My Musings

Let’s talk Trigger Warnings. #BookBlogger #BookBloggers #Blogger #Bloggers #BlogPost


I thought that today I would look at trigger warnings and, lose some followers along the way.

So, yeah, a controversial topic and in the words of Eminem:

Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me
‘Cause we need a little controversy
‘Cause it feels so empty without me
I said, this looks like a job for me“.

By trigger warnings, I don’t mean a warning for Trigger, Roy Rodger’s horse.


Neither do I mean a warning for Trigger from Only Fools and Horses.


No, what I mean by a trigger warning is, well, firstly here is flasher Gremlin revealing himself as I prepare to reveal to you the definition for trigger warning! 🙂


The dictionary definition for a trigger warning is:

a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content).

So, that would mean that by including a list of trigger warnings at the start (or end) of your review that you are highlighting any sensitive subjects/topics that you think are likely to be triggering to a reader of the book.

A list of possible triggers (this isn’t an extensive list and I know that there are many many many more out there) are:

  • Suicide.
  • Self-harm.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Animal cruelty.
  • Death.
  • Decapitation.
  • Extreme gore.
  • Graphic violence.
  • Gratuitous sex scenes.
  • Racism.
  • Incest.
  • Child Abuse.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault.
  • Homophobia.
  • Transphobia.
  • Torture.
  • Addiction.
  • Paedophilia.
  • Mental and Physical Abuse.
  • Eating Disorders.
  • Hate crimes.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Sexism.
  • Xenophobia

So, yeah, all of them would probably be listed for the ASOIAF by George R. R. Martin book series! 🙂

I ran a poll on twitter asking if you included trigger warnings in your reviews.


As you can see 224 people voted (I don’t know if that is a good number or not for a poll) and the results were very close! 47% said that, yes, they do include trigger warnings in their reviews while 53% said that, no, they don’t include trigger warnings in their reviews.

Now, I will say that personally, I don’t include trigger warnings in my book reviews and I don’t intend to start. Also, I AM NOT disputing the importance of trigger warnings to those who suffer from PTSD, those of you who are triggered or the seriousness of Mental Health.

Perhaps, I, like others are uncomfortable listing triggers when we are not triggered by things ourselves as we feel that it would be hypocritical to offer a list of possible triggers when we can’t possibly know what will affect others. I ask, how could I know what would trigger you and how could you know what would trigger me? I couldn’t and you couldn’t either! Yes, there are many lists of potential triggers available but they are generic, for the masses and what is to say that they include triggers that are obscure and innocuous anyway? A trigger, that for all your good intentions you may never think of including and miss in your warnings! Do you think of what triggers you when writing a list of potential triggers or do you think of what could trigger others when writing your lists?  

Perhaps, we just don’t agree with using trigger warnings and don’t want to see them (I’m sure that many people who are triggered do not want to see them, holla if you are one and you agree) which is perfectly valid and acceptable! If you disagree with that then that is fine but you at least have to respect the decision and choice by each individual person even if you don’t agree with it!

Even if someone doesn’t specifically use trigger warnings in their reviews it doesn’t mean that they don’t warn of upsetting themes in the actual review. Only that they don’t include a list of triggers at the start of or end of the review

Just because someone has been through something in life it doesn’t mean that reading about similar will be a trigger for them. I have stood at the edge, stared into the abyss and cut myself to feel, to keep myself alive and yet, I have no issue with reading about suicide or self-harm at all. It is not triggering for me. Sure, it is uncomfortable reading about it but that isn’t due to my own personal experiences, simply, it is an uncomfortable and tough topic and not something that any sane person would enjoy reading about. But, triggering? For me? No. Yes, I can understand how the subject is triggering for some who have been through it but it is not triggering for all. Same for any other possible trigger too. Just because it has happened to a person in real-life it doesn’t mean that reading about it will be a trigger to them.

Likewise, as I’m being objective, some things that haven’t happened to a person, that hold no relevance to them at all could be a trigger.

Is there a difference between reading something that is simply uncomfortable to read about and something that is triggering? Many situations are uncomfortable in life and often, you can’t ignore them and you have to deal with them.

So, yes, trying to avoid triggers, sure, I get that and that you want your reading to be a safe but if you are trying to avoid things that only make you ‘uncomfortable‘. Then, those are the things that you have to face as being mature means that you can’t hide, put your head in the sand and ignore them. Just because you read about something that upsets you that doesn’t make it a trigger. Most people will be uncomfortable reading about certain things and many others will get upset about other things too. You can’t label something as triggering just because it elicits an uncomfortable feeling and reaction in you otherwise nearly everything would need to be classed as a trigger.

There is a difference between reality and fiction. No one is doubting that words have power but fiction is fiction, it isn’t real. If you choose to read certain genres knowing full well that they include what can only be described as harrowing subjects then has that not been your choice to read that genre and book? Is it not on you if you find certain topics triggering and then get upset by reading a book that includes them not on the blogger/reviewer/review for not including a list of potentially upsetting topics.

Do you not think that there needs to be some personal responsibility involved? Maybe, if you love a specific genre but find many topics that it includes/might include in a book triggering then you need to think about avoiding that genre? Sorry but you can’t solely rely on or expect bloggers to list triggers for you as it is the emphatic and kind thing to do as you can’t rely on anyone in life, only yourself as if you do you will always be disappointed 

I do think that people should manage their own issues and triggers though and it is not up to the publisher, blogger and the review to list them for you! Many do but it is not a requirement on the part of anyone to have to do it.

What happens if the twist in a book is a massive trigger? Do you spoil the book for the sake of what could be a potential trigger to some when many who don’t have triggers will also read the review? Yes, yes, telling people about potential triggers far outweighs spoiling the book and it shows empathy and how kind and empathic you are but this is my blog and bite me!

The trigger warning itself is not a spoiler, I admit and agree with that. A list of potential triggers at the beginning or end of the review does not spoil the book. But, when someone then adds detail about each potential trigger, where it happens in the book, to which character, what effect it has on the story, etc then sorry but those things are spoilers! If you read a review and it told you that one of the main characters dies half-way through due to natural causes, asleep in their bed and that they drifted off peacefully to the land of eternal rest (nothing triggering) then you would be crying spoiler as you’ve just been told, how and when a main character dies. That is a spoiler and when, for example, let’s take suicide as the trigger you are warning people about you then write next to that trigger that one of the main characters dies half-way through due to suicide then that is also a spoiler! Your intentions may well be good but you can’t turn it around to your point of view that it isn’t a spoiler just because it is a potentially triggering topic. Trigger warning, NOT a spoiler, going into excessive detail about the trigger, spoiler. 

