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Magan: Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (facebook | website) Publication Date: May 22, 2006 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Pages: 275 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: girl playing on male football team, milk farm, sports and training Format Read: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com Narrated by: Natalie Moore Summary: D.J. isn’t the smartest girl there ever was, […]

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September 25, 2013 - 9:08 pm

Rebecca - I heard about this series from Lori too and was interested enough to add it to my TBR but now I’m definitely sold. It sounds like a great first book and I hope the series is just as good for you! I’ve never listened to an audiobook right through (I normally only make it through a few minutes at the most) but I might look into Dairy Queen’s but also have the book on hand in case it doesn’t pan out well. Great review, Magan 🙂

September 25, 2013 - 8:29 pm

Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books - I agree that D.J. isn’t necessarily book smart, but I think she’s still intelligent. She also just doesn’t prioritize the educational system because she has so many other things on her plate, I think. I enjoyed this trilogy a lot more than I thought I would and I hope you continue to enjoy it as you listen to the second and third installments! I don’t really listen to audiobooks, but I can imagine this one working well via the audio format.

September 25, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Ellice Y - Yay, I enjoyed Dairy Queen too! I read it for my Young Adult Lit class a couple of years ago. I didn’t realize that it was a series either until recently. Your review of the audiobooks makes me want to get the next 2 and listen to them on my commute to and from work every day! Great review! It made me remember how much I liked this book!

September 25, 2013 - 11:48 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’m so glad you liked this audiobook. I loved it, too. Like you said, Natalie Moore was spot on getting the character of DJ, and I think I laughed more listening to the audio than I would have reading the book.

September 25, 2013 - 11:27 am

Bonnie - So many of my blogger friends have read this series and loved it but I haven’t been able to get past the fact that it’s basically about farming and sports. lol Seems like such a strange combination but I really think I should give it a try, seems like one of those surprisingly good ones you never would have expected. And it’s funny too? I’ve heard this on audio is a must so I’ll be checking out my library, definitely. Great review, so glad you enjoyed it too!

September 25, 2013 - 9:23 am

Lori - I’m so, so happy that you enjoyed this! D.J. is one of my favorite characters ever. You’re so right, the audio is spot on! I could listen to them again and again.

I hope you love the rest of them just as much. Catherine Gilbert Murdock just released a spin off too. Curtis is in it, I think.

Magan: The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf

The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf (website | twitter) Publication Date: April 18, 2013 Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers Pages: 384 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: sick parent, best friend trouble, boy drama, chaotic teenage life Format read: ARC received via NetGalley (Thank you!) Summary: Izzy has a lot going on in […]

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April 19, 2013 - 2:16 pm

Casey - Seems really like a really dramatic read. I’ll have to give it a go when I have a little less going on in my own life. Great review!

April 18, 2013 - 5:47 pm

Judith - You know, I had the exact same feeling when I finished. At one point, I really felt like the author was being cruel with everything she put Izzy through. No wonder the girl is a hypochondriac! I like the seperate parts of this story, and though I feel like there can always be less girl drama in books, I would have been okay with that if it had been the main focus point. But the thing with Blake… it just felt unnecessary (and forced) to me. Unfortunately.

April 18, 2013 - 4:18 pm

Tara - I’m always interested in books that deal with mental illness, but this one sounds like it has a bit too much other stuff going on for my taste. I still may give it a try and definitely appreciate candidness!

April 18, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Alexa Y. - The sheer amount of things that Izzy was going through is already overwhelming to me, and I’m only reading your review! I do agree with your thoughts that sometimes, it feels like all the bad things happen all at once. But this seems a bit too soap opera-ish for my liking. It sounded like a potentially cute book though (especially that nerdy love interest you hint at) 🙂

April 18, 2013 - 12:21 pm

Magan - Rebecca, I’m really glad you’re still anxious to give it a whirl. I am a big believer in everyone trying books out for their own because you just never know. I definitely don’t think that lighter + hopeful is what you’ll get when you read this one. Prepare yourself for a LOT of things to happen. Thanks for the comment!

April 18, 2013 - 12:19 pm

Magan - Christina — I’m really, really glad to hear that you felt the same way. I definitely wished some of the issues had been edited out. I completely, completely agree with you that it would have helped with character development and depth. The end just kind of … ended, too. Do we really even know what happens with the Italy situation?

April 18, 2013 - 12:18 pm

Magan - Elena — definitely a lot going on here More than I think was necessary for sure. And yeahhhh… I’m pretty sure you’d want to punch Blake for what he did. :-/

April 18, 2013 - 11:07 am

elena - oh geez, it DOES seem like a lot is going on. i think this book sounds too dramatic for me, i hate it when a character is put through a situation after a situation (after a situation!). it certainly seems like izzy was put through the ringer in this one. i shudder to think what blake did.

