Review Policy

What we read, what we’ll review, and what we won’t

Luna

YES

  • Fantasy with excellent world building. Magic and swords also a must.
  • YA. Really great YA. I love the fantastic worlds and incredible characters that come with a YA book.
  • Fairy tale twists. For the love of Arianrhod, please introduce me to the next Cinder. I want new and exciting takes on the little mermaid all the way to Cinderella.
  • Crime. Give me a good murder, I beg of you. I’m picky about these though.
  • Bitchy high school girls. This may sound weird but I want Libby Chessler, Heather Chandler, hell, give me Chanel Oberlin. I love truly awful mean girls in fiction.
  • Really relatable insecure girls. I’m looking for the next Cather Avery!
  • Shoujo manga.

MAYBE

  • Vampires. It’s hit and miss but I’ve read some great takes on the subject. Twilight is not one of them.
  • Contemporary fiction. I don’t read a lot of this but I’ve been known to pick it up.
  • Chick lit. I have read some great chick lit but again, I’m fussy. I need to like the heroine, the plot needs to be good and I need to believe in the romance. I know it’s expecting a lot but love is a serious business.
  • Something that is grim and miserable all the way through and breaks your heart at the end. Jodi Picoult or Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours are great examples.
  • Dystopian novels.
  • Sci Fi

NO

  • John Green. I’m sorry, he seems like a fantastic person but his writing is not for me.
  • Cassandra Clare. It ain’t happening. Don’t even ask.
  • Angels. It would take a lot for me to read one and even more for me to like it. I’m very unimpressed by everything on the market at the moment, as it seems to be mostly in the category below.
  • Paranormal Romance. You know what I mean. That miserable little section in bookshops that started popping up after Twilight became a big thing. It’s boring and predictable with a huge dose of self insert. Nu uh.
  • Romance, historical or otherwise. I know I’m prone to a bit of chick lit but I always need something else going on. Jill Mansell, for example, always has a wide cast of interesting, likeable characters trying to live their lives and find happiness. If I have to follow one mopey damsel around for an entire book I’ll stab you with a pen.

Andy

YES

  • Fantasy. Got dragons?
  • Horror. I want the complex and the terrifying. I want to be enthralled and afraid to turn the page.
  • Science fiction. But please, there’s more to sci-fi than lots of spaceships. If that’s all it has going for it, I’m not interested. I want adventure, visions of the future where technology and humanity is almost unrecognisable. I want new alien races, good and bad. Give me something that breaks the boundaries, that goes where no writer has gone before *snigger*.
  • Steampunk.
  • Graphic novels.
  • Anything with well developed female characters is something I’ll be willing to try in most genres.
  • Twists on mythology and fairy tales. Or indeed without the twists.

MAYBE

  • Historical fiction. Knights and kings, vikings and saxons, repressed Victorians with latent homosexual tendencies, ancient civilisations on the brink of war. Massive turn offs are if it’s clear  the author DID NOT DO THE RESEARCH.
  • Contemporary fiction. I’ve been known to pick it up now and then – I work in a book shop, there’s a great deal of it around! (Some good and some oh, so bad).
  • Paranormal romance. Very occasionally but only if the romance comes second to the well-thought out plot and world building. Give me my next Gail Carriger, who fuses werewolves and vampires with alternative Victorian history in a steampunk universe with unparalleled skill.
  • Crime. Who doesn’t love a good murder? But like Luna, I’m picky about everything I read so sometimes crime appeals, sometimes not. If it involves extended scenes of the brutalisation of women dressed up as necessary plot development in order to motivate the male detective then I might give it a miss.
  • YA. I am very, very picky about YA. Most of the YA I’ve read has been recommended to me by Luna and I make my judgement from that. Either that or I read it when I was a YA myself and have since outgrown.
  • Non-Fiction. I’ve been known to read memoirs, feminist works, a couple of popular science books, history, politics and interesting looking stuff in the ‘Smart Thinking’ section.
  • LGBTQIA. Case by case basis.

NO

  • Chick lit. Not my arena and, to be honest, I find it’s all to often predictably dull and overwhelmingly straight.
  • Dark fantasy.
  • Anything on the Man Booker long/short list. Dull, dull, dull. If it’s on it, I don’t want it. (I know, I know, I’m narrow minded and uncultured!)
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