that.

    I’ve had this gripe too recently, since I’ve been getting into mystery/thriller books this year, and it’s so hard to read book reviews or even sometimes the book subtitle or synopsis on vendor pages past a few lines because many tend to give major plot points away. “This happens, then this happens, and then a plot twist!” It’s frustrating and happens way too often!

    I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible while also writing about the pros and cons of a book. I know my reviews sometimes veer into “analysis” territory since I like to talk about how I interpret the overall “idea” of a book in an attempt to make it sound interesting because simply putting, “This book was awesome!” and hyping it can be pretty boring. But maybe it’s just me that shies away from the hype trains.

    I also like discussing my ideas of a book for others that have read it, because I know I’ve read reviews of books I just finished and have been surprised and even delighted by other people’s interpretations. I don’t mind if I read someone’s interpretation of the central themes of a book before I read it because sometimes the context helps to understand the story better. Those are my favorite kinds of reviews, not just ones that tell me to buy because there are plenty of those out there, but ones that get me thinking, and I find them tantalizing because I’ll want to see if I see the same thing.

    Great article Avalinah! 🙂
    Jamie recently posted…Monthly Review: July 2017My Profile

    1. I know, right!!! Summary! If I want a summary, I can open Wikipedia and read the “plot” bit 😀 so glad you agree with me on this.
      I’ve also noticed that even professional reviews (the ones included in actual book prefaces or literary magazines) are often summaries. That’s something I just don’t understand. Anyone can give a summary. ANYONE. You don’t really need talent for that.
      We used to write analyses in school. Summaries were not a thing. We still hated them though xD
      In fact, I have even been spoiled by a blurb. A! Blurb! What’s the point of…? I mean???? *rages off into insanity*
      Analysis is fine! I do enjoy analysis type reviews. I’m not sure what mine actually are? I think I’m more of an emotional reviewer though. Like, I will tell my own story about the book, it’s usually to do with loads of feelings and beating around the bush so I can give you an idea of what *kinds* of events you can expect, but not at all what happens. But that’s just me xD that’s by no means the way reviews should be.
      But yes! I also enjoy reading about central themes. That’s WHY I read reviews at all. Those can tell me roughly if I’ll like the book or not.
      Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed my post 🙂 thanks for the beautiful long comment!

  3. I adore you. You’re right, of course– both that we should be promoting books and that we shouldn’t be spoiling things. Oh, and that probably most people spoiling things don’t realize they are providing spoilers.

    About that last bit– I am very careful about what I include in my blog posts. In fact, you know I use a Spoiler Alert plug-in so I can still rant/rave and not ruin anything. But, there are times where I know what I writing might be misconstrued as a spoiler to some people. For example, something which might be explained in the blurb. Or something which just sounds really intense because I’m writing it well (duh, I’m amazing). We have to allow for some level of give and take here. No real and obvious spoilers. (“I can’t belive XXXXXX murdered XXXXX!”) But, we run this risk when we read reviews.

    I personally don’t read book reviews if I know I’m going to read that book soon. I don’t want to accidentally have my opinion swayed or some little detail ruin the book for me. Because that’s totally happened. But if I won’t read it for a few months or longer? Yeah I’ll read it. I’ll take the risk. Because in the end, we need to give our awesome community the benefit of the doubt.

    And we also need to help educate those who might be culprits! What if they don’t know and feel HORRID about it? Let’s be part of the solution, too.


    Thanks for writing this post. I obviously needed to say a thing or two about it. XD

    1. I’m so glad there’s at least someone in the world who adores me!!! ;_; today shit hit the fan with EVERYTHING and I swear nobody was even talking to me anymore! (that’s aside from my birthday, my friend’s wedding and my vacation now being inaccessible for my anymore, as I’m sure I’ve already bitched about that to you in one of my comments) so it means a LOOOOOT to me that you’re saying these kind words!

