My Book Reviews

Posted on March 24th 2021 ⋄ By Sara Cleveland ⋄ Category:

Reviews are generally posted on Mondays. The number of reviews I do a month varies, but is generally between 1 and 3. To request/suggest a book for review, please email me at reviews@sara-cleveland.com.

A Note on ARCs

I will always prioritize ARC reviews, as those are somewhat time sensitive by the very function of being ARCs. I gladly accept both digital and physical ARCs. I prefer physical books for reviews whenever possible, but I understand the expense and difficulty that are physical ARCs when you’re self-published.

What I Review

While I do read traditionally published books and occasionally review them on Amazon or Goodreads, I do not feature traditionally published books on the blog. My in-depth blog reviews are reserved strictly for self-published/indie/small press works of fiction. I primarily review the following genres, although I am open to other types of fiction (excluding the ones in the next section).

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Historical
  • Romance (Historical or Speculative preferred)
  • Other Speculative Fiction

I am a particular sucker for a good fairytale retellings. Just saying.

What I Do Not Review

  • Horror, even as a sub-genre of the above.
  • Erotica (I will read steamy romance, but it must have a plot)

My Review Format

Format Overview

  1. Introduction and disclaimers
  2. About the Author
  3. Book Details
    • Length
    • Formats (Paperback, Ebook, Audio, etc)
    • Languages
    • Availability (Amazon, iTunes, B&N, etc)
    • Series information
  4. Ratings
    • Design
      • Exterior
      • Interior
    • Premise
    • Characters
    • Worldbuilding
    • Plot
    • Writing
  5.  Final Thoughts & Overall Rating

Ratings Breakdown

The Ratings section is broken into four categories (there may eventually be more, but we’ll see how I feel after a few reviews). The book will be given 1 to 5 teaspoons of tea leaves in each category, and then an overall score.

5 teaspoons of tea leaves
and this book is a good, strong cup of tea

4 teaspoons of tea leaves
and this book has a lot of flavor

3 teaspoons of tea leaves
and this book isn’t my favorite, but it’ll do
2 teaspoons of tea leaves
and this book is a weak cup of tea
1 teaspoon of tea leaves
and this tea might as well be water

I decided against doing a star system, because, really, reviews are entirely subjective. I may love a book, and you may hate it. It really all comes down to what kind of story is your “cup of tea.” I  would also like to point out that in the unlikely (I hope) event of a book actually receiving 1 teaspoon, that does not make it the worst book I’ve ever read. I have intentionally read some of the worst-rated free books on Amazon. I have seen the worst that there is, and we shall not speak of it.

All blog posts will be categorized as “Review” posts and tagged appropriately for the book being reviewed. An abbreviated version of the review with the overall score converted to stars will be posted to Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, etc as applicable. Links to the books will be included. I will also try to include links to the authors on social media, their websites and/or their blogs.

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