One of the personal goals I made for myself in 2020 included writing at least a one sentence review of every book that I read and to share it on Goodreads. So far, so good, and from it, another goal evolved: adding trigger warnings to book reviews so that other readers receive a fair warning about potentially hurtful topics before reading a book.
I am the first to admit that I am not a very sensitive reader. Very little subject matters upset me or maks me put a book down. That said, I do know that I am not the norm, and certain themes/events in books will cause people to not finish a book and potentially damage their psyche. I want to be cognizant of what I am encouraging people to read as I write my reviews and be aware that a book may not work for someone because of a specific type of content.
I asked my followers on Instagram the other day to help me out and tell me topics that they wish would be included in content warning lists that are often left out. Many reviewers add content warnings, but only cover the “big” topics (e.g. rape, gore, language) and forget to add other topics that can upset smaller (but just as important) populations of readers.
Below is my list of content/trigger warnings that people would like to see in book reviews. If I am missing one, please feel free to email me or comment on this post!
Descriptions of panic attacks
Graphic sexual content
Loss of life to cancer
Specify types of abuse (do not just make the content warning say “abuse”, but explain the type)
Unexpected death of family members
Usage of hard drugs
Another great resource for knowing what kind of content warnings to list is doesthedogdie.com – a website dedicated to all trigger warnings for all kinds of media.