The Weekly Update: 10/9/16


So I pretty much spent my week preparing for Hurricane Matthew (which thankfully didn’t end up hitting us here) and then being exhausted from all the preparation, so I really don’t have much to talk about. It’s funny though how, as a kid, I never wanted anything serious to happen but always wanted the hurricanes to come close enough that school would be canceled (we don’t have snow days here, we just have hurricane days), but, as an adult, I don’t give a crap if some kids have to go to school, I just don’t want to deal with hurricanes period. Back then, I just got to sit around while the adults worried, whereas now I’m the one who has to do the preparing and shopping and news watching and planning and dealing with any aftermath.

I probably shouldn’t be complaining at all right now though since so many people really were horribly affected. It’s nearly impossible not to take some things for granted, but it’s times like these that make me remind myself to be extra thankful that I have clean water, electricity, my own bed to sleep in, etc. Sometimes there’s nothing we can do to help, but I think just taking some moments to be appreciative and take notice of the little things we have but often overlook is a good way to show respect. So when you get in the shower tonight, when you turn on the AC, when you read a book using a kindle or even a lamp, when you take a cold drink out of the fridge or heat up your food in the microwave, just take a moment to be thankful πŸ™‚

Blog/Bookish Updates:

One of the authors of Vespers (which I reviewed this week) posted this on her FB, and it just cracked me up:

Vespers FB Post

Also, I’ve heard there are some people freaking out about Amazon’s new policy update which states products are no longer allowed to provided in exchange for reviews, so I just want to make sure every sees this line in the policy: “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.”

The only thing I’m not sure of is how we’re supposed to word our disclosures now? I’ve always used something along the lines of, “I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.” But that kind of makes it sound like the review is required. What’s the solution to this? Maybe something like, “I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher and have voluntarily chosen to give it an honest review.” Or maybe, “I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher. My review is voluntary and has not been influenced by this.” Which one sounds less weird, disclosure 1 or disclosure 2? Do I even need that voluntary part, or would that be implied if I left it out? This is so stupid because it still means the same exact thing, and everybody knows it -_-

Update: How about a third option, like, “I was given an ecopy of this book by the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review.” Or are we not supposed to put disclosure at all? But I feel like that’s still a required thing, so I’m really confused.

And should we be concerned about previous reviews? My guess is no, since I still have old reviews that have links to my blog in them even though links are no longer allowed.

Books I Received for Review:

Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen | reading, books
Disney Manga Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka | reading, books
Transcendence by Benjamin Wilkins | reading, books
Labyrinth by Alex Beecroft | reading, books
Mad God Walking by Connor Drexler | reading, books
Shadows of Humanity by J. Armand | reading, books
Gospel of the Forgotten by J. Armand | reading, books
The Alabaster Concordat by J. Armand | reading, books

Oops, I mean, “Books I Received for Free and Am Going to Write Voluntary and Influence-Free Reviews For”! Lol. But how did I receive so many books again?! Not to mention one is roughly 500 pages, and another is over 700. But believe it or not, I still have less than 30 unread review copies. And to be fair, the Nightmare one was only a preview, and I already reviewed it, and I haven’t actually decided if I’m going to read Transcendence. And the last three are in a series. As for the rest… The author of Life as a Teenage Vampire is also the author of one of my favorite series (The Incubus Saga), so I’m excited to see how she’ll portray my favorite paranormal creature! And the other two I got from NetGalley because they just sound good πŸ™‚

Books I Finished:

Day Men Vol. 1 by Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson, & Brian Stelfreeze | reading, books
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones by Sorchia DuBois | reading, books
The Immortal Coil by J. Armand | reading, books

I spontaneously decided I wanted to read a graphic novel on Sunday night, so I borrowed Day Men Vol. 1 from Hoopla. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I just never felt invested. Zoraida Grey was good though, mysterious and fun. And The Immortal Coil was great! Fairly action-packed but also with good characters. I will have reviews for all three soon.

