Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin knows what they say about good intentions, and he finds out it's all true. After all, he had the best of intentions when he stepped in to stop a friend from making a terrible mistake, but when he's caught with his friend's gun, no one believes him. As punishment, Isaiah is forced to pack his bags and join his missionary father in politically unstable Cameroon, Africa.
Isaiah's father also has good intentions, and he devotes all his time to them, so he sends Henry, a mysterious and attractive do-gooder, to act as Isaiah's chaperone--and hopefully keep him out of trouble. But once again, the best-laid plans quickly go awry and Isaiah and Henry are abducted by enemy soldiers. If they want to live through their ordeal, they'll have to work together and learn to trust each other until they're rescued--or come up with a plan to save themselves and hope, for once, nothing goes wrong.
|Publisher:||Harmony Ink Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 Stars. Isaiah Martin is a high school senior at a private school in Wisconsin when he tries to help a friend in dire need. His best friend is having severe home troubles, and Isaiah finds her near school with a gun in her lap--Isaiah tries to remove it and gets arrested for possession. His mother, a high powered attorney, gets his arrest expunged for probation as long as Isaiah spends the summer volunteering with his missionary physician father in Cameroon, Africa. Isaiah isn't thrilled with the idea, mostly because he hasn't even heard from his father in the nine years since he and his mother moved back to the States. And, he's really not happy when his dad can't even make it to the airport to pick him up. Instead, Isaiah is collected by Henry, and young and attractive man who's been working at the mission for a couple years. Isaiah is sullen and petulant, and the ride to the mission is two days long and arduous--including a stopover for fresh medical supplies. There is some level of bonding as these two spend a day and night together, but it gets serious when Isaiah, a diabetic, struggles with his insulin pump--and Henry gets bitten by a venomous snake. Oh, and when the armed guerillas take them captive in an effort to locate components of a chemical weapon? Yeah, that really kicks this adventure into high gear. DO GOODER was an engaging YA adventure, with openly gay characters caught in a high stakes plot. It felt very well-researched, and had elements of suspense that far surpassed the critical zone. Isaiah is literally slowly dying from DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) over the course of their imprisonment. Trusted friends are slaughtered, and it seems like only one--if either--of these boys will make it out alive. The anguish Isaiah feels because of his father's political ties is extreme, and Henry's self-sacrificing activity is more than a little harrowing. I really enjoyed how close these kids bonded, though the book is sexually-innocent, and ached for both of them when "rescue" comes to pass. It was a little hard to follow the timeline, because Isaiah is the narrator, and he's overcome by disorientation that accompanies DKA. That said, the confusion gave an authentic feel to the point-of-view and kept the tension high. I received a review copy via NetGalley.
A coming of age LGBT novel written by J. Leigh Bailey. Would you, or could you, do something that could get you sent to Africa for summer community service? Isaiah Martin sure did! Do you think you could fall in love while despising your being there? Isaiah did! Isaiah helps a friend by taking the gun away, but then is found with it near school property. Because of this, he has to join his father in Cameroon, Africa as a missionary. Isaiah hasn't seen or heard from his father in a long time, and has some issues with it. When arriving in Africa, he is not met by his father, but one of the others at the mission, Henry. Just a short shot way from the mission camp, they are picked up by rogue soldiers. Will they make it out of the camp alive? Can they trust each other and their felling? I think I would put this in YA Action/Adventure before I put it in YA romance. While there may be overtones of love/lust in the book, the main portion of it is the action/adventure for Isaiah and Henry. This is still an amazing book! I did not want to put it down! Thank you Harmony Ink Press and NetGalley for the free digital copy of this book to give an honest review!
