The Pros and Cons of Receiving Books in Exchange for Reviews

It was several years ago when I first discovered the concept of getting books free in exchange for reviews. I was fantastically excited about people actually giving me books, sending them to me for free, and all I had to do was read and review them. 
When I started looking into different review sites, I was excited to find out that I already had enough followers to qualify for the first site I wanted to sign up with. Over the years I signed up for several more reviewing program, but it wasn’t until this last year that I semi-kept up with requesting and reviewing books. 
Although I’m not an expert on the matter, I have done a handful of reviews. I figured if any of y’all are interested in receiving books in exchange for posting reviews, you might like to hear some pros and cons, so here’s a list.
Pros for receiving books in exchange for reviews:
* Reading free books (including shipping)! What could be better? 
* You get to keep the books you review (at least with the programs I work with), and can do whatever you want with them, from selling them, to giving them away, to adding to your personal library 
* It’s a win-win-win situation that benefits everyone: Reviews are extremely helpful for promoting books. Authors, as well as publishers, are willing to invest a lot to lunch books, and being part of a launch is fun 
* Review sites are most often easy to navigate and simple to work with 
* Book reviewers have their own little community on-line, and it can be a lot of fun 
* I always tweet the links to the reviews of the books I enjoyed, and “tag” the author if they’re on twitter. That’s pretty cool because sometimes they then come and comment on the review 
* Knowing you’re going to review a book helps you to pay closer attention to your thoughts about it as you’re reading
Cons for receiving books in exchange for reviews: 
* Some books have specific time frames that the reviews are supposed to be published during. This can be difficult to keep to if something unexpected comes up, or if you’re juggling too many books at once 
* Since a lot of the books are newly (or unpublished) ones, it can sometimes be difficult to find out much about them. That means that sometimes a book you request isn’t what you thought it would be. This has happened many times to me, but only twice was the book actually made me seriously uncomfortable. In both situation I contacted the review site and explained the situation and requested permission to discontinue reading the book. I also told them since I’d agreed to read it, I would if they wanted me to, but I would be skim-reading and it would only be getting one star. Thankfully in both cases it was an e-book and they graciously told me it was totally fine not to finish
* It’s really not fun to read a book and not like it, knowing that you have to send the review back to the review site/publisher/author. You can generally soften the blow though, by being kind with how you express your dislike of the book. (Note: Don’t tag the authors on twitter if you didn’t like there book)
* It’s actually fairly easy to get confused and mix up what books you got from what review site/publisher/author. Although I stick with three main review sites, I review books from multiple other places as well. And yeah, it can be confusing
* * * 
That’s obviously not an all inclusive list, but it’s what popped into my head right off the bat. What about you? What are some of the pros and cons you can think of regarding reviewing books? 
By the way, the three main review sites I work with are: 
and Litfuse 

Dangerous Love By Ray Norman: Book Review

Dangerous Love
By Ray Norman 
Find it on: 
256 Pages
About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
Ray Norman spent most of his life living in far-flung corners of the globe, working on long-term development projects and living out his calling as a Christian professional. By the time he arrived in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania around the turn of the millennium, he was veteran of life as an expat, at home in countries and cultures not his own. But in 2001, the world was about to change—and so was Ray’s life.
In the aftermath of 9/11—a time when tensions between Muslim and Western culture were peaking—Ray and his daughter, Hannah, made the short drive from their home to the Mauritanian beach. But instead of spending the afternoon enjoying the waves and the water, father and daughter found themselves hurtling back to the city, each with a bullet-hole pumping blood into the floorboards of their jeep.
Dangerous Love is an account of the Normans’ brush with violent extremism—and of the family’s unexpected return to Mauritania in the face of terrifying risks. This is the story of a call that could not be denied and of a family’s refusal to give up on love.

Why I Choose this Book: 
In a world where anything is apt to happen, knowing that God is still God and can change fear into love and bitterness into forgiveness is very important. It’s inspiring and encouraging to learn from others who have gone through difficult times and have come away closer to God. 
What I Thought About this Book:
For some reason it was difficult to get into. The prologue was gripping, but then I nearly instantly lost interest as the first couple of chapters went into great detail with history that was somewhat hard to follow. I laid the book aside for five months and only came back to it because I had agreed to read and review it.
And then boom, it was incredibly interesting. The author writes with long, flowing sentences and uses many wordy-descriptions, but once I got in the flow, it worked. By the end of the book I was actually grimacing at myself a bit, realizing that the whole Western mindset of hurry, hurry, hurry must be more ingrained in me than I realized. The author talks about how he had to learn to slow down to live among the people of Mauritania, and I’m pretty sure that’s why his book has the cadence it does. 
Overall it was really clear that Mr. Norman and his family really, really loved the people they worked among. That is huge – showing God’s love with actions, deeds, and words is a mind-blowing combination. Mr. Norman said when he and his daughter were shot, he didn’t feel any anger, instead he felt overwhelming betrayal and hurt that one of the people he loved so much had turned against him (even though they hadn’t known the person personally). 
I felt like Mr. Norman did a good job of telling the story with details, but not over dramatizing anything. He was honest and raw, describing how things went and how they were effected and how they chose to respond… I especially was impressed by Hannah (their ten-year-old daughter) and how she was able to handle the whole situation. 
This book is encouraging, inspiring, and a worth-while read. It obviously has some violence in it, but not much at all. I can’t remember having any impressions of it not being suitable for kids 14 and under, but I’d say it’s definitely okay for ages 15 and up.
I’m giving Dangerous Love Four Stars (eight out of ten).
*I received this book for free from BookLook in exchange for an honest review*