Review Policy & Rating System

Review Policy

I am more than happy to accept ARCs and books (both digital and in print) from authors and publishers with a strong preference for hard copies. Printed copies will be given more of a priority. For ebooks, I will only accept files that are of the .MOBI or .EPUB format. Kindle books are preferred.

Take note, however, that I do reserve the right to refuse to review a book. Also, as a person with plenty of academic responsibilities and other equally important obligations, the amount of time that it takes to finish and review a novel will vary on a case-to-case basis. Should you need the review on a particular deadline, please inform me immediately upon submission of your review request.

In the event that I do agree to read and review your book, I will do so per my usual reviewing style and I guarantee that I will be honest with my opinion. I dislike being unnecessarily mean when expressing my thoughts, but I do inject humor (or at least attempts of humor) and sarcasm when I criticize. And the occasional sailor’s language (read: swear words). Please do not take any of my jokes and ineloquent remarks as a personal attack to the author or the publishing company the author works with. I review books, not the people who write them.

Review requests are to be submitted to the following email: shealeairal@gmail.com. Typically, my reviews are available both on my blog and on Goodreads.

Should you submit a review request via email, kindly include the following:

– genre
– synopsis
– publisher (if you are a self-published author, please say so)
– date of publication
– brief excerpt of the requested book (ideally 2 to 3 chapters in length)

* BLOG DISCLAIMER


Preferred Genres


  • Dystopian
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Contemporary; Realistic Fiction
  • Romance
  • Young Adult
  • New Adult
  • Genres I Don’t Review


  • Horror
  • Erotica
  • Non-fiction
  • Biographies
  • Historical
  • Religion; Spiritual
  • Memoirs

  • Rating System

    – Perfection (or pretty darn close). This is a book that I will highly recommend to everyone I cross paths with. I am head over heels for this story, and I would definitely want to get my hands on a printed copy. Guaranteed multiple rereads in the future.

    – Flawed but highly enjoyable. This is a book that I really love regardless of its flaws and shortcomings. A reread is likely.

    – Could be better, could be worse. This book is a definite “okay” read, which means that I like it but I’m not blown away. At the very least, it was enjoyable enough for a single read.

    – Meh. This is a book that I did not really enjoy, but was able to finish. Books that aren’t really my cup of tea will fall under this category. Still, I may recommend it to a specific audience.

    – Um, just no. The degree and intensity of my hatred may vary, but one thing is for sure: I neither liked nor enjoyed reading the book. Not recommended.

    – Terrible. Zero redeeming qualities. I despise it. I weep for the trees that died to make printed copies of this book. I would not even wish this book to fall into the hands of my greatest enemy.

    * Note:

    [1] I may also rate books using half-stars, . In such cases, the reason behind the usage of a half-star is included in the book review.

    [2] For books that I did not finish, a review will be given to explain what exactly about the book prevented me from completely reading it and/or why I stopped. However, a star rating will not be given.

    Format of Reviews

    As much as possible, the following details are always given in the first part of the review: book title, author, genre, the format of the copy I reviewed, and rating.

    Typically, I either give a short introduction or brief summary of the book’s plot. Otherwise, I include the book’s official blurb. Regarding the substance of the review itself, I have not established a specific format. This is because my approach in reviewing a book varies on a case-to-case basis. Although my reviewing and writing style is always the same, I tend to play around with the angles and structure of my review as I deem fit. Sometimes I prefer breaking my review down into separate elements (e.g. setting, characters, plot, conclusion). Sometimes I prefer enumerating what I particularly liked and what I disliked about a book. Sometimes I write relatively shorter reviews (referred to as “mini reviews”) which are commonly less than 500 words in length. Whatever works for me.

    More about my reviewing style

    As much as possible, I try to find certain aspects of the book that I liked. Or at the very least, the redeeming qualities of whatever I read. Regarding particular factors and elements that I disliked about a book, I exert effort into expressing my displeasure in a profound and professional manner. I usually incorporate my reactions, thoughts and general feels (should there be any) when I review, but I also tend to comment on critical story elements such as character development, world building, word choice and grammar, and the plot itself. I dislike passive characters and those of the Mary Sue variety. Additionally, I am not a fan of overly flowery prose.

    As mentioned in my review policy (see first section of this post), I am susceptible to making crude jokes and infusing sarcasm as I share my opinion. Aside from this, I am admittedly an emotional reader. Because of this, I might be relatively lenient with works that capture me emotionally. I might also be harsher on books that depict misogyny, sexism and other sensitive topics that provoke my ideals. In spite of all this, I still do my best to write fairly and to provide substantial input, detailed ideas and thoughtful points.

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