Welcome to Between the Covers
Welcome to Between the Covers! The honest, sincere, and at times, incredibly snarky book review blog from yours truly. I’m Stephanie (which you probably know, given how you probably found this blog, at least this early in the game), and I’ll be your host. As things get rolling, there may be guest reviews by friends, but for now, it’s just me.
Things You Can Expect
Going into this, I have many lofty goals, as people are wont to do when they start things such as this. If I had my way, I’d do nothing but read ALL of the books and write ALL of the reviews. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to. For now, what you’ll get (hopefully) is one review a week.
Each review will be honest, thoughtful, and sincere, though there will likely be a significant amount of humor, snark, and sarcasm. This is me we’re talking about, after all. I’ll do my best to keep my reviews big-spoiler-free, but given when I’m setting out to do, it’s safe to assume there will be minor ones. I’ll do my best to mark all big spoilers and keep them under some kind of cut or read more, if I feel they’re necessary for a proper review.
As for what I intend on reviewing, that’s a varied mix of genres. I plan on hitting Classics, Children’s, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, “Books In Theater”, LGBTQAI+, and a category that I’m currently calling Phabidally, hitting the stray romance, erotica, or random book I read that doesn’t fall under another heading.
And for those of you wondering what the heck “phabidally” means, it’s a family word meaning miscellaneous. Thanks, Dad, hope you don’t mind me coopting your word!
There will also be an occasional foray into full literary critique, and probably some pontification on various social issues, triggered by whatever the subject matter of the book I’m reviewing happens to be. I don’t intend to do that very often, and they’ll be marked, but I figured, in the interest of full disclosure, I’d give you the heads up that it’s entirely possible that it will happen.
Things You Won’t See
While I will occasionally wander into the land of full literary critiques, that is not my plan for every, or even most, of my reviews. They will exist, but they will be labeled, so you can decide if you want to read them or not.
There also won’t be destruction, of the wanton type. I won’t spare a book if I feel it’s awful, poorly written, harmful for whatever reason, or fill in the blank reason here. I won’t, however, shred a book to pieces for no reason. That’s not constructive, or helpful for you, if you’re looking at my reviews to decide if you want to read something.
I also intend to do my best to keep from platforming and pandering. As I said above, yes, there will be issues mentioned and explored, but I will try extremely hard to keep from senseless pontificating.
Who the Hell Are You?
Why do I feel like this is something I have any right to do? Well, other than the whole, “everyone has the right to try anything they want to try, as long as it doesn’t harm another person,” part of being a human being, I do feel that I have some qualifications to give me the ability to do this with some modicum of intelligence and ability.
For one thing, I read. I read incessantly. Books, novellas, magazines, fan fiction, blog posts, news articles, and failing the availability of any of those, cereal boxes and shampoo bottles. I’m the sort of person that always needs words in front of their eyes, and because of it, I couldn’t even begin to count the quantity of things I’ve read. Reading as much as I do gives me a frame of reference what things I like, things I don’t like, what could be considered good, bad, ugly, and so on. Sometimes, it’s the sheer volume of something a person has accomplished that gives them some kind of authority.
Fortunately, I can back it up with a degree in English. I not only have the quantity part down, but the quality, in that I know how to break down something for its technical merits to determine how good it may or may not be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am very much aware that the best technical writer may be an atrocious storyteller, and the best storyteller may have some extremely questionably technical skills. I know and respect that (One of my favorite authors is J.K. Rowling, and she is not the best technician in the world, as an example). I still have the skills to pick that up from a book and hopefully relay that in my reviews.
I am also a mom. What does that have to do with anything? Well, very little, except for it’s helped me hone my ability to break down information to be more easily understood, quickly digested, and/or rapidly relayed. Teacher training, too, has helped in that (that was part of my degree: a few courses in education), but you’d be surprised at how much you find it necessary to adapt and change your approach over time as a parent if you aren’t one.
And finally, though no less importantly, I identify as pansexual/gender blind and polyamorous. This means that I am uncaring of what gender a person identifies as (male, female, intersex, and so on), and attracted to their personality, their intelligence, and other, more ephemeral qualities than what’s in their pants. Please note: this is how I define my sexuality. This is not a blanket definition of either pansexuality or gender blindness. I could just as easily (in my opinion) use the term queer, but I feel like there needs to be more discussion of the many and diverse sexualities in the world. Polyamory should be slightly more obvious as to what it is, but it is NOT “an excuse to cheat” as I so often hear. It is possible to cheat in polyamorous relationships. Cheating is a breaking of trust, a sexual encounter with another person that your partner(s) is/are unaware of. Whether you’re with one person or with five, honesty and trust are still the cornerstones of a healthy relationship. If you want further information, please contact me privately.
So that’s who I am and what I am to do. I hope that, as this blog grows, and I establish a ground work for all of us to work from, you can work with me, feel as though you have input into what I read and review, and most importantly, have fun and find new things to read!