Thursday, January 16, 2014
Since moving to England, I've realized that the majority of my friends are online rather than in real life form.  Even before moving, I only bothered with a handful of people because that's the sort of thing that happens as you move beyond University and onwards toward the sunset.  You recover from your extrovertedment (that's a word, don't argue) and find the good people.  And you horde them.

Also, since I started writing novels with the idea of future publication, I have become a hermit.  I have lost all people skills of the real life friend-making kind.  I barely can hold a conversation with the petrol station attendant.  Simple questions like, "What number?" stump me while the patrons in the queue behind me grumble.  I rather like holding up the line, actually.  Grumpy people tickle me.  Not mean people or bullies, mind you.  Just the grumps.  (See why I don't have friends?)

Anyway, I decided it was a good idea that I get out and socialize with real life people.  So I joined a local writing group--The Stortford Scribblers.  This past week, one of the Scribblers in the group made a comment that he was disgusted by people who read the last chapter of a book, essentially spoiling the ending, before reading the rest. 

"I do that!" I blurted out. 

Then every single Scribbler looked at me with suspicion.

"Well, not all the time," I clarified, ready to just go back to my online friends and lament to them that those 3-D people are really scary.

In fact, I haven't spoiled a book for myself in a really long time.  But if a book's not hooking me, I will skim through just so I know what happens.  I've always been a fast reader so rarely do I have a DNF.  Furthermore, I re-read books a lot and enjoy them much more the second time around because I can take my time.  I already know what happens

But this past week I read a book that I'm SO glad I didn't spoil for myself.  UNDONE by Cat Clarke.  It was really necessary not to know the ending.  And possibly I didn't even try to find out because the author gave me a false set-up from the beginning.  I thought I knew how it was going to turn out because the main character tells me.  I am so naïve.  Even as I got to the end, I thought, "Surely not."  And I'm still wondering, "Did that actually happen?"


I really appreciate the mechanics of this story--the pure delight of an unreliable narrator.  It might have even changed my Spoilery ways. 

What about you?  How do you feel about spoilers?  What books have you read that you "wish you could read again for the first time" and recapture that feeling of wonder?

4 comments:

Kristan Hoffman said...

Omigosh, I just read the description of UNDONE over at GoodReads and it sounds AMAZING. Heartbreaking, but amazing.

I too have no problem with spoilers, and in fact sometimes find myself enjoying a story more when I know what's coming. However, I don't SEEK OUT spoilers, and I definitely don't skip to the back and read it! :P

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I'm definitely not a "look at the ending" type of person, UNLESS it's a DNF and I still want to know what happens at the end, but that's pretty rare.

That being said, I definitely don't mind doing re-reads (in fact I really like it), because I forget the small details of books a lot. For re-reads it doesn't bug me that I know where the story ends up, because I'm getting to experience the characters and the nuances of the plot from another perspective.

Also, I'm so with you re: real life interactions. I definitely need to get out more. =b

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

@Kristan...yes, the description hooked me and, though it broke a lot of "rules," I ultimately really appreciated the storytelling. It's cringeworthy, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and definitely worth reading!

@Ashley...thanks so much for always sharing a comment! It's okay that you're not so Spoilery...ultimately it leads to more Book Wonder. :) So glad you're a re-reader because the same guy who was appalled that people read endings said he doesn't re-read. To me, that's mortifying!

Emma said...

I don't like spoilers, but I think some books are more ruined by spoilers than others, if that makes any sense. I can stand being spoiled for a romance more than I can regarding a mystery. I very rarely DNF as well, but I think that's mostly due to how many of my reads are initially vetted by the book blogs that I read. Good luck with your writer's group! Hopefully they get over their book snobbery.

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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