Monday, April 2

Book Blogger Confessions: 4/2

The topic is: Spoilers in reviews: Do you read them, do you include them? How to you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?

Spoilers, bah, the bane of my existence. In my perfect book world I would be able to stroll the shelves and pick based off of cover and genre alone. There would be no need for a blurb or reviews. You must think me a bit mad. Yet, when I was young that is exactly how I picked books. There was freedom in it and my lack of preconceptions made it all that more enjoyable. Inevitably I grew out of the safety in the younger reads. The young adult reads started to reflect the world outside. Violence, sex, and language leaked into more and more of the books I picked. I began to fear books and bit by bit stopped reading. Years, almost a decade without reading, went by and I was given a personal recommendation for a book. I was really hesitant but my friend raved euphorically and promised I wouldn't be disappointed. I remember the experience clearly. As I read I shook my head in confusion at how she could possibly like the book. It was dumb or until I hit that ever beautiful moment that I was irreversibly hooked. That one book and recommendation lit the fire once again. Curious? The book was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I hadn't forgotten the mine field on the book shelves and searched like crazy for safe recommendations. I had to read reviews and blurbs in order to better weed out the books that wouldn't work. But now I felt I had lost something since I now had preconceived ideas about the books. At least it was better than being blindsided. Yet still I had a hard time finding books that met my criteria for the perfect novel cocktail. In part this frustration led me to start blogging. I wondered if there were others who were as equally frustrated.

So after this long tangent we return to spoilers. I am no expert critic or editor. I only ask the book to grab hold of my attention and emotions and take them for a memorable ride. Is it too much to ask that a book steal my breath? Basically, I am far more interested in the story and the characters. Often I just want to rant or rave about someone in a book. Or curse the heavens for some event. More often than not these are exactly the sorts of things that classify as spoilers.
It is my goal to keep my reviews spoiler free, but anything that gives away an inkling of the contents of a book is a spoiler. Where does one draw the line? Is there a turning point in the story or perhaps a page number after which all is hush hush? It seems this "line" isn't as solid as I would like it to be. There is a vicious cycle to my reviews.
STRUGGLE---EASE---CHAOS (rinse and repeat)
Struggle is caused by my trying too hard to write the perfect review and keeping out spoilers. The result is really boring and often repetitive reviews.I even want to throw my hands up and walk way from the whole blog.
Ease is when I find a medium.
Chaos is where my emotions and scattered mind dictate, spoilers abound.

It seems I haven't found my groove yet when it comes to a solid foundation for my reviews. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't have two parts to my review. The first spoiler free and then a place for me to let loose.
I do occasionally seek out spoilers. When I have parted ways with a book or series I am often still a little curious. This is when I am wishing someone would summarize, or spoil the ending I have no intention of reading.
Spoilers are evil. But where do you really draw the line? Is it really black and white or a muddled gray?

Thanks for the topic.