Posted in Book Reviews

Greetings from Witness Protection!

Last fall, I got a list of 21 books that were up for the Truman nominees for the 2019-2020 school year. I set off to read all 21, but I failed miserably because of grad school. I had about 6 books left when they announced the top 12, and of course 4 of the 6 I had left made the final cut.

Greetings from Witness Protection! was a really easy, enjoyable read. I think middle school students are going to like it.

The story starts off in a center for foster children. The main character, you learn rather quickly, has a mom who abandoned her, a dad in prison, and a grandmother who raised her until she passed away. Nicki hasn’t “fit” with any foster family, and she has a past which has led to her have impulse control problems – mainly with kleptomania.

She gets a chance for a new start with the US Marshalls and the witness protection program. I was intrigued by this story line. It definitely made me want to finish the book and find out exactly what was happening.

The book is told in 1st person, but throughout the book we get little glimpses of what is happening outside the main characters point of view. Just a few pages scattered in between chapters. There isn’t a lot of information, but enough to keep the reader intrigued to want to know what will happen with all the story lines.

Overall, the book is well-written. The characters are easy to connect to, especially the main character, Nicki. And for once, there isn’t a dumb, unnecessary romance to get in the way of the actual story!

How much did it make me cry?

  • Not at all
  • A little sniffle
  • A couple tears
  • A steady stream
  • Ugly cry
Posted in Book Reviews

When We Collided

I will admit it. I have about 10 books at home that I am set to read, but I picked this one first 100% based on how much I enjoyed the cover. I read the back cover and decided that this would be a nice easy read after finishing my grad school classes last week.

The book is one of 15 on the list for the Missouri Gateway Nominees for the 2018-19 school year, and while it didn’t win the top spot, I can definitely see why it made the list.

When We Collided is not just a sweet little girl meets boy love story. Following what seems to be a current trend in young adult novels, each chapter is told from one of the two main characters’ points of view. Vivi is completely full of life and seems to live for the moment. Jonah is a quiet guy whose family has just experienced a tragic loss in the past year. The characters overlap early on in the book and the reader is taken on their journey.

You don’t find out for while what is really going on with Vivi, although within the first chapter you know that she is not taking one of her daily pills. She is doing this secretly, taking her pill away from her house and throwing it out into the ocean.

Jonah, we learn, is very committed to his family and their well-being. He carries the responsibilities of making meals for “the littles” and keeping them entertained.

Vivi brings sunshine and happiness into Jonah and his family’s lives, but there is always this feeling that something is not what it seems with her. I’ll stop here with my summarizing before I give anything away.


I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. The writing was well done, and the use of 1st person point of view really helped to understand the two main characters. I found Vivi a little hard to follow sometimes, but stick with her, it is supposed to be like this.

How much did it make me cry?

  • Not at all
  • A little sniffle
  • A couple tears
  • A steady stream
  • Ugly cry