Chatterbox: Spoilers in Reviews: Grumpy Cat Says No

March 7, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Chatterbox, Features


For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you will know that none of my reviews contain spoilers, unless I spoiler tag it. It is one of my pet peeves to be reading a review of a book that you haven’t read yet, then WHAM BAM being spoilt about a huge plot twist! It makes me kind of hesitant to follow blogs who consistently do this because as much as I try to forget I can’t unsee a spoiler.

Personally, I think spoilers are the worst things ever, especially in games and TV shows. I hate being spoiled for a season finale of a show that I am intending to watch, but haven’t gotten around to yet. It’s the same for books. Sometimes following a release of the latest Walking Dead or big book release like Divergent, I avoid Twitter, Facebook and other social media until I have seen it myself because I just know some unsuspecting person discussing it or an internet troll would ruin the experience for me.

As a reviewer, I know it’s a challenge to offer enough on your thoughts on a book without discussing some of the major plot twists. What I usually do is just offer enough as a teaser without going into it too much. Tell us your feelings towards the book, tell us about how characters were affected from the plot twist and what you think other readers will think of it, but don’t tell us exactly what happens. Finding out ourselves is half the fun, and we get to experience the book in the way it was intended to by the author. Or if need be, use a spoiler tag to pre-warn people of spoilers, so they know what’s coming.

That being said, I know some people love spoilers and need to find out what the ending is before devoting precious time on the book/movie/tv show. The boyfriend is one of those people, after watching a few episodes of Game of Thrones he went and looked up the entire series on Wikipedia O_O Needless to say, I don’t like discussing shows with him much.

What do you think of spoilers? Have they ruined your experience before? 

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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70 responses to “Chatterbox: Spoilers in Reviews: Grumpy Cat Says No

  1. Lol love that grumpy cat pic! I did something like that when I was talking about the LOST tv show ending with some friends and thought they had all scene the show. Turns out someone hadn't haha 😛

    I don't usually run into spoilers that bother me when I'm reading reviews. I tend to notice spoilers more with bloggers who are just starting out and don't know to hide that information.
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  2. Absolutely agreed! I prefer to read reviews that are completely spoiler free except on a very few occasions. And still I prefer my spoilers well labelled as such and with plenty of warning!!

    I have stayed away from Twitter and Facebook during Sherlock airings till I could watch the episodes myself cause I was spoiled once while waiting for a Doctor Who episode and it sucks!

    I find it very hard to not discuss spoilers in a review, the more you loved the book the harder it is, but I always always try my best to avoid spoilers and warn people in the review about it!
    Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain!!My Profile

  3. I don't want to read any spoilers either! For anything at all. And I always make sure my reviews don't contain spoilers. Sometimes, I even try to make sure a review for the 2nd book in a series won't contain spoilers for the 1st book – and if I can't make that – I mark at the very top of my review that it may contain spoilers for the prior book(s) in the series.

    I hope those who enjoy spoilers will be nice enough to use tags – or to mark the possibility of spoilers at the top of their reviews, because it totally ruins the experience for me to know in advance.

    Excellent topic this week, Jeann 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Convent recently posted…Review: Because of Her – K.E. PayneMy Profile

  4. Oh no, that's terrible! Reminds me of the time when I told my brother I was going to see Transformers 2 after lunch and he told me what happens 😐 some people just don't realise etiquette here lol!

  5. Spoilers should always be marked, but I think there is value in them if you actually want to discuss the book. In a strict review, perhaps there is a way to go without having any, but I think the reviews that spark the most discussion offer some meat from the story itself.
    Michelle recently posted…The Weekly Word: SwartMy Profile

  6. I DESPISE spoilers in reviews unless they are clearly marked and the reader is given a choice as to whether she wants to read them. Why would you ever want to spoil someone else's reading or viewing experience? It baffles me that people can be so careless, but sometimes people even go out of their way to decide FOR you what they consider a spoiler, which makes me even more irritated.

