Review Policy / Rating System

I am open to reading books of just about any genre if you are interested in having me review your book. However, I reserve the right to turn down review requests if the book does not appeal to my interests, and I cannot guarantee that I will finish or review a book if it is given to me.

Due to my current extreme backlog of reviews to complete, I fully reserve the right to not respond to a review request if I am uninterested.

If I begin reading your book and I have purchased, borrowed, or otherwise acquired it on my own, I intend to complete and review it. If you wish to provide me with a copy of your book, or with electronic access to the book, so that I might review it, please note that I do prefer physical copies over e-books but of course understand that this is not always possible and will accept your book in any format available if I decide to accept a review request. If I complete a requested review, I promise to be thorough and honest, and I am also okay with being contacted if you wish to discuss the review further.

I am going to follow a 5-star rating system, a simple and popular rating format as seen on Goodreads. Over my years on that site, I’ve noticed that I often tend to rate somewhat higher than my friends and other reviewers (though not always).

Here’s my individual thought process when I am assigning stars:

5 stars: I loved this book 🙂 Importantly, a book doesn’t necessarily need to have outstanding writing to get 5 stars from me if the story is compelling enough for me. I think that’s where I diverge from many other readers. I don’t even do it on purpose, but most of the time I definitely rate based on how much I personally enjoyed my reading experience, rather than how objectively talented the author is, if that makes sense.

4 stars: I liked this book a lot, but either there was one particular element that I didn’t enjoy as much, or the book in its entirety was good with nothing to complain about, but not amazing enough to merit 5 stars.

3 stars: I actually didn’t enjoy this book that much, but it wasn’t terrible. Goodreads says to rate 3 stars when you “liked” a book, but for me I will give a 3 where other readers might give a 2, for “it was OK.” I might have found the story boring even though the writing was good, hated the characters even though the plot was compelling, or even loved the plot and characters despite bad writing. In one way or another, the book was imperfect for me, but I did not hate it.

2 stars: As a whole, most of the book leaned toward bad for me, but there was still at least one positive element that kept me going, or it just wasn’t quite bad enough to get 1 star.

1 star: I hated this book and the only reason I finished it was to tell you just how much I hated it. I almost never assign 1 star to a book because I read for pleasure and can almost always find something to enjoy unless a book is truly, truly terrible for me. I need to be better about giving honest book ratings and using the lower star ratings more often; a lot of times I don’t want to give less than three stars, since I know how hard authors work and I have tried and failed to write my own book several times now.

11 thoughts on “Review Policy / Rating System

  1. I was going to email you to properly ask if you would be interested in reviewing a true love story, set in China, in which everything that can go wrong does – but that also gives readers an inside look at China that they will rarely discover in other books or movies. However, I could not find an email address here so….

    If you have any interest, please check out the book page for LOVE IN AN IRON BOWL (link included in the requested details) then leave me a message in my KEEP IN TOUCH box at the bottom of that page.

    Your site is very well done, and does a wonderful job of flattering books. I would enjoy having you write a guest blog post for my site if you have any interest.


  2. Hello,

    I was wondering if you would be interested in receiving a free copy of my newest novel, Raven’s Peak, to read and review. The book is a paranormal thriller/horror novel and is being published by Kindle Press.

    It is coming out in early July.


    A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to find out what is happening. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

    She rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, and also trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is considerably more difficult for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.

    Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

    Thanks very much for your time and consideration!

    Lincoln Cole


  3. Hello Abby,

    From one dog lover to another…

    I am hoping you will consider reviewing my nonfiction book, You Exhaust Me, A Clueless Guy’s Guide to Marriage. I plan to release my book in the first quarter of 2017 and can send you a print or e-copy when I publish (or advance review copy once it’s been professionally edited). Below is the back cover blurb that gives an idea of what my book is about. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

    Bob Marsocci

    You Exhaust Me back cover blurb:

    Why a marriage guide for clueless guys? Do you really have to ask? Quite simply, because about 2 million guys tie the knot every year and many (perhaps most) have no clue about the world they will enter after saying, “I do.”

