Here at Brief Encounters, we spent considerable time deciding which rating system to use. There are the ever-popular stars, there are lips, angels and a variety of other animate and inanimate objects, and numeric ratings out of 5 or 10. There are verbal ratings such as good, very good and excellent and more generic ratings such as recommended. We chose to go with an alphabet rating system based on the North American school system. The grades range from F to A+. The ratings correspond roughly to the star system. F = 1 star, D = 2 stars, C = 3 stars, B = 4 stars and A = 5 stars. However the letter grades allow us to put a + or – after the letter. Meaning it’s leaning closely either upwards or downwards to the next grade. A B+ grade is almost an A, a C- grade is very nearly falling to a grade of D, but something has saved it.
I’m not sure this system is familiar to readers from outside of North America, but if you equate it to the star system you will get our overall feel for the books we review. Obviously a grade of A+ is a book that blew our socks off and had a lasting impression. Those don’t happen often but you never know when that little gem will show up in your TBR file. Hopefully we won’t find it necessary to hand out any grades of F, but we remain true to giving honest opinions in our reviews. However, as it is only our opinion, and all readers and reviewers hold some personal bias (acknowledged or not) to themes, writing style and even genres, we expect readers will use their own judgment when deciding to purchase a story we have reviewed on the site.
If you have any questions or concerns about our rating system, please feel free to contact us and hopefully we can help.