Monday, August 11, 2008

Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh

I stumbled across Splitting Harriet at the library in the new fiction section. It sounded like a fun, light, chick-lit read and being Christian fiction, I counted that as a bonus too.

But I was disappointed to find that this fits right in with many other Christian fiction I've read - which is downright cheesy. Seriously, the characters just didn't work for me. Even though I'm a Christian, I wouldn't say I'm religiously-minded, I would say I'm relationship-minded. And this was WAY TOO religious for me. Ick.

Sorry, I felt I was being generous by giving this two stars.

Description: Once upon a time, I was a rebel. And I have the tattoo to prove it.

Then there was the spiked hair–the shade of which changed monthly–“colorful” language that can’t be found in your everyday sixteen-count crayon box, a pack-a-day habit, less-than-modest wardrobe, and an obsession with guitar-trashing, drum-bashing music.

Did I mention I’m also a preacher’s kid? That’s right. And like the prodigal son after whom I modeled myself, I finally saw the error of my ways and returned to the fold.

Today my life is all about “lead me not into temptation.” When I’m not serving as Women’s Ministry Director at my father’s church, I’m working at Gloria’s Morning Café. I even have worthy goals, like saving enough money to buy the café, keep my Jelly Belly habit under control, and to never again hurt the people I love. No more parties. No more unsavory activities. And no more motorcycles! You’d think I was finally on the right track.

But since my dad’s replacement hired a hotshot church consultant to revive our “dying” church, things aren’t working out as planned. And now this “consultant” says I’m in need of a little reviving myself. Just who does this Maddox McCray think he is anyway? With his curly hair that could use a good clipping, tattoo that he makes no attempt to hide, and black leather pants, the man is downright dangerous. In fact, all that’s missing is a motorcycle. Or so I thought… But if he thinks he’s going to take me for a ride on that 1298cc machine of his, he can think again. Harriet Bisset is a reformed woman, and she’s going to stay that way. Even if it kills me!

Rating: **

Recommend: Only if you enjoy cheesy Christian fiction.

* Update: It seems I wasn't the only book blog reviewer who disliked the preachiness and was disappointed by this Christian book. Amy over at The Friendly Book Nook, also a fellow Christian book reviewer, had a very similar review as mine written back in March 2008. You can read it by clicking here.


prayerpager said...

Man, who ever Kim and Jason are, they really need to get out more and get out of the Vampire or Cult Genre they must be from. Are you kidding about Splitting Harriet? Way to Religious? It was a Laugh until your sides Hurt, Fast Paced, Fresh new look at a very real world. I laughed until I Cried and Cried until I laughed. This book touched all my emotions and I could not put it down.

TAMARA LEIGH hit a home run with Splitting Harriet. It was a finalist in the RITA Awards, and nominated for best Christian Book of the year. Publishers Weekly and some of the biggest names in Chrisitian lit have nothing but praises for this book. BTW they all commented how it way refeshing how Leigh got a strong message across with out sounding Preachy. Visit Leighs Website At to see for yourself and check out all her books including FAKING GRACE which hit the store this week, which is one of her best yet.

Kim and Jason said...

Wow prayerpager, whoever the heck you are, seems like only some of us are entitled to opinions, which apparently must mean just you. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a very "Christian" comment on the Christian book you enjoyed, such a witness you are! We're all entitled to our opinions and this was mine. If you don't like it, well, that's just too freakin bad.

Kim and Jason said...

Oh and to address your comment that she didn't come across as too preachy? I'm sorry, but an author who puts her church's vision statement at the beginning of her book, uh sure, that isn't preachy at all. Um ok.

Jason said...


Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla; I assume you've heard of these...yes? Some people like Chocolate; some don't. Some like all three; some don't like either and instead prefer Pistachio or Sorbet. My point, Darlin', is this- Kimberly chose a book, read it and didn't care for it that much. Like anyone, she's entitled to her opinion. You may agree, disagree or be indifferent; it really doesn't matter. What does matter, however, is that you respect her right to have an opinion and not reduce yourself to name calling and slander ("Vampire/ Cult genre?"); are you kidding me?

