Young Adult: Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Nonfiction: Environmental, Social Psychology, Self-Help
Historical fiction, thriller/horror/murder mysteries
Note: if you’re not sure if your book falls into one of these genres, always feel free to send me an email anyway. I will evaluate and decide!
Rating breakdown: 5-star system
5 stars: this book has distinct, memorable characters, a meaningful plot, and an abundance of quotes for reviews. I can recommend this book for a variety of reasons. This book pushed me out of my literary comfort zone or taught me something new. I can refer back to it for its writing style, themes of social commentary, etc.
4 stars: this book was very close to perfection, but there are one or two things that are bugging me. Usually a pacing or plot issue. (For example, I found portions of the book to be slow and/or predictable, but still very well executed). Nevertheless, I can still recommend this book for a variety of reasons, and refer back to it frequently.
3 stars: a neutral review. I did not love this book, but I also did not dislike it. There are plot issues of predictability and memorability that negatively impacted my reading experience, though overall, I am still able to say I enjoyed it. I might recommend this book, but for limited reasons.
2 stars: the book has many issues of plot, pacing, and/or character and world development. Many details were left unexplored. I am struggling to remember the major takeaways of the book. I am unable to recommend this book for anything other than its genre or major theme.
1 star: I DNF’d this book. There are countless issues with plot, pacing, and both character and world development. The book is problematic and/or poorly handles problematic social issues. In all, I did not enjoy this book. I am unable to recommend this book to anyone.
Characteristics I specifically evaluate in reviews:
Character quality, world-building and plot (development and predictability), social commentary content, major themes/takeaways.
Break down for these characteristics:
Character quality: I connect to stories through unique characters. If characters feel artificial, indistinguishable, or disposable, I lose interest and begin to disconnect from the book. A strong character tells a strong story.
Plot: There is a fine balance when it comes to plot progression and this particular characteristic will always vary work to work. I am critical of plots that progress too quickly and neglect key details, but I am also sensitive to a plot that is bogged down by info-dumping. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. However, the two factors of plot that I will always critically evaluate are development and predictability of plot.
Social commentary content: as of August 2019, I committed to critically evaluating important social commentary content in books. By social commentary, I mean important real-world themes such as racism, classism, person of color representation, and more. When these themes are present, I will make room for discussion on them in my review. Please note that I hold an own-voices perspective on all topics listed above.
If you are an author/publisher that has sent/wishes to send me a poetry book for review: I rate poems based on accessibility (how complex the poems are), relateability (how connected I felt to the contents/theme of the poems), and length (I still prefer short, concise works opposed to long ones) in the place of the above aspects.
With these conditions being read and understood, if you are an author or publisher that would like to request a review from me, send a request my way! The easiest way to contact me is via the contact form on the contact me page. Any requested reviews I conduct are indicated in brackets on my review index page. A disclaimer/general note will be provided within the review that I received the book from you in exchange for the review.
I hope to hear from you soon!