Do you think that books should contain a list of trigger warnings on their covers? Is it feasible? Video games and DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s often don’t. Take Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, it only states on the back of the box that it contains violence, gambling and bad language, nothing else. It is an 18-rated game and you expect violence and bad language! Take Logan on the Blu-ray only states that it contains strong bloody violence and strong language. Like RDR 2 it’s 18-rated and you expect that content! Suicide Squad, sustained threat and moderate violence, it’s a 15-rated film, again, you expect that type of content. No triggers insight just a content warning for what you would expect to find in that genre of game and film anyway! 

Would you want grimdark fantasy books to say on the cover that they contain strong bloody violence and bad language? Those are things that you expect from the genre so what would be the point? Romance books to say that they contain sex? Ya know, surely that one is obvious. Thriller books to say the same that they contain strong bloody violence/moderate violence? When, again, you would expect that to occur in that particular genre of book especially if it involves a serial killer! Obviously, for those who want trigger warnings, those mere content mentions wouldn’t be enough and would, in essence, be pointless anyway as you already expect those things to occur in those genres.

Likewise, before they start films and TV shows mostly only state that they may contain scenes that are upsetting for some viewers with no list of potential triggers at the start of the show or film! That is then followed by a phone number to ring afterwards if the scenes did distress anyone but no trigger warnings in site. Reading is a solitary and personal experience, I get it but often so is gaming and watching TV or a film. You don’t always do it with others you often do it by yourself and if you can just turn the channel for a few moments with no prior warning then switch back then you can skip a few pages of a book too. Even if you are with others then, when you see something triggering it would still only affect you so it would still be personal.

One might argue that giving a warning about potential triggers allows readers to make an informed choice about the book but does that not apply to all other media to and not just books or book reviews?! Do you expect to see trigger warnings in video game and TV show/film reviews? I checked out many video game and film reviews during writing this (hello procrastination and well, hardly any had any type of trigger or content warning in them). I would ask, when will it stop? When everything is classed as being potentially triggering? Let’s face it, in today’s day and age anything could be called triggering. Would we end up with no new books, no video games, no TV shows or films because everything is now classed as a trigger and the writers are scared of triggering people? Honestly, if that happened it would trigger my boredom threshold – yes, that point is tongue in cheek and self-deprecating.

What about catharsis, where you release possibly repressed and strong emotions. Could reading or watching triggering subjects, for some, not be cathartic?

Trigger warnings is a phrase that is associated with PTSD and not everyone has PTSD and not everyone is triggered. Some just don’t want to read about certain topics and/or events as they find the content disturbing and upsetting and that is fine but that doesn’t mean it is triggering to them only that they don’t want to read it. Due to that, perhaps the term content warning (if the blogger so chooses to use them at all) is better suited to book reviews and reviews, in general, to warn of potentially upsetting content rather than triggers as not everyone is triggered.

It might be a controversial question buy it needs to be asked, how do you know that someone is genuinely triggered by a certain topic and not just that they find it unsettling to read about? Because there is a difference, many topics are hard, upsetting, unsettling and tough to read about but that doesn’t mean that they are triggering to the person, no! Only that the person finds the topic hard to read. Most of the list of potential triggers that I included are what you would call tough topics as who likes to read about suicide, death, terminal illness, animal cruelty, etc? No-one! Those topics trigger many and don’t trigger many too but on the whole, they are all topics that people find uncomfortable to read. Triggering subjects aren’t topics that any normal person thinks, for example: ‘oh goody, suicide‘ in a book to read as they are tough topics and if someone seriously enjoys reading about suicide or animal cruelty, etc then they are a very disturbed person indeed. Finding something tough to read doesn’t mean that you are triggered by it though just that you found it uncomfortable. yet you label it as ‘being triggering‘ and that way of thinking is doing a disservice to all of those who are legitimately triggered by certain topics. Sadly, it will be the case, some people hide behind the term ‘triggered‘ when they haven’t been, they have simply found a topic uncomfortable to read about.

People who suffer from genuine triggers and have PTSD can be any age and PTSD is a terrible illness to have. Many readers during a book will read about a subject that is unsettling/upsetting and one makes them feel uncomfortable and they deal with it, stiff upper lip, tough it out, move on in the book and carry on enjoying their reading. With today’s culture do some readers instead of doing the same say that they have been triggered when in fact they have simply read (like the other reader) something that has made them feel uncomfortable? Because, if that’s the case, crying out that you have been triggered when you haven’t makes light of everyone who has genuine triggers and who suffers from PTSD. Yes, it’s controversial and scandalous but what would a blog post be without some sensitization on the part of the writer.

Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, all ages too and I’ll ask, do you think that age has any influence on the attitude towards trigger warnings? Do you think that older bloggers are less inclined to include trigger warnings in their reviews and have a different attitude towards them than, say, younger bloggers? Or, is the age of the blogger irrelevant?

Also, the genre. Do you find that trigger warnings are more prevalent in some genres than others? Are bloggers in one genre more likely to include them than those in another? Take YA, yes, I know YA is an age range and not a genre but, for example, say, do you find more reviews with trigger warnings included in the YA fantasy community as opposed to say, the thriller community?

As I said at the start, I don’t use trigger warnings and I won’t be doing so either. Using and including them in reviews is not for me or my blog (for as long as I have it). I respect those of you who do, they are important to you, it is your choice on your own blog and I have no issue with that whatsoever. Much respect to you all, carry on doing what you want and I and the others like me who don’t use trigger warnings will carry on doing what we want. There’s room for us all in the book blogging community.

OK, I know this is a controversial topic and so, I ask that you all respect that this is my blog and that you do NOT get personal in the comments. Discussion and debate are welcome. After all, it’s a discussion post but personal attacks on me for my views and any other commenters for their views will NOT be tolerated.

Now, the discussion: 

What are your thoughts on trigger warnings? Do you include trigger warnings in your reviews? If yes, why? If no, why not? Do you think that all reviews should include trigger warnings? If yes, why? If no, why not? Do you think that trigger warnings are important? If yes, why? If no, why not?


160 thoughts on “Let’s talk Trigger Warnings. #BookBlogger #BookBloggers #Blogger #Bloggers #BlogPost

  1. I think trigger warnings are a great idea! I’m quite sensitive to still birth stories or children’s abuse stories and always appreciate being told before hand. It’s an extra kick in the gut when it just appears in the story! Great post Drew!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t include trigger warnings in book reviews, though I have seen the occasional review recently with one in it. And I wouldn’t expect to see trigger warnings within an actual book.

    I see that they can be useful/helpful to some and understand why they are there, but in all honesty it’s never once crossed my mind to include one in a book review.

    Like yourself, I have personal experience in things that could be classed as ‘triggering’, but I don’t really have an issue with reading material relating to it. I read some pretty grim books at times, I wouldn’t expect a publisher to be checking books for triggering content. It can be a pretty wide scope, and though some subjects will be more obvious than others, I agree with what you say in that you can’t for sure know what someone else is going to find difficult to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It never really crossed my mind to include them either until I saw them in lots of reviews and people saying how important they are. Well, it still didn’t cross my mind after but I then knew what they were.😂

      Yeah, I read rather grim books too that probably include lots of triggers. I think lots don’t have an issue, some do and others cry triggered. It’s a tough one as, most triggers are subjects people will find uncomfortable to read about anyway and is person actually triggered or just having the same response everyone else is to the disturbing topic in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, there’s too big of a spectrum to work with. And trying to figure out where the line is between triggering and just plain sensitivity.