So, you liked the book; apparently a lot; safe to say you loved it. Cool; I'm glad for you that you did. You don't, however, need to slam others who did not share in your enthusiasm and enjoyment. That's called "immaturity," "pettiness," "insecurity," "sophomoric," "self-righteous;" qualities of which are not attractive to anyone.

Please, I implore you, next time you decide to disagree with someone, just say, "really, you didn't like it? WOW, I loved it." Please don't lash out so venomously; it's very unbecoming and quite honestly, simply just rude and ugly!

I must add, after reading your comment (several times), I can't help but notice a quality of unusual perturbedness in your tone. I'm not sure how Kimberly struck such a nerve in you with her simple, three paragraph review. The mood of your text with all its praises for the author, the mentioning of the award nominees, the plug for the new, forthcoming book and your invitation to check out the author's website, almost convinces me that you (prayerpager) are either Tamara Leigh herself or someone extremely close to her. If, in fact, this is true, it most certainly would explain your comments. Otherwise, why would care so much? Why would you bother commenting on some one's blog that you don't even know? Why would you be so adamant about how "phenomenal" this book is?

Rule number one in writing: not everyone will like what you do...but, that's okay!

Sincerely...Jason (of Kim and Jason)

prayerpager said...

Hi Jason
I also like the Packers and the Falcons, and if you slam them I will defend them and refer you to websites or reference facts that support my position.

I gotta admit, it's pretty funny when someone says that "most Christian Books are to religous for them". Sorta like most saunas are to to dry for me.

Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there.

It is also said that we can't drill our way out of this oil crises.....OH REALLY? you should see the fun I have with those blogs.

Anyway, I apologize for the offense. We are just two people with completely different opinions.
BTW, how come you and Kim are the only ones posting on this blog?

Kim and Jason said...

Probably because nobody else cares too much for this disappointing book.

Here's another review from a Christian Book Blogger that is quite similar to mine you might be interested in:

Tina said...


I happened to be one of the others who read this blog... yes there are plenty, contrary to your "higher than thou" assumption and I must say that your anonymity is interesting to say the least.

I clicked on your profile and imagine that... you just started it in August but your second comment says you have left plenty of comments on blogs related to the oil drilling issue. Now why would someone who is so adamant in relaying to the world his valuable opinion disguise who he/she actually is?

For the record, I come from what most would consider a "christian cult". So when you reference what "cult" they have come from, don't be immature enough to believe that just because someone slaps "christian" on the label or talks about "church" it's the greatest thing to come along for the Christian community since the Holy Bible!

I would hope that you have learned the essential lesson Jesus taught, which was to love your neighbor as yourself! Those who stand in judgement over others, especially in such petty issues of individual likes and dislikes, tear apart at the foundation of what a Christian community is meant to be. Inclusive of differences!

The simple fact is that Jesus was inclusive NOT exclusive and I am sure, unlike you, Kim's comments in no way offended him. And I guess that at the end of the day, that really is all that matters.

Next time you comment, Go ahead and leave your real name.... mine is Tina

Anonymous said...

I was searching for Splitting Harriet info since I saw that it won Christian Book of the Year on the American Christian Fiction Writer's website in the Chick Lit category and I was curious.

I landed on your site and was appalled. As a Christian, I find the posts and comments on this book a very negative reflection on the entire concept of this how Christians react to one another when we attack and belittle?

Sad (and that goes for all the people posting) and I can only wonder what non-Christians think.

To leave these rude posts online can only harm the name of Jesus and I implore you to leave your review...your opinion is your own...but remove the ugly comments...none of this is God honoring!

Regarding the anonymous choice..since I don't HAVE a blog, I can ONLY post as anonymous because there are no other options available to me! My name is Janet though and that is my real name.

Kim said...

Everyone's entitled to their opinions and I'm not going to sensor them.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm going to leave it as is.