Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ailsa's review policy (and other things)

Reviewing Books:
I'm happy to review most genres of books, although my favourites are urban fantasy, paranormal romance, fantasy, contemporary romance or historical. If it has some supernatural element to it, I will often be interested. I'm also very happy to read mystery stories. For the most up-to-date idea of what I'm reading, have a look at what I've reviewed recently, or my wish list on amazon (here). I accept both print and e-books, but print will be prioritised. I'm getting pickier just now about what I review, because I prefer to talk about books I've loved than books that just hit me as 'meh'. I've got a lot of books I've been buying for myself which I'm excited about, and I don't want to feel pressured to review other things over those ones. As I say above, I'm much more likely to be interested in something similar to those on my wishlist or what I've review recently.

Things I’ll try and talk about in a review:
Characters (whether they change over the book or not – they should); Plot (If it’s interesting, if it’s realistic in the world the author has built); Beginning (how quickly it gets going); Ending (how effective it is.)

Other Things That I Think Make a Good Book:
Characters: As I mentioned above, characters should change over a book. Sometimes this is more noticeable with a series, but there should always be something that’s clearly different at the end compared to the start.
If I care about the characters, that’s another good thing.
Beginning: Something that starts quickly, and gets me hooked quickly.
Ending: Are the main questions answered? I don’t mind a few things being left loose, but too many, and it’s not ok unless there’s a sequel.
Dialogue: If it seems natural, realistic.
Romance elements: Don’t make it happen too fast. I’m ok with a little bit of this, but I’m getting kind of fed up with it now.
Please note that a book can meet all of these criteria and I still won’t like it. The biggest thing that makes up a book review is opinion. Sometimes I hate books that meet these points, sometimes I love books that have nothing in common with the above list.

How I grade, on our 1-10 star system:

10/10 = absolutely fantastic, it ticks all the boxes for me, I’ll read it again and again, and take it to a desert island with me
5/10 = It was ok, but could have been a lot better. Didn’t really pull me in.
1/10 = Did not finish

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