        I know someone who point blank refuses to read any books with sad scenes/deaths/etc, basically anything that might make her cry because she just doesn’t like it, can’t handle getting that much emotion over a book.

        Meanwhile I have an unhealthy obsession with true crime and serial killers, so read an awful lot of graphic stuff to the point where I’m pretty desensitised regardless of content 🤷🏻‍♀️ different strokes for different folks I suppose!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a very apt metaphor! Different strokes for different folks, I like it.👍

        Yeah, I like dark thrillers and grimdark fantasy which is as dark as it gets so I’m desensitised too and lol! I work with someone who is the same! They will only read romance and refuse to read anything with anything sad in at all, nothing bad can happen and there has to be a happy ending.😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve got c-PTSD in addition to some other fun things going on, and I still haven’t made up my mind.

    Generalised triggers – contains violence, sex, etc. – are, as you pointed out, somewhat useless. “This is a crime story. It may contain a depiction of crime being committed.” At the same time, my personal thing is child abuse. If the twist in a novel is going to be child abuse, I don’t want to read it. But how exactly is the author/publisher/reviewer supposed to point it out without revealing the twist itself? As you’ve said, it’s unlikely that most people would be like “oooh, finally a good child abuse scene, I’ve been waiting for this”.

    Then there’s another thing: I used to moderate a huge forum. Once one of our moderators was asked to change her avatar photo, because it was triggering to that user. The photo was of the mod’s dog. Everything can be a trigger. (Please include TWs on everything that has spiders in it from now on.)

    How I deal with my own triggers is by not reading certain genres. For instance, a book about WW II might be written really really well, but I won’t read it. I’ve been having discussions with myself and other writers (yes, in this order…) about TWs, though, and the result was that I removed some graphic descriptions from my own novel and replaced them with suggestions of what has happened.

    I’ll probably link to your post and write about how this looks from the point of view of a writer. Meanwhile, I demand that “50 Shades of Grey” gets a sticker saying “TW: this book is crap”. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As you’ve got c-PTSD I hope that the post came across as respectful to those with PTSD and triggers? I tried to make it that way as I didn’t want to do a disservice to those genuine sufferers and I know it’s a sensitive subject to broach.

      Exactly, if it’s a twist it would spoil it and I don’t know, that’s a tough one as some reviewers tend to spoil books but authors and publishers never spoil the twists in their own book.

      I guess that the person had lost their own dog and that’s why the picture triggered them? Seems a bit extreme though to ask someone to remove a picture of their own dog though.

      I think, perhaps, other authors should at times do that too. Remove the descriptions and replace them with suggestions. I read grimdark and I like dark thrillers but you can see when the description has been added for shock value more than story purpose and a suggestion/reference would serve and be better.

      Sure thing, link away.👍📚

      Ha, you’d better include a trigger warning for sex in fifty shades too cos even though it’s a smut book someone might take offence to the smut.😂


  4. I couldn’t agree more, Drew! Well thought out and well argumented post, very personal here and there, I enjoyed reading this very much!! So I’m sitting here, sleeves rolled up, ready to defend you from the babies 😂 As I told you on Twitter, I will warn on my blog sometimes, but I never list all the possible triggers, where would I even start?! I read a list a few months ago and there were “triggers” listed that I would never ever consider a trigger, innocuous things like tomatoes or whatever, I mean WTAF?! Moreover, I mostly review thrillers and rather dark stuff, like you said, there will be gruesome stuff, it’s inherent to the genre, if you can’t take that, don’t read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚

      No hate so far, they are probably still at school and nursery.😂😂😂

      Exactly, innocuous things that many don’t have a clue about. Tomatoes?? WTF!😂

      Yeah, many mention and warn in a review but don’t list triggers and dark stuff, to true, you expect it in certain genres and it’s true, if you can’t take it, don’t read it or, at least, take responsibility yourself for reading that genre.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Drew. I don’t use them. At the risk of sounding old, in the past before blogging and social media a book review wouldn’t have included any sort of warning.
    I recently read a book with a plot about postnatal depression – it is something I have suffered with and I had no idea it would be in the book. It upset me but also helped because it made me feel better about my experiences too. And if I had known the story centred around this topic, I would have still read it.
    Slightly related a niece of mine has eating disorders and her mental health isn’t great. I wanted to buy her a book to read while she in hospital but every one I picked up seemed to be about something I thought would upset her and I feared making her worse so in the end didn’t buy one. I spoke to her mum about it and her opinion was that she shouldn’t be protected about real life teenage girl issues. So maybe that’s the way we should be about trigger warnings too!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks and lol, sounding old!😂🙄 I totally agree with you though, before SM the warnings wouldn’t have been included and alot of the time they aren’t now. Many do, many don’t and it’s not just book reviews, games, TV and film don’t either.

      I think that’s a thing, reading about something that has happened will upset people but it could also help them to and if they ignore reading about it then they will never know. That’s there choice, can’t fault them and it won’t be for all but as you say, it helped you and there’s a chance it could help them to.

      That’s definitely valid, perhaps that’s more the type of parent that her mum is though and others would want to protect their child from real life issues? It’s a tough one as if you protect them from everything how would they ever learn about things?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t include them, but I understand why people use them. It can be useful to some to know in advance of reading it, but I totally agree about your point about what is triggering. We’re all different so what may be triggering to one, may not be triggering for another, so how can we post trigger warnings? Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍 It’s a very valid point, how do we know what is triggering to another, simply, we don’t. We could add a generic list of topics but most of us would probably still miss many because triggers are so personal and we can’t read minds, we can’t know someone’s individual triggers.


  7. his was greatly written! You managed to show your (very valid) point on triggers without being disrespectful. And YES god I think people should really ask themselves if they’re uncofortable or triggered, and know what genres and creators they’re getting into (about George R R Martin is everywhere online, everyone knows how ‘gory’ his books are).

    For me, rape scenes are extremely uncomfortable and 9 out of 10 occurences, I’ll put down the book. I don’t shit on authors who use rape if it’s relevant to the theme and story, but in fantasy it’s mostly been used as a shock factor. And I don’t want to read a descriptive rape scene, I see no point in going into detail. But that is not a trigger for me, and I only put it down instead.