April 18, 2013 - 8:53 am

Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - I completely agree with your assessment. There were decent bones to this story, and the characters could have been really interesting. Had Raf chosen just a couple of those things for Izzy to deal with, she could have covered them fully and allowed plenty of time for character development. As it is, a lot of plot threads weren’t closed properly and I didn’t feel for the characters. Sad day.

April 18, 2013 - 5:40 am

Rebecca @ Reading Wishes - I was really looking forward to reading this and still am but after your review, will probably go in with my more mind open and prepare myself for LOTS OF craziness. It’s a shame that the ended on a ‘heavy heart’ end note because although I was expecting insanity, I was expecting something lighter and more on the hopeful side? Oh, well, I’ll take your advice and try and see if my library has a copy I can borrow. Awesome review!

Magan: If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin <website | twitter> Publication Date: April 1, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Pages: 336 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: boy next door, childhood best friends, friends growing apart, tragic love story Format read: ARC received via NetGalley (Thank you!) Summary: Autumn and Finn are next door neighbors; […]

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October 28, 2016 - 11:46 pm

Ava .C - I am currently reading this book. This may sound silly but I am one of those people that needs to know all details while reading so I can help picture it in my head. I am wondering how old is Autumn and her friends in the beginning of the book?

August 11, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Magan - Caity, I completely agree. Loved the foreshadowing and knowing what was to come, but … I also dreaded it. Such a well-written, lovely book! So glad you enjoyed it, too! xo

July 29, 2014 - 1:21 pm

Caity P. - the book was so good but also really forshadowing. for example, in the book she always makes her books have a tragic ending and jamie ALWAYS hangs out with sasha it was bound to all come around. what really got me questioning the book is if sylvie died and if so, how? it says she was fine but i didnt really understand… such a great book and the amount of cliches and twists really evened out the books predictability.

July 16, 2014 - 10:59 am

Magan - Dani, I completely agree! The story was incredibly compelling and very well-written, which made it even more fantastic. 🙂

July 15, 2014 - 5:24 pm

Dani - It was a nice twist on the whole girl next door cliche.

January 9, 2014 - 10:19 pm

Aryana - loved this book wish she wrote more definitely gonna tell my friends about this!!!

December 31, 2013 - 12:01 am

Rather Be Reading: Magan's Farewell to 2013 - […] If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin really, really surprised me. The book begins with a scene that gives a snapshot of what’s to come, but the ENTIRE BOOK I kept hoping for something else. Or hoping that I misunderstood. […]

April 18, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Magan - Hey Mary! Email me at magan@ratherbereadingblog.com and let’s chat about the ending! It was pretty subtle, but I don’t want to ruin anything for someone who might be reading through the comments.

April 11, 2013 - 9:42 am

Mary - I just finished this book and absolutely loved it and couldn’t put it down, but I don’t understand how Finn died? could someone explain that to me? he seemed fine and the. it said he was dead, I though only Sylvia was?

April 2, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Oh this sounds really good! I love that you mention that the writing is poetic! That really makes me want to pick up this book. I also like the idea of their friendship and am really intrigued about the concept of basically knowing how it ends and then going back to the beginning and working your way forward!

April 1, 2013 - 10:32 pm

Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - This kind of breaks my heart becuase I LOVE the idea of childhood friends getting together but to know that Finn dies is sad. I honesty hadn’t heard much about this one so I’m glad I came across your review! I love how you “love and appreciate the story for all it’s complexity, beautiful writing, and passion” because that is what I want from a book too!

April 1, 2013 - 8:40 am

Rachel - I had never heard of this book until seeing your review but I am definitely adding it to my TBR list! I’ve read a couple books where the “end” is revealed in the beginning and like you, I hope for something different. I’m really curious to see how the author still manages to surprise you! Great review 🙂

March 30, 2013 - 11:06 am

Magan - Courtney, I agree with you — I haven’t seen many reviews for it yet, so I had no preconceived notions about what to expect going in. It was so, so great. I can’t wait for you to read it, too! 🙂

Leoni, please don’t let the going backwards deter you from reading this book. I prefer, actually, that I knew where things were going instead of being shocked by something really big and tragic happening at the end. I think that if I hadn’t had a glimpse of an idea, I would have felt it was too contrived or over the top.

Alexa, I AGREE! Childhood friends! I loved it — their history was just so perfect to me. I liked how their moms still forced them to do things together even though they could tell they weren’t best friends anymore and had no idea what had separated them. READ IT SOON!

