March 31st, 2013
Why I Have To Stop Reading Reviews

In the last few months, I’ve made the mistake of reading reviews for books I’ve purchased. (Did you think I was talking about MY reviews? *ggg Other than checking out the first review on a new book, I don’t tend to read my reviews. It’s hard enough to write without factoring those into the picture.) Anyway, back to my original topic. I have checked out reviews for the last few books that I’ve bought only to encounter either spoilers or hot button subjects (ie a rape occurs, a hero is killed, a romance that is set up in book one falls apart in later books with no intention of progressing, etc.) that basically ruined my reading experience before I even opened the book. You would’ve thought after the first time it happened that I would’ve learned not to look, but apparently not.

I think these spoiler/hot buttons would’ve been less traumatic had I just read them and been shocked firsthand. The sad thing is that because of these topics/spoilers I’ve avoided the books. I’m dreading reading about these things, even though they are from some of my favorite authors/series. I don’t know how to get past the mental block that tells me these horrific things are coming. With one of the series, I’m going to just charge through the book because it’s truly one of my favorite authors. With the other, I may be done with the series. Even if the author turns it around in later books, I’m not sure I can ‘trust’ them any longer. (Weird, I know.) Unfortunately, in the third circumstance, I won’t be reading past the first book in the series, even though I think the writing is good and I’m enjoying the story. The direction the series takes is not one I care to go in.

Yes, I realize I’m talking about works of ‘fiction’, but I guess for me to fully immerse myself into the books I have to go into them ‘blind’. Bad things can and should happen in books, but they have to be written in a way that will allow me (as the reader) to get past them. If I can’t do that, then I have to move onto a different series/author. The only genre that gets a pass from me is Horror. With Horror, all bets are off the table.

6 comments to “Why I Have To Stop Reading Reviews”

  1. Ugh, people who spoil a major plot point in a review are worse than that coworker who keeps talking about what happened on the show you haven’t watched yet–you can’t cover your ears and say “lalalala.”

    I do agree that there are certain kinds of horrible plot points that give me pause as a writer. I mean, as popular as the books and movies were, I don’t ever intend to read/watch “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series, because I don’t want to deal with the more intense scenes I’ve heard about.

  2. M.E., Yeah, I hear you. The spoilers have definitely ruined two series for me. I just can’t get past what the authors have done, BUT that’s okay. I’m not against them taking the directions that they’ve decided to take, but I know that those choices aren’t really going to work for me in the long run. I guess I’m cutting my losses ahead of time, which is something I wouldn’t have done had I not read the spoilers.

    I hadn’t read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo before I watched the movie, so I had no idea what was going to happen. Not sure I would’ve watched it had I known. It is a truly INTENSE movie that has many disturbing scenes. I am glad that I watched it, but I doubt I’d sit through it again. That said, I was okay with the decisions the author made because there was a ‘payback’ that balanced some of the horrific scenes. If there hadn’t have been, I would’ve walked out of the movie. The payback didn’t make up for what happened, but it at least soothed the situation somewhat.

  3. I think if I’m following a series, and a character I look forward to in each book is killed off, I’d rather know about it. Then, I would balance whether I want to read anymore of the series or not.

    I’ve seen both the American first movie in the series and all three parts of the foreign versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I did not read the books, but I sure became engrossed in the three foreign movies. That is one very chilling heroine. 🙂

  4. Bernard, I am REALLY torn about knowing whether a character is going to die or not. The problem I had with finding out ahead of time was that it made me stop reading the series that I was enjoying immensely. I haven’t gone back to it yet because I know in the next book the character is going to die.

    I’ve also lost enthusiasm about a series where I know the author is moving a main character in the first book to the backseat and allowing another to take over. I won’t be reading past book one.

    I haven’t seen the foreign versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or the other movies that came after it, but I’ve heard they’re actually better than the American version. Yes, I agree that she’s a hell of a character. So flawed. So dynamic. So intense.

  5. I hate coming across spoilers that aren’t in the back blurb, especially if it’s a main character dying. This is why I refuse to put them in my reviews (though I will occasionally tell people that they should read a book that I have particularlly liked ;))

  6. Ilona, LOL! Yes, I’m pretty good at recommending books to others. I want to share the reading love. 🙂

    Death spoilers are a weird one. Part of me really wants to know and the other part goes into avoidance mode. Neither bodes well for the series.