We all know them, triggers mentioned in reviews so we are aware of them in case there are things present we might not be able to cope with. Some view these as necessary, others claim them to be spoilers and rather not know them. This had me wondering what makes a subject a trigger and is it always a case of “yup, I’m avoiding this book!” or isn’t it?
First off, I’d like to start by saying that I’m not someone who really looks at the triggers in a book. I won’t look up reviews to see if there are triggers at all, even less so to check if there are things I should be cautious about. Why? Simply because I know I can handle the subjects that might be a bit harder for me to cope with.
I do, however, realize that the mentioning of alcohol consumption in a way that makes it look okay to drink in order to cope with life is something I can get mad about. I’m looking at you, James: Witch-Hunter. But that is a personal thing that others often overlook and even more often don’t even count as a trigger since it doesn’t automatically equal alcoholism.
Since you’ve now concluded alcoholism is one of the subjects I relate to in a personal way, I can tell you this also includes narcissism, fat-shaming, bullying, abuse and rape. I’ve had personal dealings with all these things, but that doesn’t push me to avoid the subjects at all. On the contrary. I even dare say that it makes me more intrigued in novels covering those topics.
Seeing those things mentioned in reviews as triggers tempts me to add the book to my TBR pretty much every single time, unless I can deduce that the representation isn’t well-executed. Then I won’t even bother because it’d only get me mad.
Does that mean I view those triggers as spoilers? Sometimes. If one of the triggers mentioned pretty much answers what happened according to the synopsis, I’ll consider it a spoiler. I don’t want the stating of triggers to immediately reveal the plot of a book.
I can see others wouldn’t agree with me on that point. I realize and understand that having triggers mentioned is simply necessary for a lot of people, but I also wonder whether their reading experience is impacted by this. It doesn’t matter if you relate to a trigger in any way. Even if you don’t, it can still count as spoiler-ish and that makes me curious.
Do they still enjoy the book as much as they would’ve? Do they realize they know up front what’s going to happen at a certain point? Do they get frustrated over it, even though they know they need to take triggers into account?
What are triggers you are wary of? Are there any triggers that make you want to pick up a book even more? Triggers that make you go “NOPE” all the way? Or are you simply not bothered by them at all?