Reviewed by Scila Colombo for Readers' Favorite Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin is a kind spirit, a do-gooder...but he will never admit that. When Isaiah is caught with a gun - he only held it to keep a friend from doing something stupid - he gets into deep trouble and is immediately sent out to Cameroon to live with his missionary father, Dr. Charles Martin. Leaving Chicago for the dark continent, Isaiah never thought he'd meet a young and surprisingly hot guy: Henry, a do-gooder sent by Dr. Martin to pick him up and drive him to the refugee camp. What happens next is a turmoil of emotions, and a kidnapping by militant forces. Will the boys find the courage to work together to survive or will they keep falling down? J. Leigh Bailey has the gift of good writing! Do-gooder is absolutely gorgeous. An astounding novel, masterfully written for a young audience that will move you to the core. Able to capture the reader's attention with a young and modern language, author J. Leigh Bailey delivers a fast paced story, well-developed and conceived. The way the characters see and interact with each other is simply brilliant and creates beautiful dynamics. Isaiah and Henry are so good they seem real: they perfectly portray those unique characteristics of young adults: impatient, quick on the draw yet with a heart full of love and good intentions. Writing about boys traversing the world of love and relationships, while often struggling for acceptance, J. Leigh Bailey's belief that everyone - no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation - deserves a happy ending is what makes this book so special and a beautiful read.
Having read a couple of Bailey’s M/M new adult romances, I was excited about the prospect of discovering how well she could write a young adult story. As it turns out, the author’s writing style lends itself well to the YA genre as this & the other books I’ve read demonstrate a clear focus on the characters as the driving force behind the story. Because I don’t know where else to mention it in my review, I want to give a nod to the author about how Isaiah’s diabetes is dealt with in the book – it is presented as a part of who he is & not as a barrier to him living his life, yet the author makes it clear that Isaiah’s diligence to his health is paramount without making his diabetes a character of its own (if that makes sense). No good deed goes unpunished. That’s the premise of Do-Gooder, or at least that’s how Isaiah sees it as his butt is on its way to Africa for part of the summer as a form of intensive community service. Yeah, getting caught with a gun within 200 yards of a school was no laughing matter, but his mother’s legal prowess kept him out of jail, even if the alternative isn’t much better in Isaiah’s opinion. Isaiah’s outlook on the situation gets a little brighter upon meeting Henry, but that feeling is short-lived when the young men are waylaid by mercenaries on their trip back to the medical center. At first glance, this may seem a bit fantastical of a storyline, yet it’s the kind of incident that triggers tourist warnings for Americans throughout the world – no one is truly safe. While the direction the story takes revs up the action & adventure that will hold many a teen’s attention, it is Isaiah & Henry’s time as hostages that allows the author’s talent to shine because it’s when we see the characters develop. I don’t want to say much about their time as hostages because I don’t want to ruin the book for potential readers, but it’s not pretty; it’s no worse than many action movies I’ve watched, except that when they are subjected to violence, it’s not overly graphic in my opinion. I should point out that an adult reader, & an astute young adult reader, will easily see the set-up for the action & adventure portion of Do-Gooder. However, Bailey writes it in such a way that the reader is meant to see what Isaiah & Henry do not, & understand why they don’t see it. Yet even knowing that something was coming, I was still taken aback by events as they unfolded. So while there is a certain level of predictability for the adult reader, it didn’t keep me from getting sucked into the story because of how Bailey writes Isaiah & Henry – they are what matters, they are why I’m reading the story, & it is their responses to the situation & their behaviors that moved the story forward. The bond that forms between the young men as they are faced with a situation right out of a movie or novel (*wink, wink*) is palpable, not only because of the danger they face together, but because they anchor one another to reality. As this is a YA novel, there is no sexual content, with only a kiss being exchanged – and considering that the storyline is heavy on the action & adventure, it made sense that there was no more than that. While I do not pretend to know what, if anything, teens are reading these days, I suspect that Do-Gooder will appeal more to males than females because of the action & adventure aspects, particularly gay teens who may find themselves identifying with Isaiah and/or Henry. Rec'd free copy to review for Wicked Reads