      Yes, you and Elise from Roaming Reader are the only bloggers I know who actually include any spoiler tags at all. That I’ve seen. Which gives you girls special awesomeosity points on my scale. I know what you mean though. Even thought I avoid spoilers in general, I also often worry that I will accidentally give something away, something that I’m not even thinking of a spoiler. But hey, that’s still better than reviewing with ‘anything goes’ and not thinking about it at all. Generally, I think our reviews might be safer to read either way!

      I sometimes read reviews if I’m going to read the book soon. I know, it’s my own damn fault xD what am I thinking. But but but THE HYYYYYPE. (guess who clicked the spoiler tag about Matthew in Anne. Before she read the ending. MY OWN FAULT) (I COULD NOT RESIST) (I ___COULD____ NOT!)

      I loved your rant as well xD

      1. You are always welcome to vent again and again. I understand the power and value of venting. In fact, when I need to vent and no one is around, I often go for a run and blast angry music and mumble to myself like a crazy person. The whole neighborhood avoids me then. I wonder why? 😉

        I always read the Review Policy for a blog when I stop by for the first time. Most review policies, or post headers, indicate if a review is spoiler-free. If that isn’t indicated, then, like I mentioned, I don’t read the reviews for certain books. I have a crappy memory, so it works out for me. 😀 And I love the idea of awesomeosity points. That sounds like something the world needs more of.

        Oh, Evelina. I adore you– did you really click the spoiler tag?! Shame. You were mid-reading the book! Well, I understand the appeal. Ironically, a number of people couldn’t figure out how to get the spoiler to show, so ignorance helps there too. XD There is something so alluring about the blurred out text…
        Jackie B. recently posted…July 2017 Month in ReviewMy Profile

        1. Oh my, I am imagining you running with the death stare 😀

          I should really put up some sort of review policy, huh. I haven’t really bothered xD I take spoiler free-ness as a given for my blog. That’s why I grabbed your awesome plugin xD

          YES. I CLICKED THE SPOILER TAG. I was like JUST at the end of the book and it was all ending peacefully too, and then I thought it was safe to read your review. And then I saw the spoiler. And then I was like…. tick tock tick tock. OF COURSE I’M CLICKING. And then shock and wonder 😀 it was epic.
          I wasn’t even mid-reading. I was 80% in. It literally happened in like 10 pages :DDDDD

          Couldn’t figure out? :DDDDD don’t people have a tendency to click everywhere? 😀 wow, lol, that one cracked me up… it’s really funny that they wouldn’t realize 😀

          1. Haha. I am 100% certain I do that. I probably even freak the pets out. I just get in a zone, you know?

            The review policy helps me a ton when it comes to author review requests. I get a ton of them and I like being able to point towards my review policy as far as what I’ll read, where I’ll post, etc. etc. etc. Then I don’t have to explain things 8,000,000,000,000+ times. But it’s also for my readers. Not that I expect them to read it. 😉

            Some people are just bad at technology, apparently. I won’t pretend to understand.

          2. Yeah, I figure it helps. I just don’t get that many review requests xD so maybe I’m not where I’d need it now. Although I’d always rather choose what I read, like Edelweiss or NetGalley, so I don’t really want so many direct requests anyway.

          3. Direct requests are challenging on so many levels. I love requesting what I want to via NetGalley, but it can be so dangerous! At least with some personal direct connections, I don’t feel as much pressure. That’s a weird consideration, honestly… It should be the other way around since I’m working with a person, but who knows. O_o
            Jackie B. recently posted…The Underground RailroadMy Profile

          4. Hell knows why I feel no pressure whatsoever working with NetGalley! Maybe I should? 😀 (106 books approved, 41 reviewed…)

          5. Holy crap! 106 approved and 61 reviewed!? I thought I had a problem… But, seriously, your percentage is still better than mine. O_o Oops. I hope to fix it by the end of this month, though. Good luck to us both! Yikes.
            Jackie B. recently posted…The Best We Could DoMy Profile