Song of the Week:

“A Philosophical Question…” by Aesthesys – It turns out I’ve been kinda diggin’ chill instrumental music lately. This one kind of reminds me of… whales. Maybe even whales floating in space? I swear I have never done drugs in my life, despite how that sounds, haha. It’s something about that sound that starts around 1:35. It’s very trippy and echo-y. And space whales are totally a thing.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring skulls.
– I reviewed A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky, an urban fantasy with quirky, absurd humor.
– I reviewed Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt, a M/M paranormal w/ hilarious characters and a unique combo of vampires and religion.
– I posted mini reviews for 3 graphic novels: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Morning Glories Vol. 1, and iZombie Vol. 1.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer πŸ™‚


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or movies last week?
Were you, or did you have any friends/family, anywhere near the hurricane?
Which disclosure notice sounds better? (Or do you have another idea of how to write it?)


Your Thoughts


65 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 10/9/16

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  1. kimbacaffeinate

    For Amazon I always stated book was provided by publisher and this week my review got denied, until I removed that line. So nope, going forward I will not disclose where I got it. Which seems weird to me. My family is in Florida and will be glad when the shelves are stocked at the store once more and gas is readily available. Have a wonderful week πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s odd, I posted a review on Wednesday and stated that I got the book in exchange for a review because I hadn’t even realized the policy changed, and it went through. But you can’t just not disclose, can you? I’m not sure what they expect us to do now :-/

      I haven’t been to the grocery store since the storm, but I filled my car up a couple days before everyone else started swarming the gas stations, so I’m good there! Thanks, you too πŸ™‚

      1. kimbacaffeinate

        My Weds review posted fine, my Thursday and Friday did not. It appears from what I am seeing in their TOS and from others disclosure as pubs/authors can no longer ask for any type of review in exchange for book. In other words I received a book, but I am reviewing it of my own free will. IDK

        1. Kristen Burns

          I don’t know, I’m so used to being told that we legally have to disclose that type of thing. Amazon needs to be more clear about this stuff if they’re going to change their policies.

  2. Greg

    Glad you were out of the way of the hurricane, and yeah… it is easy to take stuff for granted until something happens. I always think a hundred years or so ago no one had electricity EVER. Different world.

    Love that tweet! I heard of the Amazon change but hadn’t thought much about it yet. Sounds like the word exchange is the problem. More or less. Not sure how people are going to tackle that, but I like something like disclosure 1 myself. Stressing that the review is voluntary and unbiased seems to be their thing.

    Nice covers this week. Life as a Teenage Vampire and Transcendance both look great, and i like the look of Labyrinth too.

    Space whales. Trippy. I like that song though- it’s got a good vibe for this time of year.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. And I know, it’s crazy to imagine how people lived without power and running water in the past.

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, that the word exchange is really the problem, and that mentioning that the review is voluntary and honest (i.e. not influenced) would cover all the bases.

      I like the Teenage Vampire cover too, and Labyrinth, but I love the four covers in the Immortal Coil series even more! I think they might be my new favorites. Look out, Trailer Park Fae lol.

      The song does have a really chill vibe.

      1. Greg

        Okay see I hadn’t even really glanced at that one (Immortal Coil), but now I see the three above and that one are all a series. That cover of Coil looks like zombs or something but I clicked over and read the blurb- immortal beings who have purged all record of their existence and view humanity as cattle. That sounds pretty dang good actually. And I think I like the Alabaster Concordat cover best- how awesome a title is that?

        Oh oh Trailer Park Fae. I see Wasteland King in your “currently reading” and that looks like a Dos Santos, with that trademark fire or magic or whatever it is. He does a good cover, I’ll say that. And yeah I’ll be checking that band out probably, I like stuff like that.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Yep, all the same series! They’re actually about vampires though. Well, the MC is a telekinetic with some kind of other supernatural powers mixed in, but he was working with and fighting against vampires and whatnot. But as you can see, I’ve only read the first book, so I don’t really know exactly how the rest of the series will go.

          Wasteland King is actually the third book in the series with Trailer Park Fae and Roadside Magic (I know how much you love that cover), so yeah, totally a Dan dos Santos, haha.

  3. Deborah

    I don’t tend to get many books via Amazon from authors so hopefully this won’t be too much of a quandary for me. I feel bad I mostly say not to authors who aren’t with publishers as I know (or can imagine) how hard it is getting your book out there, but I just can’t keep up. Perhaps I need to be more flexible, I don’t know!

