Five Star Soft Serve and Grunge Moments

I am a notoriously bad 5-star rater. I leave stars like I’ve got Tinkerbell’s wand up my ass. Gushing, OMFG-ppttptbbbtadsflsdjddpppbt-Flailing-this-is-the-best-book-ever reviews, that professional critics and most sane people would look at and say, “huh, she’s either related to the author, or stalks her on twitter and is hoping for a follow-back.” In most cases, this is because I review immediately. When I reach that last page, and I’m still invested in characters that I’ve watched fall apart, fall in lust, and fall over cliffs, my reaction is visceral. I love reading. I love stories. And when I hit that Fin, and the next page is Amazon’s “How would you rate this book?” with a few exceptions*, I’m going to star that sucker like a supernova, because I’m all post-book-coital and complete. I’m still in the moment. Should I wait for it to sink in? Think critically about the themes, the style choices, how the book may affect the social consciousness of today’s tender youth? If I were a professional critic, I definitely should. But I’m not. Consider ice cream. Today, it’s 87 degrees out, and I have to run some crappy errands, and I’m going to treat myself to some Orange Leaf coconut creme with chocolate chips, and It Will Be The Best Thing Ever. I might even be so tastebud orgasmic I’ll be inspired to leave a yelp review. Should I wait, so I can be sure to rationalize, quantify and qualify my experience objectively, and maybe, if I remember, if I haven’t moved on to the next best-most-satisfying-dessert-is-my-new-boyfriend, leave a breakdown of the cleanliness of the restrooms, the ratio of red gummi bears to green in the toppings, and how many lip piercings the cashier has? That’s not how I enjoy my ice cream. I’ll revel in the moment, and extend it one more minute by smearing my phone screen with dairy goodness as I type ‘Sooooo YUMMY, Salty Caramel Sauce Is. A. Must!!!!’ while the flavors are still making my tongue smile. A few years ago, I went to an Alice In Chains concert. A while later I read a review of that very show that was chiding about the venue’s acoustics, ambivalent toward the new guy’s vocal range, and a bit fussy about the playlist. And I could see the columnist’s points. But to me, the feeling I had as I walked out of the concert hall–fangirling-googly-eyed with a muzzy head and my ears ringing and the blood in my bones still pounding with the bass–is as important and as real as a critical breakdown of the elements. And that’s what I tell people about when they ask my opinion. I had a bangin’ time. The main character was swoon-worthy. It was delicious. 5 stars. o *Exceptions: 1. If you’re a best selling author and you can’t be arsed to either pay for a fact checker or simply wiki your shit. I’m talking to you, Dan Brown. 2. If you’re a best selling author and you recycle your plots, and even your dialogue. *cough-John Green-cough* 3. Plagiarism sucks donkey balls. Don’t make me an accessory to your crime. 4.If you’re trying to make bank on your fanfiction, I don’t want to feel like I’m riding in a stolen car with the VIN number filed off. (See above.) At least paint some flames on the hood, and put an “In loving memory of Ha’raco Malf’ter” sticker in the back window. Be classy about it, y’know?

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