          6. No no, Jackie, no, NOT 61, 41. FOURTY ONE. You are trying to make it look better. 41 reviewed. 😀
            My percentage is 39% xD how can it be better than yours :DD LOL!
            I sure as hell can’t fix it this month :DDD
            Seriously though, everything would be fine if we were only talking about CURRENT ARCs. The problem is the ones I requested in 2016, before I even started blogging. Of course I’m not into things I requested more than a year ago, it’s not motivating, not current, and truth be told – most of those were ‘Read Now’ since nobody would have approved me back then, without a blog. So half of those will be doubtful quality, and yet I still have to review them. Ahh… Mistakes 😀

    1. Yeah, I also worry about accidentally spoiling something despite trying 🙂 but I think if you try, it’s not very likely. I mean, the whole fun (for me, at least) of writing a review is trying to make it more suspenseful, and I think you also know what I mean 🙂

  4. YEP. I feel you so, so much. I try very hard to stay away from spoilers, so when I see reviews that flat out spoil stuff.. I am not a happy reader. Spoiler tags are your friends! I even try to stay away from talking about whether I even liked an ending- the only way I say anything is like you said, if it infuriates me beyond reason, then I will include a spoiler tag.

    I think a lot of it is unintentional, but still, it hurts readers. I think the absolute worst is when I see spoilers in like, line one of a Goodreads review. Sometimes I am not even trying to read any reviews, just wanted to check out something about the book (maybe how long it is, maybe info for a post, whatever) and BAM, spoiler, right in my face. Whyyyy people!?

    I have absolutely been spoiled by reviews- and there are reviewers whose blogs I avoid until AFTER I read the book in question, just to be safe. And really, I feel like it’s an easy fix- if you want to post a spoiler, just SAY there will be spoilers. But of course, that will do nothing to stop the unintentional ones, ugh. Great post!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Monthly Minutes at Midnight: July 2017My Profile

    1. Yeah, endings are VEEEERY tricky business. I usually only try to say things like “that ending blew my mind” or use some crazy GIF. So they know they’re supposed to expect something, but hopefully that way it feels even more suspenseful to the reader.
      Although I will sometimes want to talk about what happened to those who have read it. That’s where the spoiler tags come in handy for sure 🙂
      Spoilers line one of the review 😀 you’re right, that’s the worst!
      Thank you, I’m very glad you liked my post 🙂

  5. I think spoilers are fine as long as they’re hidden or very clearly marked in a way that people can avoid them. I know some people actually do like spoilers. But I get angry when I see unmarked spoilers, even for books I’ve read, because I don’t want them to be spoiled for others. It’s also rude to the author since it might cause people to lose interest or ruin the impact in the book. But diff people consider diff things to be spoilers, so it can be a gray area in some cases. Like the example you gave, I feel like a blurb that says, “Is she really the bad guy or is she innocent?” makes it really obvious that she’s innocent anyway lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Mini Reviews: Fantasy – Pyresnakes, Scarecrow, Charm CityMy Profile

    1. Oh yeah, definitely a gray area. Well, they shouldn’t spoil at least the big things. But any kind of spoiler is okay if people just use some sort of spoiler tag. I agree to that as well. The problem is that I know only TWO blogs (excluding mine) out of hundreds which DO use spoiler tags at all xD at least people know how to use them on Goodreads.
      Yeah, I guess that blurb kind of makes it obvious. But still! xD

  6. I just read a book where the character spoils an unrelated book for very little reason! I personally don’t write reviews to try and sell a book though (I read more backlist stuff these days) and I can appreciate the desire to have discussions with other readers. But yes, you need to make it obvious that there are spoilers ahead.

    I don’t really read reviews of books I haven’t read yet but know I want to, because it’s hard to know what a spoiler is for me. I quite like going into a book knowing nothing!
    Ellie Warren recently posted…S.T.A.G.SMy Profile

    1. Oh gosh D: I know what you mean! I’ve also been spoiled for another book by a book, and although it’s kind of really funny, it’s also terribly disappointing.
      I sort of always *sell* a book when I’m writing a review. That’s the idea of a review at all – you’re trying to help someone decide if the book is for them 🙂 but of course, only if I liked the book. I’m definitely not trying to sell a 2 star one xD haha.
      You’re right about that danger as well. I guess you can never be sure what other people will throw your way, be it a review or just plain anything in life!

