I liked the story

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I like the story of Mona Passage which I had no idea was a body of water between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Galan, his father Gustavo, Josefina his mother, and Gabriella his sister take a raft to leave Cuba hoping to get to the USA. His mother and sister unfortunately get left behind.

The main issue I had with the book were the time jumps. In one chapter we jumped from Galan sitting on his porch to all of a sudden it being his 12th birthday and the bad memories he remembered involving a baseball bat. Then looking for a cat. It didn't make sense where these paragraphs came from. I think they needed to be their own chapters so they could add details to the story instead of being random.

Second, I'm not sure why Pat was calling his dad by his proper name in I think chapter 5. His brother Danny is injured in Iraq and it doesn't seem like the characters have much empathy. The characters fell flat for me. I know this is a debut novel but I felt like it was missing cohesiveness.

The story overall was good but needed some major editing. I like how Pat has to make a decision to help his friend. I liked the lengths it took for Galan and his father to try to leave Cuba because of the communist government and survive being immigrants.

The best part of the book was 3/4 through where the action picked up and the end was good. If the characters were more developed at the beginning it would have been better.