Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Rating System

For the last two months, I've been rating books on a five-star system. I haven't really had any standards from which to base these stars; it's sort of been on a whim, really. If I felt one book was better than another book, then I'd rate it higher. I've been thinking about it, though, and I've realized that since I don't review books from only one genre, it's not really fair to compare, say, a Deanna Raybourn book to a Kurt Vonnegut book. It's like apples and oranges, really.

Instead, I've come up with a new rating system by which to judge the books that I review. Being that the title of the site is Gabriel Reads, I've decided to give books a rating based on the Gabriel Scale. This Gabriel, to be exact:

Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel in Constantine.

I'm a huge fan of Tilda Swinton and of characters named Gabriel so I figured this would be an apt choice. :)

Here is the rating scale, with five being the best and one being the worst:

Five Gabriels: A book that receives five Gabriels is a book that I would read again in a heartbeat. It has well-developed characters, a gripping plot, and a satisfying resolution. In other words, it pulls me in and doesn't let me go. A five Gabriel book must also be free of all but the most incidental grammar and spelling mistakes.

Short Version: I Loved It

Four Gabriels: A four Gabriel book is a read that I thoroughly enjoyed but that I wouldn't add to my list of favorite books. I may reread it again or I may never come back to it. There might be a few flat characters or it might have needed a bit of improvement where plot is concerned, but, as with a five Gabriel book, it can't have any glaring spelling or grammar issues.

Short Version: I Liked It a Lot

Three Gabriels: This is a book that didn't overly impress me but that wasn't too awful either. It most likely will never be reread. It's probably either too long or too short, without a satisfying resolution and lacking character or plot depth. There may also be some issues regarding the conventions of English.

Short Version: It Was All Right

Two Gabriels: A two Gabriel book is utter garbage but is still readable. It has little to no character development and the plot is either non-existent, boring, or hard-to-follow. There are probably numerous spelling and grammar mistakes or the author is simply just not gifted in the art of writing. Would never be reread.

Short Version: What the Heck Is This Crap?

One Gabriel: There are not enough words in all the languages in the world to describe how much I loathe this book. Characters are weak, unlikable, and cliche. Plots are boring, not well-thought-out, and come to a thoroughly disappointing conclusion. Possibly rampant spelling and grammar issues. May not have even finished reading the book.

Short Version: Why Was This Even Published?

Half a Gabriel: A book would never receive half of a Gabriel by itself, but there will be some books that don't exactly fit into the qualifications for a whole-Gabriel-rating. The half-Gabriel exists for just such books. It means that while I may not have liked the characters the plot was better or vice-versa. It may also mean that a book by the same author was slightly better than a different book by that author that I had read.

Short Version: This Book Deserves a Little More Credit

NOTE: Any reviews that I have done up to this point do not count on the Gabriel Scale. They were done with a more willy-nilly rating system and therefore don't necessarily meet the standards of the current scale. Therefore a book that received four stars would not necessarily receive four Gabriels.



  1. willy-nilly. That's so much fun to say.

  2. Nonners: I don't think I use that phrase enough on this blog. It's one of those things were you have to find just the right context or else it just sounds silly. :)

  3. I love your review system of gabriels! So funny!

  4. Karen: Thanks! I was looking for something fun to do and this just popped into my head.

  5. Very cool new rating system. Tilda Swinton is amazing .... loved her as Gabriel.

  6. Jo: Thanks! Glad to know I'm not the only one out there who appreciates her. Most of the time people give me this blank stare of "who?" She's one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and also one of the most under-appreciated actresses.

    And now I'm done raving.