Review Policy

Hey there! I’m Jenna Rideout: aspiring author, freelance editor, and lifelong avid reader. You may know me from my YouTube channel, Jenna Gets Creative. I decided in May 2020 that I will review absolutely everything I read that isn’t my toddler’s board books, and at the very least those reviews will go up on Goodreads. Most favourable reviews will also end up here on the blog, and many will be cross posted to retailers such as Amazon (CA), Chapter Indigo, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. Some will also be featured on the YouTube channel.

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, review copies sent to be through blog tour companies, and free review copies & ARCs sent to me by authors, publicists, and publishers.

Want a Review?

Status: Quick turnaround reviews are currently closed, but I will entertain requests from authors who don’t mind adding to my very long TBR with no estimated review date. At this point I am considering opening to tighter review deadlines in March 2021.

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
    • LGBTQIA topics (any genre)
  • 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

  1. Paid editing & beta reading clients
  2. Tour deadlines, street team obligations, ARCs received more than 1 month before publication.
  3. ARCs received close to publication, physical review copies post-publication, any review copy that comes with bribery (points at Ko-Fi tip jar)
  4. Unpaid beta reading clients, all other free review copies
  5. Books I bought for myself

Note that if you’re paying close attention to my Goodreads feed you may notice me reviewing big publisher titles that have already been published in between books that seem like they should take priority. “Reading with my eyes” priority and audiobook priority lists are kept separate. I do request a lot of library loans on audiobooks and listen while cooking, cleaning, producing art, etc. This does not take away from my “reading with my eyes” time. I’m also frequently a month or more behind on posting those library audiobook reviews, since they aren’t high on the priority list. (For proof, search through my archive for how many times I raved about With the Fire On High but begged forgiveness for not having the actual review written yet.)

Sending a Book for Review

Digital formats: I currently read eBooks on a Kindle Fire tablet, so files already in mobi format are preferable but I can convert ePub and PDF files if necessary. My email can be found on my contact page and the gmail account listed is the one associated with my Amazon/Kindle/Audible accounts. (To send directly to my device, we’ll have to chat first so I can whitelist the sending address, so contact me through my regular email.)

Audiobook formats: If you have an audiobook on Audible or Kobo’s audiobook service and you’re able to send a free book code, I am able to accept those on Audible US, CA & UK and only Kobo (CA) and will review on-platform as well as on Goodreads.

Physical copies: If you would like to mail a book to me yourself or have your publisher drop ship it, email me for my mailing address. If you would like to use Amazon as a middleman, there are two ways to send your book to me through Amazon:
1. “Force gift” it to me by adding something else on my wishlist to your cart, then adding your book, then removing the decoy item. This will allow you to send the order to the mailing address associated with my wishlist.
2. Email me a link to your book on Amazon (CA) and ask me to add it to my wishlist so that you can purchase it through my wishlist without the trickery in option #1.

Note: 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.

If you don’t need a quick turnaround on a review and you are sending a book to me through the Amazon wishlist method you don’t have to ask or let me know ahead of time, books are welcome and will be read (eventually.)

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. If the author/requestor asks me to stop reading or disregard before reading (this has happened once, the book was going back to the editor) I will honour this and not post a review of any sort. I do not post reviews based on beta reading as I expect the book has gone through edits since my read through.

5 Stars

I couldn’t put this book down! I absolutely loved it, and I want everyone 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.

3.5 Stars

Some tour companies require a 3.5 minimum, so this is the rating you will see on books I read for tours that I enjoyed but cannot sincerely rate a full 4 stars. See 3 stars below. Reviews coming from any other source are unlikely to get a high half-star rating.

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 really grabbed 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. This review will still include some positives and suggest an ideal reader.

1-1.5 Stars

1 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.

1.5 Represents a book that could have otherwise been a 2-3 but has a persistent racist, sexist or homophobic theme that I’m not sure was intentional or not. (As of November 2020 I have reviewed one book at 1.5 stars this year and none at 1.)

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. If you send identical repeat review requests for the same title as if we’ve never spoken, even though we spoke months ago, you’re not getting a new review agreement, and I’m moving anything I already accepted to the bottom of my TBR. (This disclaimer is in place because it has happened.)

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