In case you’ve been living under a rock, there are some very mild spoilers below for Pretty In Pink, How I Met Your Mother, Twlight, Harry Potter, and The Mortal Instruments.
I hate surprises. I don’t mind a truly spontaneous surprise, one I don’t see coming, what I dislike it the anticipation of a surprise, the not knowing. Don’t tell me you’re going to surprise me, it makes me anxious and I can’t enjoy the experience.
I’ve always been like this. I used to hunt down my Christmas presents every year, so that I’d know what to expect. When I was five, I even unwrapped a present under the tree and wrapped it back up (good thing I’ve always been a good wrapper, plus I never tear the paper when unwrapping), it was a book of course. The first time I saw Jurassic Park, I asked my mom to tell me who survived until the end and I was golden.
I’ve been the queen of finding out spoilers before “spoiler” was a thing. Back in the olden days, I used to read the first chapter of a book and then read the last page. It would be just enough to not ruin the entire book, but enough so that I’d know if the book was worth reading. Oddly, I love mysteries, but you’d think I wouldn’t with my hatred of surprises. I guess because I can usually figure the mystery out, it doesn’t bother me too much, and I don’t always ruin it by the way.
Now, with the magic of the internet, spoiling books is so much easier. You can read reviews on Goodreads, or if the book is popular enough, you can do my personal favorite and just straight up wikipedia it. My style is to skim the entry, find a few key points and move on. I don’t want the whole story, just a couple of important bits. This is especially true when it comes to reading YA, which tends to have a lot of love triangles, quadrangles, etc. I don’t read a ton of YA anymore, but when I do, I’m always afraid of falling into the trap of rooting for the wrong OTP, and then becoming super pissed when they don’t happen. If I know ahead of time, I won’t develop an attachment to the wrong couple. I am forever rooting for the weird/wrong pairing. Every time I watch Pretty In Pink, I’m the weirdo who wants Molly Ringwald to end up with neither Andrew McCarthy or Duckie, but the horrible, no good, very bad James Spader, but maybe that says more about my love for James Spader than anything. I picked out Barney and Robin from the beginning, and don’t even get me started on how that whole thing ended, can we all just pretend we never saw the final episode of How I Met Your Mother? With my track record, you’d assume that I was Team Jacob back in the day, but he was a whiney little bitch, so at least I got that one right, Team Edward all the way. Even knowing that Harry ends up with Ginny and Hermione ends up with Ron, I still read them as the better paring, just think how much more it would have upset me if I hadn’t known the endgame (Harry and Hermione forever, am I right?). Thank goodness that spoilers abound for the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, otherwise I would have felt like a total creep rooting for Jace and Clary. Simon is my favorite character, but come on, he and Clary were never meant to be.
I don’t just spoil YA and not just for my OTP sanity, I’m not immune to death spoilers. I read a review for Golden Son that listed every person who died. Admittedly, I wasn’t searching for that level of spoilers, but it didn’t alter my enjoyment of the book one bit. I paid my penance for it by not reading any for Morning Star and there are some real doozies in that book.
Ah, the Red Rising books, and now we get to what brought this topic on in the first place. If you’ve read any of my my blog, you know that I loved the Red Rising Trilogy and have been anxiously awaiting, Iron Gold, the first book in the ongoing saga by Pierce Brown. This book came out two months ago, I bought it the day it came out, I read about 200 pages and then stopped. But wait, Megan, don’t tell me you don’t like the new book?! No, actually, it’s great, I’m just afraid to read it. Yep, I’ve developed a case of full blown case of bibliophobia. Yes, it’s a real thing, look it up. It usually stems from a person having a fear of reading out loud etc, but can also describe a person who fears the story itself that a book contains.
I know how I got here, I built it up too much in my head and didn’t have time to barrel through. Usually, when I have a highly anticipated book coming out, I’ll take release day off to read (don’t judge me, we all have our quirks) and I’ll overcome my spoiler free anxiety by pushing through and finishing that day. This time, I wasn’t able to to that. I had a very full week at work, which is why I originally put the book aside to begin with. I knew I wasn’t giving myself a chance to enjoy it, plus being so new, there weren’t any spoilers out to help me relax while reading it. Then, my book club picked it for our next selection, so I put reading it off again, telling myself that I wanted it to be fresh for our meeting at the beginning of March. The week before the meeting came and I found myself actively avoiding the book. I kept finding all kinds of other things to do, movies that needed watching, other books that needed reading, anything but facing Iron Gold. Finally, I decided that I needed to buckle down and do some reading, I actually wanted to read this book after all, plus I love book club and I knew my friends with give me crap for not finishing. I just couldn’t open the book, I felt the anxiety resurfacing. Trying to put a stop to it, I literally googled “Iron Gold Spoilers” and went down the rabbit hole…
Did I find out some massive spoilers? Yes. Did they make me not want to read the book? No. I was still excited. Did I finish the book before book club? No. Have I finished the book since? No. I’ve stared it down on my coffee table, I haven’t forgotten it, how could I when it sits there mocking me. When am I going to woman up and finish it? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll wait until the next book, Dark Age, is out later in the year and read them together, maybe I’ll get over myself and read it before that.
I don’t know, and that’s okay. It isn’t like I haven’t read over 20 books since Iron Gold was released. I’m not in a reading slump. I’m just blocked when it comes to that particular book is all. Is any of this important in the big scheme of things? Obviously not, these are just the rambling musings of an ADD/OCD, anxiety laden, book obsessed lady.
What’s your stance on spoilers? Most of my friends shudder at my spoiler tendencies.