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!

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