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Explanation of my ratings system

I base my ratings on a number of factors, including:

  • Quality of the writing
  • Whether the characters are believable
  • How compelling the plot is
  • Whether or not I like the “message” of the book
  • The “coolness” of the ideas

My personal system is just that, personal. I highly recommend that you check the ratings on for any books you are interested in. The main reason to share my ratings is in case you discover that they are similar to your own, which would mean you might feel safe using my ratings as a guide.

5 Stars = A+ = “Totally Awesome!”
This is a book that I couldn’t stop thinking about while reading it, and still think about years later. I’ll probably read it again, and I send copies to my friends as gifts. When I see it on my bookshelf, I think, “That was a great book!” Excellent writing, characterization, plot, message, and coolness.

4 Stars = A/B+ = “I liked it a lot”
I was thoroughly engrossed in the book. I can remember parts of it after a few years. I may reread it. I recommend it to my friends. When I see it on my bookshelf, I think, “I really liked that book.” Writing, characterization, plot, message, and coolness are either excellent or very good.

3 Stars = B = “Pretty good”
I definitely enjoyed reading the book, but I may not remember much about it after a few months. I probably won’t reread it. I recommend it to people who I know have an interest in the subject matter. When I see it on my bookshelf, I may not remember what it was about. Writing, characterization, and plot are very good or good. The message and coolness were probably good or OK.

2 Stars = C = “OK”
The book was unremarkable. I probably won’t remember much about it after a few weeks, and probably won’t recommend it to anyone. The only reason it is on my bookshelf is that it is in my lesbian science fiction collection. Just an average book.

1 Star = D = “I didn’t like it”
I did not enjoy reading it and I would not recommend it to anyone. When I see it on my bookshelf, I wish that it didn’t belong in my collection. Sometimes these are not-well-written books, but often I just don’t like the politics or message.

0 Stars = F = “Terrible, awful, blech!”
I usually don’t even finish reading a 0 star book. I can think of at least one 0 star book that technically belonged in my collection, but that I refused to add because it was so bad. Poorly written books or those with stupid plots, one-dimensional characters, or bad science fall into this category.

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Last modified on 12/25/03