I try to keep this blog was spoiler-free as possible. The only exceptions are when I have to talk about a very important plot point to explain why I liked/disliked a book so strongly (e.g. my review of The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise), or when I’m reviewing the second book in a series. Usually the second book contains some sort of spoiler for the first book in its synopsis, but I don’t spoil the second book. I put some red SPOILER ALERT kind of text to warn the reader.
But sometimes, the accidental spoiler pops up. The accidental spoiler is sneaky. It’ll sneak up on you and leave you in either a tornado of rage or a puddle of tears. When a friend accidentally spoiled me for a major death in a show, my reaction was to yell and lay face down on the carpet until I calmed down. So yes, my reactions to some kinds of spoilers can be rather extreme. Sometimes.
So what kinds of sneaky accidental spoilers have I come across?
#1: Spoilers in casual conversation
Friend: Hey, Ana! Seen any good shows lately?
Ana: Yeah, I’ve been watching [name of popular television show].
Friend: Cool, me too! Are you up to the part where [important character] dies?
Ana: SIT IN A CORNER AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.
This one is very sneaky but very effective. You think you’re about to enter a flail-fest with a friend and you get spoiled for a major plot point. When I’m the one that asks the question, I make sure to ask them where they’re up to before going on. I say that I don’t want to spoil them for anything, and we have the conversation on the middle ground of what we’ve both seen or read.
#2: Spoilers in the synopsis of the next book
I only have myself to blame for this one. I’ll be in the middle of reading book one of a series and decide that I want to check out book two to see if it’s out or not. I hop on Goodreads, find the next book and what’s the first thing I read?
With the death of [important character], [main character] must learn to survive on their own.
Then I sit in a corner and think about what I’ve done. I usually close the tab as soon as I can after I read something like that. The fault is my own.
#3: Unmarked spoilers in a review.
Some blogs have that really nifty feature where they can tag some sentences as a spoiler, which hides those sentences until the reader clicks to reveal it. I really like that feature! But not all blogs have it, and I have to sometimes be wary. It’s one thing to talk about being frustrated with a cliffhanger ending, but it’s a completely different thing to go “I can’t believe that [unexpected character] was the killer!”
I understand that it can be hard to explain why you liked or disliked a book without giving spoilers, and I agonise over this in my own reviews. I’ll try to phrase something differently so it sounds kind of ambiguous, and then read over it because I really don’t want to accidentally spoil people.
What about you, dear reader?
What kind of accidental spoilers have hit you? How do you avoid accidentally spoiling someone?
Let me know in the comments!