- Books, Literature, and Writing
About Becki's Bookshelf
Hello. My name is Becki and I am the host book reviewer for Bibliophiles United on Facebook and on Google+. I try my best to provide a fair and honest review of every book that I read. Sometimes I read a lot, and sometimes I read a little, but it's important to me to provide honest feedback to any authors reading my reviews as well as to help other readers to make their selections based on an honest and detailed report of the books I've read.
This page is intended as an introduction to who I am, what I read, and how I review. You will find some mention of my book review policies on this page. Most of these policies are, however, explained in-depth on another of my pages in order to maintain clarity. As new reviews are added to this account, they will be collected in a list at the bottom of this page and sorted by genre for your convenience.
If you have any questions, please first refer to my book review policies page and then contact me via the e-mail address listed on this account. You are also, as always, encouraged to post a comment on this page or any of my pages with questions or comments you may have.
I've included a table of contents to the right to make it simpler for you to navigate the page.
"Alas, I am the mother to a six year-old daughter with little patience for allowing me to read when I want to..."
My name is Becki, and I'm a bibliophile. Some people may disagree with me because I am a huge fan of my Kindle (the Paperwhite) but I love just the smell of books and can get lost in a book store for hours on end if there's nobody to drag me out of there and set me on the right track again. I own more books than I'll ever be able to read in a life time and wish that I had more time to sit down with a good book feed on it. Alas, I am the mother to a six year-old daughter with little patience for allowing me to read when I want to, and much of my time is also take up by writing on Hubpages.
Most of my current writing centers around Hubpages. I have multiple accounts here, and have been working on Hubpages for almost five years now. Writing here has been successful for me, but I hope in the future to expand my horizons some. Not only do I read and write book reviews, but I have a book idea on the back burner and preparing to launch fairly soon! Watch this space for more news about my writing plans.
Following? Will be Following?
Where do you (or will you be) following Becki's Book Reviews?
About Becki's Bookshelf
"Becki's Bookshelf" is what I've called my blog in the past. It's a place where I can write my reviews and keep track of what I've read and what I am reading. The only reason that I haven't named this Hubpages account "Becki's Bookshelf" is that I couldn't find a viable workaround that removed the apostrophe. Although it's outdated, you can view my Tumblr bookshelf here. This tumblog includes the covers of the books I've accounted for linked to the purchase page on Amazon for the books. I'll be changing this in the future to link to the completed book reviews here on Hubpages so that you can use Tumblr to follow my reviews.
If you are not a Hubpages member and cannot follow me via Hubpages, you may choose to follow me on Tumblr, Google+ or Facebook. For an interactive experience, choose Google+ or Facebook. Tumblr is for updating the following of new book reviews and my current feelings about whatever it is that I'm reading. You can view my current read at all times in the left-hand sidebar on the Tumblog (the cover art) and hover over it for my current thoughts on the novel in question.
Genres I Read
- Young Adult
- Gay and Lesbian Romance
- Legal Thriller
What I Read
I read at my own discretion. For those who are neither authors nor book reviewers, this may seem like an obvious statement, but it bears mentioning that I choose what to read based on my mood and current preferences (which vary greatly from time to time). I've listed my preferred genres to the right. If you are an author who wishes to propose that I read and review your book, I ask that you please read through my book review policy before asking me to review your book. That file contains extensive information about what I review and how to contact me.
That being said, I read quite widely. In recent years I've read a lot of young adult fiction, but I'm also a fan of horror, certain paranormal authors and certain romantic authors as well. Books are a passion for me and I want to use that passion to spur other people to read as well, so I read as much as I can and review almost everything I finish.
I am a completionist, meaning that I will finish just about any book that I read. It's very rare for me to not finish something and I always do so with great regret. The last book currently listed on my tumblog is Delirium by Lauren Oliver and I didn't finish reading it. In fact, I was amazed to note that I'd been loving it when I first started. I stopped about fifty pages from the end as it had become too predictable after finishing Matched.
Generally speaking I also finish series if I complete the first book in the series and can afford to continue purchasing books.
- Book Review Policy
This policy will explain what I review, my rating system, and what you can expect from the reviews which are published to this account. It will also include information on where to follow my reviews.
Commenting on Reviews
Each book review also includes a comment section which readers are encouraged to use. If you have read the book and wish to state your thoughts about it, then feel free to leave your comments in the comments on the book review. If you have questions, I always do my best to answer them. If you are an author and wish to comment, I welcome you, too!
How I Review
I've written an extensive guide to how I configure book reviews, since this is quite a process for me and involves discussion of various points to the style of the book, a star rating, and my recommendations for who might enjoy this particular book. Below, I've given you a brief breakdown of what I include in my book reviews. For more information about this, please see the complete book review policy listed in the block to the right.
