FAQ/Reviewing Policy/About

Posted: 29/03/2015 in FAQ
Tags: ,

So few things I want to put out.

I am not a professional reviewer. I don’t get paid to write reviews. I do this to try and get better at expressing the thoughts inside of my head. And so I don’t have to constantly repeat myself about books when I’m talking about them to people and can instead direct them here. I am also NOT a writer. I do occasionally proof read things for my friends and acquaintances in my free time but that’s the closest I get to writing. Outside of this blog and my personal journal (handwritten not online).

I put content warnings on my reviews. They are at the top of every review. I don’t get everything that needs a warning. I know that. I do try and get the big ones consistently. And I DO update them when someone brings it to my attention that x thing in y book should be warned about. Yes, I content warn *ALL* types of relationships. Why? Because I can and because I know myself and others who occasionally don’t want to read books with *ONLY* M/F romances and relationships. We want to see ourselves in the books. And sometimes people don’t want to read a book with romance in it at all because they just aren’t interested in that. I personally sometimes have issues with romances that are *JUST* M/F thanks to my own traumas in my life. It needs no explanation. And I know that I like knowing what I’m getting myself into when I start a book especially one that I may be getting emotionally invested in. Content warnings are important to me. If you need something warned and want to follow my blog, feel free to ask and I’ll add it into my doc that I keep on things to look out for. I don’t need to know why (I may ask for specifics for what I’m looking for or if it’s a general just to make sure but that’s more to make sure I’m on the same page as you as to what exactly it is not to give the impression that I don’t believe you or that it’s invalid or anything. Just to make sure I’m clear in my warnings. I don’t know WHY people need things warned nor will I ask. Because it’s NOT my place to ask. I warn because I’m not a complete asshole. I also have content warnings in my index of reviews. The series one can be found here.

I read across a wide variety of genres. My favourites if I HAD to choose would be non heteronormative relationship type books that may or may not also include genders other than the male/female binary and may or may not also include polyamorous relationships. NONE of these are requirements. And if your book doesn’t have them that doesn’t negate my interest in them.

I mostly read books from my local library and the library system. Any books that AREN’T from the library or loaned to me from someone else are noted in the tags.

Some of my books I have in audio, kindle, and physical formats. Regardless of which format I read it in, I designate what formats I have it in in the tags. And specify which format I’m reviewing in the review (or try to at least).

I treat ALL authors the same when it comes to reviews. I DON’T play favourites. Even if I consider you to be my personal favourite author. I may mention that in the review BUT it doesn’t effect my objectivity when it comes to the book itself. It doesn’t help me, people who read reviews, or authors if I do that. And I’d lose a lot of respect for myself.

IF I love your book, it will take me at least a week longer to do the review. IF I hate your book, it will take me at least a week longer to do the review.

There’s a reason for that.

For the former of me loving your book, I’m inclined to do nothing but gush about it. I will write down my gushy thoughts and include them in the review, yes. But then I will sit down and really start thinking/analyzing what I’ve read and then I will write down the proper review.

For the latter of me hating/disliking your book. It’s nothing personal first off. I will immediately sit down and write what jumped out at me that made me really not like it. Then I’ll let it sit while I analyze WHY I didn’t like your book. Also, I’m very adept at using words as weapons and I don’t want my reviews and dislike coming off as personal attacks to the author. It’s not cool nor is it fair. IF it comes down to me not liking a book, I will contact my contact person who sent it to me and let them know “heads up, I didn’t enjoy this book. I’ll still hold up my end of release day blitz and everything but my review will be delayed by at least a week out of respect for the author and their creativity and me not being an asshole to the point that I put down the author on their release day.” Or something along those lines. The very least I can do is that. I understand what a privilege it is for me to receive ARCs. And I am truly grateful and thankful that I have the opportunity to do so. But I’m not going to NOT post a review just because I didn’t like it. It feels disingenuous to myself and the author. I WON’T message you (unless it’s a serious problem) about typos as I understand ARCs are typically unedited (unless you specifically ask for that). But I will let you know if I’m having formatting errors so we can see if it’s a general problem or a problem on my or your end (because I’d hate to see an author get a bunch of bad reviews thanks to some weird screw up with formatting).

Who am I?

I am Blow Pop. A genderfluid person who prefers they/them pronouns and is well over legal drinking age in the U.S. I am white and have a few invisible illnesses. I work. I get paid. I read books. I review the books I read. And spend as much time as possible in my local library. I am fun loving and reclusive. I like playing video games. I have a huge obsession with Star Wars. And I like weaponry (mostly the sharp pointy things like swords, daggers, and knives….also bows and arrows). And I’m a tea drinker. I like musicals as well. Both watching them and listening to them. I like tattoos and piercings. I also have a very diverse music library of just about everything.

