Reviewing Policies

My policy is basically this: I review everything I read: the good, the bad, the didn’t finish. I do that because I, at least, want to know whether I liked a book or not, or whether I managed even to get through it, and, if so, why I abandoned it.

I consider accepting for review ARCs for Middle Grade (ages 7-13), Young Adult (12-18), including graphic novels, and select adult novels. I am also willing to do author interviews for my “10 Questions for” series, which runs once a month, but only after I’ve read a book by the author. I do not do guest posts. I will try to review as many ARCs as I can, but I only have so much time, and there are many books I like to get to. I do get to everything I am sent. Eventually.

Unless otherwise noted, I obtained all the books on my own terms — either by purchasing or borrowing from the library.

I link to IndieBound because I strongly believe in supporting small, independent bookstores. I do, however, have an affiliation and get a small fee for books bought through my links.

I know that when I don’t like a book, I may come off as mean. This is because I like to be honest. I also know I have offended authors in the past because I have said that I haven’t liked their books. Know that this is just my opinion. I know I am able to change them (or not) with enough discussion, because I have in the past. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go back and change what I wrote about the book, because I want to remember what I thought when I read it initially. If I choose to reread a book, and my opinion of it has changed, I’ll put up a new review.

I try not to accept ARCs that I have no interest in, or I don’t think I’ll even remotely like. However, generally I am only going off publicist blurbs and cover pictures when I make those decisions, and so I’m going to invariably get a few that initially I may think I’m going to like but end up disliking.

When I read a book, I am influenced by: the previous book I read, the mood I’m in, my stress level, whether or not my kids are climbing on me while I read (or write!), my religion, my age, my situation in life, my political beliefs, and a whole host of other factors. I don’t apologize for that. As I said before, I’m interested in my initial response to the book. I do try to say, in the review, if there are any circumstances that could have affected my reading of the book (like I read an excellent book previously, or I read the graphic novel version/saw the movie first, or I was having a bad day, or I was annoyed at the narrator/characters/copy-editing) so that my readers will know what my opinion is shaped by. I would like to think that makes my opinion still valuable to my readers, but I don’t want anyone to think that I am consciously trying to be especially “objective” or “professional” or “balanced” in my reviews; they are my opinion, first and foremost. As I said before, my attitudes may (or may not) change with time, and from time to time I do revisit books.

If you have any questions or wish to contact me, or to send me an ARC, feel free to email me at mmfbooks AT gmail.com.

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