  7. There is definitely a fine line between talking about the book in a reviewing way and spoiling it- I definitely know what you mean. I try not to do spoilers without a spoiler tag but I’m sure I’ve accidentally let slip too much information. And I know some of my older reviews were more synopsis- centered than my more recent ones- I’ve kinda deliberately tried to change my review style so I’m not spending as much time on the premise. If that makes sense.

    I’ve often wondered the best way to talk spoilery about a book (because obviously the review is not the appropriate place, unless you’re using the spoiler tags) and if a book really cries out for me to discuss it, spoilers and all, I usually do a discussion post about it, clearly stating it’s a spoilery post. That seems to work for me now.
    Greg recently posted…Game of Thrones: The Queen’s JusticeMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I absolutely know what you mean. I’m glad you’re making that change 🙂 I believe it’s a good change! That’s a very good idea about the discussion. I never thought of that 🙂 it would work, I think!

  8. So, I review books to…review them. Honestly. If I enjoy a book I say so, if I don’t I say so. I point out why in both scenarios. It’s publicity either way, but I’m not going to give a book I thought was horrible 5 stars.

    Moving on from that point, you can’t properly review a book without spoiling it. I think it’s something readers should expect going into reviews that there will be spoilers. Also, according to science, spoilers are a good thing. My partner wrote a piece about spoilers that explain them far better than I do. https://www.gamecrate.com/spoilers-aren%E2%80%99t-just-good-they-are-necessary/16693/?cm_mmc=GameCrate-_-Facebook-_-SpoilerNecessary-_-NA

    1. I don’t know if I agree with that completely. 90% of my reviews are without spoilers, and they’re missing almost any synopsis, short from the blurb sometimes. It’s not why I write reviews, and personally – I don’t enjoy reading reviews that tell me what’s happening in the book. I want to get a feel, not the plot. Those kinds of reviews bore me to death. I’d rather hear how the book made the reviewer feel when they were reading it.
      But it’s alright to include spoilers too. It’s just important to tell the reader where the spoiler is going to be, so they can choose whether to see the spoiler, or not. If I’m trying to hype myself up, having just bought a book by reading several friends’ reviews, and accidentally see a spoiler out in the open, then I’ll probably ruin the whole book for myself. If that spoiler is covered though, then I’m safe, I at least have a choice.
      I sometimes include spoilers too, but those are not for the people who didn’t read it yet. Those are usually for the people who have read the book and read the review to relate. Spoiler tags make it safe for both of these groups to read the review.
      As for publicity – yeah, you’re right. If we’re looking at it from the perspective of solely the publisher/author/book – then yes! But if you’re trying to be kind to your readers (the people you might spoil the book for), then it’s absolutely necessary to give them a choice to see or not see the spoiler, and not just be exposed to it.

  9. I completely agree with you – adding in all the details about a book makes it pointless to read the book. I love Goodreads spoiler tags – they make it easy to feel better about putting in the little important tidbits that you want to talk about.
    My thought is that it isn’t that difficult to put in vague feelings about important parts of a book. Things like “The ending was anticlimactic.” or “The main character’s anticlimctions as the book progressed really disappointed me.” or “The twist ending made this book worth reading.” are all things you can put in a review that will make people want to read! Being vague intrigues readers! And it isn’t that difficult to write vaguely about spoilers!

    1. Yes, exactly! Nobody wants to read the synopsis… That’s what the book is for. It’s sad to see a lot of reviewers not really understanding this. Glad you agree 🙂

  10. Hi, Evelina,

    Just like you I’m never ok with spoilers, for pretty much the same reasons you stated. However, not only is it offensive towards the reader, it also shows disrespect towards the writer as well, who spent so much time and creativity building up to this one moment that’s supposed to wow the readers and make it totally worth it.

    That said, I wonder if the same “rule” applies to history books? Can the grand scheme of things be spoiled, since we basically already know how the described events turned out? (for instance, we all know that Anne Frank was eventually found and captured by the Germans, or that Primo Levi survived his captivity in Auschwitz – otherwise he would’ve never been able to write his book about it in the first place). How do we handle these kind of books?

