Review: Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt — A Heartwarming yet Thrilling Tale of Family and Fitting In

Hi guys! Right now, I am at the Tennessee DECA State Career Development Conference, otherwise known as SCDC! If you are reading this, then I am currently competing for a coveted spot in the top 5 in the state for my event Marketing Communications Series. I’ve learned to love marketing a lot this past year, and I hope that I could come home with a trophy! Also, tomorrow I’m going to be at the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival, and I’m so stoked to attend it again! I have 20 books awaiting to be signed (yes, somehow I’ve accumulated 20 books this past year) and there’s so many authors I want to meet and connect with! Today, I am reviewing Greetings from Witness Protectionby Jake Burt, whose interview with me is being posted in just a couple of weeks! Hope you enjoy!

About the BookGreetings from Witness Protection!

Nicki Demere is an orphan and a pickpocket. She also happens to be the U.S. Marshals’ best bet to keep a family alive. . . .

The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need.

Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.


4 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a free hardcover copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.

Greetings from Witness Protection! shows readers what it truly means to be a part of a family and to love them so much to be willing to sacrifice everything for their safety and protection. It’s the heartwarming story about a girl who tries to fit in with her foster family as they take on a new identity in a new town with a multitude of responsibility under the Witness Protection Program. This book both warmed my heart so much yet placed me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. My heart was pounding as I sympathized with Nicki and her struggles with kleptomania and being a part of a new family. It even made me laugh so many times, and the storyline had the perfect mix of light humor and deep issues. Greetings from Witness Protection! is an MG part-spy thriller and part-family contemporary novel that will have readers of all ages inspired to fight for their loved ones.

Jake Burt is a master of storytelling and creating characters that you’ll fall in love with from page one. I connected so much with Nicki as she desired to be loved, as she feared losing her new family, and as she wanted to protect them from harm’s way. She’s so cool and cunning that I wish I could meet her in person (though I’d keep my valuables at home, haha). I could easily feel Jackson’s anger at his current circumstances and his great desire for everything to revert back to normal. I could sense Harriet’s and Jonathan’s warmth to their children and fear of impending crises. I loved how Brittany overcame her social anxieties to befriend Nicki and not be ashamed at her guilty pleasure of gaming. And I can’t forget about the ultimate Hufflepuff Holly and the serious but warm-hearted Janice! I wish there was a sequel so I’d get to know more about what happens to everyone after the events of this book!

Before I continuing on, I have to talk about two things that I did not know existed in the South, even after living here in Tennessee for more than ten years. Apparently, “show your butt” is a phrase here that means to complain, and I even confirmed it with my choir teacher that it is actually used. I laughed so hard when Nicki realized what it actually means (you have to read that scene to know what I’m talking about). Also, I need to attend a “pig-picking” at least once in my life because it sounds epic that it’s a huge party in which everyone eats barbeque. I cannot pass that up. It’s a Southern tradition I need to, and I mean I need to, experience sometime in the future. The author certainly had every detail about the Southern culture on point! He even mentioned how if you live in a college town, you must own at least one or two shirts of that college. It’s like me not owning a Murray State shirt — it’s a must!

There isn’t a part in Greetings from Witness Protection! that I do not love because everything about it was so well-crafted! Everything, from the Southern humor to the foreshadowing documents, made me want to delve deeper and deeper into the storyline.  I loved how the author incorporated the backdrop of WITSEC into the novel — it made the novel very interesting and very unique. I definitely was placed onto the edge of my seat. When danger lurked around the corner, I tensed up as the characters began to fill with fear. There are so many hilarious scenes that will have you hooting and hollering and even gasping for air! This book had so much action and excitement that I had such a fun time reading it!

Greetings from Witness Protection! is not the average MG contemporary novel — it is a heartwarming yet thrilling tale that about family and fitting in that will cause readers’ hearts to melt and pound at the same time! It certainly has the power to inspire and change readers of all ages, from young to old! MG novels such as this one are beating out many YA and higher-age books in quality. I would definitely put Greetings from Witness Protection! into the hands of middle grade readers, and I am so excited to see what Jake Burt has in store for the future! I cannot wait to get my hands onto The Right Hook of Devin Velma now!

About the AuthorJake Burt

Jake Burt is the award-winning author of Greetings from Witness Protection! The Right Hook of Devin Velma is his second novel. He lives in Connecticut, where he also teaches fifth grade, plays the banjo, and runs around on the ultimate frisbee field. Check him out at and on Twitter @jburtbooks.

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Purchase Greetings from Witness Protection! here today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Powell’s

Pre-Order The Right Hook of Devin Velma here today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books-a-Million | iBooks

Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Have you read Greetings for Witness Protection!? Do you like MG contemporary, thrillers, or family novels?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

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8 thoughts on “Review: Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt — A Heartwarming yet Thrilling Tale of Family and Fitting In

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