    Like you, I try very hard to write spoiler-free reviews (even for sequels, which can be tricky), and warn people ahead of time if there's anything they wouldn't want to know. Thank goodness for spoiler tags on GoodReads and WordPress.

    I do sometimes click on spoilers if I'm undecided about a book/movie or know I won't be reading/watching it, or if I know the potential for accidentally getting spoiled is huge. Like with ALLEGIANT, I sought out the spoiler because I knew there was a good chance it was going to happen and I'd rather choose to see it than have it unexpectedly thrust upon me.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Rebel Belle: hummingbird cake recipe + giveawayMy Profile

    • I know, I am exactly the same Wendy. After reading these comments I actually realise that some people don't actually know what is a spoiler and what I should and should be discussing. It's just about that awareness that not everyone wants to know major plot twists I think. At least you had that choice with Allegiant, I know a lot of people didn't.

  7. I totally agree, hate spoilers on movies / TV series and books . Someone told me the big twist as I was just sitting down to watch the movie 'The sixth sense' for the first time!! If I were to look at the final pages of a book for the ending that there is no point in reading the thing, as I just love to have the story with all it's twists revealed to me. I don't watch a lot of TV any more, but that's just a personal choice and a different story 🙂 . As a book reviewer, that is one of the first 'rules' I learned – don't give major spoilers (teasers are ok) or if you do, say so and code them if possible.
    Peggy @ The Pegster recently posted…Sunday Post #8 09th MarchMy Profile

  8. Spoilers are the worst. WORST! I am so careful about them and I ALWAYS mark them in my review posts. I don't want anyone to be spoiled anymore then I want to be spoiled. Just say no to spoils!
    Angie @Angela's recently posted…Sunday PostMy Profile

  9. I completely agree and my personal feeling is if it's not in the synopsis it is not going to appear in my review. I may say there were twists and turns or an element took me by surprise but I would never purposely want to spoil the reading experience for another reader. It is funny we just talked about this at dinner tonight regarding previews for our favorite tv shows and movie trailers that have the best scene showcased. Of course I had to mention those synopsis which read like cliff notes. Wonderful post!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Caffeinated Confessions #12 What am I Watching?My Profile

    • Thanks Kimba! Yeah, everyone has their different preferences for what they like to know before diving into a book, and unlike a lot of people, I don't read the blurb before hand because I want to go in fresh.

  10. I hate spoilers! I remember I used to read the last page of a book before reading it and that definitely ruined lost of surprises for me. I also tend to stay out of Tumblr (and other social media) when I'm about to read a really "famous" book (such as Allegiant) because I don't want any spoilers (but too late since I already got them anyways! -.-). I once made the mistake of googling my favorite TV show character… I was told that he was going to die. I lost interest in the show after that, lol. I think I even adapted the Grumpy Cat face, lol!
    Marianne @ Boricuan recently posted…Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm Knights (Grimm Fairy Tales Presents…) by Patrick ShandMy Profile

    • Spoilers are the worst. LOL about adapting the grumpy cat face, I'm pretty much like that when I find out a HUGE spoiler. Reminds me of the time when I was googling Pretty Little Liars and it spoilt who A was! luckily it was just a red herring, phew.

  11. I hate it when people don't take the time to copy and past the spoiler code on Goodreads. A couple of times I had a BIG twist revealed this way, in books I was only trying to make my mind about before actually buying them. I'm happy I was able to find a spoiler code for Blogger (it creates a button you can click on if you actually want to be spoiled), so that, if I have the urge to reveal something, I can do it safely. Then again, I occasionally may be a little talkative about a book I'm reviewing (like with my latest one) because it's next to impossible to say what didn't work for me without addressing specific points. But I give capital-letter warnings about that!
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  12. The final divergent was ruined for me by some punk on Goodreads, who clearly downloaded the ARC illegally. Bitch didn't even pay to ruin it for me. That pisses me off when it's a major event, especially in a finale. I don't mind non crucial spoilers, it helps me decide whether or not it'll be worth my time.

