2022 & 2023 Reading Challenge discussion

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ARCHIVE - General > Do reviews need a synopsis?

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message 1: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 2 comments What are your thoughts?
Personally I think not, there’s a synopsis on the main page if you want one. I read reviews because I want to know what people thought about the book but I don’t want a major spoiler. I don’t need an outline because I’ll be reading (or have already read) the story for myself.


message 2: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) I agree with you completely Hannah! A review doesn't need a synopsis and it makes the review unnecessarily long. I usually skip reviews that start with a synopsis or sometimes I skip to the last paragraph, hoping the reviewer will state his or her opinion there. Mentioning a main theme or something like that, in 1 or 2 sentences max, is ok though.


message 3: by Imbunche (new)

Imbunche | 156 comments Yeah, synopsis is completely uncessary and often annoying. If I'm reading a review of something I already have some idea what it is. I usually skip those reviews with synopsis too.


message 4: by Angela Jr. (new)

Angela Jr. I think it depends where the review is. Here on goodreads, i completely agree with you! After all, the description is just one click away.
But if you post it on a blog or if it's printed in a newspaper or magazine etc, i would say a synopsis is more or less necessary. Those can often be more of a promotional nature, or if it's a literary magazine or newspaper section, they're meant to introduce you to new reading material which is most convenient when you have a synopsis right there in front of you :)


message 5: by Shanna (new)

Shanna For me, it depends on the book. If it is one I am truly interested in reading, I try not to read the synopsis because I don't want too much given away. However, if it is a book that looked good at first, but after reading the reviews I decide I don't really want to read it, I appreciate the detailed reviews, particularly with spoilers. Some books have an interesting premise and I am curious about the story line, but if it has mediocre reviews with "faults" that would annoy me, I don't actually want to waste my time on the book, but I still want to know what happened. So in that case, I appreciate the wordy synopsis reviews (with spoilers!) to satisfy my curiosity.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 161 comments I think it depends. I don't mind a couple of sentences summarizing the main points, but I don't like when reviews just copy and paste the Goodreads synopsis. It just seems unnecessary. I also find it hard (for me, at least) to straddle that line between synopsis and spoiler sometimes. It's actually why I rarely write reviews myself, since I have a hard time commenting on books without referring to specific things that I liked or disliked, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone else.


message 7: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Rachel wrote: "I think it depends. I don't mind a couple of sentences summarizing the main points, but I don't like when reviews just copy and paste the Goodreads synopsis. It just seems unnecessary. I also find it hard (for me, at least) to straddle that line between synopsis and spoiler sometimes. It's actually why I rarely write reviews myself, since I have a hard time commenting on books without referring to specific things that I liked or disliked, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone else."

Yes, exactly!
You could always mark your spoilers. That way people that do want to read it, can open the spoilers, the ones that don't can skip it.


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