Included in my book reviews are the following:
- A brief summary. I always summarize the book I've read in my own words in order to give the reader an opportunity to know what the book is about. These summaries are always spoiler free and you won't have to worry about getting information about a book you don't want prior to reading it. These are not copied and pasted from the publisher's summary of the book, but are written by me, in my own words.
- Initial thoughts about the book. This is usually a section that is no more than three paragraphs long which lets the reader know what I thought about the book and whether I enjoyed it or didn't enjoy it. This is very personal and relates purely to my own thoughts. At this point I would encourage readers to read other reviews of the book to see why others liked it or didn't like it. This section doesn't go into details about why I liked or disliked the book, just whether or not I did.
- My personal star rating. I give every book that I review a personal star rating from 1-5. This scale is explained on my book review policy page for those who are interested in finding out what my star ratings mean. The star rating will appear in red stars somewhere on the page, but usually along with my initial thoughts about the book.
- An analysis of the authors style. Not all reviews will have this section if the book was particularly well written, but in most cases this will cover information pertaining to length and readability. If I found that the author was long winded (for example, Anne Rice or Stephen King) or that he or she needs to learn better description (or to use less of it!) then I'll state these facts as well. Some readers can get through and around issues that others cannot. I don't like head-hopping, but my husband loves it, for example.
- Information for parents. This section gives me the opportunity to let the reader (of the review) know whether or not the book is one that I would deem suitable for children of various ages. For example, as of this writing I'm currently reading Jenny Pox, by J.L. Bryan. Widely considered a "young adult" novel, I would recommend that parents pre-read this book before allowing their teenagers to engage with it. This is actually a new adult novel, an up and coming genre which isn't intended for young teens.
- Suggestions for who should read this book. I can't do this for every book, but this is a line that Goodreads suggests on their reviews and I find it very handy. This is a brief section of any review that only covers a few sentences about who is best suited to enjoying the book that I've reviewed. There may be cases where the answer is "nobody" and that's something we all have to live with. Readers (of the reviews) are welcome to comment if they enjoyed the book.
- Suggested books you might enjoy if you enjoyed the book being reviewed. I won't always have suggestions, but when I do they will be included here for readers to explore. These books will include Amazon links so that you can pick them up or track them to your local library to read.
- Buy, Borrow or Bypass rating. This will always be a poll for the users to take. If you've read the book and wish to rate it as a buy, borrow, or bypass, you may do so in this poll. I always vote in my own polls to make this easier to track. The poll is intended to get users active in the review and to state what they think the book is good for. If you think that the reader should buy the book, say so. If you think they should check it out of the library, say so! If you think they should bypass it by not reading at all, say so.
As an Author, do you appreciate honest reviews?
My Book Review Policies
I have a full policy written on this Hubpages account, but in the interest of saving authors a bit of time, let me break down the basics of my review policy for you here. This is re-written from the original source:
- I will take requests for reviews. You will need to submit a request in writing to me at the e-mail address listed on this account. Please include a summary of your book and indicate whether it is published or self published and whether or not a third-party editor was involved in the process.
- I won't finish a requested book if I don't like it. When I choose the book, I have about a 95% finish rate. When a review is requested, the finish rate drops to about 20%. I will try to finish your book, but if I cannot, I will send you an e-mail and let you know what's happening. Whenever possible I'll find somebody else to review your book for you.
- I will always be honest, but fair. If you give me a book that I don't like, I'm going to be honest. If you've looked at what I include in my reviews, my goal is to help the author to learn how to improve their books whenever possible. Some simply aren't to my taste, but in other cases an author needs to improve some writing skills. I'm not going to mince words with you, but if you read with a thick skin, you'll learn something.
- I try to review a book within one month of receiving it. My goal is a quick turnaround for you and for my own readers as well. I'll review every book that's requested, even if I don't finish it, and will try to review within 4 weeks. If I cannot, I will contact you to let you know the timeline.
- I reserve the right to refuse. Contacting me with a proposal doesn't mean that I'll read and review your book. If it isn't in one of the genres I enjoy, I won't read it, and I may refuse based on a lack of a third-party editor as well.
Request a Review
I am not taking review requests at this time. At the moment I'm catching up on books on my list to read. If you'd like a review, watch this spot for future openings!
My Book Reviews on Hubpages
- Jenny Pox, by J.L. Bryan
Initially the positive reviews of this book surprised me. The writing style leaves something to be desired, but J.L. Bryan has come up with an interesting story which I believe is worth reading.
- Grace Lost, by M. Lauryl Lewis
In spite of a high number of positive reviews, Grace Lost simply doesn't deliver on everything it promises. "Just another zombie book" is a sufficient review of this book. Read the full review.
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti