Friday, March 29, 2013

Desert Rice by Angela Scott - Review and Giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Angela will award one commenter at every stop a Mobi or ePub copy of WANTED: Dead or Undead or Survivor Roundup from her backlist, and one randomly drawn commenter on the tour will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon, so leave your thoughts here and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

Desert Rice by Angela Scott
Contemporary Young Adult
206 pgs
4 Stars

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 brother's plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. 15-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.

My review:

This is one of the best YA books I've read this year. There are no vampires (sparkling or otherwise), no zombies, and nothing paranormal--just the story of a girl and her brother and the mystery that surrounds their life.

The book begins with their dead mother and Jacob's decision that he and his sister Sam have to get away before they are split up and sent to foster care. He forces Sam to cut her hair and dress as a boy as protection.

I loved the characters in this book-- Sam is feisty, opinionated, and loves her brother deeply--even during the times she's hating him. Jacob is in over his head trying to save Sam in the only way he knows how.

There are twists and turns in the plot, secondary characters to fall in love with, and above all love holding everything together. Kudos!

There's a sequel to this book and I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm excited to see what the author has in mind for Samantha in the future. Due to some adult themes, I'd recommend this for mature 14+.

I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it.

You can subscribe and follow me on my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.


Twitter: @whimsywriting






Barnes & Noble:



  1. Well actually, the lack of vampires sounds good :)

    shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com

  2. I'm with you on the vampires too. A helpful review thank you.


  3. I agree that it's nice to see a YA with no paranormal and no urban gangs or "thug love."
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. Sam sounds quite tough but I guess she had to be.


  5. Happy Holidays! It's been great to discover a new book!

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  6. How does your family view your writing career? Do they read your books>?

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