Kelly, I loved that feeling too. When I read Rebecca Serle’s book When You Were Mine, I felt the same way. I knew it was a Romeo & Juliet retelling, but I wanted another end anyway because I loved the character’s story so much.

Kelley, thank you! Don’t shy away from this book! Don’t! You’ll be missing out! You won’t be let down by Laura’s amazing writing. Promise!

April, if your world is full of good books and pretty nail polish because of something I said, then YAAAAAAAY. I can’t be sorry! Read this book. For real. 🙂 It is exactly all of the things you said.

Maggie — YAY! READ IT READ IT READ IT! I hope you love it, too!

March 29, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot - This definitely sounds like a worthwhile read. I’m so happy you enjoyed this. Before I read your review, I had only vaguely heard of this book, but I am now anxious to read it. It sounds like a heartbreaking, emotional read but also a lovely one. Fantastic review! 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 2:48 pm

leoni - Sounds interesting although I’m not the biggest fan of going backwards in time in books, looks like there are lots of other positives though!

March 29, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Alexa Y. - Okay, this sounds like a book that I absolutely MUST read. There’s something particularly poignant about the fact that they were childhood friends, and that he passed away before things could happen. I can’t wait to check it out!

March 29, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Kelly - I hadn’t really given this one a good look until I caught a glimpse at your review; I love that feeling of knowing the ending, but hoping for a different outcome anyways!

March 29, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Kelley (Another Novel Read) - Wow, great review! I had been shying away from this book, but after reading your review, I think I want to read the book now. It sounds like a very different book, and if the writing is that amazing, then I definitely don’t want to miss out. This one’s going on my to-read list. 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

An Interview With Laura Nowlin, Author of If He Had Been With Me - […] Friday, friends! This morning I was so excited to share my review of If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. I couldn’t stop myself from prattling on about the million and a half reasons I loved […]

March 29, 2013 - 10:17 am

April Books & Wine - Lawddddd, I am so broke right now BUT I WANT IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME because of your review, Magan. Sigh, I swear I am going to spend all of the money and it’s going to be Rather Be Reading’s fault — first with Julep, now with this, hahahaha.

But seriously, If He Had Been With Me sounds tragic and well written and emotional and great.

March 29, 2013 - 9:22 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I’ve been looking forward to this one and I didn’t realize it comes out next week. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Great review!

Magan: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman Publication Date: January 8, 2013 Publisher: Dutton Juvenile Pages: 368 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: Paris, College, Life Experiences, Falling in Love Format read: ARC borrowed from Anna at Anna Reads (Thanks, lady!) Summary: Allyson is on “the trip of a lifetime” in Europe with her best friend, […]

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September 18, 2013 - 8:00 am

Young Adult Book Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman - […] One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman Other Books Reviewed in This Series: Just One Day Publication Date: October 10, 2013 Publisher: Dutton Juvenile Pages: 336 Target Audience: Young […]

January 30, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 1/20/2013 - […] Ditched: a Love Story by Robin Mellom The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder (Magan’s review) Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Magan’s review) […]

January 27, 2013 - 9:01 pm

Rather Be Reading Blog: Magan's Shelve It --> January 27, 2013 - […] Just One Day by Gayle Forman [Goodreads | Amazon | My Review] — Sooo, Gayle Forman is probably the coolest lady on the planet. No kidding. I LOVE HER. I […]

January 22, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Magan - Hannah, I’m so glad you bought it! I hope you LOVE IT. It’s really one that I paced myself going through because I couldn’t even think about it being over. I didn’t want it to end! Can’t wait to read your review! xo

January 21, 2013 - 4:28 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I totally bought it this week because I have yet to read one less than crazy about this book review. I don’t know if I’ll start it right away or give it a little time, but I’m excited either way. Sometimes I try to let a little time pass when I start hearing too many raves so that I’m not going into with crazy hyped expectations. Excited to read this one, lady! Great review 🙂

January 14, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Magan - Meagan! YAYYYY! I’m so, so excited for you! I hope you LOVE it with the same kinda passion I do! Enjoy!

January 14, 2013 - 4:46 pm

Meagan - Just ordered it on Kindle, can’t wait to dive in after this great review! Thanks!

January 14, 2013 - 12:35 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - I haven’t read a single non-gushing review about this book, so I feel pretty sure that I’ll love it to pieces and that it’ll make a pretty big impression. Also, look at that cover. How can it not?

