Let’s Chat // Spoilers… Yay or Nay?

Hey everyone!

I’ve been thinking about spoilers recently. I used to dismiss spoilers as bad and I always did my best to avoid spoilers in my reviews and my posts (I still do) but these days I’ve been reconsidering.

First of all, what is a spoiler?

Here is the Wiki definition:

A document, review or comment that discloses the ending or some key surprise or twist in a story

Note that, in the blogging context, this doesn’t have to be in a review, but can exist in any other type of blog post or part of a blog post, including comments.

How are spoilers bad?

Being book lovers, we want to be surprised by the book that we are reading, especially if it is a book that we’ve been anticipating for a while. Personally, I love plot twists, they are one of the aspects of reading that I enjoy the most. Nothing can be worse than finding out the outcome of a major plot point, or even the ending of the book before we even flip open to the first page.

Sometimes spoilers can hide where we are least expecting it. I’ve actually had a bad experience when I was almost done reading Book 1 in a series (which I really enjoyed) and I was super excited about Book 2, so I went ahead and read the Goodreads summary about Book 2, AND it gave away part of the surprise from the Book 1 ending haha. So yes, spoilers are hard to avoid sometimes.

Can spoilers be…… good?

As a book blogger who frequently writes reviews of books, sometimes it’s very hard to comment on a particular aspect of the book without giving away a plot point. Often times, to avoid spoilers, I’ll go out of my way to be super vague about what I’m talking about. For example, in a recent review I wrote, I said “I don’t agree with the actions of one character towards the end of the book.” And I wonder if the people reading my review get what I’m talking about at all.

Also, when I am writing a book review after I finish reading the book, I want to talk all about it. I want to scream at the top of my lungs about whether I loved the book (or hated it.) And it’s hard to do that when I’m not talking specifics. It’s also hard to chat with my fellow book bloggers in the comment section when we’re……. not supposed to give away any specific details about the book. And usually the plot points worth discussing ARE the spoilery ones! We’re not going to chat about what is happening in chapter one scene one, we want to talk about the epic ending and the characters who died (or lived!!!) BUT spoiler-free reviews prevent that discussion from happening lol.

Lastly, who are reading these reviews? Before, I always assumed that people read book reviews when they haven’t read the book yet. But a few weeks back when I posted my Mini-Review discussion post, I found out that lots of readers actually like reading reviews after they finish a book, because then they get to read others’ thoughts about it. If the main purpose of spoiler-free reviews is to prevent accidentally spoiling readers who haven’t read the book yet, but it turns out that most people are reading reviews after they’ve read the book… then do reviews have to be spoiler-free?

(Of course, the assumption is that if we write a spoilery review, this should be indicated clearly in the post if not the title of the post!)

So…. I guess I still haven’t decided. I’ve been writing spoiler-free reviews ever since I’ve started blogging, but is there a place in the blogosphere for spoilery reviews? What do you guys think?

What do you think about spoilers? Do you write spoiler-free or spoilery reviews? Is it OK to chat about spoilers in the comments? On Twitter? Do you read reviews before or after you read a book?

37 Replies to “Let’s Chat // Spoilers… Yay or Nay?”

  1. I feel like some books are impossible to review without touching on spoilers. I always just add a disclaimer and go all in on those. lol. (Fight or Flight was one of those for me. God awful romance novel and the conclusion was downright offensive honestly.) But mostly I try to avoid spoilers unless I can’t talk about why I loved/hated a book without them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jenna! Yes I definitely know what you mean- there are book reviews (usually negative ones) where I can’t really be clear about my opinion about the book unless I give away spoilers. I agree that it is all right to reveal spoilers if a disclaimer or a warning is given 🙂


  2. Honestly I only read reviews if i have read the book no matter if the review contains spoilers or not. I get the wish to rant about the plot twists and wanting to talk about the plot twist as I would love to as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jayati! Yes I’ve recently found myself avoiding book reviews until I’ve actually read the book haha, particularly if it is a book I am really really excited to read. And yes I love ranting and discussing plot twists with other bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I personally like spoilers but don’t include any in my posts or reviews. I usually find that knowing what is going to happen lets me see the plot structure/set up/world building all the better. There are some exceptions. I didn’t want Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows spoiled for me and had to see Endgame opening night, but all of my friends know that unless I expressly as for no spoilers they can talk at me about any plot points from any book, show, movie, anything and I’m game. Pretty sure I’m in the minority though.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sarah Joyce!
      That’s pretty cool that you actually like spoilers. I’ve also heard from others who think that knowing spoilers won’t actually affect their enjoyment of the book. I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers in my own reviews too, mainly because I know that most people don’t like to read spoilers haha XD