    Meanwhile, I’m glad you weren’t impacted by the hurricane but know what you mean about the prep and getting exhausted. We get cyclones, which I think are our versions or mini hurricanes if you like.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I post all my reviews on my blog, Goodreads, and Amazon, regardless of how I get them, so I’m gonna have to figure this out :-/

      Thanks! But yeah, I’m still extra tired and all out of whack -_- I think cyclones are the same thing, just a different name in different parts of the world? Close enough at any rate lol.

  4. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Glad Matthew didn’t hit you. It’s so easy to forget sometimes what we have. Yeah, I saw people posting about the Amazon thing. Some got notices that their reviews are being deleted. Hahaha … that music is definitely something to listen to while trippin’, though. lol

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I can’t imagine they would delete old reviews… I feel like those are just already in the system, they were already checked and approved, why would they need to be checked again? Like I said, I have reviews that still have links to my blog in them because they were posted before Amazon started removing links. But I’m afraid to post new reviews now because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do :-/ Yeah, it really is trippy music lol.

  5. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Yeah, we’re supposed to have something about voluntary reviewing free copies. And we’re not supposed to call them ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies anymore, either… I guess they just want to make the wording different so it doesn’t seem that the payment for our review was the free book? Not sure.
    I’m glad you weren’t hit by Matthew, even if you did worry before it happened. I’m very happy I don’t live in hurricane country for sure πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      So we are supposed to specifically include that it’s voluntary? Because other people are saying they’re just putting that they got a copy from the publisher or whatever, and not including anything about it being in exchange or voluntary. Ugh. If they want us to change the wording, can’t they just tell us how to freaking write it?

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I’ve always preferred hurricanes over other natural disasters because at least you can prepare, but it still doesn’t make them any less powerful in the end. You have a great week too!

  6. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I will begin by saying Space Whales are totally a thing. That is completely logical. And then I will say I’m glad you’re okay after the hurricane. We never have to worry about things like that here in the UK, the worst we have is some gale force winds and a few flood warnings. If we’re really lucky it will snow and you have the joy of everyone forgetting how they coped before snow after less than an inch has fallen (how we would cope in countries that get feet of snow I do not know). It’s true, as a kid you just enjoy not going to school you don’t think about all the other issues for everyone else.

    And as for the Amazon saga, surely saying that you’ve received a copy of the book from the publisher and this in no way affects your review or opinions would be better as then there is no mention of it being in exchange for a review which implies it’s required. It’s simply saying you got a copy of the book free but that doesn’t affect your thoughts on the book. That’s what I’d go with anyway.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Definitely a thing, I’m so glad someone understands πŸ˜› Thanks! Lol that sounds like a pretty great place to live if the worst you ever have is a bit of wind, some possible flooding, and a few inches of snow. Though I hate cold, so I wouldn’t actually want to live somewhere with snow.

      I’m just wondering exactly what words will trip the filters, exactly what they have deemed necessary to include, etc. You just never know with Amazon. And it seems no one has actually tested anything yet, so no one has any clue what we should write. I maybe edit an old review tonight and see if the edit goes through with whatever new wording I decide to use. I don’t want to risk not being able to post the upcoming reviews I have, but I’m not particularly concerned about this review, so… I don’t know.

  7. Samantha

    I’m glad you weren’t horribly impacted from the hurricane. I used to live in Raleigh, NC and my friends there are getting some seriously bad rain. They were totally not prepared!
    I think I read somewhere that you can’t use the words “in exchange” on the amazon reviews. Honestly, I just can’t keep up with what you have to say and what you can’t say!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. And yikes, it’s always bad when hurricanes hit states that don’t normally get hit since they’re not as prepared or ready for it.

      I was thinking it was probably the “in exchange” part, but who even knows anymore what we can and cannot say -_-

  8. Lola

    I saw some things about the hurricane on social media and it really looks bad, I am glad it didn’t hit you though. It sure sounds like a pain with all the prepping and preparing. I am suddenly glad we rarely get extreme weather here. Half of our country is below sea level, so if we would get a hurricane it could be pretty bad.

    That’s awesome that author posted about your review! I’ll be going back and read your posts that i didn’t get around to reading yet and comment on them.

    I had one of my tour hosts e-mail me about the new policy and didn’t realize it didn’t apply to books at first, I got such a scare at first. But I am glad books seem to be exceptions, but the whole policy change still feels like a big deal.

