one of my favorite parts of book blogging is working with authors and publishers to provide fair and honest reviews — in the past (on my old blog, Fabled Haven), i’ve worked with publishing houses such as Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Abrams Books, and St. Martin’s Press. but before reading the rest of this review policy, here are some important things you should know:
- i will not accept every review request i receive, whether it’s because i’m simply not interested in the book or don’t have enough time to read and review it in the near future. (however, i will respond to every request i receive! i won’t leave you hanging.)
- i do accept ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) as well as finished copies. while i love receiving physical copies, i also have a Kindle and will gladly accept eBooks that are compatible with it.
- i do guarantee a review on this blog for each book i accept and will work with you on establishing a timeframe for its publication.
- i do accept books from independent publishers. i do not accept self-published books.
my reading preferences and interests
as stated on my “About” page, i’m a horror aficionado and would love to receive review requests for new horror releases. i also enjoy reading literary fiction, experimental fiction, mysteries and thrillers, and science fiction; i’m also open to receiving requests for nonfiction releases. i’m not particularly interested in reading YA, contemporary, or romance.
but generally speaking, i’m less drawn to specific genres than i am to innovation and creativity. if a book is pushing boundaries and making me think about things i haven’t thought about before in ways i haven’t seen before, i’m game. i also prioritize reading diverse books, particularly those that are #OwnVoices — as a lesbian Korean American, i find joy in reading nontraditional stories about nontraditional people. if you think you have a book on your hands that meets this (admittedly broad) criteria, feel free to send it my way, regardless of its genre.
star rating system
as you can see by scrolling through my blog, my reviews can get long! i try to give nuance to my writing, taking inspiration from some of my favorite critics like Radhika Jones of Vanity Fair and Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post, but i find that ending reviews with a star rating helps readers get a clearer understanding of my overall enjoyment of a book.
★★★★★: i read a lot of great books every year but give very few of them five star ratings. for a book to receive a full five stars, it has to be absolutely outstanding and leave some type of lasting impact on me. for example, i couldn’t stop thinking about THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI by Akwaeke Emezi for weeks after i read it — i was completely obsessed with its subversion of the crime fiction genre, study of concepts of identity and love, and haunting cast of characters. any book that can leave me feeling like that deserves a five star rating and thank you note to the author.
★★★★☆: a four star book is really, really good. it has a lot of strengths and wonderful writing, but contains a few issues that keep me from giving it a full five stars. it also doesn’t deliver the kind of lasting effect i described above.
★★★☆☆: a three star book is good — a solid, albeit average, read that i had a few large problems with. even if i don’t especially enjoy it, i can probably think of plenty of people who will.
★★☆☆☆: the line between a three star book and a two star book is the pleasure i derive from reading it — while i am still able to enjoy aspects of a three star book, a two star has issues glaring enough that it is unpleasant to read.
★☆☆☆☆: a one star book is more than just bad; it’s either deeply offensive, contains insidious and bigoted themes/messaging, or is so poorly written that i’m left wondering whether it was ever touched by an editor.