But I think I want to wait a little while. I want to wait until I can read it without everyone else’s thoughts in my mind, so I can read it with a clean slate and make my own thoughts. Ya know? I’m SO GLAD you liked it though, because every person I trust just makes me more and more sure that it’ll be one that I need to buy rather than borrow. Great review, Magan!

January 14, 2013 - 11:55 am

Magan - Thanks, Tara! Writing this review was so hard because I wanted to word vomit and be like “OH EM GEE THIS IS JUST SO GOOD BUY IT.” Hahah!

January 13, 2013 - 9:09 pm

Tara - Dude, this review is SPECTACULAR! You captured the very essence of this book and gave it the justice it deserves. Is it time for Just One Year yet?!?!

January 13, 2013 - 12:02 am

Rather Be Reading Blog: Magan's January 13, 2012 Shelve It - […] + A short Saturday review of Never Girls #1: In a Blink by Kiki Thorpe + Big Kid’s Table: January 2013 Adult Fiction Picks + A review of Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi + A review of Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky + A review of Just One Day by Gayle Forman […]

January 9, 2013 - 1:12 pm

Magan - Taylor! I hope you love it! (And I hope it gets to you soon!) ENJOY! 🙂

January 9, 2013 - 1:11 am

Taylor @ Reading is the Thing - Unfortunately my town doesn’t have a bookstore, so I pre-ordered this book months ago and it only shipped today. I’m absolutely DYING for it to get here. I’m glad you liked it so much, I have really high expectations after If I Stay and Where She Went. Great Review!

January 8, 2013 - 11:15 pm

Magan - Alexa — yay! I really, really hope you love it. I really, truly have no negatives. Nothing that didn’t sit well with me. <3 Enjoy!

January 8, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Alexa Y. - “Tomorrow is a day all book readers need to rejoice, rush to the closest bookstore, purchase a copy of Just One Day, and read it in its entirety. I am not kidding, not in the least. This book is probably one of my very favorite books I’ve read … ever.”

I may have subconsciously heeded your instructions, as I am now the proud owner of a copy of Just One Day. I’m looking forward to reading it because it sounds like just my type of book! The different things that you took from reading it all appeal to me, and I’m seriously just wishing I could leave my office already so I could start it.

January 8, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Magan - Lola — thanks! Hope you enjoy it!
Keertana — there just really isn’t a negative I could think of about this book. Really, I loved it ALL! ENJOY!
Aneeqah — GIRL! You need to read Where She Went! That one was my FAVE of those two. Purchase JOD soon! 🙂
Annie — there’s a world of amazing just waiting for you! Gayle’s books are AMAZING! Read them all!
Brittany — I am buying it today, too! I NEED it on my shelves!
Nikki — I liked your little pun! Ay! I hope you love this! And I hope it helps you reminisce. 🙂
Anna — Me too, girl, me too!
April — Oh girl! So flattered by all your compliments. Seriously – thanks! And yes! I think that’s why I resonated too. Even at 27, I’m still figuring out how to live my own life.
Janita– !!! READ MORE CONTEMPS! If anything, read more GAYLE FORMAN! haha
Leoni — I can’t wait for Just One Year either. Willem’s perspective? Heck yeah!
Ginger — thanks, love! This book was just AH! SOOOO good. Beyond good. Amazing! xoxo
Judith — Gayle’s writing does something to me too. It just takes me places & her writing is so vivid. I hope you enjoy every bit of JOD.
Rachel — oh, girl! There’s so, so much more. Be prepared!
Lori — thanks, lady! YES! I was so surprised by JOD. So. Freaking. Good.

January 8, 2013 - 3:02 am

Lola (Reading by Lamplight) - Fab review! Looking forward to reading this one! 🙂

January 7, 2013 - 8:41 pm

Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings - I am SO happy you enjoyed this one! I can’t wait to read it and some of the negative reviews, with readers disappointed by the pace or by Willem and their lack of connection with him, really scared me, but I am thrilled to hear that it’s every bit as perfect as I hoped and imagined! 🙂 I cannot WAIT for it to arrive at my doorstep soon! Wonderful review!

January 7, 2013 - 8:24 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Wow, I’m glad you were able to enjoy this one so much! So far, I’ve only read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, but that book alone convinces me that her writing style is absolutely superb. Based on all your excitement for this book that you have, I’m totally going to be picking up Just One Day! It sounds totally emotional, and I can’t wait to see what adventure Ms. Forman has planned for us next.

Fabulous review Magan! <3

January 7, 2013 - 6:34 pm

Annie - I’ve never read anything by Gayle before but I’ve heard so much about this book! I actually did not know what it was about until today, when I read your review! It sounds awesome, and I can’t wait for it to come out! I’m sure it’s amazing!