What books do I like? This is a very unanswerable question really. I mean I can list off a bunch of genres but that’s not really going to tell you much about what I particularly like. I like books with diverse characters. I especially like books in which my race is either not highly represented/in charge or is the main character. I like well written and well flushed out characters. I like verbose authors who simultaneously don’t waste my time by giving me extraneous detail that matters not to the story (despite that, I am a huge Tolkien fan mostly because that was my introduction to high fantasy and I’m in love). On the other hand, I LOVE details. I like being able to picture things in my head. I like healthy relationships. I like abusive and unhealthy relationships called out as such and not romanticised. I like seeing viewpoints that aren’t from a white p.o.v. (seriously if I want that I’ll stop reading and look at the world from my own point of view and to be honest I’m kind of sick of it). I like seeing already existing cultures and new and made up cultures. I like seeing dystopian Earth and other planets that either do exist right now or don’t exist at all. I don’t have a genre I stick to. But I have a particular love of horror and fantasy. And a belief that I don’t have quite enough books yet as I don’t yet have a room that’s a library. As far as traditional vs self-publishing goes, I don’t care how it’s published. I’ll read it. Even if it’s in a google doc. Or out of an email (I do actually have a review of a book that the entire book was given to me in an email like non download in the body of the email and luckily it was a novella or else I might’ve gotten lost with it). I believe in self publishing just as much as traditional publishing.
This may also help:
book likesdislikes
[image description: red text on black background reads: Overdone: step siblings and trying to emulate trilogy that shall not be named. And love triangles. Fucking hate those.
Like: well developed characters, unconventional relationships (poly, triads, etc), well researched (especially with bdsm since that’s a big part of my life I like it well and accurately represented), well edited (no obvious spelling, grammar, geographic, or other errors), non abusive and believable relationships (including friendships and if they are abusive it’s not glossed over but stated as exactly what it is). That’s about it. And diversity. Able bodied rich or well off white people don’t do it for me. And no caricatures of mental illnesses or any disabilities. By diverse I am also not just talking race. I am talking everything. Race, religion, sexuality, disabilities (mental and physical). Everything. Mind fucks as well]

Why do I go by Blow Pop? Anonymity. There’s people from my past who I don’t want to be able to contact me. They don’t know that Blow Pop is one of my nicknames. And by people from my past I mean abusive people that I won’t hesitate to slap with a restraining order if they contact me again.

2016-01-21 18.34.22

Where am I from? South Western US.  Close enough to Mexico that I can reasonably drive there in a matter of hours. Close enough to the Pacific Ocean that I can also drive there in a matter of hours. Close enough to the mountains I can drive there in a matter of hours. Close enough to Vegas I can drive there in a matter of hours. Basically living in rural mostly dry and arid desert. That’s all you really need to know.

For my own personal reasons I will NOT take any requests to read/review anything by John Green or Anne Rice (or any of her pen names). I may read and review on my own terms but they won’t be by request.

This is very important: IF YOU WANT ME TO REVIEW YOUR BOOK YOU NEED TO ASK  YOURSELF AND ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

Does the book have any of these?

-Assault
-Abuse (of any kind)
-Sexual Assault
-Rape
-Attempted Assault
-Attempted Abuse (of any kind)
-Attempted Sexual Assault
-Attempted Rape
-Joking about rape
-Joking about sexual assault
-Joking about abuse (of any kind)
-Victim blaming (of any kind including internalized)

I don’t need explanations just which ones. Even if it’s a minor one off thing. Or the victim gets revenge in some way (I don’t even need to know that right now I can find that out reading the book). I have PTSD triggers related to those which affects what I can read and when. And just because your book has the above doesn’t mean I *CAN’T* read it it just means I need to know before I even think of reading it if it does to determine if my PTSD is going to interfere in worse ways than it normally does. I can minimize the after effects of it if I know to expect it coming. But when it blindsides me is when I will make it your problem as well. If you are an #ownvoices author and writing about *YOUR* experiences or your disability/mental illness/etc I would appreciate knowing that as it does tend to affect how I look at books (for example, I’m not going to tell a bisexual author that their writing of their experience isn’t realistic or whatnot just because it doesn’t mirror mine when I id’d that way or mirrors any of my friends who are. I’d just say this is a different experience than what I have personally experienced first hand and second hand from friends because I am not going to invalidate your experiences whereas a straight person writing a problematic bisexual representation I’m going to tear that apart for what it is…problematic bullshit. But I do check and do as much research as I can before doing so and put a lot of thought into before doing so. I understand how hard it is once people find out you are x sexuality/y romantic attraction/z disability/v gender identity/u mental illness so I also understand not wanting to do this which is why I say I appreciate it but it’s not required. I’d just add you as an #ownvoices writer. What you publicly say/id with is always up to you and I will *NEVER* require it but will ask especially when book deals with mental illness or disability can’t verify but it will be in the “are you an #ownvoices mental illness/disability writer” which requires a yes or no answer and nothing else.)

!
(kind of like this did, it doesn’t ruin the book I promise you just makes me aware of it so that it doesn’t blindside me)

If you are an author who believes that content warnings/trigger warnings ruin books then either a)you’re doing them wrong or b)maybe don’t make that triggering thing the backbone of the plot of your fucking book. And c)learn some fucking empathy (and yes I do understand that content/trigger warnings don’t help everyone but for those of us like myself that they do help, they’re a literal godsend for whatever deit(ies)(y) you worship (or if you don’t believe in religion they’re a lifesaver for some of us).

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