I was very intrigued by this week’s topic because it was something I’ve never tried doing before! I struggle in general when it comes to writing reviews of books (or TV shows/movies) because I’m never sure where to draw the line about what’s a spoiler. Just last week, I posted a comment on a Discord server that I’m part of about House of Sky and Breath, which I’d mentioned that I couldn’t be sure if it was a spoiler or not. I was only about halfway through the book at the time, and I made an observation about the setting of the book that I thought was generally pretty vague. Since I wasn’t done with the book, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if it counted as a spoiler or not, and was met with a response that “if you’re not sure, it’s better to err on the side of caution and tag it a spoiler anyway.” While I usually agree with that, I was really on the fence in this case because my comment was more of on overall observation about the book, and not necessarily revealing details of any specific character or scene. If something that vague still counts as a spoiler, then I really don’t know where to draw the line! I’m purposely not repeating the comment here just in case, but if anyone’s curious, I’m happy to share it in the contents. I used to write a ton of music reviews on Amazon for the CDs I bought, but I really struggle to write them about books. I thought a one-word review was an interesting challenge since it sums up the overall impression of the book, and really shouldn’t risk spoiling anything!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
One-word review: Sad
2) House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
One-word review: Action-packed
3) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
One-word review: Thorough
4) The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter
One-word review: Adorable
5) Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
One-word review: Intriguing
6) Recommended for You by Laura Silverman
One-word review: Underwhelming
7) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
One-word review: Thought-provoking
8) Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
One-word review: Surprising
9) The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
One-word review: Funny
10) Karen’s Kittycat Club (graphic novel) by Katy Farina
One-word review: Cute
I agree that it’s sometimes hard to draw the line on what constitutes a spoiler. Sometimes I feel like the “spoiler” is more of a trigger alert and it would be wrong not to mention it (rape & suicide specifically come to mind). But talking about the setting or the city or the world building of a story doesn’t seem out of line. Also, if it mentions a rape or a tragedy or an alien in the cover/GR blurb, I feel like it’s fair game to elaborate a bit. You’ve got a good collection of one-words here – you can see mine at https://www.bookshelfjourneys.com/post/ttt-one-word-reviews
I think trigger warnings are, by definition, spoilers since they reveal something that will be happening in the plot. I can see where they are important for people, but I also sometimes find them frustrating if they reveal an upcoming twist in a thriller. I remember reading The Woman in the Window and looked at a review, and one of the trigger warnings completely ruined a plot twist. I know some people need the advance warning and it’s important to have it available for those who need it, but it’s such a fine line sometimes.
Thorough books are so much fun to read!
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-one-word-reviews-for-the-last-ten-books-i-read/