This is such a tricky topic, but I appreciate Susan’s articulate, logical approach. In my former life (pre-blogging and writing), I left Goodreads reviews that ranged from one-sentence “I liked it” to long, rambling mini-novels. I didn’t follow any guidelines about how to review, but I didn’t leave spoilers either. Most readers review from the heart. They are posting an honest opinion of how they feel about the book.
I think it’s different for professional reviewers and bloggers. If someone is going to be a professional reviewer or have a blog where they review books, I think they should refrain from leaving spoilers. If they must reveal aspects of the plot, it’s a good idea to post a “Spoiler Alert” as a courtesy to the readers. Once a reviewer enters the professional or blogging arena, they have their audience to consider. As a reader, I would be very disappointed if someone decided summarize the entire book before I had a chance to read it.
Please read the post on Susan’s blog and contribute to the conversation if you wish. It’ll be interesting to see where everyone stands on this issue.
My novel, Island in the Clouds, recently received a second 2-star review on a book review site. I’m okay with the rating, because I know not everyone will enjoy my writing so this was a little jolt of reality to counter all those 4-and-5-stars I had been receiving since I first published the book in February of 2012.
What caused me to take exception with the reviewer was that she had listed my novel in the “Thriller” category – which it is not – then complained that it had not been “thriller” enough. Worse though was that she recounted much of the plot line, right down to the ending, taking away any potential suspense readers may have discovered for themselves, had they a mind to read my book, in spite of the low rating and this reviewer’s comments. She did not include a “May Contain Spoilers” warning.
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