    However I do think writers should, like you said, really consider at what lenght they can write something gruesome. Do you think any readers think “Oh this descrpitive scene of how this villain abuses their child in many ways is what I wanted to read!”. No. There’d plenty of subjects that many people have gone through in our world and should therefore be treated as seriously and respectfully. I don’t care for people that complain others are just” sensitive”, I’m more worried that descpritive and gruesome child abuse/rape/etc. Scenes DOES NOT make you uncomfortable. Yes, they should be written about, but not used by a creator to simply shock readers. THEN a trigger warning might be due.

    But the problem with triggers isn’t only that they’re hard to predict (since we all can have so many), it’s that when something IS triggering, any amount of exposure can be triggering. As a child, after I got a little brother, my whole brain was the first years in constant Mama Bear mode. I could have nightmares for weeks about something harming the baby. It didn’t get better with the fact that my second cousins, 1 and 2 years old, had been brutally murdered. I remember watching “Hook”, a family movie, that was all great and fun– ’till the scene with baby Peter. I got a panic attack and had nightmares for weeks. It’ s such a short scene but it actually scarred me, BUT I’ve never blamed the creators or cursed no trigger warnings. The best thing, i think, is simply to talk to others that have read/watched something before to make sure you can enjoy it. Just simply ask “Hey does X include this thing because it can be triggering to me?”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I tried to be respectful. I’m often foul-mouthed and sarcastic in blog posts and did my best to keep that out of the post as it is a tough subject to broach and I didn’t want my views to come across as disrespectful to those who are triggered so I’m glad it came out that way.

      I totally agree with you about rape and fantasy. Sometimes it is relevant to the story or with one of the main characters but often it’s just thrown in by the author for shock and because it’s a dark subject and then, it doesn’t add anything to the story, didn’t need adding, can’t disagree with that at all. I read grimdark, it has dark stuff, often, it adds to the character, other times, not at all and it’s pointless.

      I agree with you, but sadly, that’s the world that we live in. We are desensitised to alot of things and due to that authors, etc keep ramping up the description of things and going into detail just for the shock value and to see how far they can push it. And, yes, it does make you question how they can write such descriptions and be OK with writing them.

      Yeah, I get that, any exposure can be triggering and often, being triggered by things, like bad thoughts, etc can be triggered by the smallest thing, something no-one would think to mention but it makes the person stop and think and brings about the trigger.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t typically include trigger warnings in my reviews as triggers tend to be very personal to the reader and can be quite specific things. It would be incredibly difficult to include every single thing that could possibly be triggering without actually just listing everything that happens in a book.

    What I will do is if I found something uncomfortable or upsetting or that I think may be difficult for a lot of people to read I’ll note it in the review. I won’t go into detail in case of spoilers but I’m more than happy to give more details if anyone comments or wants to message and ask me.

    I personally can find certain things especially upsetting and sometimes triggering but they are fairly specific so I would never expect a warning for it. If a book starts to wander in that direction you can just put it down.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Mine is honestly how I am feeling that day. Some days I can handle it and others I can’t. I know that when I had a huge anxiety attack, I couldn’t read anything with the word “suicide” in it for a very long time afterwards. There are just some days I can and can’t…It’s annoying.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think I’ve done it a time or two, but I don’t make a habit of including trigger warnings. Some trigger warnings can really spoil a book and reveal too much, so normally I just leave it out if that’s the case. I’ve seen people put trigger warnings right at the beginning of their review and to me it’s annoying because I might want to find that stuff out myself. 😬 Everyone’s different though.

    I’m currently considering leaving some sort of remark about a book I’m reading because it has slang terms for Native Americans that will likely offend someone, I’m just not sure if it’s necessary because it’s a book set in the 1860’s and I feel like it’s a huge part of the history then. I’m still unsure though. Excellent topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.

      Ah, that’s a tough one! Yeah, I can see some will take offence to the terms used for Native Americans but then, it’s set in the 1860’s and to make it historically accurate the author would need to use those terms. If not, other people would complain that the writing and terms aren’t accurate to the time when the book takes place. Possibly just write something like, the terms used are historically accurate for the time period and might cause offense to some.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve only ever included one trigger warning in a book review and that was recently for The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett. There was just an incredible amount of rape or thoughts on past rapes in the first 300 pages. To the point where I almost put it down because I was tired of reading about it and I’m not one to shy away from dark subjects. But I think overall, it’s reviewers preference.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t use trigger warnings but if there is something that I think is excessive or likely to upset someone I will mention it in the review.

    I did see a trigger warning for smallpox on one review which I thought was a bit excessive for a disease that’s been extinct for half a century. It’s not like many people alive today have been affected by it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many of us mention things that we feel are excessive and could be upsetting to others in our reviews. We just don’t use trigger warning lists. That seems to be a misconception by those that do, they think those that don’t just don’t mention bad things in the review.

      Ah, well, that person probably looked up their ancestry and has a long dead relative who died from smallpox and they were triggered by its mention.😂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. As a writer I don’t put trigger warnings on my books although my stories always delve into sensitive, human issues. As a reader I take a chance on becoming upset when I pick up a book – I want to explore the gamut of human experience and emotion – that’s why I read. We’re in danger of overprotecting others because of the way we may feel ourselves. Reading can help us face the real world and deal with our feelings about it. If I don’t feel up to dealing with a subject I’m reading, I’ll close the book rather than read on any further. I certainly don’t think it’s the blogger’s responsibility to inform me of a whole list of potential triggers.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m triggered by the use of the word trigger so much lol no I don’t use warnings as generally if you’re going to be reading books of a certain genre you can be sure to expect certain things like murder etc.. I did put an fyi about necrophilia at the end of a post but that was more of a heads up and not a warning, its funny cause it actually made a few people decide to read it based on the fyi lol

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I saw that necrophilia bit on your review. Triggers are personal, well, mostly, not sure how necrophilia can be personal, don’t you have to die?😂 Perhaps someone was caught with a corpse in a compromising position and they can’t indulge anymore and it triggers them cos they are missing out.😂

      Exactly, you expect certain things in certain genres and if you then choose to read that genre you have to take some personal responsibility for what’s in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think trigger warnings are out of control and I think they’re the “thing” right now, but eventually they’ll go away😊 I don’t use them, but I have mentioned them in a couple of reviews for really extreme content.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve thought about including trigger warnings in my reviews, but I never end up doing so because, like you, I don’t have any triggers, and I wouldn’t know what would affect someone else. I can see the point of them, but I also don’t want people to avoid a topic just because it makes them a little uncomfortable. If a book is violent or has a lot of sex, and you might not expect it, then I will mention that, but I don’t list it as a trigger warning, because how could I possibly know what will trigger someone else?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think this is a fantastic and necessary post. Well done friend! I’m torn on trigger warnings, as I simultaneously think they can be helpful and overused at times. I occasionally post content warnings on my goodreads reviews, but try to limit it to books where the genre would not typically include such content and the reader would be completely taken aback by it, or something that is extremely graphic and is not otherwise alluded to in the synopsis. I do, however, try to include these in a spoiler tag at the end of the review, so that only those specifically wanting to see the triggers are connected with it, thus hopefully avoiding spoiling those who would rather not see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚

      Yeah, I can totally understand that you are torn. I think that they are overused at times and while they are helpful that overuse lessens the impact when you see them. Instead of being reserved for really bad things and then being mentioned they are bandied around for everything.