    I'm watching series two of The Walking Dead, and although I'm really behind, it's hard to ignore all the social media spoilers, but have managed to avoid it all so far. Awesome post Jeann doll 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Wrap #014My Profile

  13. Finding out is more like 99% of the fun! I absolutely LOATHE spoilers with a fiery burning passion. When I first began writing reviews, I didn't know how to not flail around and get very emotive about all the things that made me, well, emotive in the book. But then I realised: no, that's not the way. Spoilers are not cool. Spoilers are the ultimate lame. And now I rarely hint at anything specific in a review, and if I do have to make a spoiler or spoilerish type comment, I warn the readers that it's a spoiler, and also inform them when that spoilery part of my review is over. It's just courtesy.

    I mean, when I stumble across a review, and I assume that it's going to have no spoilers and then it does, I am more than a little devastated. I hate knowing ANYTHING that happens in a book, because guessing is a source of entertainment, as is suspense and surprise.

    If I know a book is coming out (especially the finale in a series), I try to stay away from reviews 100%. Even if the reviewer isn't aware they're spoiling something, they may be. Phrases like "the ending made me cry SO HARD" pretty much means somebody dies, and that, in my books, is definitely a spoiler. It's just told me SOMEONE DIES. Sigh.

    But then people have conversations about the book, and post discussions about the book. And spoilers are just everywhere and kind of inevitable, and then I spiral into a black-hole of book spoiler despair. *screaming*
    Chiara @ Books for a recently posted…Cover Crush (#40)My Profile

    • I'm exactly the same Chiara. Spoilers are lame and grumpy cat agrees. But I think the overarching comment here from others is that it's hard to know exactly what is a spoiler, but as long as there's no major plot points or stuff like that being spoilt then it should be okay.

  14. Haha, I agree with this one a lot, although there are times that I willingly look for spoilers in intense books just so I know what to expect (I can be very weird when I'm in a state of shock or something when I encounter a big twist), but I always keep in mind that there are people out there who don't appreciate them and would want to not see them at all, so I try to keep my reviews and tweets spoiler-free (or put them in tags if necessary). Like many others, I do slip-ups by accident sometimes, but I always delete appropriately when someone calls me out on it (I AM ASHAMED OKAY HUHU). Hopefully others who are always guilty of this realize that it's a douchebag move O_O
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…ARC Review: Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor – Wickedly AwesomeMy Profile

    • Faye you are hilarious! Sometimes it's hard to describe a book without spoilers, at least people tell you when it happens lol. I look for spoilers Sometimes when I'm reading and feeling particular things, but for the most part I stay away from spoilers.

  15. I don't mind spoilers for TV shows or most movies. I tend to look stuff up like your boyfriend does. When it comes to books, though, I don't. I think it's because I put more effort and time into reading a book, so I want to make it worth it. There is a blogger who I love, but avoid reading the reviews too thoroughly because they give too much away. Even mentioning the ending is tricky. Some people want to know if it's a HEA, while some want to find out for themselves. But them it annoys me when people freak out and accuse people of spoilers when there wasn't a spoiler. Like I saw someone complain about the title of Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi, saying it spoiled the trilogy. Um, wtf … if you read the first book, it's obvious where things are heading, but that title doesn't necessarily guarantee anything, ya know? I think what people consider spoilers varies greatly, so it's definitely a like walking a tightrope at times.
    Christy (Love of Boo recently posted…Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesMy Profile

    • Wow, that sounds a bit touchy regarding the spoiler lol. I wouldn't go that far, but yeah some people want to know if it at least ends well to invest their time and energy.

