Today, I’m going to talk about a topic I’ve been having mixed feelings on: reading the synopsis before starting a book. I both feel like I have to, and feel like I shouldn’t have afterwards. Let me explain.
I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BECAUSE…
…IT’S THE BEST WAY TO KNOW WHETHER A BOOK APPEALS TO YOU. Let’s be honest, most of the time when I read the synopsis, I can tell whether this is a book I’ll enjoy or not. Sometimes, I can tell by a few sentences in the synopsis that I won’t enjoy the book because of some tropes. How else would you be able to tell? Not from the genre alone, because there are many fantasy books I won’t enjoy.
…IT HELPS ME PICK A BOOK TO READ AS I’M A MOOD READER. I’ve discovered that the best way to figure out what I want to read at the moment is to read the synopsis. Then I can tell: Oh, I feel like reading this today. I guess I could remedy this by reading the first few sentences of a book?
…I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE STARTING A BOOK IF I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IT’S ABOUT. This applies mostly to epic fantasy. I guess because there is so much unknown when you read an epic fantasy book: the characters, the world and so on. So I feel like with that genre, I need a foothold. I need to know at least SOMETHING before reading, otherwise I feel so lost in the first few pages.
I FEEL LIKE I SHOULDN’T BECAUSE…
…IT’S SO EXCITING TO JUMP INTO A STORY WITHOUT PREJUDICE. On multiple occasions, I’ve been a tad disappointed in a book because I was expecting something different due to the synopsis. For example, the book Raven I recently read and reviewed. The synopsis mentioned that Raven was a reaper, so I was imaging some Supernatural-style being that shows up to the dying to guide them. But in fact, it was more like an assassin with morals? I feel like I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t known that.
…IT CAN REVEAL WAY TOO MUCH. I absolutely despise reading a book and waiting for something I know will happen, to happen. Did you understand that? It seemed like a confusing sentence. But at times, I’ll read the synopsis which states: this character goes through this situation. What will happen? And then I’ll be 50% in the book and the situation still hasn’t occurred yet! DON’T PUT IT IN THE SYNOPSIS THEN! It drives me mad. Is it really that hard to keep a spoiler out of 1 paragraph?
Do you agree with my viewpoints on reading a synopsis? Do you read them, or not? I’d love to hear about it!