    You’re right we did both say about the same thing about the amazon policies. I think I just go for I got a free copy and maybe add I voluntary reviewed it. Not sure yet. I think you still need to disclose you got a free copy. Isn’t that in the FTC rules or something or have those changed as well? I just wish amazon would be clear about this so there wouldn’t be as much speculation and rumors going around everywhere. With the product review they are removing them retroactively. I heard of a product reviewer who lost a lot reviews. It just feels wrong they are removing those retroactively. But I am not sure if they also do that for book reviews. I just keep an eye on my total amount of reviews and see if they remove any of them.

    I keep wondering if I shouldn’t call them review copies anymore now, but everyone stills knows that’s what they are so does it really matter? You sure got a lot of new books this week. I hope they are all good ones!

    Space wales! There was a star wars rebels episode with space wales! So I agree it’s totally a thing. I’ve been listening to some of Utada Hikaru songs this week, she did the opening for the Kingdom Hearts games and I always enjoyed her music. if I listen to music with vocals it’s usually in a language I don’t understand.

    I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Dammit, I was in the middle of this whole long response when I accidentally closed the tab -_-

      Thanks, I’m glad we avoided it here too, though it’s unfortunate that it had to hit anywhere. And yeah, that would definitely be bad if you got hit by a hurricane if half the country is below sea level.

      I just liked how she joked about how the character was devastated lol.

      Yikes, I can see why that would be scary for someone who runs a blog tour company! But I still don’t know what we’re supposed to right. Everyone keeps saying different things. It’s aggravating that they couldn’t be more clear. Some people just aren’t putting any disclosure anymore, but I agree with you that I think we’re still required by the FTC. Other people are just putting that they got a free copy or the source. Other people say we need to put that we’re reviewing it voluntarily. But I guess no one has actually tested these yet. I wonder if the filter is just going to be looking for certain words like “exchange” or “free”? And I saw after I posted this that reviews are being removed retroactively (which is totally unfair, if you ask me), but I think that might only be for products other than books? Not sure though. I haven’t had any removed, but I’m also keeping an eye on the number.

      Seriously, what are we even supposed to call them now?? But yeah, they’re still the same freaking thing. I guess we can still keep calling them review copies on our blogs since it’s only Amazon making this new policy, not GR or the FTC or anything like that. And thanks! I’m definitely looking forward to the books I got πŸ˜€

      I saw that episode! I haven’t watched much this season, but I did see that one (if that’s even this season, I don’t even know at this point). I don’t listen to much music in other languages, but I do have a few French songs I like. It is helpful if you want to not get distracted by the music.

      You have a great week too!

  9. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    It’s terrible, I can’t imagine how people prepare to be hit by nature like that, we never get these stuff here but glad you were not hit!
    Amazon is really pissing me off, I tried 3 times the other day to publish a review and it got denied, finally just before I was about to give up, they accepted.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve always preferred hurricanes because at least you *can* prepare for those, unlike tornadoes and earthquakes and whatnot. But preparation still doesn’t make them any less powerful, and there’s only so much you can do.

      Ugh, you know what makes me angry? They never tell you WHY the review is denied. Was this after the policy change? I’m just curious because no one seems to know what we’re supposed to put in our disclosure now, and if you figured out the golden sentence, I want to know lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      See, but I wonder if the filters will be looking for the word “free”? Or if that still implies that it was in exchange, and maybe we’re supposed to put something about it being voluntary?

  10. tonyalee

    I hear you about the hurricane. It’s so scary and we do take some things for granted. πŸ™ My husband’s best friend lives in Jacksonville, and we were pretty worried because we didn’t hear from him until yesterday. EEEK

    I’m not sure about the Amazon thing. The fact that this basically forces consumers to break FTC guidelines really bothers me. I for one, wont stop disclosing it so if amazon deletes my review then, what can you do?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yikes, I’m glad you did hear from him eventually!

      Yeah, I don’t know what they expect from us. But since the FTC guidelines are still in place, I’m also going to attempt to continue including a disclosure notice. If worst comes to worst and my reviews are getting deleted, I put “Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight” at the bottom of each review and could maybe put, “Disclosure and Original Review…” instead. Not the greatest solution, but I guess it’s my backup.