  16. Hahaha oh no, do you lock your bf in a room when you're watching something in case he spoils it? 😛 Kidding! But I totally agree, I try to be as spoiler free as I can. I remember just seeing all the spam on Twitter for Allegiant, sighing and scrolling past. It's awful when some people make it their life mission to ruin the fun for everyone else. Seriously, who gives them the right?! Go do something more productive -___-
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Happy International Women’s Day!My Profile

    • Yeah spoiler Trolls are the worst! Haha we don't actually watch a lot of shows together because he wants to know what happens that he watched ahead without me 😛 I've taught him over the years though to not mention anything.

  17. Argh I hate spoilers with a passion! 2 of my friends love them however so I make it my mission to watch or read anything before them.

    I hate it when a review doesn't put a CLEAR spoiler warning. If any of my reviews have spoilers I always have it caps and bold red writing.

    I also tend to avoid the internet as well because people just can't seem to help themselves.
    Francoise recently posted…The Winter Olympic Book TagMy Profile

    • That's the same with me! It took me forever to come around to reading some books because the endings have already been spoilt. But sometimes the spoilers put me off from ever starting it.

  18. I just read spoilers for TWD and sometimes I cheat and read the end of the book when it gets too suspenseful for me to take! LOL

    But for my reviews, I have the same approach as you do. When I'm reading a series or book that I love, I just look at the star ratings but rarely read reviews and even blurbs BEFORE and DURING my read. I do it AFTER, just to compare notes and stuff.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Love It: Walk On The Striped Side by Jessie Lane + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lol I hate TWD spoilers! Twitter is full of them. Sometimes I read reviews during to see if people are thinking the same thing I am for some things. I rarely read blurbs too, interesting to see others feel the same.

  19. Totally agree with you! I just hate spoilers! Avoiding the spoilers for Allegiant was really difficult the first few weeks after it released. I still haven't read the book.

    In my reviews I try to never include spoilers. usually say things like "I like the character growth" without explaining how the character grew and in which aspect. Or things like "there was a scene towards the end I didn't like" I kow that's not really specific, but rather that then including a spoiler.

    Although sometimes it's a fine line when knowing what's a spoiler, I once had a book where the character fell in love with a character that wasn't mentioned in the blurb, the blurb suggested person A would be the love interest, but actually person B was the love interest. In this case it's difficult to discuss the characters and the romance without giving away that she falls in love with another person than the one mentioned in the blurb.
    Lola recently posted…Blog Tour: Astral Tide (Otherborn #2) by Anna SilverMy Profile

    • I know, I think I avoided Twitter until I read the book a week later, I was so afraid of spoilers. I totally know what you mean, it's hard to avoid that though! Sometimes a lot of other things can be considered spoilers, depending on what people think. That's a good point Lola.

  20. I was totally RUINED when I saw the mid season finale spoiler for The Walking Dead. I immediately hid my friend's posts in Facebook from then on. She always posts freaking memes every after an episode airing. Anyway, I do dislike spoilers without spoiler tags. I can forgive reviewers that don't do this IF they are reviewing books that I might not even read. Some spoilers are just little stuff here and there but if a reviewer divulges a MAJOR plot twist, I'll be damned! That's why I also avoid threads at Goodreads that talk about books that I haven't read, or when there are author Q&As, I don't read the other questions and answers because I didn't want to be preempted. I'm guilty of letting slip some things on my reviews, but I've been trying my best to NOT do it again, because it's not freaking cool. So I do put a warning about spoilerish posts. And I'm scared of the grumpy cat. *hides*
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Book Review 137 : The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon SandersonMy Profile

    • Oh no, that is awful! Someone spoiled one of the Game of Thrones finales for me, it was an online friend and I deleted him from my friend list because I was that offended. It was a totally intentional one too, that was posted right after the show was aired. That's the same with author Q&As and Goodreads too. I'm glad you've been putting up spoiler warnings Dre!

