Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Hate Spoilers

Before I forget, I'm having a ONE DAY CONTEST on my blog! Donate $5 or more to C.J. Redwine for her Skip A Starbucks and Help Bring A Child Home cause. C.J.'s family is raising funds to bring home the little girl they adopted from China.

And now on to today's post. I got nothin'. I'm patiently waiting for the UPS man to bring my copy of MOCKINGJAY from Amazon. And trying to avoid all the MOCKINGJAY reviews on the internet. Seriously people, can't you at least wait until after the weekend? I HATE spoilers!

Hmm... maybe that's what I can post about. Spoilers!

I always hate it when the blurb on the back of a book, or the cover image gives away the BIG SECRET in a book. Like for example, HUSH, HUSH:

The plot is based around the slow reveal that there's something strange about Patch. What could it be? Why is he always there to save Nora, even when it's impossible? What's up with those weird scars on his back?

I can't remember the exact page number, but it's probably at least halfway through the book before the truth comes out, and yet, thanks to the cover, I'm screaming at Nora from practically page one HE'S A FALLEN ANGEL!!! WATCH YOUR BACK!!! (Um, yeah, sorry if I spoiled that for you.) And I couldn't help but feel a little bad for Becca Fitzpatrick because all the masterful plotting and suspense she created lost some of it's edge because the biggest secret was right there on the cover. There was still plenty of tension, and lots to keep you hooked though. HUSH, HUSH is a great book that I highly recommend if you haven't read it yet.

This also happens with blurbs, like with TWILIGHT, whose blurb starts out with this quote from the book:

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Now I don't know if the original blurb from when the book was first released in 2006 is the same, but again, it gives away a huge chunk of the mystery. TWILIGHT is over 500 pages long, and much of the opening is devoted to Why is Edward and his family so strange? It's over 100 pages before it's revealed that Edward is a vampire. 100 pages that I wanted to flip through just to get to the part where he admitted it because I already knew it was coming. Again I thought it was a shame because the buildup to that moment is done really well. I imagine that if I hadn't known, I would've found those opening pages, page-turners.

It's a trade-off I suppose. HUSH, HUSH could've gone with a more ambiguous cover. Maybe something with a mysterious cute guy with a hat pulled down low over his eyes and a sexy grin, but it wouldn't have been as eye-catching. And even though we don't learn what Patch is right off, the cover does highlight the overall subject of the story. It doesn't bother me as much as say, if the entire book had been about finding out what Patch was, and it ended with the reveal that he was an angel.

With TWILIGHT, between the totally vague and unrelated cover image and the long buildup of an even longer book, I can see why it would be important to state the hook up front, otherwise, people might not keep reading.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about covers and blurbs that give too much away? Does it ruin the story for you if you've figured out the mystery the main character is still trying to put together?


  1. I completely absolutely totally agree!! Book summaries drive me crazy. And I really don't understand what publishers motivation behind spoiling some of the book. I've been boycotting summaries lately. I will only read the summary if I am reading lots of them or if it will be awhile till I read the book. Otherwise I buy books on thoughts I've heard from fellow bloggers. And at my blog I right my own summaries and try to keep them very spoiler free.

  2. I really enjoyed both Hush, Hush and Twilight but you bring up a good point--part of the suspense for the reader is figuring it (whatever it is) out on their own, which is hard to do when someone spells it out for them on the back cover.

    I guess you have to write a book that's so good, the reader will want to keep reading even if they already know part of what's coming.

  3. Great point! Those kind of give aways feel so lazy. And it's even worse because you know the author who worked so hard to write the tale has no control over that stuff.

  4. I stopped reading summaries last year when I was reading Firespell by Chloe Neill. I was frustrated that spoilers were given out. So while I include publisher summaries on my reviews, I don't read them until after I've read the book. I choose books by their covers, the author's rep, and especially bloggers recommendations.

  5. Totally agree. I hate it when I read the back of a book and feel that I don't even have to read the story. And I had heard so much about Twilight before I picked the book up that when I did I couldn't handle more than the first chapter before giving up. But to her defense, a lot of that had to do with the fact that I totally had Bella and Edward in my mind and then the two doofuses (can I say that here?) who play them in the movies ruined it for me. *sigh* I was so disappointed. That could be a whole other topic... movies ruining books. And I agree about Hush Hush. I had read that Angles were going to be the new Vampires, and the article mentioned Hush, Hush. Maybe they just really wanted to stress the angel storyline with the cover to grab people... it is a beautiful cover... but I like your idea better :)

  6. That's one thing I love about books like The Dark Divine and Liar. You have no idea what's really happening, unless you've read the RIDICULOUS SPOILER FILLED reviews on amazon, goodreads, or even Don't read ANY reviews on LIAR, please. totally ruined that one for a friend of mine.

    TDD has been out a while now so most people probably know Daniel's secret, but I bought the book on release day not knowing what I was getting. Elizabeth Law of Egmont raved about it, so I basically bought that book on her recommendation.

    I bought LIAR because it sounded interesting, and because there was so much controversy over the cover and all that I had to know what the hype was about. Glad I did. Totally loved the heck out of that book.

    Not that I don't like TWILIGHT, but I agree. I think the hook had to be thrown out there right away, or the reader probably wouldn't keep reading it. In my opinion, Bella wasn't that interesting of a narrator and the plot just didn't hook me like it did most people. I love all things vampire so of course I read the series, saw the movies and got my fair share of enjoyment, but had I not known it was about vampires, I don't think I would've read it.

  7. See, I was totally on the other side with The Dark Divine. I thought the cover and the blurb were SO offbase in what the book was about that I was confused and disappointed at first. (Although I did think it's a really good book once I got over my expectations. I also thought the title was a huge spoiler if you're even half paying attention. I figured it out way too early because of the title. It is a very cool and fitting title though. But seriously, if The Lost Saint features a character named Saint I will be bummed! LOL

  8. After I read TDD and looked back at the cover, there was that moment of umm wtf? But I loved it by then. Lol!

    Another one is Low Red Moon. LRM tells you straight up what's going on with the mysterious Ben, but the real mystery is Avery and what happened the night her parents were murdered. And I totally love that one too. You guys all have to buy that one in September.


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