The three quotes located on this page sum up the AAR philosophy. We believe that reviews are informed opinions, that by definition a review is subjective rather than objective, the best reviews are written not only to inform but to entertain, and that a book should stand on its own regardless of whether or not it is part of a series. Our reviews are written only with the reader in mind, and in a more mainstream style than most romance novel reviews. Our model, frankly, is Entertainment Weekly.
Our only agenda is to provide well-written, detailed reviews. We have no axe to grind, we simply offer up the considered opinion of a given book as expressed by one of our well-read reader-reviewers. Even amongst ourselves, we may have very differing opinions about a particular book, and for this reason, our Managing Editor, Blythe Barnhill, makes review assignments in a way that insures no one reviewer is assigned all of the books of one author, and no reviewer is assigned a book by an author they historically have not enjoyed reading. We have a number of such policies and practices in place to provide the greatest possible objectivity to what is fundamentally a subjective process.
We receive many books and ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) from publishers and authors. However, we do not necessarily receive every book that is coming out, and since we are not a print publication, we don’t always receive a book in sufficient time to post a review prior to its official release. At times, especially for those books that generate the greatest publicity, we may be asked to hold off on posting the review until the book’s actual release date. AAR honors such requests, provided they are made at the time the book is accepted for review, and always with the understanding that holding the review till the release date will have no bearing on the eventual grade it will receive.
“I look at a sequel as an entity that ought to be intelligible to someone who didn’t see the original – but must reward anyone who did. In other words, I certainly do relate it to what has come before – who wouldn’t?”