Monday, June 15, 2009

Spoiler Alert! rant

I wish I had finished The Hunger Games when I checked it out of the library way back when. That was before I was involved with the book blogging community and I knew how popular it was. I just picked it up randomly and I was like, hmmm, this is good. But then life got in the way and I couldn't renew it cause someone else requested it so I just let it go and I haven't gone back since. Now the book has been spoiled for me several times. Ah, well, I guess anything out for over a year is fair game, right?

It's not as bad as when Harry Potter 7 came out. I spent all day dutifully reading it, away from the Internet, outside in the fresh summer air and then inside a coffee shop. But it was all day without email, without my message boards, without AIM, without facebook... and it was getting to be too much. I started having withdrawals. I couldn't concentrate on Harry Potter, my eyes were twitching and my fingers were itching to scroll and type. I just wanted a taste of the online world. So I went into some random chatroom on, it was like for the Jonas Brothers, and I just wanted to be in there for a moment and then, before I could click out, a message flashed before my eyes.



Seriously? The Jonas Brothers chatroom?

You really can't trust the Internet.

I hate spoilers. I can't read book reviews like Kirkus or School Library Journal before I read the book because those reviews tell the whole plot. I skim blogger reviews of books I already know I want to read to avoid spoilers. I even hate looking at the Library of Congress one sentence summary on the inside of the book because I swear that sentence starts in the middle of the plot!

Nowadays, with information on hyper-drive, you just have to stay far FAR away from the Internet if you want to stay spoiler-free. I feel sorry for people who live on the West Coast. They have to live in a cave for hours if they don't want to be spoiled when something important happens on live TV, like the American Idol finale. West Coasters, how do you deal?

Spoilers are everywhere. Sure, people are excited about the end of a book or movie or TV show but there's also something special about being FIRST and telling everyone about it, like you were the first one there. You know, like people who just comment "first!" on popular gossip blogs and you're like, you idiot, why don't you pretend to acknowledge that Jon and Kate are falling apart right before our very eyes. You have wasted my eye energy with your nonsense. Nowadays, being the first person with a hot piece of information on the Internet is like running the 100 meters in the Olympics. You have to be Usain Bolt or pretty much everyone is going to arrive at around the same time.

It's tricky navigating around spoilers in book reviews. See, the plot is important part of enjoying or not enjoying a book. Of course, it's not the only thing, but for me it's a big thing. So how much do you put in and what do you leave out? I don't like to read a plot-heavy review but then again, when I have read those reviews it has helped me to discover books that I would have dismissed based on covers or awkward blurbs. My favorite part of blogging is discovering these books from other readers. So yeah, sometimes you need to be spoiled.

In the end, I guess it boils down to the fact that most of the time it's the journey, not the destination that is the most interesting and poignant. Yeah, okay, Katniss and Peeta win but you know what? I don't know how that happens. I don't know the kind of struggles they face and the emotions they feel. Snape does die but at that point I didn't know the circumstances and when I finally did get to that part, it was still really really good.

Spoilers don't have to ruin a book. In fact, sometimes they can help. They can spur you on, reading faster. Where is that part? Is it here or is it there? They can get you more excited. They can keep you turning the page with anticipation or even with twinges of regret.

So I'll try not to be so upset when I do encounter them.

But I'm still going to try to avoid them. And if I do get spoiled, I'll still be a little annoyed.

I could never live on the West Coast.

PS- Sorry if you just got SPOILED!

PPS- Borders, are YA books considered kids' books? Cause you sent me a coupon and I wanna use it on Along for the Ride. haha


  1. I don't mind spoilers, but then my sister delights in calling me at all hours of the day, night and twilight to ruin books, movies and shows for me. I'll never forget when she saw The Dark Knight before and gleefully called to tell me that my favorite guy in there was no more. I slammed that phone down so hard! And the horrid thing was I was IN LINE to see it--just five freaking minutes more before we sat down!

    So now I just give up caring.

    As far as if Borders considers YA kids' books--I would say no, but double check your local Borders. Mine just did a whole big reshuffling of genres that included moving all the YA and Intermiediate books out of the kids corner and to their own corner...but the Border by my boyfriend about twenty minutes away has always had them separate ::shrugs::

  2. Ahh, I agree. I hate book spoilers as well as spoilers for anything else like TV shows or movies etc. I like to be surprised.

  3. Great post. I read this yesterday, after my Percy spoilers (oops) but to be fair that was not a review rather an issue, and I didn't reveal the major plot. I try my best to avoid reading and writing spoilers. At work its an unwritten rule, don't give the plot or the ending away to a co-worker.


  5. Hey Summer, I went to Borders to use my $2 to get Dessen's book and it was already 20% so I couldn't use it. I'll have to go tomorrow to find another book! A $2 coupon is too good to pass up!