I sincerely hope, from the bottom of my soul, that y’all have never had the absolute horrendous experience of being spoiled for a book you were so unbelievably hyped for.
It sucks. It really does. Let’s just say there was a lot of teenage angst going on, a temporary self ban from book Twitter, some tears, and a late night rambling of thoughts and feelings that eventually became this post. I’m telling you nothing fuels my keyboard fingers faster than pure unbridled pain in the form of spoilers.
I talked to Phoenix @ Books With Wings about this idea and we decided to co-write another discussion post! Yay us!
Well last time we collab-ed on a discussion post (we dove right into retellings, feel free to check it out here and here!) we started with a definition. And we concluded that we have the definition-writing-skills of a walnut. But did that stop us from writing an entire post about the meaning of spoilers? No. No it did not. So bear with us as we break down spoilers and all of their gory details.
We have split up this post into two parts. Phoenix has posted 1/2 on her blog and I have included the other half right here. I mean technically they can be read on their own but everything is better together. Ew that’s my single piece of cliché cheesiness for the day. But in all seriousness, do take a yonder to both posts. It took a hot second and boatload of emails (quite a few featuring Shadow and Bone ramblings eek) and a sprinkle of chaos but I know that we’re both excited with how it turned out. Let’s hop right in!
I think that you need to know at least a little bit about the book for reading, so I’d answer no for this question. Things like the genre, character names and inciting incidents are not spoilers for me because I need to know these things to decide if I want to pick up the book or not! But beyond that, I guess it depends on what qualifies. For me, there is a fine line of the information I want to know vs too much information. Tell me you haven’t picked up a book because of a specific line or moment that you knew about before hand (looking at you Shatter Me series). The little details about the book are often what cause me to pick it up, rather than the actual summary and whatnot. So I guess you don’t have to do a straight up cold read to avoid spoilers. Yep. Final answer.
April: I mean technically no. But I personally have stopped reading Goodreads summaries before picking up a book because I don’t like knowing that much information before hand. And they annoy me. So many times, I’ll read a book and think the pacing is way off because the aforementioned events in the summary don’t happen until 100 pages in. It’s probably not an official spoiler, but it definitely can affect my enjoyment of the book
I mean, when I read Serpent and Dove I knew Lou and Reid we’re going to end up married. Which is fine, I’m all for the forced marriage trope, so I was excited to read it. But it threw the pacing off for me. I was waiting for the first two hours (I listened to the audiobook) for this ~event~ to happen and negatively impacted how I saw the book.
This, combined with many other reading experiences, caused me to stop reading the summaries all together. I hear a trope I like, I’ll read it. If it’s by an author I like, I’ll read it. If I hear the words pirate, dragon, or witch, I will read it. And above all, if it is recommended in a review by a trusted reviewer, I will read it. I put a lot, a lot, a lot of trust in reviewers so then I never have to encounter the summaries and any unwanted details that will throw the pacing out of whack.
Ok the more I ramble on the more I realize that I like to be pretty close to a cold read. Just me, my cozy reading nook, and some vague knowledge of tropes with a glowing recommendation is all I need.
Phoenix: I think that the above is really interesting because I basically always read the summaries on Goodreads–I need to know what I’m getting into! Honestly, my opinion is that if it’s in this official summary-thing, it’s probably not a spoiler, though…the things that April mentioned above are extremely true and I have noticed that a few times. I usually don’t care much if there’s an event that doesn’t happen until a little later in the book but is mentioned in a spoiler because if that’s the case, I find that that means the book is really slow up until then, oftentimes, and the thing mentioned in the summary is probably the first big thing that really happened in the book.
But never ever ever ever read summaries for books later in the series, because you WILL get spoiled. I stumbled upon a book that was the second in a series the other day whose summary literally started with, ‘At the end of the last book…’ and I exed out of that tab as fast as possible.
April: Ugh, I’ve made that mistake far too many times. I always get curious and then I ALWAYS regret it.
April: One thing that might be a bit different than some people is I don’t consider romance to be a spoiler. Especially if you’re reading a romance book it’s hard not to talk about the romance at all when you’re reviewing. Personally, I’m reading it for the story and the ~journey~ so knowing tropes, who ends up together, and all that jazz doesn’t really bother me.
Honestly the same with romance in any genre. I really don’t mind if I know who ends up together or if they have a certain cute moment or what tropes there are because most likely, those little details will cause me to pick up a book. Sometimes I’m in it just for the romance. There. I said it.
Phoenix: I also personally don’t believe that romance is a spoiler but probably for the opposite reason–I usually just don’t care about the romance. To me, romance is a sub plot most of the time and it just doesn’t matter much if I know who ends up with who because it doesn’t really affect the plot overall.
And thus concludes my half of the questions! If you want to hear more about all that spoiler jazz, you can find Phoenix’s half of the post here!
I was planning to write some eloquent sort of wrap up that ties together all these thoughts into a pretty little bow. That did not happen. Instead, I will leave you with this charming note that I left for myself that both fits my morning mood and seems like a solid end point: APRIL, GIRL, WRITE A CONCLUSION, WRAP THINGS UP, AND MAKE IT PRETTY DARN IT.
Yep, that is my pretty ending. So… spoilers! *said with jazz hands*
What do you see as a spoiler? What information do you like to know before hopping into a book?? Do you like to read the summaries before picking up a book??