Title: Desert Rice
Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC
Release Date: July 2012
Pages: 188 pages
About the Book:
Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.
Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.
Desert Rice is written from the viewpoint of Sam, but not the twelve-year-old Sam. Instead it is an older, wiser Sam looking back at a pivotal year in her short life, who tells this compelling story.
I was immediately drawn into Sam and Jacob’s story. Their attempt to survive on their own at such a young age made this mother’s heart break. Sam’s experience with horses brought me back to fond memories of my own childhood and the horse friends I rode with in those days.
But it is the last quarter of the book, where the story behind “that fateful day” is revealed that took me by surprise and nearly brought me to tears, Unfortunately I was sitting in the waiting room of the dentist’s office at the time and it was all I could do to contain myself and not reveal my deep disturbance to the people around me.
Desert Rice is a strongly written, powerful book that will bring you to your knees and make you want to hug and kiss your children. Although it is labelled as a young adult novel, I would not recommend it for anyone under the age of 15.
I give Desert Rice five saddles!! A must read!!!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review as a part of Innovative Online Book Tours. All opinions are 100% my own.
About the Author:
Angela Scott hears voices. Tiny fictional people sit on her shoulders and whisper their stories in her ear. Instead of medicating herself, she decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. She’s not crazy. She’s an author. For the most part, she writes contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, she found herself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West–and loving it. Her zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, she wouldn’t suggest it. She lives on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. She graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of her love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. She can’t spell, and grammar is her arch nemesis. But they gave her the degree, and there are no take backs.