  21. I make it a point to make all my reviews spoiler-free, because it's just off-putting otherwise. I want to know if a book is good, or know someone's thoughts on it; I don't want to know every single thing about it and have all the surprises ruined. If you can't manage to write a review without spoiling everything, then clearly a) the book wasn't that good because the spoilery bits were the only things that the reviewer could think to discuss or b) the reviewers aren't too good at reviewing 😉

    I think the book blogging community is pretty good at hiding spoilers though and I don't think I've been spoiled yet. Heck, I didn't even begin Divergent until Allegiant was already out and I wasn't actively avoiding any spoilers and yet I still wasn't spoiled. I went into the whole thing blind, despite the amount of reviews I read.

    If a blogger posted a spoilery review and didn't have the decency to say 'hey, guys, this review is going to contain spoilers' then I'd probably unfollow them because, seriously, it's just inconsiderate.
    Allie @ Little Birdi recently posted…New Themes: Sixteen Nine, The Writer, Broadsheet, WeddingMy Profile

    • You are totally right Allie, I had to put up this post because there's been a few instances where my beloved bloggy friends would unknowingly post a spoiler to the books! Mainly because I think it's hard to know what a spoiler is and isn't. But it looks like most people have the same feelings, they are pretty good at warning us about potential spoilers. Thanks for your comment Allie!

  22. I am so with you spoilers. I will always do my bets to try and get what I'm trying to say across without spoiling things, and if I have to relate to something previous, I will state that there are minor spoilers involved, but when there are reviews talking about something big happening, like what character actually dies rather than somebody dies, than I lose my sh*t, because that's really frustrating. You've hit the nail on the head here; you need to be able to get your point across without revealing spoilers.

    Greta topic Jeann! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #5 – First Books in a SeriesMy Profile

    • Thanks for your comment Amanda! Minor spoilers aren't the big ones that hit you over the head when someone reveals that someone dies or who they end up picking in the end. Thank you!

  23. I'm in total agreement. I can't stand spoilers (Hunger Games was totally ruined for me because of that, spoilers. UGH!) and I prefer when reviewers/blogger explain how the book impacts them OR how they were able to connect to the characters. For me, it's a huge challenge and I suppose that's why I keep it all incredibly vague. Excellent post! 😉

    • Oh noo, I can't believe you had Hunger Games spoilt for you! Oh well, I think it's a fine challenge to keep it vague but also explain enough about the book. Everyone has different styles which is what I love about blogging 🙂

  24. I agree, it's best to try not to spoil books for others. I think sometimes it's hard to determine exactly WHAT a spoiler is, though. I'm not talking about the big stuff, but sometimes the little things that you don't think are spoilers turn out to be a spoiler for someone else. I once had an author email me after he read my review to please put a "spoiler alert" tag on it. I still have no idea what part of my review he thought was a spoiler!
    Tammy @ Books Bones recently posted…Two Journeys, One Future: THE BOOK OF THE CROWMAN by Joseph D’LaceyMy Profile

    • That's a good point Tammy, it's hard to determine what a spoiler is, as long as it's not a major plot point or a huge part of the book then it should be fine. That's crazy lol!

  25. Eve

    Spoilers are exactly why I ignore reviews of books I haven't read yet. I only comment on reviews of books I've read. But not everyone does this, so it'd be considerate if people gave warning of spoilers, even if they're not very big. I've had books, tv shows and movies spoiled for me, so I'm being very careful. Sometimes when I'm writing a review, I forget that not everyone has read the book and I'm just itching to discuss something, but thank God I check everything before posting. Hah.
    Eve recently posted…Review: Pivot PointMy Profile

    • I totally agree and understand why people avoid reviews of books they haven't read yet. I sometimes skim reviews just to see their overall thoughts and ratings but if they spoil it I'm not very happy.