      That’s valid and I get it, if it wouldn’t usually occur in the genre then including them for that makes perfect sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I don’t have a problem with trigger warnings or with other people using them, but I don’t put them on my reviews because, frankly, I don’t know what triggers people. Your list is a good start, but there’s discussion for instance whether just the word “rape” itself is a trigger or whether a scene in a book is the trigger. I don’t want to start putting trigger warnings on things and have people rely on me for them and then miss something that bothers someone. I think you’re right that there should be the personal responsibility of the reader, and of course no one *should* hold ME personally responsible for an extensive list of warnings, but this is the Internet and weird things happen.

    I think there’s a similar problem with people demanding publishers put official trigger warnings in the books. There’s just no way to standardize this or hope they list everything that will trigger everyone, and I think people would be very likely to get mad at publishers for doing trigger warnings incorrectly since they’re “big businesses that should know better” or whatever. I’ve seen some smaller presses and authors do them, but I’m not anticipating it to become common with large publishers. I mean, even know the big publishers use sensitivity readers and some books that have been deemed “safe” by like four professional sensitivity readers have caused riots online because other people still thought they were racist. I think it would be the same with trigger warnings. They could get “experts” to do them, but people would never be 100% pleased with the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, we don’t know what triggers others! Yeah, my list is a start, I mention in the post that there’s many more triggers as I admit, I have no clue about many and many more baffle me too. Someone included one for divorce in a review! I’d never have thought to include that in a list!

      I agree, didn’t think about it, shows I’m bad at triggers but, yeah, you are right. Certain words like rape could trigger the person. You could also add that places do too. If a person was raped, assaulted, mugged in a train station at night then just the mention of a train station or a character walking through one could trigger a person.

      The reader does have to take responsibility, or, they should. I don’t know, some of the things I’ve read it really seems like they don’t.

      The whole publisher thing is like the paid for reviews thing. A totally different subject, I know but the feasibility of it actually being implemented and that you’d never be able to please everyone is very similar as you couldn’t please everyone. What would happen if the publisher didn’t include a specific trigger, say, something really innocuous that most wouldn’t think of. Would the triggered person then sue the publisher? It’s a bit out there I admit but you don’t know where these things could go.


      1. Divorce would not have occurred to me either! And then is it a story about divorce that’s a trigger, or would we have to warn that the main character’s best friend has parents who are divorced and it’s just mentioned in passing? It’s just impossible to know what will upset others. And, yeah, that gets into territory like places that would be very specific to one person as a trigger, so no one would think to warn about it. So if people want to include the “major” trigger warnings on their blog posts, I have no issue with that, but I think we have to acknowledge that this is just never going to work for everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. At least I’m not the only one!😂 From what I remember of the review it was a thriller but they didn’t go into detail. I can’t see it being a big component of the story though unless the killer went around killing divorced couples and then, them being divorced is triggering but killing is OK, baffling.🙄 Pretty much guarantee that isn’t the story but it must have only been mentioned in passing, etc. It confused the hell out of me!

        Very true, it just can’t work for everyone. The major triggers, yes OK but for some, we’d just be including them to include them to try and please others. Best to let those who want to use them, use them and those that don’t, don’t.


  19. I don’t include them in my own reviews. I’m a big proponent of more open conversations about mental health, but at the same time, I worry that a trigger warning could spoil the book and I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free. I think I would be pretty annoyed reading a review that says it’s spoiler-free, that then has trigger warnings that spoil plot elements.

    And like you said, it’s impossible to know what will trigger others. Like for example, say you were in a car accident and can no longer drive because of that, and you get triggered by the thought of driving. Are people expected to state that a character gets in the car and goes for a drive? How could they possibly know that this would trigger someone. And then if you take that route, you could end up just listing every little scene trying to cover every possible trigger.

    It’s so hard to protect everyone. I think for certain things it makes sense, like for rape or gory death scenes, but that could also spoil the plot, so I’m also somewhat against it.

    But I guess on the other side of things, if you’re someone who does have PTSD and you get halfway through a book and then something happens that triggers you, it would suck to have to stop after you’ve already read half the book.

    It’s such a complicated issue and I see the value on both sides, but there are just so many factors when it comes to trigger warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I don’t use them, I get the significance of triggers and I really do understand and empathise with individuals with conditions where triggers are an issue. Unfortunately, (and I’ll probably get shot for this) the word has been taken and used so often in the wrong context by a certain group of people who love to “claim a label” and what has happened is that it has diluted and demeaned the very real issue of triggers and certain conditions.
    I don’t think they are much use in reviews personally as it is impossible to know every single trigger for every single individual. My reviews do talk about themes and issues that the book might cover so I’d guess that if a certain subject matter upset you and it was included here you would know to avoid it.

    just my thoughts x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! I emphasise with them and get the significance of them too. Which is why I kept the post more clean than usual as I didn’t want to make light of MH or people with genuine triggers.👍

      Most of us write about themes in books or, at least mention things that we think need mentioning. We just don’t use a list of warnings and as you say, it’s impossible to know every individual trigger.

      I agree with you totally and I know the group that you mean too. Don’t worry, you won’t get shot on my blog, I tolerate no BS in my comments from people and as your view echos mine perfectly (I was just to polite to include it in the post) they’d have to shoot me too and that ain’t happening on my own blog.😂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Excellent thoughts on this topic. Looks like you spent a lot of time really deliberating the various issues surrounding trigger warnings. Kudos.
    I agree with you that genre will determine much of the content of a book. I think I’ve included a pseudo-warning in a couple of my reviews. The latest being Black Leopard, Red Wolf because the explicit content was beyond what I normally see in the books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Awesome post Drew! I usually don’t post trigger warnings on mine because I put the responsibility on the reader to decide for themselves. I did include a couple for the book “Sadie” mainly for the topics of pedophilia since that’s a strong theme. Personally for me, I think some warnings are really good ones like some that you listed. And I completely agree with it is NOT up to the publisher to coddle people with listing everything on their books. They didn’t do that in the past and I don’t think they should do it now. If there is content in a book that I don’t want to read about, I choose not to read it and more people should do that. I think some reviewers list too many; some are topics that I think the author is trying to tackle and make points with in the book. Thank you for for being bold and talking about this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚 Ha, I was definitely bold, agree with that as it’s a topic that is very sensitive to many and they get rather zealous over it.

      Totally agree, they didn’t do it in the past and they shouldn’t now.

