Laverne aka Missy

Reviewers Spotlight
Let's face it - women read more. Surveys consistently find that women read more books than men, especially fiction. Is it surprising then that many reviewers today are women? Well, we managed to pry a few female reviewers from their books to get their take on reviewing from the female perspective.

We hope you enjoy!

Laverne Brown aka Missy

Averages 5 books a month

What do you wish to achieve with each review? To get as many self-published/independent authors’ books in the hands of readers. But honestly this task is getting harder and harder due to the quality of work being mass produced.

In your opinion, is it important to review everything you read? Umm “to review everything I read.” Well, if I accept a book from an author/publisher or promoter, giving them my word that it will be reviewed, yes, I think it deserves that review. But, no, I don’t review everything; my personal reads will sometimes get a blurb but not a full review.

Do you feel black women are accurately portrayed in literature? If you feel the portrayal is inaccurate, what would you like to see instead? In the books that I read, I am pleased with the female characters. Some are strong protagonists, others are struggling and yet others just don’t get it, and that is our reality.

Before I read a book or accept one from an author, I research the author, their writing and the characters they write about so that I can try to minimize frustrations with things that go against what I believe in as a reviewer.

Many male authors write from the perspective of women through their female characters. Do you find them to be on point? Some are and others are not. RL Taylor, Rickey Teems II, and Brian W. Smith all write about some empowering women who lead, fall and empower others. I enjoy the writing of these three authors, but they will also get down and dirty on their female characters just as they would on the brothers. Rickey Teems wrote about a character named Faith who didn’t start out strong, but she found her strength within her by the end of the story. (Unshakable Faith)

Is reviewing a service that reviewers should be compensated for? When authors throw a book together with minimal care or when they don’t QA their baby after it comes from the publisher, editor or whomever, YES I feel I should be paid. Especially when the editing issues are causing me to read sentences over and over again to figure out what the author is trying to say. It is not my job to determine the author’s message but to deliver that message to other readers.

Missy, derived from Misdemeanor, is a nickname from her reviewing time with RAWSistaz, back in the day. She enjoys reading, dancing at home and working out with Leslie Samson’s “Walk at Home” DVDs. Most important to Missy is her time spent chatting with friends. Her love of books started with a childhood subscription to Scholastic Highlights. Currently you will find her in her Chicago home reading her favorite genre Christian fiction and non-fiction. Missy has several published articles in an online magazine and her reviews can be found online at, Goodreads and Myspace under her book club name of Reader’s Paradise.

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