    1. Interesting point! Well, I think it’s a bit different with historical fiction – after all, the events are pretty much set in stone and most of us know them. Same with retellings, I guess? So it would seem spoilers in these two kinds of book reviews could be much more freely given. But still, that’s just for the big events. You can spoil the little things too, and that’s no fun. If you know what I mean 🙂

  11. I agree, I absolutely HATE spoilers. I try to be really, really careful when writing my reviews…even if it is an older book (which most of my reviews are usually for because I don’t get ARC’s haha), I try and make it more based on my feelings about the plot, world-building etc. I like reviews where there is the no spoilers section and then the spoilers section, so the reader gets the choice. This is an awesome post!!!

    1. Thank you Steff 🙂 yeah, your strategy is the best, I feel 🙂 old book or new book – there will always be people who haven’t read it.
      Thanks for visiting!

  12. You pretty much nailed it – we want people to read the books, so you have to avoid any big reveals. I problem arises with something I struggled with and have written and seen many posts about: how do you know it’s a spoiler? There are obvious ones, but there may be more subtle things that would best be kept a secret for the reader to reveal, and this could be so subjective. The struggle! For the most part, I gush about the characters, because that is something that is so important for me, and I read a lot of character driven books. Therefore, I can often avoid revealing a big plot point, but I always worry that I may say too much.
    Sam @ WLABB recently posted…Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Autoboyography by Christina LaurenMy Profile

    1. Yeah, you’re right, it’s a very delicate balance 🙂 but you know, I can always tell if a reviewer HAS tried, or if it was the last thing on their mind. You can always tell that. And I believe that when you can see they’ve tried, or at least installed spoiler tags/warnings, then it’s different.
      But yes, you’re right 😀 I also gush about the characters, or the themes. What else are you gonna do 😀 I love character driven books too!

  13. You are so right! I’m my reviews if I really want to talk about a particular detail in the book I will put a big warning before I do, plus put the letters in white so you have to do an effort to read the spoiler. Not always the second but the first for sure.
    If you want to read the spoiler and ruin the book for you at least you should be able o to make the choice.
    Great post!!!!
    Marta Pascual Pérez recently posted…El Pozo. Libro I de ArikMy Profile

    1. Oh cool! Actually, YES! EVERYONE can do this! Marta, you are a genius. No more complaining from people who can’t install fancy spoiler plugins – just put the text in white. That’s what I’ll be telling them 😀 you are honestly a genius, girl.

    1. Yeah, you’re right, problematic stuff needs to be pointed out. Or triggers. But warnings are probably still the way to go 🙂

  14. Ah, this is difficult for me, because on the one hand I HATE spoilers, but on the other hand sometimes it’s really hard to write a good review without at least giving away some information. I always put a spoiler warning if I want to discuss major events that happened in the book, so I don’t really see a problem there. But I know what you mean – everyone has a different perception of what ‘major’ means so often I read a review that spoils something that takes away from my enjoyment of the book, but the person clearly didn’t think it warranted a spoiler warning. I think a lot of the time it’s unintentional. So for that reason I don’t read reviews if I’m already certain I’ll read the book. Sometimes I’m annoyed I read a spoiler, but then I wait a while and by the time I eveeeentually get around to reading the book I’ve forgotten (my brain is a sieve). But obviously that doesn’t always work and I’ve had my fair share of books (and movies, tv shows etc) spoiled for me, so yeah it can be quite frustrating.

    1. Yeah, as long as you have a spoiler warning, it’s good 🙂 my friend Marta has mentioned a brilliant way – she just makes the text white 😀 so if you want to read it, you must highlight it. Genius!
      The review that inspired this post actually made me angry. The question in the blurb was “is she evil or is she innocent” and the reviewer just plain out says “well I liked the way she was proven innocent and the bad guy was revealed” xD after something like that, why would anyone NEED to read the book? LOL… I was never going to read that book, but I was just mad at the reviewer because what sort of reviewer does this?