      I agree too, it’s the responsibility of the reader, or, it should be and yeah, I get you mentioning pedophilia as one, it’s an awful topic and a heads up is right for that. I agree too, some list too many and many of them are things I wouldn’t even know were triggers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem dude! Yeah I think some smaller ones are personally too much to add to the trigger list. I don’t think that coddling people is the best way; if certain things bother you, get that figured out or just plain don’t read it. You said in a way that I couldn’t lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  23. I feel like it’s more important for the author to include trigger warnings somewhere on the book. (Maybe inside the front cover or on the back somewhere.) It shouldn’t be the responsibility of bloggers/reviewers to point these things out. That being said, I don’t have any problem with bloggers who do use them. I just don’t think it’s necessary to include them in my own.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not really. I can maybe see some of the younger generation of authors adapting to it, but not the ones who have been around for some time. Perhaps it will become a thing someday.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve added trigger warnings to some of my reviews and I’ve also added content warnings too. Think about when you see a movie trailer on tv, it says what the movie is rated and then lists why the movie is rated that way and says what type of content is in the movie. Do I think books need to come with ratings like movies? No, I don’t. However, there are readers who don’t want to read about certain content and sometimes that content isn’t in the synopsis of the book so as a reviewer, I think it’s important for to add warning.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hi Drew,
    I really enjoyed reading this post. As a reader I don’t include trigger warnings in my reviews. I may say certain books won’t be suitable for feint hearted readers, but that’s it. As an author I’ve been asked why my books don’t include trigger warnings before the start of the story, or at least in the blurb. In reply I wrote my own blog post on the subject and got an interesting mix of responses on the subject. I write dark supernatural and psychological thrillers, and all blurbs do mention topics such as murder or abuse, so I believe that should be warning enough.
    If you’re interested in my post on the subject, it’s here:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚 I checked out your post, really interesting to read and I agree with the points made. Especially, the it’s a crime book in a crime book bit. I think that’s when warnings stray into being excessive when people expect them for things that often occur in that genre. Killing in crime, violence in fantasy, smut in romance and horror in horror, those are crazy as you expect those things.


  26. Excellent point for discussion. I love seeing everyone’s take. I often list trigger warnings when I review a YA or MG book as most of my audience consists of parents – and I know the parents are not going to read the book, and should be aware of the issues in case their child behaves differently in response to the topic of the book… so issues like bullying, suicide, eating disorders, rape, etc tend to be in my trigger warning list. But I also discuss in my reviews age ranges (more like maturity level) for the books I review, again because my audience consists primarily of the parents of the kids reading these books. As far as adult lit, I hardly ever even think about it… there are some issues I personally have that I do not want to read about, and that is why I love peer reviews on sites like Goodreads because it allows me to get a feel for my own triggers without having to dig far. I would never expect a publisher to give a rating or a trigger because I want to read “heavier” topics and live through the issues the protagonist lives through a bit so as to grow my empathy and worldview (even as minor as such can be through reading)

    Anyway, loved the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fascinating! I’ve never really thought about this at all until now! I don’t include trigger warnings as flags in my reviews (although I may put them in the tags at the bottom on occasion). I tend to build those topics and issues into the review itself as appropriate without spoiling. Although when I was reading more YA as my daughter became a teen, I tended to flag up some of the triggers for the same reasons as Marissa above – there was a particular vogue for suicide lit in YA fiction aimed primarily at girls a few years ago for instance…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think many of us do that too. Mention the topics in the review as part of it without spoiling anything and not as a list of potential triggers at the start or end of the review. I’ve not read Marissa’s comment yet so I’ll have to go and check it out.👍


    2. Thanks.👍📚

      I agree, that’s one of the cool things about discussion, seeing all the varying points of view and opinions.👍

      That’s a very good point about YA and parents and I hadn’t considered that or thought about it at all but I can totally see why warnings would be appropriate then.👍


  27. Great post!
    For me personally, I don’t really get triggered by anything. I mean sure recently I’ve been suffering with anxiety and depression but that’s for me to deal with.

    I do however include trigger warnings at the end of my reviews if I think they are portrayed strongly in the book, I know some people have recently suffered with some things and so I think it’s a good idea to warn them. I’d feel so guilty if I read a book, didn’t warn about the trigger warnings and then something bad happened to someone because of exposure to certain topics.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love your post though and I agree with most of it. I think it just depends really, like if I had read something that triggered but didn’t have trigger warnings I’d be like 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks.👍 No issue with you disagreeing with bits of it, it’s a view, it’s a discussion, it’s all valid and we all have views.

        Yeah, I do get your point but admit that it’s hard for someone who doesn’t have triggers to understand what it’s like to read something that triggers and didn’t have trigger warnings. Can’t understand what it’s like but I get your point.👍📚

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Yes I do include them. But I only do warnings of sex, violence, if there is a big twist, or if a movie was really funny. I know that it has helped some people to choose not to read something which is fine, Yes Game of Thrones (haven’t read the book series) does have every trigger. I have been watching the show. I’m on season 6 right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ah-ha! You posted it! I enjoyed reading this and reading the comments. It’s always fascinating to see the different views on this.

    I would like to point out that trigger warnings aren’t just for PTSD. They are for any kind of form of anxiety where certain situations/topics may cause anxiety/panic attacks. I have severe to moderate agoraphobia with social phobia. I’m also absolutely terrified of hearing someone puke, even reading it can be tough (emetophobia). Centipedes are an absolute no go for me on any level, just writing that gave me the shudders but I love, love, love spiders and snakes. The older I get, unnecessary violence and gore just set me right off (yet I love anything zombie, go figure). I can be easily triggered by these certain things. BUT I am a reader. I am a writer. We boldly go where very few actually wish to go, which is a pity. I don’t want nor need anyone censoring their writing to suit my reading wants and needs. I know what I can handle and can’t. I’ve skipped ahead on paragraphs to avoid topics I’m not a fan of. I’ve turned down review requests because the book is in a topic that I’m not sure I can read through. So in all, it’s really personal preference. What might bother one person may not bother another.

    I, for one, will only use warnings (I avoid using the word trigger) if I feel some of the topics in the book might be an issue for people. But I add them to the very end of my review so that it doesn’t deter the potential reader. I don’t use them for every review, just ones that I feel might need a little extra caution proceeding. It brings to mine the quip “don’t say I didn’t warn ya!”

    So in conclusion: trust your gut instinct, it rarely steers you wrong. If you feel you need a warning, give one. It hurts no one. If not, continue onwards. But please, for the love of all that is good: stop using trigger warnings for every little thing people, you’re killing it for those of us who actually NEED those warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I did post it.😂 I’d wrote it, might as well post it and deal with the fallout.😂

      That’s fair, I mention PTSD and nothing else and I admit that I really don’t know much about the topic other than what I’ve read on it and my own thoughts. I should have looked further and thought to include other forms of anxiety, sorry.