  11. Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem

    I’m glad you were unaffected by the hurricane! I don’t live in an area where there are hurricanes but we do get a lot of tornadoes. Like you, as a kid I liked we’d get a few days out of school but now I’d take anything over the storm damage.
    Thank you for addressing the Amazon policy! It’s driving me nuts. So many are freaking out about it and I’m like….”did you not read?!” *smh* I’ve always used this phrasing for my disclosure: “I received an eARC of this book from the (Source) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.” I think from now on I’ll leave out the exchange part and keep the rest. It’s annoying because like you pointed out, it changes nothing!
    Hope you have a great week! Happy reading πŸ˜€
    My Sunday Post

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! See, the idea of tornadoes has always completely terrified me, especially as a kid for some reason. Like, hurricanes you can prepare for, but tornadoes just show up and tear things apart and you have to like hide in bathtubs?!

      Yeah, I don’t think we need to completely freak out since clearly books are still allowed, but the issue is that no one knows what wording we’re supposed to use now. I would definitely leave out the “in exchange” part. It’s just who knows if any of the other words might set off the filters or something. So frustrating. And it really doesn’t change anything.

      You have a great week too!

  12. roro

    Those Amazon rules are confusing. I added the this review-is-has-not-been- influenced -by -the- publisher – or-author line at the bottom in the past but I haven’t done it in a while. I feel that disclosing the source if good enough. For example: (Source : Netgalley / Publisher or author and only the name of the publisher or author if it’s not trough Netgalley. My week was okay, nothing special.

    I’ve seen pictures of Matthew’s aftermath , they are scary. It’s lucky that you were not hit. All the hugs. Now unto the boooks. The labyrinth has a cool cover and I think i’m gfiving day men a try. Have a great upcoming week !

    1. Kristen Burns

      Just putting “Source: Publisher” or whatever might not be a bad idea. Keeps it simple. But with Amazon it’s just kind of like, who knows? They might decide that’s not enough, or they might still deem that as being an exchange if you don’t explicitly explain that it’s voluntary or something.

      Well, an okay week is better than a bad week, right?

      Thanks! *hugs* I’m really grateful we didn’t get hit here. I do love that cover for Labyrinth. I think that was part of the reason I couldn’t resist, even though it’s shorter than I normally like. Let me know what you think if you try Day Men! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  13. sjhigbee

    I’m really glad Hurricane Matthew avoided you – and can understand your exhaustion. It must have been a stressful, frightening time… You’re right – clean water and electricity = civilisation, these days. As for the Amazon announcement – thank you for sharing as I had completely managed to miss that one. I would have probably fallen foul of it, too – except by chance I haven’t posted any Netgalley reviews this week. It does make you wonder what they expect authors and publishers to do these days. Or is this a pre-emptive strike to make life that bit harder for everyone else NOT published by the Almighty Amazon?
    Have a good week, Kristen and I hope you feel more like your normal self, soon:)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ But yeah, constantly monitoring the weather, going to the grocery store a bunch of times for food and water, filling up on gas, moving stuff into the closet of my apartment in case the windows or doors broke, definitely exhausting.

      Don’t worry, I didn’t hear about the Amazon until yesterday or so. But seriously, I don’t even know what we’re all supposed to do anymore. You make a good point though. Except what they’re doing is only going to end up hurting themselves when books have no reviews and no one wants to buy them. I guess we still have GR, even if more and more reviews get removed from Amazon.

      Thanks, the past week has really taken its toll on me. I’m planning to rest as much as possible this week!

  14. Lampshade Reader

    I’m glad you are safe and sound!

    As for the wording on Amazon, I’ve started wording mine like this: “I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Copy of this book.” That way there is no exchange and it was all up to me to review it.

    So far though, I have not been contacted by Amazon concerning my past reviews. But I’m not taking any chances. Hope you have a stress free week πŸ™‚ ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns


      That’s what I was thinking. Maybe if we specifically mention that we’re reviewing it voluntarily, it will be ok? But who even knows at this point. Have you posted any reviews since the policy change? (And if so, did that work?)

