Review Policy

Hey there! I’m Jenna Rideout: aspiring author, freelance editor, and lifelong avid reader. You may know me from my YouTube channel, The Westveil Archives. I have committed to posting reviews for every novel, short fiction anthology, and non-fiction title I read (since May 2020) here on my blog, on my YouTube channel and other social media platforms, on Goodreads, and on retailer sites like Amazon CA.

My TBR (to-be-read list) consists of pleasure reading titles I’ve picked up for myself, ARCs obtained through NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Book Sirens, and free review copies & ARCs sent to me by authors, publicists, and publishers.

Want a Review?

I am willing to review any book that fits into one of the category bullet points on the list below as long as I am sent a copy of the book for free. Although I would very much appreciate physical books (and sending a physical book is a good way to get reviewed sooner), ebooks are perfectly acceptable! Note that I will not finish reading books that normalize rape, feature a “rape made her the badass she is today” protagonist, or feature graphic rape scenes. Violence, tasteful sexy scenes, LGBTQIA content, etc. are all fine with me. Romantic subplots are fine, but I’m not interested in primarily romance-genre novels.

  • Adult, New Adult & Young Adult fiction novels
    • Science Fiction & Fantasy, including Dystopian
    • General, Contemporary & Literary Fiction
    • Mystery/Thriller
    • Historical Fiction
  • High Middle Grade
    • Science Fiction & Fantasy, including Dystopian
    • LGBTQIA topics (any genre)
  • Short Fiction Anthologies
    • same genres as novels above
  • Children’s Fiction & Low Middle Grade
    • Canadiana
    • Minority authors
    • LGBTQIA & Diversity topics
  • Non-Fiction
    • History
    • Art Resources
    • Writing Resources
    • Own Voices

Priority

ARCs (advanced reading copies) take top priority on my TBR after any commitments I have to critique partners, beta reading authors, or street teams. I try to read these in publication date order. Following that, I will generally select reads from the rest of my TBR as my mood demands, but I can be bribed! Sending me a physical copy of the book or sending a cash tip will put your book higher on my list, and doing both will obviously put it even higher.

Sending a Book for Review

If you wish to send me an ebook in a format other than a Kindle-locked mobi, feel free to email the file itself or a bookfunnel/equivalent link directly. If you would like to send a Kindle edition ebook or mail me a physical book, contact me by email for my Kindle email or mailing address information. My email can be found on my contact page.

If you would like to send a physical book through Amazon fulfilment, you can do so using my Amazon book wishlist. To send a book that is not on my wishlist already, all you have to do is “force gift” a different listing. To do this, add any item on my list to your cart, add the listing you actually wish to send, and remove the decoy item. This should still allow you to send it to the mailing address associated with my wishlist. (Forced gifts of inappropriate items through this method are considered harassment and will be reported to Amazon, which could result in the suspension or termination of your account.)

How I Review Books

I stick to a 5-star rating system congruent with Goodreads, Amazon, etc., and I am willing to post reviews to any additional retailer sites as requested by the book sender, so long as a Canadian who has not necessarily made a recent purchase there can post a review.

My reviews are always honest and pertain only to the book itself, not the author or publisher. No amount of bribery will increase my rating if I do not believe the book deserves it. Nothing said in my review should be taken as judgement or an attack on the author or publisher, nor do I mean to offend any authors, publishers, or fans of books that I do not rate favourably.

If I do not finish (DNF) a book I was asked to review, I will still post a short DNF review on Goodreads for the benefit of potential readers. DNF reviews will be clearly denoted as such, and will outline how far I got and why I chose to stop reading. These reviews will be written tastefully and can still be as high as 2 stars.

Although I do not guarantee a video book review, most favourably rated high middle grade and up novels will get stand-alone or group roundup videos on my YouTube channel eventually.

5 Stars

I couldn’t put this book down! I absolutely loved it, and I want every else to read it too. Although it does not have to be flawless from a technical standpoint, it did not contain a distracting amount of problems.

4 Stars

I enjoyed this book a lot, and I am likely to recommend it to the right audience. It isn’t a 5 because
a) it didn’t truly grab and make me turn the next 50 pages at any point,
b) the beginning was slow or otherwise had me thinking it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea (at least 20 pages / first two chapters), or
c) it has numerous or significant issues/errors that pulled me out of the experience.

3 Stars

This book is good, and I will keep it in mind if asked for recommendations from the book’s target demographic. It wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, or it never did grip me at any point, and I do not expect to re-read it.

2 Stars

A book may be rated 2-stars for either of the following reasons:
a) While it wasn’t a bad book, it really, truly wasn’t my cup of tea and didn’t grip me at all, OR it is an already-published book that has an unedited draft quantity of technical errors and developmental issues throughout.
b) I DNF’d because it falls outside of my “willing to read” categories, but I don’t believe it’s a bad book for what it is and who is meant to read it.

1 Star

This is the lowest rating I can give on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, etc. and have the sites recognize that I am indeed giving it a rating. As such, this should be considered a 0. Either this book is entirely unreadable in my opinion, or it promotes unforgivable acts and ideologies such as racism or rape culture. (I have yet to give a book 1 star since starting the blog and channel.)

Where I Review Books

Every book I review will be reviewed on Goodreads. Most books will also be reviewed here on the blog, on retailers, and on my youtube channel. Review copies that come from publishers through services like NetGalley, Book Sirens, etc. will also be reviewed on those platforms.

Who Gets Reviewed Without Asking?

If I am your ARC reader because I’m on your street team, you’re getting a review, even if it isn’t explicitly stated as a task for the team to complete. That goes without question. If I got your book through NetGalley, Book Sirens, etc., you’re getting a review. If I bought your book myself because I genuinely wanted to read it myself without being asked, it’s probably getting a review.

If you are my editing client, or if I am your critique partner or beta reader, I need to see a finished copy before I can give a fair and honest review.

If you send me an unsolicited message telling me where I can buy your book and begging me to review it favourably because you failed to do any marketing and now you have a published book with dismal sales, you’re not getting a review. I accept free review copies in exchange for an honest review.

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