      Exactly! That was one of my main points, I possibly didn’t get there and took many words to get sort of there but warnings over everything and those who aren’t really triggered just uncomfortable (as in, they don’t enjoy reading about a topic cos many of us have things we don’t like reading and most trigger topics are things that make all readers uncomfortable) make light of it for those who genuinely need the warnings.

      OK, gore and zombie is a bit weird, do they not go hand in hand?🤔


      1. They do, but for some reason, I can handle the gore in zombie stuff. Mainly because zombies aren’t real, so I’ve convinced myself the gore isn’t either. But gore in slasher films and the like, I guess because it’s a little too close to reality, my brain just doesn’t want to cooperate. I know, I’m weird. I accept it, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. I only noticed trigger warnings in a post today so this is very timely. I’m indecisive about this one. From a personal perspective I think it’s my responsibility to research a book before reading it, but on the other hand I realise that others may need the warning. I wouldn’t include this information as a regular feature in my reviews. Where do you draw the line in the sand? But if something really makes me wince I’ll mention it so that others have a heads-up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of us give a heads up and mention to things that make us wince, we just don’t use trigger warnings. It’s still highlighting the issues though.👍

      Yeah, that’s true, some do need the warning and that’s fine but the reader does also need to take responsibility themselves too. Especially if they have triggers that are prominent in a genre but they read that genre.


  31. This is a great post! I never gave much thought to this.Thanks for making me think! LOL. I don’t use them and I won’t be using them. Like you pointed out, it is hard to say what is a trigger. There are degrees to triggers, how far a person is pushed on a subject until they are bothered by it. I figure everyone can hit that scroll button if it bothers them, just like I can. I would hate to turn someone completely off to a book because I thought something was a trigger and yet it is not to them. If I see a part in a book about an animal that bothers me I just skip past that and move on.There are many good books I would miss out on if I dismiss them all because of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍

      Ha, I never gave much thought to it either until I saw people saying that reviews and bloggers need to include trigger warnings. Well, whenever I see anything that says bloggers need to do something I like to add my two cents.😂

      I think everything is a trigger or can be and that is why it’s so tough and as you say, you don’t know how far a person is pushed until they are triggered. True, scroll down, turn the page, etc, just avoid that bit and move on.


  32. Great post Drew. Don’t know what you were worried about.

    I don’t use triggers as I don’t feel it is my responsibility to do so. I am sharing my thoughts on a book, nothing more, nothing less. I’m not a marketing or or censorship department for a publisher or author. Yes people can find certain topics uncomfortable – I’ve read many books that make me feel ill (and not just because the writing is awful) but it is then my choice to stop or carry on reading. I am an adult – I have choices. I do think that the idea of trigger warnings has been, as has quite rightly been said, overused and is on the verge of tipping over into ‘snowflake land’ which then devalues the whole idea of the warning to those who genuinely suffer from anxiety etc as a result of certain situations. I will mention certain themes if I feel they are quite strong in a book, so long as to do so doesn’t give away the premise of the whole book as can so often happen. I read a book once where if I had mentioned what was probably the hardest, most emotionally triggering element of the story (at least from my from my perspective) it would have killed the twist and therefore the whole book stone dead. If you use this kind of warning or advance knowledge to tell others what is happening, do so with caution.

    I get the point made earlier for YA/Teen books and hadn’t really considered that as I don’t read many. I guess where books are aimed for children/ teenagers, then perhaps more cautionary words could be chosen but for adult books – you pays your money you takes your chance. If certain genres trigger you – don’t read them. It’s not compulsory.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks.👍📚

      Well, the topic for one and a certain age group of bloggers who are very vocal about trigger warnings, there importance and that everyone should include them. Add in, I have fallen afoul of that group before and I was slightly concerned about what responses I’d get.

      Yeah, that YA comment is definitely valid and I hadn’t even considered it either as it’s not an age range for me but, yeah, when you look at it and factor in parents buying the kids the books it makes sense.

      Many of us mention themes if they are strong in the book or we feel that they need mentioning. I think, at times those who use triggers don’t realise that those who don’t still mention things that they feel need mentioning in reviews.

      That’s one of my issues, the over use as it makes light of those who genuinely are triggered and have anxiety, etc.

      That’s very true, if certain genres trigger you, don’t read them. That should be simple but it doesn’t seem to be, I get they may like the genre but if they know it triggers them then it has to be on them and their responsibility for reading it and not the reviewers job to highlight triggers for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi. I’m one of those ‘old’ bloggers you mentioned. I don’t always include trigger warnings, but I do sometimes. I don’t think they should be on the cover of a book, but if someone is reading a review to get more knowledge about the novel before reading it, I think it is sometimes useful. My experience of many years working in a public library has taught me that some readers get offended and/or distressed by some topics. Some of those you mentioned, but some are less overt. For instance, the other day I was reading a review of a book I had on my TBR. The cover was great, it was a thriller (my favorite genre), and I had already read the blurb and it appealed. However, when I read the review, it mentioned that the storyline included cults. ‘Cults’ is one of my own personal trigger warnings. I try hard to abstain from reading about them. Thankfully, due to this blogger’s review, I was alerted and removed the book from my TBR. I guess what I want to say is trigger warnings are useful sometimes, as long as they are not too intrusive and that they don’t give too much of the story away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I don’t disagree that they are useful to many people and I can see the importance of them for people too. I, like others just aren’t really one of them but, yeah, for those who need them I get they are important and if bloggers want to include them, cool, if not, that’s cool too.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I don’t use trigger warnings in my reviews. I find that when I read them in other bloggers’ reviews, I see them as spoilers – no matter how vague they are, I find myself looking out for things as I’m reading the book and it can take away some of the element of surprise. That said, I can see why some people like them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, definitely a case of some people liking them and seeing their importance. I ignore them when I see them in reviews but if I didn’t I’d be like you, looking out for them in the book and probably mentally ticking them off too, that’s that trigger, that’s another.😂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I’m not sure if books should come with Trigger warnings per say, but often the blurbs miss very salient facts about the story and don’t give any indication of potentially triggering themes. Maybe a bit more transparency of what the reader is getting? Hmm… tough but interesting topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly but you can’t fault the blurbs for not giving away twists or big spoilers. I do get what you mean but a blurb is to entice the reader not spoil the story but there’s probably room for compromise somewhere and if the authors and publishers put their heads together they could work something out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I absolutely get that, but I read a book very recently that was very much centred around child abuse, it wasn’t really a spoiler either because it started right at the beginning but I had no idea from the blurb.
        I also wonder if people would down grade a star rating because it wasn’t a book for them when they had no indication going in about the content…
        Totally agree about spoilers thou!!
        Very interesting discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. I don’t use trigger warnings in my posts. I will highlight something if I think it was forced in for effect rather than because the story needed it. I think you have done this before as well (was it you that stopped reading due to pointless violence towards a dog in ond book?).

