Let’s Chat! : What’s a spoiler?

Hello and welcome to my first discussion post of 2016!
I’ve really wanted to start discussion posts this year and I hope I can continue to come up with topics to discuss throughout the year.

Whenever I write a reviews I make sure no spoilers seep through. But it’s not always that easy. Ever since I started this book blog I’ve been reading more book reviews, sometimes more than one review for the same book. I’ve noticed that people have different ideas as to what a spoiler is. Of course there are people who knowing put spoilers in their reviews but that’s another post for a later time; right now let’s focus on one question:

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In the world of fangirls and boys the word Spoiler isn’t forgein by any means; when seen, it’s more like a siren or a warning. So it’s safe to say that we all know what Spoiler generally means, but let’s take a minute and dissect it:

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So that’s a spoiler and by that definition can you think of anything in reviews you’ve read that ended up reducing the suspense of a book when you finally read it?

Let’s further explore this with examples:

Example 1:

“I was so sad even though this book had no deaths.” 
Spoiler or no spoiler? Well for me that depends on the type of book. Is it the type of book in which it’s quite possible someone could die? If so, then that’s a spoiler. That sentence just reduced the suspense because we know that the character in question ends up not dying! See what I mean?
Now if it’s not that type of book and the characters’ mortality isn’t in question, it’s not a spoiler.

Example 2:

“This book has an unreliable narrator.”
Spoiler or no spoiler? Well, for this one I’m kinda on the fence about because in some books it’s clear from the beginning that the narrator is unreliable, but in others, that factor isn’t revealed until the end of the book.

Example 3:

[It’s the second book in a series] “I’m so glad so-and-so didn’t die in the first book! I got to know more about her in this book.”
Spoiler or no spoiler? Now this I don’t consider a spoiler because this is a review of the second book and thus targeted to those who read the first book in the series, who would know that the character in question makes it to the second book.

In the end I think it just comes down to the type of book.

Hope you liked this discussion! Did you agree or disagree with me anywhere? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!


15 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! : What’s a spoiler?

  1. I agree, it depends on the book. It’s so hard to know what to avoid though! I always avoid reading sequel reviews, because I think you’re absolutely allowed to spoil the first book. I’m looking forward to seeing more discussion posts! I want to try and do some too, so I might be lurking for inspiration 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • to be honest I don’t see how you can successfully review the second, or third – or whatever number it may be – book in the series WITHOUT spoiling it. right?
      I would totally read your discussions! Glad you liked it 🙂 I might release another discussion next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting! I actually always try not to spoil the previous book(s) in a series if I can help it – many of the series I read can be read out of order, so my readers might actually be seeking out a review of a 3rd book, without having read any previous books. I just struggled through a book review for a 9th in a series that I loved, but I had to speak in sweeping and non-specific ways so not to spoil anything, although invariably some spoilers always slip through. I’ve actually had to unfollow most of the TV accounts I used to follow on twitter because they were spoiler-ing the shows TOO MUCH and taking much of the enjoyment out of the viewing – so I think the amount of spoiler-ing you include in a review (of any variety) is really important. Thanks for the interesting discussion – looking forward to more discussion posts this year – they are my favourite type of post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! That’s exactly why I don’t follow any TV accounts. Too much is at risk! I completely forgot about those types of series. I think I’ve only read one series that can be read out of order and that was the fantasy (middle grade??) series: “The Ranger’s Apprentice”. (Great books by the way.) I see why you would want to prevent spoilers since they basically can be read as stand alones 🙂 and sometimes it’s just inevitable that spoilers seep through I just wish that reviewers would warn the readers, you know? Even big time reviewers with names like Kirkus Reviews (just as an example) sometimes let a spoiler drop without a warning.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it mostly depends on what the blurb says. for instance, for your second example, it is not a spoiler if you know from the get go that your narrator suffers from some kind of mental disequilibrium, right? Also, for the sequels, I consider anything that happened the books before NOT A SPOILER, otherwise you can’t say anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha, it seems like you agree with me then. I too (as mentioned) think that you can freely discususs sequals to a first book without tip-toeing around then events that transpired in that said first book. Becaue why would you be reading a review for book 2 if you haven’t even started book 1? And for the unreliable narrator, you’re right. sometimes it’s clear from the start and other times it’s not. I think that the reviewer would be able to judge that.


  5. Ugh, I hate spoilers and sometimes I struggle to keep my reviews absolutely spoiler free because somethings are just so hard to state without giving an example or spoiling it.

    I don’t think stating that there is an unreliable narrator is a spoiler. To me, the narration is something a reader should know going into a book. When I hear there is an unreliable narrator, I think that I might have a hard time following the plot so pay attention. Perhaps because I’ve really only read books where the unreliable narrator is known from the start, I feel like its a given.

    Usually my policy is, if it is stated in the first chapter, it is fair game to say because it is just so early in the book and you would have probably read it if you read a sample.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! Sometimes spoilers just want to get out there.
      Well in thrillers and mysteries having an unreliable narrator isn’t always clear. It’s usually The Big Reveal. and if the reader knows from a review that the this is an unreliable narrator, it’ll lose the shock factor the author was hoping for. But if it is clear from the beginning of the book ,then of course it wouldn’t constitue as a spoiler. See what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can see all of those being a spoiler, it just depends on how important it is to the reader. For me, I get more upset about specific details being spoiled. Like “at the end of this book, the main character dies” or “she ends up with this guy”. There’s no point to reading to me after that! There are SOME spoilers that made me want to keep reading, though. Specifically, a spoiler someone told me about The Mortal Instruments. I don’t know if you’ve read it so I won’t go into detail.
    Anyways, I think spoilers that are specific are always spoilers, but the ones you mentioned kind of just depend on the reader.

    Great post!

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And sometimes it’s not the reviews but the blurbs! I find that to be really annoying because the blurb gives away more than it needs to and when I’m finally done with the book I go like, “Well, didn’t I alreadg know that before diving into the book?”

    Liked by 1 person

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