Review Policy

Rating System

I don't use a four or five-star system, or a scale of 1-10, or anything like that. I've found them to be far too limiting. I use the DZA Review Scale, which ranges from "burn it in a Nazi-style book burning" to "preserve it for all time and erect monuments in its honor." I make up the in-between parts as I go. 

I am brutally honest in my reviews. If your story's protagonist suddenly acts out of character, I will point it out. If the story defies the laws of physics or logic, I will point it out. If your story is absolutely wonderful and perfect and lovely, I'll still make fun of it in the Spoilers section for the sake of being a smartass (after praising the hell out of it; just look at my review of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms). 

Preference of Books

I read fantasy and sci-fi and all of their sub-genres (even though magical realism kind of freaks me out). I'm okay with reading horror, but I vastly prefer horror movies to horror books. Horror movies are just scarier. I don't like romance, and I hate romantic subplots. 

My sweet spot is YA/teen (ages 12-18) through adult (18+). 

No second person POV, please. It annoys the hell out of me. 

If I read the first chapter and find that I physically cannot go on, I will tell you and not review it. Usually this happens because I simply don't get along with the writing style, and does not reflect on the skill of the writer. For example: I cannot read Stephen King. I love his ideas but I hate the writing style; I just can't do it (and it nearly caused my mother to disown me; we have every King book ever written in our house). 

In terms of plot, I like the unpredictable (case in point: I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones). I hate cliches, tropes, and stereotypes. Don't give me lazy writing. 

A Note on Characters


I am tired of reading stories that center around straight White cisgender men. 

I am tired of reading stories that have women only as love interests or tokens. I am tired of reading stories that stereotype people of color. I am tired of stories where the only love is straight love. 

If you give me one of these stories, I either won't be able to finish it or I'll give it a low-ass rating. 

It doesn't have to be The Color Purple where every character is a Black woman. It doesn't have to talk about how strong women are and beat us over the head with the abuses we face every day, until the female lead beats the Evil Men who've abused her for so long (and more often than not runs off into the sunset with the Nice Man). 

Give me stories where the male:female ratio is closer to 1:1 rather than the usual 3:1. Give me stories where characters of color are more than just tokens who guide and help the White male. Give me stories where the main character's teenage brother is more interested in the football star than the cheerleader. 

Will I reject your story if your main character happens to be a straight White male? No. But I will reject it (or mock it) if he has a walking stereotype of a sassy Black woman for a coworker, a crush on the shy girl next door who makes no effort to move the story forward, and/or he has to consult a POC whose only purpose is to explain to him what weird magic thing is happening to him.

You've been warned. 

How Long?

I am a full-time college student with a part-time job, who has to tackle all the annoying obstacles Life likes to throw at everyone. I'll try to have your book read and reviewed within 2 weeks (roughly 2 blog posts). If it's finals week or a really long book, expect the review to come out closer to 4 weeks. 

Contact and Book Delivery

E-mail me with your review request with the subject line reading "Review Request: [Book Title]." 

If you're having trouble with e-mail, use the comment box on the blog or contact me through one of my many social media platforms. 

If it's a digital book, send me a copy after I approve the request. If it's a physical copy, I'll email you an address to send it (so I don't have to post my address on the Internet). 

I know how absolutely nerve-wracking it is to let someone else read your book, whether it's a close friend or an editor or reviewer. Please refrain from bugging me about how far I am, when I'll be done, or how good the review will be more than once a week. I will tell you when I'm done with the book. I will tell you the date I'm releasing the review. I will not give you a draft of the review before it comes out; you'll see it when everyone else does. But I will give you an overall heads-up on how I'm feeling about the book so you're not completely shocked when the review comes out. 

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