To spoiler or not to spoiler a book review:
that is the question!
Ah. The dreaded spoiler. They exist in books, movies, tv shows, etc, etc. They’re everywhere and for those who are up-to-date, they’re amazing! They are required for full-on, fleshed-out conversations about your favorite series.
However, for the person who’s fallen behind, they’re dreadful! You haven’t gotten there yet! You don’t want to know who dies or who’s actually a villain! You need to find out for yourself and feel all the feels like it’s the first time. :p
Book Reviews in particular
But let’s narrow it down for this week’s discussion to spoilers in book reviews because this is a big discussion. As discussed last week, there are many different times to read book reviews and many different reasons to read book reviews. It’s because of that which makes writing book reviews so hard. Do you write them for the potential reader or the one who’s already finished the series? Only upon answering this can you determine whether to put spoilers into your review. For now, let’s look at the pros and cons of spoilers in book reviews.
After much debating you’ve come to the conclusion that you just can’t leave out the plot twist. It has to go in your book review, which means your book review will contain spoilers. Great! That’s awesome! Don’t forget your ‘spoiler alert’ sign before the spoilers so you don’t anger any potential book-readers.
Now, for those who have read the book and are looking at other reviews, spoilers are awesome! They’re a good opportunity to really delve into the book, to really discuss, to really get into the changes of the characters and the plot without having to censor one’s self. That’s what these readers want: ‘You hate when the main character did that in the second to last chapter, too?! Awesome! Let’s chat!’
On the other hand, when you put spoilers into your review, you’re designing it for a certain type of reader: those who have already read the book. Those who haven’t read the book aren’t going to want to know what happens. They’re likely reading the review to get an idea of whether or not they even want to read the book, but you blabbing about it all over your book review means they don’t have to anymore. They already know what happens.
This can be difficult for people who want to bring in a variety of different readers. You could always put up a ‘spoiler warning’ for those who haven’t read the book, but then the potential reader may not even touch the book review and just look elsewhere.
So, you’re left with not having any spoilers in your book review and only discussing the bare minimum of the book, things that won’t anger anyone if they knew about them before reading the book. But will that satisfy your desire to discuss the book? Or is your book review for the purpose of enticing new readers to the book?
That’s where the real question lies: who are you writing your book reviews for? For yourself? Awesome! Do whatever you like to do. For discussion? Great! Throw in them spoilers (but always put a spoiler warning) and get discussing! For new, potential readers? Fantastic! Keep it at face value and tell them what was good and what wasn’t.
What do you think about spoilers in book reviews?
Let me know in the comments below!
And check out last week’s discussion:
“When to read book reviews“
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I’d love your opinions to improve my book reviews for you!