Review Policy

Review Policy:

My goal with book reviews is to give my honest opinion. My criticism is always constructive; I am never negative without justifying why I didn’t like something, and I will never give a book a positive review unless I genuinely liked it. I am happy to review books for authors - unfortunately, I am no longer accepting self-published authors outside of the ones I have already established a reviewing agreement with. But please keep in mind before asking my blog to review your book that my opinion will be full and honest. If you are afraid of getting a negative review, The Reading Hedgehog may not be the best blog for your book. 

Please keep in mind that once I have finished reading a book - whether or not you have asked me to, I WILL write a review for it. This review WILL be put up on my blog, Goodreads, and a shorter version on Shelfari and RiffleBooks. Since I am not being paid to read these books, it is my duty and my right to post a review. Time spent reading one book is time I could have spent reading another book; there is no way I am not going to review it. This applies to professionally published authors as well as self-published.

I will also not post a review for a book I did NOT finish. But it WILL go on my DNF (did not finish) shelf on Goodreads. This is NOT to be mistaken for a review. It is how I keep track of books, and unfortunately I cannot make certain shelves public and others private.

I read a wide variety of genres, and I generally am willing to give any book at least one try. There are always exceptions to every genre. However, there are a few genres/subjects that I absolutely will not accept requests for. They are:

·         New Adult/erotica
·         Vampires/zombies
·         Chick-lit
·         Realistic fiction (i.e. teen drugs, abusive parents, terminal illnesses like cancer, et cetera)
·         Fallen angels

While I have reviewed books from almost every genre listed above, I prefer to review these at my own leisure. Once I have finished a book, I ALWAYS REVIEW IT.

My main focus is Young Adult and Middle Grade books, so please do not ask me to review Adult novels. While there are a few I have enjoyed, and reviewed, The Reading Hedgehog’s focus is for YA and Middle Grade, and not Adult. I prefer to review Adult novels at my own leisure.

I accept these formats:
·         PDF
·         ARC
·         Hard copies

I do not do audio books, as I am extremely picky about narrators and this influences my opinion of the book very heavily. I do own an e-reader now - a Kobo - so I am now able to access electronic books.

When I accept your book request, please send with your book a JPG or PNG file of the book’s cover art. Sometimes I can find the cover on the Internet, but not always, and I want Readers to know what your book looks like! If you would also like me to include an author biography in the review, please also send a JPG or PNG file of your author picture and a short bio.

I have a very specific style for my reviews. Sometimes a book will be too short or too strange to fit into this format, but generally all reviews appear like this. My reviews are made up of nine categories. Below I have listed them and offered a short explanation of how these categories work towards the overall rating. You can browse reviews that I have already written to get an even better idea of what to expect. If a book has a book trailer, I will post it at the end of the review. If it is a part of a series, I will list the sequels (only after they are published; not before).


Initial Thoughts:
I very briefly cover what my expectations were when picking this book up, and give foreshadowing to what they were as I read it, and then finished it.

Here I will dissect what I liked and disliked about the characters. What stood out about them, what worked for me, what didn’t make sense, were they good for the story. Characters are an important factor; the Reader is going to be spending a lot of time with them, so they had best be well developed. Sometimes I will dislike a character simply because they aren’t my type. If this is the case, my dislike for the character will not affect the rating, so long as I can understand how someone else might like them better than I did.

The Romance:
Because love triangles and the like are so big in YA books, I naturally talk about the romance, if there is any. Did it work? Was it annoying? Was it focused on too much? Too little? Did I support one side of the triangle, did I support both, did I support neither? Was the romance even needed? This doesn’t generally factor into the rating as heavily as other elements, because I am not a big romance fan, but if the romance is SO overwhelming that it ruined positively everything else, that is a reason for a bad rating.

While I offer the “official” synopsis at the beginning, I sometimes write my own, which is more in depth (without spoiling anything). I then analyze what I liked about the plot, what I didn’t like; what questions were answered and what questioned weren’t answered. Whether the plot was good or bad – or had potential, but just fell flat. I will also discuss the world building; whether or not it was done well, or if it was just weird and confusing. Plot is also very important to me, and sometimes if it is too slow, I can ignore that if the world building swept me away.

Historical inaccuracies, fight scenes, and other things that just did or didn’t work. Fantasy and science fiction I tend to let slide a bit more in this area because they aren’t supposed to be realistic anyway. Historical fiction books can take a real pounding in this area, as I am a real stickler for historical accuracy and meticulously research anything I feel might be incorrect. If a book is a retelling of a classic, I will address the pros and cons of the changes in this area, if I don’t in the plot.

Writing Style:
Reading is about more than being entertained; it’s about absorbing beauty in word form. I adore beautiful and poetic writing. Here is where I talk about style and narration. Present or past tense? First or third person? Did it work for the story? Did it ruin it? Was the writing stilted? Was the dialogue good? Was there any poetry to the rhythm? If a book is slow, but the writing style struck me as especially accomplished, that can redeem the lacking plot.

Other Nigglies:
Anything that bothered me that wasn't covered in the other categories.

Without giving anything away, I give a very brief idea of what happens in the end (again, without giving anything away; my reviews are generally spoiler free, and if there are spoilers, I make it very evident where they are). Sometimes the ending of a book, if it is exceptional, can save the whole story. I then summarize my overall thoughts of the book itself; what my initial expectations were, and what my opinion was when I finished reading it.

Rating System:

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