Review: The Talent Thief by Mike Thayer

Posted February 12, 2024 by Lola in Contemporary, Review / 4 Comments

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The Talent ThiefThe Talent Thief
by Mike Thayer
narrated by Kate Coventry

My Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Fiction with a bit of magic
Age Category: Middle Grade

A girl with the ability to borrow other people’s talents must use her powers to find her own spotlight in The Talent Thief, a wish-fulfilling middle-grade novel from Mike Thayer, the author of The Double Life of Danny Day.

Tiffany Tudwell is cursed. She once tripped over a backpack and fell face-first into a trashcan. She had pink eye on picture day. One time she tried to hold back a sneeze and farted on the cutest boy in class. She longs for the spotlight, but it’s safer to stay hidden in the shadows where the curse can’t reach her and no one can make fun of her.

Until the night two meteors collide over her backyard giving Tiffany the ability to steal people’s talents for a day—like stealing mean girl Candace’s beautiful singing voice in the middle of play rehearsal, or drawing an incredible self-portrait after borrowing the teacher’s pencil. Her power even gets the attention of the most popular boy in school, the smooth-talking Brady Northrup.

But her powers can’t solve everything—or can they? When a local philanthropist announces a fundraiser contest, Tiffany, with Brady’s help, decides to use her powers to save her dad’s failing planetarium. And maybe discover her own talent along the way…

My Review

I received a free copy from Tantor Audio and am voluntarily reviewing it.

I requested an audio copy of this one as I liked the premise for it. And I am so glad I picked this one up as I loved this story. It’s a lovely Middle Grade story with a touch of magic. Main character Tiffany witnesses a meteor shower and wakes up the next day with the ability to steal people’s talents or more accurately borrow them. This story is beautifully told and has some wonderful messages and was just so fun to read. There are themes of being yourself, friendship and helping others.

From start to finish this book had my attention. The pacing felt really well done with every scene having a goal and I just had such a fun time listening to it. The whole book is so well written, from the set-up to Tiffany gaining her powers to her figuring out her powers and then the ending with the talent show. I also loved how this book totally went into a different direction with the talent show and how Tiffany participated in it than I had expected, although I did predict which costume she would have and thought it was perfect for her. The whole ending and wrap up was just so well done and I really liked how things got resolved and how Tiffany participated in the talent show.

I thought the touch of magic with Tiffany being ale to steal people’s talents was quite fun and well done. The way Tiffany has to figure out how it works and then goes around to try people’s talents. The way she felt experiencing these talents was awesome and the way she absorbed some of the feelings and vibes around the actual talent gave an interesting way of her experiencing parts of people’s lives. And the story also deals with how ethical stealing people’s talents is as Tiffany realizes what happens when she steals people’s talents. I liked how that part got done and how Tiffany deals with it.

I really liked reading about Tiffany, she was such a likable and kind character. I thought she felt pretty real and relatable as well, with the way she used to hide in the shadows as she feels she is cursed and is afraid of people seeing her and bullying her. The bullying was really sad to read about, but I liked how that plot line got resolved and how Tiffany handled her main bully Candace and faced her in the competition. I liked seeing Tiffany’s personality shine through in what she did and how she approached things. She’s so kind and cares about others and has some great friends around her. She makes mistakes and doesn’t always do everything right, but I thought the way she dealt with that and moved forward really showed her personality.

The narrator for this book was new to me and I thought she was a perfect fit for this story. from the first second I listened to it I could believe she was Tiffany as she made her voice sound young enough to fit Tiffany. I thought she did the different voices well too, but I especially liked how she brought Tiffany’s character to life. I would definitely listen to books narrated by her again.

To summarize: I loved this wonderful Middle Grade story with a touch of magic. I liked the premise and how it was handled with Tiffany gaining the ability to steal people’s talents. I liked the themes and messages of this book with themes of talents, friendship, being yourself and helping others. I really liked this book from start to finish and thought it was very well written with good pacing and progression throughout that kept me excited to listen to more. The ending was so well done and I really liked how everything got wrapped up. I really liked reading about Tiffany, I thought she was likable and felt relatable. I especially liked how kind she was and how she handled it when she made mistakes. She has some great friends around her who help her out. I liked how the narrator brought Tiffany to life and I thought her voice fit Tiffany well and sounded young enough to fit Tiffany.

5 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.


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