  4. I always try to keep my reviews spoiler free but it can be hard when you went to discuss something. Like ‘Adam’ (totally random name) completely broke me with that betrayal. That’s the kind of feeling you want to share but then I’d you do include that then people are going to know that particular character die something awful. Tbh I’m kind of tempted to do separate posts, containing spoilers, to discuss my absolute favourite books in more detail. Oh and I can completely relate to you with the blurb thing too – sometimes they give way too much away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Charlotte! Same here. Sometimes it is hard to communicate our feelings about a book or a character or a plot point without giving away spoilers haha, so sometimes book reviews aren’t as cathartic as I want them to be. I’ve actually read a blog post that was a spoilery review, and the blogger actually linked to other reviews of the same book. I thought that was neat because the post got people together to discuss the book which was cool 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that does sound good (: especially as what I want most when I finish a book is to dicuss it with people. Reviews are important but I do want to start doing some posts where I can talk about the books I love in more depth.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally get what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s SO HARD to convey a feeling when I can’t go into detail. Luckily, I have the UBB plugin that actually has a spoiler option. So if I want to include one, I just mark it as a spoiler and it’s hidden unless someone clicks VIEW SPOILER. If they click that and didn’t want to be spoiled, there’s not much I can do lol. Sometimes if I know I can’t review a book without being spoiler-y, I just say that in the beginning so people know. Just in case. Also, I am totally the person that reads reviews AFTER I finish a book lol I like to know what other people thought (also my memory sucks so sometimes it actually helps me write my own reviews if it’s been a while).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Molly!
      This UBB plugin sounds like it can be useful. Maybe it’s something that I can look into!
      Yes I’ve also been reading reviews mostly after a finish reading a book. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s opinions.
      I am guilty of a bad memory too haha. If it’s been weeks or a month after reading a book, consider it forgotten XD


  6. Omg, I’m going through this EXACT dilemma right now because I recently read a book & all I want to do is rant about it…but that would involving discussing spoilers! It’s so hard to tiptoe around the points I want to discuss without giving anything away. I also agree that I enjoy reading reviews after I’ve finished a book bc the discussions I can have at that point are so much more interesting!

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ngoc! Yeah, you’ve described it exactly. I definitely feel the need to “tiptoe” around certain parts of my review and sometimes I wonder if I am revealing too much or if I am being too vague haha. Yes I also find it much more interesting to read a book review after I’ve actually read the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been accused of writing spoilery reviews so have gotten a little hard on myself about it. I actually didn’t think what I was saying were spoilers when I went back and read the review that bloggers were discussing so I was a little stumped. If you plan on reading a review things do have to be referenced. It’s really plot twists, surprises and endings we’re talking about with spoilers. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Dani! Yeah sometimes I struggle with deciding whether or not something is a spoiler as well. It’s really hard to tell at times haha. Sometimes I go and reread the Goodreads summary and consider anything that occurs after the Goodreads summary ends to be a spoiler lol XD


  8. For me, I write spoilery reviews on Goodreads, because I can use spoiler tags to conceal certain parts of my review. You can even indicate that your review contains spoilers, and Goodreads will hide it for you, unless someone accepts the warning and clicks to read your review anyway. But on Amazon, I remove all the my spoilery parts from my review, lol. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too careful about keeping my Amazon reviews safe and spoiler-free, though. I see people mention details that we don’t know at the beginning of the book—yet, these details are not as major as plot twists, the climax, or the ending. What information are we allowed to disclose? To what extent may we disclose them?

    P.S. Is it acceptable to spoil the ending of a famous story? For example, can I bluntly talk about the ending of Romeo and Juliet? (It would be a bit ethnocentric and even a little classist to assume that EVERYONE knows the plot of Romeo and Juliet, after all.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sieran! That’s good to know about Goodreads. I hadn’t realized that you can hide spoilers until now 🙂
      I am always debating how much of a book I am allowed to reveal lol, and what is considered a spoiler or not. What I’ve decided (which might or might not be legit) that it is OK to reveal up to the plot points mentioned in the Goodreads summary. The plot points that occur after the Goodreads summary ends, I consider to be spoilers. Any plot points that occur before the Goodreads summary (including details at the beginning of the book that are not mentioned in the summary) are fair game to include. Not sure if my description even makes sense haha XD

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sophie, that is such a difficult question to answer. It has to be super frustrating to hold back on a great plot point that can actually win the reader over for the entire book. OTH, giving such gems away can “spoil” it for other readers. So I think your compromise by being vague but pointing to it is the correct way to go. You are a good reviewer. I don’t think you would have to change your style or mode.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is a difficult question haha. After thinking about all that, I decided to continue with my current way of being vague when it comes to describing plot points 🙂 Thank you!


  10. This is a really interesting discussion! I think spoilers can be a good and a bad thing? Depending on the spoiler and what it uncovers. But there are benefits of having spoiler-free reviews as well as spoilery reviews. But I do read spoiler-free reviews if I haven’t read the book yet.
    There’s been SO many times that I peek at reviews for a book before deciding to read it and reviewers do not tag spoilers? So then I either have the choice of just reading the book knowing what happens, or not reading the book but knowing what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello!
      Yes I definitely get what you mean. Before reading a book, I would definitely go for spoiler-free reviews as well. And yes it is unfortunate when spoilers aren’t tagged!
      As a book reviewer, I struggle a lot with what is considered a “spoiler” and what is fair game to mention in my reviews. I don’t want to be overly vague and I also don’t want to spoiler people unintentionally lol :’) I’m sure it’s a fine balance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so true – spoilers can be a grey area with regards to what you want to discuss. And sometimes it is difficult because you know people who have read the book read your review and all you do is want to talk about the spoilers lol
        I think we’ll always be trying to find that balance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yeah. I definitely am tempted to rant about the spoiler-y details of the book, especially since i know some readers of my blog have read the same books haha. Sometimes I want to talk about spoilers in the comments but I hold back since I don’t want to accidentally spoil people who are reading comments haha.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: