Between the Lines


Between the Lines is a new program at Belmont Books that gives anyone between the ages 7 to 17 the chance to read and review books before they’re published. Each month, publishers send us Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to help us decide which books we want to sell in our store. But we just don’t have time to read them all. That’s where you come in.

Fill out and return the enrollment form. Then come to the store and select an ARC. Read the ARC and write a review. Whether or not we use the review, the book is yours to keep! Email your review to us at or bring it into the store. Then pick up a new ARC, and repeat! All reviews will be posted here.


  • All reviewers must fill out a Between the Lines enrollment form and have it signed by their parent or guardian. You can download the form here. Once it's signed, either drop it off at our store, mail it, or scan it and email it to us at the address on the form.
  • Please take only one ARC at a time. We want there to be enough for everyone. Once you’ve sent in your review, you can pick another ARC.
  • If you decide not to review a book (maybe you didn't like it, maybe you thought it was something different), please return the ARC so someone else can read it.
  • Reviews should be 100 words or less. Our staff will edit them for clarity, grammar, punctuation, length, if necessary.
  • All reviews may be used in the store, posted on our web site or quoted on social media.
  • If we pick your review for a “shelftalker” (a printed label on the shelf), you’ll receive a store credit of $5.00. (Sorry, there's a limit of 2 credits per month.)
  • You can only use one store credit per purchase.
  • Credit will not be given until your review appears on our shelves.

Did you love the book? Was it just okay? Would you recommend it to a friend? Which character was your favorite and why? Was there anything about the time period or setting that you really liked? What other books would you compare it to? (These are just suggestions.) Remember to keep your reviews under 100 words. Also, a positive review is more likely to be picked for a shelf-talker. So if you really didn't like a book, it might be better to pick another one and try again.

What is an ARC?
ARC stands for "Advance Reader Copy." Publishers send out these cheaper versions of new books so that bookstores and reviewers will have a chance to evaluate the books before they order them.

What information will you post about me?
No information about any Between the Lines participant will be used without permission. If you and your parent/guardian give us permission, we will print your first name and age with your reviews. If you prefer to use a pseudonym (fake name), please let us know and we'll use that for your reviews. Otherwise, we'll print your reviews without any information. At no time will the personal information of Between the Lines participants be used or given out for any other purpose.

What do I have to do to make sure you pick my review for a shelftalker?
There are a lot of different factors that go into picking shelftalkers: which book you picked, the style, length and content of your review, how many shelftalkers we already have for that age group or genre, etc. One general tip is that the more excited you are about a book, the better chance your review has of getting picked. But your best bet is to just keep reading and writing reviews.

Good luck!