  26. When I write my reviews I definitely try to not include spoilers, unless the book is over a year old I guess. But even then I will write at the start of the post that spoilers are included. I accidentally spoiled Allegiant for myself, but I actually think it made me enjoy it more. I had time to get over it before I read it haha. I also just recently spoiled Game of Thrones for myself as I was adding the books to my Goodreads list. My bad. Pretty big spoiler for that one. It really annoys me when people go out of their way to spoil things for other people. You can spoil it for me if I ask you to, but don't go ahead and just tell me, accidents aside of course.
    Patty @ Patty's recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday: ElusionMy Profile

    • Yeah, this post is just asking people to be aware because I have read reviews where people just put them out there in their reviews without keeping it in mind for other people.


    I'm totally the same- when it nears the date of a book release that I'm looking forward to I'll pretty much avoid all forms of social media. Like in the weeks following the release of Ignite Me and Cress I didn't go on Twitter at all and avoided looking at my GR feed. In terms of reviews, I actually don't read reviews of books I know I'm definitely going to read because I love going into the book without really knowing where it's going. I don't even read blurbs sometimes, to be honest!

    I'm so paranoid about spoilers that it's been quite a while since I got something ruined for me- I remember back in 2013 I accidentally got spoiled for Warner's first name in Unravel Me, but it wasn't like that was a massive spoiler so I guess that wasn't too bad. I can't really remember the last time I was spoiled before then…
    Nara recently posted…Lola Read-Along: Book RecommendationsMy Profile

    • Gah, sometimes some spoilers aren't a major thing but other times it kind of puts you off the book. Avoiding reviews of books you haven't read yet is a good idea but if I did that I wouldn't be discovering so many new books.

  28. I HATE spoilers with a fierce passion – the ones I'm not aware of. I think it's great when people include spoilers in special tags or when they make the text white so you have to go over it. The thing is: comments on that post can be very tricky too! I've had several times where people replied on the spoiler by repeating it, so I was still spoiled in the end. I wish people kept that in mind too!

    Twitter is also a dangerous place. If you want to talk about it, why not DM that person? Why put it out there, for everyone to read? This is how my excitement for Allegiant was destroyed – I still haven't picked it up because of it.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 238. Lauren Oliver – Panic.My Profile

    • That's actually a good Point, I can see how comments could provide spoilers too – oops! I hate spoilers too, they can surely ruin your experience for something. Twitter and Facebook are the worst for spoilers I think.

  29. I totally agree. Spoilers are crazy. And, is it just me, or are people more relaxed about letting them slip out??? With pinterest and twitter, daaaang, it feels like no one's even trying anymore!! I know I'm guilty. I've let slip spoilers before (on accident). If I AM planning on having spoilers in a review, then I put up big signs and yell in all-caps that I'm doing it.

    I've had the whole Harry Potter series spoiled, but that's kind of understandable. 😉 I AM a bit late on that one. And I'm late onto Supernatural, but I know a lot of the plot twists just from pinterest.

    And I accidentally…*sobs*…ruined Allegiant for Mime. But in my defence she was looking over my shoulder while I wrote my post and she just saw everything. HER FAULT. And kind of mine. I was sooo mad at myself. >-<
    Cait @ Notebook Sist recently posted…Why Cait Is Unbelievably Jealous of YouMy Profile

    • Oh no! I guess that's a bit different because Mime was right there when you were writing it. I know what you mean, between people who spoil intentionally and those who accidentally do it feels like the whole Internet is full of them. You just can't win!

  30. I read spoilers when it comes to romance books, mainly because there are triggers (cheating, BDSM, cliffhangers) that I would rather avoid. I don’t like spoilers on my other reads though and I would sometimes skim a review to prevent that. I must admit that I occasionally check TV spoilers myself, mostly when I want to find out what will happen to a certain character or relationship. So I guess sometimes, spoilers are a necessary evil for me but I would still rather find out everything for myself 🙂
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    • That's understandable when it comes to triggers that would make you not enjoy the book if you stumbled upon it yourself. Everyone approaches spoilers differently but it's great to have a choice.