      Wait, are you changing the wording on all your past reviews? Because that’s a lot of work when I have like a hundred reviews I’d have to change :-/ So far I haven’t had my old reviews taken down, so I might just leave those as they are. Thanks, you have a good week too πŸ™‚

      1. Lampshade Reader

        I haven’t submitted one yet. I’m doing one today and I’ll let you know what happens. And no way in heck am I going back and changing all my reviews. LOL That would be totally unfair to us to have to do that. I haven’t had any of my reviews taken down either…. ~Aleen

        1. Kristen Burns

          Ok, I was gonna say, changing them would be a lot of work if we don’t have to! I edited an old review last night, changed the disclosure line, and the change went through just fine. I used the third one I suggested in the post. So that’s the one I’m going to use when I add a new review.

  15. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Oh man, Hurricane Matthew prep killed me too! Such an exhausting week! I’m glad it didn’t hit you! I’ve heard about Amazon’s new policy – that is SO WEIRD and I know people are panicking! You got some awesome books this week! I hope you enjoy them πŸ˜€

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously! I’m glad someone else understands the exhaustion lol. And thanks, same to you. But ugh, I still don’t even know what we’re supposed to do about the Amazon thing -_- Thanks, I’m looking forward to my new books!

  16. Laura Thomas

    I’ve recently posted some new book reviews and just left out that the book was received for review. The notice had me worried too. I see now that it’s for other products and doesn’t include reviewing for Amazon Vine either.

    1. Kristen Burns

      But I feel like we’re still required to disclose because of the FTC guidelines :-/ I don’t know what to do about this Amazon thing. Funny how it’s still allowed for their own program though -_-

  17. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    I’m so happy you all didn’t get hit by Matthew, it’s a mess it sounds like!

    I wasn’t even aware of the new Amazon policy, probably because I’m terrible at crossposting reviews there. Can you just say “ARC provided?” From what I see, they’re blocking specific terminology.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s definitely a mess for a lot of people.

      I don’t even know. I agree it’s probably certain words that will set off the filters. I’ve seen people say not to use the word “ARC,” I’ve seen other people say not to use words like, “given” or “provided.” And then what if “ARC provided” still makes it seem like the review is required? The problem is that Amazon never explains things, and we just never know what they might decide is or isn’t allowed -_-

  18. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Firstly I’m thrilled you weren’t hit by Matthew – what a relief!

    As for disclosures – I personally don’t use them. I’ve started putting a Source line as extra info regarding the book, but honestly – if you are being given a book by the publisher/author or receiving an ARC I’m sure they’d like a review in return. As book reviewers it’s our responsibility to give our honest opinions – and hopefully we don’t have to tell everyone that! If you wanted to go with a disclosure though I preferred #2.

    That’s pretty cool that an author mentioned you. Whenever I get tweeted or even my reviews liked by an author I have a private little happy dance. πŸ™‚

    Hope you have a really great week further!

    1. Kristen Burns


      I just like to include a mention about the review being honest or uninfluenced or whatever because non-bloggers might not understand the whole ARC thing that we do and might assume the review isn’t honest, and I figure it’s probably an extra safety net for Amazon.

      I just liked how the author mentioned the character being devastated since I did in fact diss his Lambo doors lol. But it’s always awesome when authors share our reviews!

      Thanks, same to you!

  19. Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer

    I totally get the taking electricity for granted thing. I do it all the time, even though we have regular power outages in my city. Not for any particular extreme weather but sometimes it just…cuts out. And when I can’t get internet or use lights or water (our water systems rely on electricity for some reason) for several hours I realize how much I depend on it.
    I’m glad the hurricane didn’t hit your area! I’m sorry all the planning and dealing with the aftermath was so frustrating though. Hopefully some good books can help! πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well that sucks that you just get random power outages, especially if it affects your water too! At least when power goes out here, we still have water :-/ But electricity is so easy to take granted.

      Thanks! I am planning to rest this week, so I think the books will help!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve decided I’m not going to use the word “free” anymore as I’m afraid that might trip the filter, I feel the free part is clear when I say I received it, you know? I’m going to try going with the third option.

  20. Jessica

    I finished Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. At first, I didn’t like it, but it got better. I hope to get the audiobook of Left Behind this week. My mother says there is major flooding near where she lives that is from the storm. I like option 3.