  15. There are times when spoilers are appropriate and that is when a reviewer is pointing out harmful/problematic content. There have been times when I have read reviews and read the spoilers because I want to know what happens. I haven’t really been spoiled by other people. If I don’t want to be spoiled, I don’t read reviews.

    1. Oh yes! You are definitely right about the problematic content. But as I was just saying in another comment, the review that inspired this went something like that: blurb was “is she evil or is she innocent” and the reviewer just plain out says “well I liked the way she was proven innocent and the bad guy was revealed” – after something like that, there’s no more reason to even read the book xD

  16. I really hate spoilers but know I’m guilty of accidentally including them. Especially when it’s a who ends up who scenario. Thank you for pointing that out! I’ll have to be more careful in the future.

    What makes me upset is when people include blatant spoilers in their review without warning. I can understand that sometimes you want to talk about things in your review that won’t make sense without revealing details of what happened but HIDE it. Geez. Or at least give a disclaimer before the review.

    1. Yes, disclaimers are very important 🙂 I’m glad you’re aware of this now, I’m sure you’ll always notice. It’s enough to just be cautious, really. My friend Marta has proposed a really simple and smart solution – just putting the spoiler in white (or the other background color) so that the person has to highlight the text if they want to read the spoiler 🙂

  17. I am not a fan of spoilers in reviews. I work hard to write spoiler free reviews and agree that giving too much away isn’t helpful to others. I like to be surprised and I think other readers do as well. As much as I hate spoilers, when I see a spoiler tag….I have a hard time not clicking on it. It is an illness. Of course, I don’t do that if I actually hope to read the book in the near future.
    Carole @ Carole’s Random Life in Books recently posted…July 2017 – Monthly Wrap-UpMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean!! Spoiler tags are just SO enticing. I have spoiled Anne of Green Gables for myself a little while ago by doing exactly that xD

  18. There is a blogger who I am friends with, and I purposely have stopped reading her reviews. Why? Because she literally does this: “in the first quarter of the book you have this guy and he does this and this…..in the 1/2 mark, this happens….at 3/4 of the book the world is about yo be destroyed but he stops it from happening (thanks!)…and I feel the ending was really good because he wasn’t the bad guy.”

    Seriously? That’s not a book review, that’s a book report. Thanks though!

    1. 😀 really? This is precisely the type of people I was talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t think they realize there’s a difference? Otherwise I don’t see how they’d keep doing it…

      1. I don’t know! Drives me crazy though…I think that’s why we have all stopped reading her reviews. Don’t know why she still gets books though. ‍♀️

  19. Oh I love this post! And BTW agaiiin HAPPPYYY BIRTHDAYYY I wish you all the bookish dreams you have ever had and still have to become true and all the best in this world because you are an awesome human book lover being and I am sooo glad that I met you!!! <3

    This being said I would like to comment on the post!!

    I couldn't agree more and I perfectly understand your point of view, I always (al least always try) when writing a review put a SPOILERS or SPOILER AHEAD GO ON YOUR OWN RISK title so people would know before hand that there are upcoming spoilers. Additionally another thing I see is the lack of TRIGGER WARNINGS just an example I cannot read books that contain or concentrate on animal abuse of any kind and I was willing to read a book a classic that turns out to have this as a main topic and none tagged it and I was wounded and triggered by that very deeply…

    Some reviewers are most probably doing it unconsciously as you said they don't even know, that they might ruin a book for you or ruin your whole experience for you if picking up a book where you know what is going to happen or where you do not know again TRIGGERS related.

    This is a very sensitive topic and I think that we as a reviewers need to be more conscious when writing reviews especially as you said the book is an ARC and if there are some warnings that might hurt or evoke bad memories and experiences in some people like myself.

    In fact I have been planning to make a post/discussion about Trigger warnings and why they are important, and include the spoilers as well, but I am happy that someone (you) have already did that for the spoilers.

    I personally do not like being spoiled so I am trying my best not to spoil others as I know how it feels and it is not the best feeling the world.

