This book provides a solid foundation for SCJP2 preparation for programmers, especially those familiar with C or C++. (If you're new to programming, then start with a more basic book, like Peter van der Linden's Just Java 2.) The writing style is brief and to-the-point, which makes the book a quick read. However, if you decide to use the book as your primary resource, you should supplement it with an additional text, such as the "RHE" book to reinforce areas where you feel weak. I suggest marking key statements and then re-reading these several times as you get close to the exam.
Each chapter has very helpful study questions at the end that help test your understanding of the chapter. However, the layout of the questions makes self-test a little difficult because the answer appears immediately below the question, requiring the reader to clumsily cover the answer while considering the question. (Suggestion to the author / publisher: In the next edition, put questions on the right-hand page and corresponding answers on the following left-hand page. It'll take a few more pages but greatly simplify using the questions.) Also, there is a sample test at the end of the book that provides a pretty good final "self-check" to assess readiness.(Bill Compton - bartender, March 2001)