    Does a guy know what the 10 Fatal Words are that his wife will spring on him days before her birthday? It’s a test most husbands fail. Does a guy know why he should never throw away his wife’s “bag of bags?” Does a guy know why after a few years of marriage he should avoid watching romance movies with his wife? The answers: no, no and hell no! Millions of men are clueless about what to expect from marriage and need practical advice from a guy who has been there.

    In a candid and humorous way, You Exhaust Me speaks directly to clueless men everywhere. In You Exhaust Me, Bob Marsocci—with more than 20 years (and counting) of experience as a husband—tells his story by sharing personal marital anecdotes and lessons (often learned the hard way), and provides valuable insight on what a guy should really expect once the wedding rings go on.

    Take it from an original clueless married guy—if you want to keep her happy and avoid hearing “You exhaust me!” from your wife, read this book.


  4. Hello

    My name is Robert Skuce. My latest Thriller/Crime story “Kiss of Death” will be released soon. I am currently looking for reviewers to provide an honest review in exchange for the book for free. It will be available in all e-book formats and I can send you the format you prefer. My book will be available at online retailers.
    Here is a brief overview of my book:
    Bruno Norcross is a detective who never got over letting a serial killer get away. Now that Kiss of Death has re-surfaced; he is determined to close the case. The death of another young college girl has sparked outrage in Charlie Lassitor, the police Sargent, whose daughter was killed by this very killer. Bruno feels compelled to close this case, but the details get blurred when a new name enters the list of suspects. Can Bruno catch the killer before his killing spree ends and he vanishes again? Or will Kiss of Death once again elude him?
    You can read more about it on my website The book is currently on pre-order set to be released March 1st, 2017. I have no preferred date to have a review up by. I am hoping to have the majority of reviews done in and around the early summer.
    If you are interested in reviewing my book, doing an author interview or just reading my book for discussion, I would love to hear from you.
    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me:
    Robert Skuce


  5. Hi Bookish Barrister,

            I thought you’d might enjoy a free advanced release e-copy of the brand new comedy fantasy sci-fi “11,984.”  This is not a conventional novel. It contains a lot of creative innovations, including punctuation from the future. 

            Thousands of years in the future, humanity has finally eradicated war, poverty, and all forms of human suffering. With no problems or unanswered questions remaining in the world, everyone is bored out of their minds, that is until the sun starts putting on a light show, the first warning sign it’s getting ready to supernova!

           Our heroes from the year 11,984 are your typical family of two mothers, three fathers, a couple of kids, and plenty of robots. Fun-loving Troll, so called because of her giant troll doll hair(They don’t have names in the future, or wear clothes) is the world’s leading hydrologist/interior decorator, whose plans to retire quickly change when faced with the drought to end all droughts. Bulb, bald head glowing like a lightbulb, is the cranky Minister of Rational Thought. His faith in science is tested by the total collapse of society. Last but not least is Litterbot, the clumsy garbagebot who gets no respect, and whose highest priority–to clean–is frustrated by a world without messes. 

           As the family works on building an escape spaceship, the sun bombards them in changing colors, which unbeknownst to them causes radiation insanity. The sky colors keep growing stronger, and these totally peaceful people are at each other’s throats. It gets so bad their bodies mutate (which helps them work faster) and world computer crashes (forcing them to read primitive paper books, and rely more on Litterbot.) Will they launch before getting smashed to pieces? 

          My first humor novel, Foxavier and Plinka, was published in 2013, and is also available.

    May I email the complete 11,984 manuscript of 75,000 words?

    Thank you.

    Scott Evans
    Rochester NY

    Scottevansrochester AT yahoo DOT com


  6. I am Charles Stoll, author of Sorry and Morticum, The Time Thief, and Enigma, and I am offering my latest novel, Drunken Angel, for free on Amazon from Mon., 5/28/18-Fri., 6/01/18.
    I would enjoy your opinion on this rather unique murder/suspense novel. I would like you and your followers to meet Daisy Perlman, the uneducated, unloved daughter of a whore. Lacking any comfort or trust in her life, she develops a philosophy of life from her walks through the woods.


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