The Winner of The One-Chapter Challenge

June 3, 2015 — Leave a comment


Once upon a time, I started reviewing books on this blog. After doing several reviews, I stumbled upon the ability to receive free books in exchange for my thoughts and pursued transactions of this type in earnest. As reviews began piling up, e-mails soon followed containing requests to review books. More often than not, these were less than enticing, so I eventually created the one-chapter challenge as used to be outlined on my contact page:

If, for some reason, you think the book that you are promoting is so amazing that it will dissuade me from sticking to my current policy, you are free to send it to me at my school address (4800 Howell Branch Rd, Winter Park, FL, 32792). In the event that I receive and unsolicited book in this way, I will give it a one chapter challenge. That is, if I’m not convinced within the first chapter (and my initial perusal of the book) to keep reading, then your book will not get any review considerations. If I do read the entire book, I will comment on it on the blog. I may not necessarily give it a full review, but I will at least devote a post to it. If I don’t read past the first chapter, then nothing will come of you sending the book my way.

A while back, I received an e-mail that itself was the best review inquiry I ever received. The opening line was “MY EBOOK WILL DESTROY YOUR ONE CHAPTER CHALLENGE LIKE IT IS A DEMON IN A CARMAN MUSIC VIDEO.” I knew I had a winner.

The book pitched, Homeschool Sex Machine is by Matthew Pierce. The title may seem a little risque, but if you were as homeschooled as I was, you’d know what it really entails. Pierce was equally homeschooled, a little earlier in the 90’s than me, but with a fairly similar experience. His commentary on that subculture is hilarious. I would expect you’ll find it equally as funny if you a) were homeschool in the South, or b) were part of a conservative Baptist youth group in the mid to late 90’s. There are other options, but those were both of my experiences so it was like reading someone else make jokes about my own memories.

His follow up, JV Superstar continues this witty social commentary, but on his experience at Bryan College. My only regret is that there were no stories about trips to Knoxville, but Chattanooga makes due. From the sound of it, I had again, a pretty similar experience, only 600 miles south at Word of Life for two years. If you went to a conservative Christian college in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, you’ll probably appreciate the humor that Pierce brings to the table in reflecting on his odyssey.

I suppose I could write a more thorough review, but you should just go get both of Pierce’s books and read them instead of my commentary on them. I would say I’ll give you $5 if you don’t like them, but that’s socially irresponsible of me. I feel confident to promise that, but just don’t feel like risking it (or getting scammed). So what I’m saying is, it’s summer, you’ve got time on your hands and you could probably use a good laugh. I know I could.


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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

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