January 7, 2013 - 3:37 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I absolutely love Gayle and this one did not disappoint in the least!!! I borrowed the ARC but I am buying this as soon as I possibly can! <3

January 7, 2013 - 1:14 pm

Nikki @ Foil the Plot - Everyone has been shouting rejoices from the rooftops about this book and I want to read it sooooo badly! I’m really happy that I only have to wait, like, one more day (get it!?)!

But seriously, the whole plot reminds me vaguely of a personal experience some years ago so I have a feeling this book will resonate with me in a very real way. I’m stoked!

January 7, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Anna - I LOVE BOOKS!

January 7, 2013 - 11:07 am

April Books & Wine - Nailed it.

Seriously, you perfectly described why Just One Day is such an amazing book and I love, love love that.

Also?

“There’s the sense of change and wanting to chase after something new and different and acting on it, even though (or maybe especially because) everyone expects you to stay the same” This is one of the reasons why Just One Day really resonated with me, because that’s kind of what I’ve been experiencing lately in my real life.

January 7, 2013 - 10:19 am

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but I’ve heard that If I Stay was excellent. Gotta but that on my TBR pile 🙂 Awesome review

January 7, 2013 - 9:41 am

Leoni - Great review and this book has also become one of my favourites! I loved this book and can’t wait for Just One Year!

January 7, 2013 - 9:37 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Oh my, this review is lovely Magan. You captured exactly what made this novel so what it is. I adored the self discovery Allyson endured, but I also loved that it wasn’t something easy and perfectly tied up with a bow on top. It felt REAL.

January 7, 2013 - 9:27 am

Judith - Beautifully written! Reading your review made me even more excited for this book, and I really can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Gayle Forman’s writing just does something to me, and I’m glad there’s more to this book than ‘just’ romance. So excited for this 🙂

January 7, 2013 - 9:02 am

Rachel - I really love your review! I’m looking forward to reading this book. I definitely assumed it was going to be a love story, so I’m glad there are other themes in it as well.

January 7, 2013 - 7:15 am

Lori - I LOVE this review! You said it so much better than I could. I went into it expecting a love story as well, but we got so much more!

Estelle: Intentions by Deborah Heiligman

Intentions by Deborah Heiligman Publication Date: August 14, 2012 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Pages: 272 Target audience: Mature young adult Keywords: rabbi, temple, fighting parents, distant best friend, first love Format read: ARC from NetGalley How I heard about it: Heard DH read an excerpt at NYC Teen Author Festival in March Summary: In […]

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November 1, 2012 - 8:02 am

Rather Be Reading Blog Celebrates the Big One: Fun + Giveaway - […] by Katie McGarry 5. Skinny by Donna Cooner 6. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell 7. Intentions by Deborah Heiligman 8. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 9. My Life Next Door by […]

August 9, 2012 - 10:47 am

April Books & Wine - The premise of this sounds really good. I mean, I love books where teens question things like religion. Also I like when adults are hypocritical, because no one is perfect or anything.

Yeah, I’m going to have to check this one out of my library eventually!

July 14, 2012 - 6:48 pm

VeganYANerds - I’ve never heard of this book or author so thank you for making me aware of it. Sometimes I steer clear of books about religion but I like that this book is about a girl questioning her faith because someone she’s looked up to is not doing as he says.

And I loved your description of Rachel, there is just something about flawed characters, they are so easy to relate to compared to perfect people, she sounds very realistic!

Great review, E!

July 14, 2012 - 5:16 pm

Krystianna - This book sounds awesome!

I’m glad to hear that you liked it.

Thanks for the review!

July 12, 2012 - 10:40 pm

elena - I actually said WHAAAT out loud reading the first lines of your review! I’m not really a religious person but I’m curious about this one, esp since it’s not preachy. I was not expecting that from the cover but I see the windows now. This sounds like such an intriguing book!

July 12, 2012 - 12:27 pm

Tara - I MUST read this one! I’m always intrigued about books that have a religion element but don’t preach at me and this perfect. Fabulous review Estelle!!

July 11, 2012 - 4:39 pm

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - I’d never heard of this book before I read your review, but I really want to now. Rachel sounds like the kind of main character I’ll love because she’s not flawless! Great review. 🙂

July 11, 2012 - 1:46 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - To be honest, this book is completely new to me. I had never heard of it before, but after reading your review, I’m completely intrigued. This book presents a situation that most people have to deal with – an authority figure teaching one thing and acting in direct opposition – so it’ll be an interesting read, at least to me.