The Window Seat, Jacquelyn Bischak
Marzie's Reads is my personal blog, and other than the occasional guest blogger or "buddy read," the only reviews that you will find here are mine and they will be honest, whether I bought the book or received it as an ARC from the publisher. I do not accept any payment or compensation for my reviews. I tend to go easier on first time authors and am quick to point out when a writer can write but an editor didn't do them any favors. If I received a paper ARC from the publisher with no strings, if I don't like it, I'll DNF it. I used to DNF books a lot rather than down rating them. Sadly, if I have accepted a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss I'm kind of honor bound to produce a review. It's a rare thing to see me one or two star a book, though. So let's discuss how I rate books.
This is a book I loved. If it was an ARC, I definitely pre-ordered it because I now want to own it. I might want to listen to it as an audiobook or if it was a very visual book, I want it in paper. It's a great read and seamless, for its genre. Note that I read a lot of fiction. I've read thousands of more books than I even have up on Goodreads. If I give a fiction book a 5, it's a damn fine book. If it's a little lower, well, it's still a very good book.
This is a book that I very much enjoyed and will be happy to have as part of my permanent library. I rate some books as 4.5 stars because the book might not have been perfect in my eyes, but I love it a great deal and it deserves more than a 4.
This is a book that is enjoyable. I had fun reading it. I might have noticed continuity errors (maddening, and I often do not mention these in reviews but I do tell the publisher if I find them) or factual errors, or maybe while it's a fun book, I just feel it's a story that's been told better elsewhere or had some structural issues. If a book gets a 3.5, usually it's because I found things that interested me in the book and/or I am interested in seeing where the author will go with future work, either standalone or in the series.
This was a disappointing book. It was poorly executed or badly pitched by the publisher for its genre. (For instance, it was supposed to be a YA Sci-Fi book but was really about a love triangle and was thus a YA Romance, which I'm not that interested in) It's not saying the author is a bad writer. It is saying this book disappointed me.
It is seldom that I give a book one star. Usually, I will DNF it (Did Not Finish it) on Goodreads, instead. A one-star book is a book that was so bad that I kept reading it to the end to be able to give you factual information about just how bad it is. This is a book I likely, quite frankly, detest.
Review Dissemination Policy
I will publish reviews on Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. I feature books that I am excited about, or that I enjoyed, in posts on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. If a book gets only one or two stars, I may limit my social media exposure of the reviews, but bad reviews will stand on my Goodreads and Blog pages permanently. Please note that I try to be especially conscious of the effect of a poor review on a brand new author.
Beta Reading Policy
If I have reviewed a previous book of yours and you would like me to consider beta reading for you, please contact me via email. I do not normally do beta reading unless I know an author's work and receive a direct request from that author or their publicist. Please do not send me unsolicited manuscripts asking for my opinions, assistance editing, etc. I typically only review finished works in their final proof form or published works.
Books Submitted for Review
If you are an author submitting a request, please note preferred genres below. Please do not email me asking me to read your book if it is in a genre I clearly state I don't enjoy reviewing (e.g. romance, faith-based, etc.)
If you would like me to review your book, I'd be happy to consider doing so, but please be aware that my commitments for reviewing ARCs for major publishing houses are often scheduled as much as six months in advance. This means I may not be able to get to your book for some time. If you still wish to contact me, I will take a look and let you know how far out my schedule is running for reviews, if I feel your book is one I would be able to review. Scheduling issues are affected by the type and length of your book. As of June 2019, I am currently scheduling for February 2020 (unless it's a children's picture book or something), to give you an indication. I am also behind about three months on author-submitted books.
For books suggested by for review by authors or publicists, I prefer an email (see below) versus DM through Twitter or other social media, since I might miss your attempt to contact me through social media. I do not want to be answering contacts on multiple platforms.
For reviewing ARCs, I prefer to have about two months lead time before publication and to review in eBook format rather than paper but will not turn up my nose at paper copies. If I like your paper review copy, I would like to be able to give away the book you provided me on my blog's Facebook page. This increases your readership. Please note that I never sell ARCs. I may give away a paper ARC either through The Book Fairies or through my blog, but your copy is never ending up at The Strand, Powell's or on AbeBooks unless it was after that book was out of my hands, after being given to another person.
What happens if I read your book and decide I cannot give it at least 3 Stars? I will contact you or your publicist and let you know this would be a negative review should I write a review on Goodreads and a blog post. I will also be glad to explain why this is the case. I have had a few cases like this and have, by mutual agreement, not published any review. Please note that if you or your publicist can only provide your ARC/DRC via NetGalley or Edelweiss, I MUST provide a review on that platform or their metrics will penalize me for not reviewing your book. (I'm fine with DRM'd Kindle or PDF copies sent to me directly.)
I was recently asked if I later buy books that I read as ARCs. Absolutely, I do. If I rated a book 4 Stars or higher, it's a good bet that I bought the book for my permanent Kindle library at a minimum. I still even buy some books in paper! I feel it's important to purchase a book I enjoyed reading because it helps the sales of an author whose work I enjoy. Sales are ultimately what permit authors to keep writing, whether standalone books or series entries. An ARC should never be construed as a "free book" in my opinion. Authors need an income if they are to keep writing. Plus, often the final artwork and other niceties are not available in an ARC. Wouldn't you want to see the beautiful final product in your hands? No amount of beautiful writing in S. A, Chakraborty's City of Brass ARC can beat that same writing in the gorgeous final version of the book. Likewise, the heft of Seanan McGuire's Into the Drowning Deep feels more dangerous in the hardcover than it did on my Bluefire reader!
If I am giving your book a positive review, I am willing to help promote your book beyond giving away a paper ARC copy. I am willing to feature your positively reviewed book on my Instagram account and also post an image on Twitter. With Indie authors, I'm willing to connect with other bloggers privately to try to promote further reviews. Example Instagram posts (cross-posted to Tumblr):
Fiction: general fiction, women's fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi
YA Fiction: general fiction, fantasy, sci-fi. Please, no YA romance or romance heavy stories, no faith-based stories.
Children's Fiction: pretty much anything that you can think of. I have a wide range of experience in reading and reviewing children's literature. I have three children who are now adults. I can review everything from picture books, Early Reader, and Middle Grade.
Non-Fiction: I'm a card carrying Ph.D. chemist. I can review most science topics. I love history and biography, and some memoirs. I also like to read about gardening, chickens, education, health, and diet. I have celiac disease and like Gluten-Free cookbooks.
Children's Non-Fiction: Again, I am able to review almost anything you can find, other than religious books, in Children's Non-Fiction. Science, history, and biographies are all welcome.
If you are interested in contacting me to review a book please email me at:
You may also use the contact form on the sidebar of my blog.