    Thank you for this post!!!

    huuuugsss <3

    1. Awwww Lina thank you <3 glad you loved the post!
      I absolutely agree about trigger warnings. I have been thinking of starting to put those in my book reviews, but I don't know, it's so hard to do? It's probably because different people have different triggers and we're not always aware of all of them. But I've seen one or two blogs that make a point of listing possible triggers and I always appreciate their posts so much. It's an admirable thing to do.
      You should totally write a post about the importance of trigger warnings 🙂 if I miss it, please send me a link or something! I would love to read it.

  20. Ugh! I hate reviews with spoilers especially those that don’t even give any spoiler alerts. Like why would anyone do that? Don’t you want me to read the book?
    Thanks for writing this. I am going to send this link to anyone who attempts to write a review with terrible spoilers.

  21. Yep. Reviews with spoilers are virtual weeds that we should really cut out of this world. Or at least hide them under the ground–with plugins. I’m sorry that you ran into a reviewer who did that and hopefully you won’t run into too many other reviewers like that one. I too avoid spoilers in my reviews. After all, if I don’t want any coming from others, I better not start spoiling others. Nice little, very necessary, rant! 😉

    1. Thankfully the review that provoked this post was for a book I wasn’t really interested in. But the very concept just made me feel all ranty! 🙂 glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!

    1. Yeah. Sometimes it’s hard! But it’s the fact that you try to think of it in advance and not give things away that makes you a seasoned blogged 🙂 thank you for reading!

  22. I feel like it’s so hard to avoid spoilers these day…like basically if I don’t want spoilers I shouldn’t open my laptop or my phone! So it doesn’t bother me as much as it should probably. I try to write my reviews without spoilers though. At least without any major ones. Or without those exact plot twists that are the best about the book… Haha I love that Goodreads has this spoiler section, we need the same option on WordPress!

    1. I think you’re right, spoilers ARE everywhere, especially for shows and movies 😀 my friend has come up with a perfect solution for WordPress! Just write the spoiler in white letters (or your background color, if it’s something else.) That way if they want to read it, they will have to highlight it 🙂

  23. Hahh, I think I frequently have some form of spoiler in my reviews ^^; When I first started blogging, I wanted to record my thoughts on a book (rather than recommend a book for others to read), so I would discuss what happens in the book. I still do that, and mark those sections for spoilers, but certainly with ARCs and newer releases I try to keep in mind that a lot of people are still deciding if they should read that book and I don’t want to, as you say, ruin the suspense.
    Jenna @ Falling Letters recently posted…Bookcase TourMy Profile

    1. As my friend Marta said – write the spoilers in white letters! Or another color if your background is not white. Works like the beat spoiler tag. They will have to highlight it to read it 🙂 isn’t it perfect?

  24. I try to always hide my spoilers or give some warning prior to. I agree that reading a review with spoilers without some sort of warning is a big ol bummer. This post is full of things that NEED to be said. Thanks for posting!
    Karen Blue recently posted…Review: REPLICA by Lauren OliverMy Profile

    1. Thanks for reading! I was afraid I said too much and someone might get hurt! 😀 but some things just need to be said, right?

  25. I always find spoilers a bit of a tricky issue as there are varying definitions of what constitutes as a spoiler. I always try my best to avoid spoilers in my review, but I also recognize how easy some of them slip in without you even realizing it at times.

    When I first started reading mystery books I had to catch myself every time when I used he or she to describe the murderer and now always try to use a word that doesn’t hint to a gender. But even small things can be a spoiler even when you don’t think it will reveal much. I try to be vague, but it can be hard to know what is saying too much.

    But mostly I find that most bloggers are very careful not to spoil the book, but I have accidentally read a spoiler for a book now and then, either on Goodreads or Amazon or in a group on social media at times. From blogs I visit regularly I usually know how much they say about a book. I do agree with you that it’s not fun being spoiled and I always feel annoyed when that happens.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Sanctuary by Melle AmadeMy Profile

    1. Wow, I never thought about that! That must be because I almost don’t read mysteries 😀 but you are so right! Mysteries are a genre where it’s EXCEPTIONALLY easy to give things away by accident. You have to be super careful, I guess 🙂

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