Trigger Warnings for Books? 🤔

This is a pretty big topic in the bookish community nowadays. Do you give trigger warnings for books or not? And then if you do how do you do it? There are so many different styles!!

I don’t know if people realise, but I actually put the trigger warnings for every book I mention in my videos at the bottom of the description. And I also include them in my reviews on the blog, you have to highlight the text to reveal them. I never want to have recommended someone a book and they trigger themselves when I could have easily warned them.

So you can probably tell I fall into the “yes I give trigger warnings” camp. I’m a “content creator” albeit a small one, and so it falls on me to make sure I’m giving enough information about the books that I’m promoting. And I also fall into the “slightly hiding it category”.

I know some people actively dislike trigger warnings, they don’t personally need them and so for them it falls into spoiler territory. I actually fall into this category! There’s only one trigger that I sometimes need and 99% of the time it can be inferred from the synopsis. So I’m really privileged with that. It means when I see triggers it often spoils me for the content in a book that otherwise would’ve been a twist for me and I prefer to go in blind. Now considering I post my tbr’s and I write out the trigger warnings for all the books… I don’t get to do that anymore 😂 but as I said before, being a “content creator” comes with a certain level of responsibility and so I suck it up! I Me not needing trigger warnings also means that I have to go on, sometimes oddly long, hunts to find the warnings themselves as I never know what needs pointed out. There are some really great databases like Book Trigger Warnings or Storygraph or people’s reviews on Goodreads. But sometimes it takes a lot more searching to be able to find them. But it’s always worth it. And I’m slowly accumulating a massive excel spreadsheet of all of the triggers that I can go back to when I mention a book again! (war and peace I’m looking at you)

Because I don’t want to “spoil” people who don’t like to see them, and because I want to be able to give people the active choice to check out the trigger warnings (and I always want to have them available) I “hide” them away. In my YouTube videos they are at the very bottom of the description box with a little “🔐Trigger Warnings🔐” header so no one gets confused. On my blog I put them in on the review posts, and they’re in white text on a white background. Which means that they can only be seen if you highlight them. Both of these options mean that the warnings are easily accessible whilst not being so in your face that anything is spoiled without warning

Highlight here for an example: this is how I do the triggers in my reviews. See how it works? It’s cool!

I totally stole the idea from Olivia’s Catastrophe (with permission of course) and it works super well! But I do think I need to make some changes in my videos, maybe with a little pop up stating that the warnings are in the description box. Because I don’t always say it while I’m filming and so people don’t always know they’re there!

Let me know how you feel about trigger warnings. Whether you like them, and if you’re a content creator how you make them available to your viewers!

Hitting close to home


The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva is the authors first delve into fiction works, after having written a non-fiction self-help book about mental health. She sticks with the MH topic in this book and it talks about depression, anxiety and OCD.

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There are all illnesses I struggle with myself. I’m lucky that through lots of working on myself and medication too, I’m on the milder end of these now. But I’ve been there. I will say that if you do suffer from these or would be triggered by them, then this likely isn’t the book for you. The illnesses are represented really well, but this also means that she goes into detail and that might not be helpful for some people.

With the actual book itself, nothing other than our MC Amy going to work, or not going, happens. It simply follows her. I think this was a brilliant decision as it lets the reader focus on what’s going on inside her head rather than stuff happening outside. By the end of this book, I actually felt connected to the characters and was wanting to find out more about them.

Full disclosure, I was sent this book by the author to review. But also full disclosure, sorry Ms Riva, I wasn’t expecting to love it. I thought it might get 3 stars, that it’d be fine and that’d be it. But I ended up really enjoying reading this book and honestly think it’s a good read. I’m glad I did pick this up in the end (she sent me it a while ago) and gave it a go!

What do you think of books which focus on mental health struggles?