    I stopped reading Needful things for the same reason. But, if I feel something is in there and works/adds to the story for being there I wouldn’t bother. As you said, otherwise George R. R. Martin reviews would be nothing but.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah, I did, The Silence was the book, everyone loves that book. Me, it was good but when that happened, no, not at all. It wasn’t even triggering, I still had my dog, it just served no purpose in the story and I totally disagreed with it. From what I remember, the dog could have been killed and it wouldn’t have been an issue, it was how the author went about it and how the dog died that stopped me reading.

      The only real trigger GRRM needs is, hasn’t finished the damn series yet.😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Well said, sir! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, and I’m pretty much on a similar opinion.
    I don’t put trigger warning in my reviews per se. I might say it was graphic, violent, or there was a lot of blood, etc. But nothing too specific.
    I feel for people who get triggered, and i hope they will get help, because it’s not only books that cause this and I don’t want to imagine how life is like that.

    I don’t feel i get triggered, even when reading about violent things i personally experienced. But I’m lucky to have the means to actually get the appropriate help, and had ways of dealing with shit.

    I noticed also that some would say trigger = shit they don’t like, don’t agree with. Meh, what can we do?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.👍📚

      Yeah, I do too, it must be terrible and that is why the post is more serious in tone than my usual stuff as I wanted to get my views across but also didn’t want to make light of people who are genuinely triggered and how serious it is.

      Yeah, that’s true, shit they don’t like, uncomfortable, that’s not triggered just reading stuff you don’t like and as many triggering topics are tough and hard most people would class them as uncomfortable and shit they don’t like. We can’t do anything only do what we want and let others do what they want.👍📚

      Liked by 1 person

  38. I don’t include warnings in my reviews but don’t mind reviewers that do, unless they’re spoilery. I would prefer they be called “content warnings” similar to other media, but that’s just a preference because my PTSD is very specific and like you mentioned most warnings are for general uncomfortable/unsuitable content that can be obvious based on genre, age group, and/or book summary. Great discussion post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.

      Yeah, I don’t mind others including them either, live and let live and let each blogger do what they want.

      I do think that content warnings are a better term as it’s more inclusive of the content of the book as people have topics that they just don’t like and want to avoid but aren’t triggered by them that way everyone get a heads up on the content whether they are triggered or just don’t want to read it and then the argument and debate over whether it’s really triggering or not can be avoided.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome, I’ll check the post out when I have time to give it a proper read. Ha, the warnings are there, big red 18 with bad language, violence and gambling cos, ya know, an 18 rated game by rockstar with a cover featuring a cowboy holding a gun isn’t obviously going to contain violence and bad language!


  39. Another brilliant discussion post, well done. I tend not to use trigger warnings unless the book I reviewed had issues which were particularly troublesome for me personally – e.g. animal cruelty (which I hate reading about and it can spoil a whole book for me) and child abuse. I try to steer clear of books with those topics but they can pop up unexpectedly, which is where I appreciate the warnings. Thrillers are usually the culprits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I hate animal cruelty too, stopped reading books because of it and did power through others too but it’s a topic I hate and would rather wasn’t included in any books as I never see any reason for it other than shock value or to show how evil a person is, ya know, in thrillers, the kid used to kill wild animals and turned into a serial killer, just a subject that isn’t needed at all in books or media other than to highlight how wrong it is but not for the sake of fiction and shocking the reader. 😦

      I totally get using the warnings in a review if the topic affects you, that’s personal and you are adding it because you had issue with it. Adding topics and having a list just because it’s seen as the right thing to do, no, if issues affect you though,, totally valid.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. I’ve had shit happen to me and none of it triggers me in books, shows, or movies. But that’s me and everyone is different. I do not add warnings to my reviews. I honestly never thought about it. I read all kinds of books, from the sweet and light to the dark and depraved. I think your choice
    of genre will pretty much dictate what you can expect in a book. If there are things that truly trigger you (i.e. books about war trigger your post-service PTSD) then don’t read books in that genre. Blurbs, if well-written, will give most readers a good overview what to expect. That’s good enough for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally agree and I am the same. Nothing triggers me either, books, shows or movies. There’s a few things that I can’t abide reading/watching but that’s my choice and I’m not triggered by them just don’t agree with them. yeah, the genre should dictate what you see in a book you’d think, wouldn’t you? It seems obvious, if you don’t like killing, don’t read thrillers with serial killers, etc!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree! I’ve experienced enough in my life that if I was offended or ‘triggered’ – I wouldn’t read a single book! Or watch movies. Or TV! I also agree that with a well written blurb, the audience can make an informed decision about what they consume. Everybody seems to want to be offended these days….

      I do however completely understand that people dealing with diagnosed PTSD (I say diagnosed as too many people are quick to throw the term around without fully understanding the condition) will steer clear of certain topics so not to set them back in their treatment.

      Liked by 2 people

  41. yeah, i don’t use trigger warnings in reviews. i might say that a book has swear words, or violence, or is rated R, but i’m not going to list a bunch of things that I’m concerned might upset someone.

    If someone reads a review I wrote and it makes them decide to read the book, and they go read the book and something in it triggers them, I trust them to STOP READING THE BOOK for that or for any other reason. they don’t have to read another page in a book that makes them uncomfortable, or is boring, or they just don’t like it, you know?

    Remember the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books/movies? I saw the first movie, and a scene was very disturbing to me. like, VERY disturbing. So what did I do? I opted not to read the books, and I didn’t see any more movies in the series. problem solved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, very true, they can always stop reading the book, it’s a simple choice really and one that should be easy to decide, don’t like a book, dnf it which many do, if it makes you uncomfortable, stop reading or just move a head a few pages.

      I’ve seen the movies, gave up on the book as I found it boring, see, gave up and stopped reading! lol Totally agree and get your point though. the scene disturbed you and then you made the choice not to read the books or see any more of the movies, some people just don’t seem to get that they have that choice!


  42. I’ll occasionally point out a scene or theme that I know a few readers will object to — but those will be specific readers. I know ReaderX will like this premise, I’m reviewing it positively, but I know he’ll dislike the book because of the thing in Chapter 5 (and probably 17). I’ll say that kind of thing (not calling out ReaderX, however). But I can’t come up with a list of things in each book that might offend someone. No one has that kind of time.

    Also, I worry about the effect of trigger warnings. I remember very distinctly a class discussion of Lolita in college. A couple of women talked about their own childhood trauma and reading that book — today they would’ve used the word triggered, but we had to use three sentences in my day to express that one word. Today neither would have read the book after a trigger warning (probably), and I’d cautiously defend that choice. But back then both said it actually helped them. I’m not sure we’re doing ourselves many favors.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Great post! When I was quite new to book blogging I read a review that mentioned some warnings about certain content in a book. I thought it was a good idea but have never used it myself as I didn’t think I could do it without giving the plot away. If I think a book has uncomfortable, upsetting or dark themes I might mention it.

    Liked by 1 person

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