  21. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Glad you didn’t get much in way of the hurricane. We don’t have to deal with them where I live but have been known to get some heavy rains and flooding in the past due to some of them. Not Matthew though. I feel so badly for all the areas devastated by them. We have to deal with storms and tornadoes sometimes which is bad enough. I can’t imagine having to start all over again after one rips your world apart. Looks like you got more great books this week. I have put Transcendence on my wishlist – it looks and sounds good. Hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Glad you didn’t get any weather from Matthew at least. Tornadoes have always seemed scarier to me, but regardless of what causes the damage, I can’t imagine having to start all over like that either. Glad I could help you find a book! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  22. Got My Book

    So glad that Matthew missed you. Unfortunately it sounds like most of the people who were warned got missed and most of the people who were hit got minimal warning.

    I think we are still legally required to disclose. I have decided to go really minimal. I’m going to say, “I received a free copy of this book from [whoever]. My opinions are my own.”

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ But you’re right, it does seem like the ones we were warned didn’t get hit and vice versa, which never works out well :-/

      I agree, I think we are still legally required, and I’m going to go with something very similar to yours, I think. Saying where I received the copy from, and then stating that it hasn’t affected my review.

  23. Bookworm Brandee

    I am happy that you weren’t affected by the hurricane, Kristen, and it made me giggle that you hoped for hurricane days when you were a kid. πŸ˜‰ I grew up in Texas and we never had any sort of “days” where I lived. :/ I did have a snow day once in college but since it’s the only one I can remember, snow was certainly a big deal! Nowadays I do wish for snow days for my kids but only because I live in the mountains and I don’t really like driving when there’s a lot of snow. However, it takes A LOT of snow for them to call a snow day up here. The buses have to be unable to travel the roads. Hmph!
    As for disclosures, I always say I received a complimentary copy because Amazon was tripping over ARC. And it’s really ridiculous we have to use this new verbiage because you’re right, it means the exact same thing but whatever. I’m sure it’s so their algorithms can be programmed to look for certain words. Anyway, I think the second choice will cover all your bases.
    Have a great week and happy reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! But awww no days off from school? What a sad childhood lol.

      Ok, so then “ARC” is out. I’m also avoiding the words “exchange” and “free.” I’m thinking maybe that should do it. But I wonder what happens if someone just happens to use one of these words in their actual review? That seems unfair.

      You have a great week too!

  24. Michelle

    I must say I do like your third option for the policy. I actually don’t add that to my amazon reviews only because I just copy and past my review and that line is with the UBB plug in so I never copied it. Totally my fault for leaving it out but I might add something small at the end of my reviews from now on but that also might cause a problem. Amazon has to remember not all reviews give authors or publishers are going to be 5 star reviews.

    Glad the hurricane missed you, I totally know what you mean. Snow storms are the same up by me. I used to love them now they just cause lose time at work and inconvenience.

    Hope you have a great week, Kristen! Happy Reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I think I will be going with the third option. Sounds the most normal lol. And yeah, we’re definitely not giving all the books we read 5 stars just because we got them for free!

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Exactly, it’s so different as a kid vs. as an adult when we’re the ones dealing with the consequences.

      You have a great week too!

  25. Jane @ Raincity Librarian

    I find disclosures so confusing…I think something like your last statement, “I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher and have voluntarily written this honest review”? Confusing stuff…

  26. AngelErin

    I’m so glad that I don’t really post my reviews on Amazon because I don’t fully understand the new policy. Like what the hell are you supposed to say now? It’s all getting a bit ridiculous in my opinion. The only time I ever posted reviews on there is if the author requested I also share my review there. Which is usually after I’ve posted it on my blog, but does that mean they shouldn’t ask that anymore? I shouldn’t post it there if they do ask? No clue.

    I’m glad the hurricane didn’t end up hitting you and that you are safe! :o)

    1. Kristen Burns

      My third option worked, so it was stressful, but I guess I found my new wording lol. I always cross-post to Amazon though because I think it helps to get approved for more books by publishers and because it’s really helpful to authors. Also, I used to not even know Goodreads existed, so I always read reviews on Amazon, so I figure there are probably other people who do too.


  27. Victoria Grace Howell

    I’m glad the hurricane didn’t get near you! I live on the East Coast as well and it didn’t get near me either, but it did hit near some of my friends and family. Fortunately they didn’t get any serious damage, but they did lost power for a while.