The Thing You’re Good At by Lesley Choyce
Orca Book Publishers | August 28, 2018
Jake’s friend Maria is the daughter of undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria’s parents are detained and quickly sent out of the country. Maria, who was born here, decides to hide out in Jake’s basement rather than risk becoming a ward of the state. But when she returns to her old apartment to retrieve her hidden birth certificate, Maria is abducted by young men on the lookout for teenage girls who have lost their parents to deportation. Jake is determined to rescue Maria before she’s turned over to the authorities. Or worse.
Self-actualization, that’s what Mr. Lotz is trying to teach Jake because he knows Jake is a good guy. Jake doesn’t think he’s good at anything until Maria tells him he’s good at helping people. This comes in handy later in the story when Maria’s parents are taken by the government and she has no place to go but to Jake for help.
This was a good story, but I gave it three stars because I felt like it didn’t need to be so fast-paced. I feel like if it were stretched out more over a longer period of time it would have been better. I also feel like all the things that happened weren’t really that realistic. BUT, before you say anything, I understand that girls/women get taken every day and bad things happen. I don’t think how this story played out was super realistic. I did like the main character though and his loyalty to his family (even his hateful father) and his only two friends, Oscar and Maria. I would still recommend this book despite the things I didn’t like about it.
Thank you NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review.