Let’s get this out of the way first thing: I love to be spoiled. In fact, I frequently beg people at AAR for spoilers before I’ll take a risk on reading a book by a new-to-me author.  A large part of why I read reviews is for spoilers about books. Now I’m not talking about the HEA – in a true romance that’s a given. My desire for romance spoilers is for plot points or character devices that don’t work for me, either ever, or given my state of mind.

But with my non-romance reading, and even chick lit and women’s fiction, the HEA is not assumed; I became an end-peeker for this very reason. After having one too many lovers of beloved mystery characters killed off, I had to become an end-peeker; not to discover “who done it,” but to make certain all my favorite characters were still alive at the end.

But end-peeking just isn’t quite as easy when reading eBooks or listening to audiobooks. Quite frankly, I don’t have the patience to insert the final CD, fast forward, and listen to the last few minutes on a regular basis. And don’t get me started on how confusing it is in mp3 format.  I’ve tried it, but it took a lot of effort to end up in exactly the right spot. And it’s pretty tedious to page ahead to the end of an e-book, read the last few pages, and then attempt to find my original place again (because I don’t end-peek just initially, I end-peek throughout a book as I’m introduced to more characters).

Because of this difficulty, I tend to be rather cautious in my non-romance selections for e-books and audiobooks. I generally go with authors I trust; authors who won’t kill off key characters or provide unwelcome surprises. But every once in awhile I get adventurous.

On a recommendation from a friend, I recently listened to Meg Cabot’s Queen of Babble while commuting to and from work. I found it to be an enjoyable book – pretty much in line with the review here at AAR. I had been feeling very stressed out, and a light book was exactly what I needed. In fact, I enjoyed it enough that I picked up the audio version of Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, assuming it was the second in the series.

Fortunately, I happened to read the review for Queen of Babble Gets Hitched before I began listening (only to discover if Lizzie and Luke got married in France). Imagine my shock when I discovered that in this book – actually the third, not second, in the series – Lizzie and Luke have broken up, and she’s potentially interested in Chaz, who was her best friend’s lover in the first book in the series. Rather than listen to the book, I returned it to the library the next day.  Chaz seemed like a nice character, but I wasn’t ready for the angst of Lizzie and Luke breaking up. I liked Luke!

Since then, I’ve thought about the third book from time to time, and wondered if I’ve made a mistake. Did I let the spoiler get the better of me? Do I need to be more adventurous in my audiobooks and e-books, and just take a chance on surprises?

How about you? Do you like to be spoiled? If so, what type of information do you want before you read a book? And do you peek ahead? If so, once, twice, or too many times to count?

– LinnieGayl AAR

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