Whether she was talking about my grades specifically or just grades in general, it reminded me that I’ve never explained how I grade my reviews. I use a numerical system, though many others (including my two blogging sisters here) use an alphabetic. I’m not sure why I do it that way. I guess I just feel better with numbers (maybe because my grades always scared me in HS?? lol).
Anyway, for those of you who are more comfortable with alphabetic grades, I’ll break down my grading system for you:
5 would be the equivalent of an A+
4.5 an A
4.0 an A-
and on down the line. DC’s post yesterday started out asking the difference between a 4.5 and a 4.75. I gave Muse a 4.75 yesterday. IMO, a 5/5 is a perfect grade. That means that any shortcomings in the story were completely washed out by the story/characters/etc.
For example: Typos bug the crap out of me. Y’all know this, right? But lets say I’m reading a story and the author has me so wrapped up in her world I don’t notice the typos, other than in passing. Meaning, they didn’t bother me. For me, that’s a huge thing (this is just an example, remember). So although the story wasn’t PERFECT (there were typos after all) I still might give it a 5/5, because the story made up for whatever errors were there. Understand?
But back to my review of Muse. There were some things about the story that bothered me. The ending, for one. I’m still on the fence about it. Plus, there were a few questions left unanswered. And a few typos. But overall, the story was amazing. It drew me in and made me love it. But I still walked away thinking about the ending, the typos, the questions, etc. So, I couldn’t give it a perfect review. And yet, two days later, I’m still thinking about it. So it was better than a 4.5. Hence, my 4.75. It wasn’t quite perfect, but it was darn close.
DC also asked if it’s hard for you as a reviewer to grade a book. For me, it’s not. I’d say an average book for me is about a 3.5. This means I enjoyed the story, but it won’t stand out for me in the long run. I think anything under a 3.0 is a fairly bad book. Either there were a few good parts that were overshadowed by the bad, or it was just forgettable. But a bad review, to me, is something in the 1’s or 2’s. If I truly hated a book, it’s going to fall in one of those categories (in the D or F range).
Let me break it down for you:
- 5/5 – This book was so good I practically orgasmed over it. Get to the store and buy it NOW, or you’ll be sorry
- 4.5/5 – This book was great, but there were a few things I couldn’t let go. Get to the store and buy it, you probably won’t be sorry
- 4/5 – This book was great, but I couldn’t get past some stuff. Go buy it, you’ll probably enjoy it
- 3.5/5 – This book was pretty good, but not amazing. You might want to buy it, but don’t hurt yourself getting to the store
- 3/5 – This book was alright. If you’re in the mood for something mindless, pick it up.
- 2.5/5 – This book wasn’t very good, but it had a few redeeming qualities. Buy it or not, I don’t care.
- 2/5 – This book sucked, but I found one or two things to like about it. I won’t be reading it again, and I don’t suggest you buy it.
- 1.5/5 – This book sucked. The writing/characters/plot were crap, but there was probably one thing I liked about it (maybe the sex was hot, or the hero was good). Don’t buy it. If you see it in the store, back away. Back away slowly.
- 1/5 – This book sucked big donkey balls. I couldn’t find one thing about it that I liked. Not one. Do yourselves a favor and stay far, far away from this one. If you see it in the store, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
So, there you have it. Ocassionally you’ll see a negative grade from me. This is usually followed by some major rant about at Too Stupid To Live heroine that drove me crazy. I wouldn’t pay attention to those grades if I were you. That’s mostly me being pissy (I say this because I generally grade the story one way and the heroine another. I haven’t ever come across a book I’d grade in the negative as a whole. Thank Goodness. If you do see a review of that sort from me, though, I’d suggest scratching your eyes out before purchasing it. But that’s just me) and you should just take it with a grain of salt.
I am curious about the rest of you, though. So I’m going to include DC’s questions here. Answer in the comments or on your own blog, but leave me a link if you do it on your site, eh? Or just stop by DC’s and answer there.
- How important are grades to you in reviews? How much do you rely on them?
- How much do you pay attention to ratings as opposed to the review?
- When you write reviews, do you find it hard to come up with grades? Or do they come relatively easy to you?
- Finally, do you think grades are an important companion to reviews?