Greetings from Witness Protection by: Jake Burt

Greetings From Witness Protection

This book is on the Middle School Battle of the Books list for this year. It was the first book that I had read, and it set the bar pretty high. As I have now read all the books, I can safely say that this was my favorite book.

The book is about a girl named Nicki Demere who was raised by her grandmother, who’s dad is in prison and mom is unknown. Nicki was raised by somewhat of a bad family. She was taught to pickpocket by her grandmother. This was a big part of her life and still has a big impact on her now. She can’t wear gloves and has the need to steal things (also called kleptomania). After her grandmother died, she went and lived in an orphanage and different foster homes in New York until she was recruited. Recruited into what you ask? Well, it is the WITSAC.

It is a project that tries to go to lengths to protect families that are in severe danger. The Sicurzzas are in grave danger after the mother testifies against her mob family. Her brother, one of the most known and one of the most dangerous mob bosses out there, is determined to hunt her and her family down. Nicki was recruited and trained to be inserted into that family in order to try and protect them from harm. They would get new identities, looks, and family bonds. They must move to a new state; meet new people and try to live as if they are a normal family. Along the way, Nicki (now known as Charlotte) makes friends and tries to survive middle school while trying to control and hide her pick pocketing skills. She meets more people than she thinks she would and meets one person that she has a big impact on.

But, when the mob family that was hunting them finds their new location, they must figure out what to do while not getting injured or dying in the process. Nicki’s father comes and tries to take her back and things get even more messy.

Will her father take her away to somewhere where she won’t ever see anybody she has grown to love again, or will she fight back and stay with them? To find out, you should read Greetings from Witness Protection.

I greatly enjoyed this book, it had many exciting twists and turns and had a good plot line. It was exciting to see Nicki grow as a person along the way, while making new friends and trying to not become friends with other people. I would recommend this book as it was very good.

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

image of book cover of Divergent

The book series called Divergent is an interesting one. It is the first book in a three-part series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant). This was a book recommended by a friend who has a similar taste in books. Overall, I enjoyed this book, though some parts were questionable.
Divergent is about a future Chicago where everybody is split into factions. There are 5 factions with different attributes associated with it. There is Abnegation (Selflessness), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Truthful), Dauntless (Brave), and Erudite (Smart). When you turn 16 you go through a test in which you are given a faction that is mostly likely one that you would be placed in based on what you pick in the test. There is then a ceremony where you must pick where you live, work, and do everything for the rest of your life. There are tests to get into the faction and if you don’t pass you could become factionless. However, there are people called the Divergent. These people can do things like manipulate the tests and be aware that they are in a simulation (whereas normal people can’t).
Beatrice Prior (Now known as Tris) was born and raised in Abnegation where everything they do has to be selfless, whether it means eating the simplest food or letting other people get on the bus before you. When she takes her aptitude test to see which faction she is fit for, the person administering it stops and says she is Divergent. She says this is dangerous, not to tell anyone, and then manually logs the data saying Tris is Abnegation. When the ceremony comes around Tris must make a hard decision. She picks Dauntless, where they are all about being brave. She has a large amount of experiences, losses, and rivalry along the way. She also meets a person named Four (Tobias Eaton). They start to have a romantic relationship but must keep it a secret. They then discover a plot against the Abnegation, started by the Erudite who want power, and powered by the Dauntless because they have skills in combat. They are being controlled by a serum that had been injected unknowingly. Since Tris is Divergent she is not affected. She needs to save her friends and stop the Erudite from killing all the Abnegation.
I overall enjoyed this book a lot. The only parts I didn’t like were when she was talking with Four. The way that it was described and, the way that they communicated seemed inappropriate for 16-year-olds. Besides that, and the fact that some parts are sad. It was a very good book and I would recommend it, especially if you are into books such as The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter.
I would rate this book a 9/10.