The traditional star system is just a bit limited in what it can tell a potential reader/viewer about what someone thought of a particular story. To make things plain and simple, here’s the breakdown of my system so you can understand at a glance why a book/movie/show received a particular score. You’ll see I do still include a point system (cool points!) for those who love the “out-of-five” scale.

Hope you find a story to dive into on my site!



Didn’t finish it (1/5 cool points)

This story has so many issues (e.g., bad pacing, excessive grammar snafus, unbelievable characters) that I didn’t get through it. Even though it hurts my heart to say so, there are just too many amazing stories out there to spend time on this one.

Made myself finish it (2/5 cool points)

I got over the hump of this story (i.e., I was already past the midway point in the book or several episodes into the show) before things started to go downhill, and I had to see it through. Or there’s at least one amazing aspect of this story that made it worth my time. My stubbornness took over and I finished it even though it was rough.

It was okay—wouldn’t read/watch it again (3/5 cool points)

This story was good, not great. There were ups and downs, generally more good than bad. This was worth experiencing once, but that was enough. It was “fine.”

Enjoyed it—would read/watch it again (4/5 cool points)

This was a solid story. Usually, that’s because of things like incredible characters, an intentional plot with skillful rises and falls, striking imagery, etc. Even if there were a few things that bugged me, the vast majority of this story was great. I’d go back to this one again a few years down the line, and I can probably think of some specific people to pass it along to because I bet they’d really dig it.

Loved it—telling everyone about it! (5/5 cool points)

Amazing, powerful, sleep-stealing storytelling! I couldn’t easily stop reading/watching, and I struggle to find any faults. I probably had to stare into the distance at least once after reading something truly moving, shout at the TV from shock, or otherwise act like a crazy person. I’ll go back to this one again…and again. And you know I’ll be talking your ear off about it the next time we hang out.