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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...
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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.
Posted May 8, 2013
Beautifully disturbing, raw, emotional, uplifting and touching
I read this book in one day. Seriously. Angela's heart-wrenching rendition of the amazingly complex events, reactions, and personalities in this powerful story is nothing short of superb. I compare it to listening to the Ave Maria by Pavarotti, or watching a beautiful sunset at the beach, or sitting by the fire with your favorite beverage (and person). The characters are amazingly developed and authentic. Besides the main characters, the brother and sister who leave behind a horrible life to encounter what could be a horriblER one, there are several other wonderful characters with their different traits, feelings, and the author's incredibly rich insights into each of them. How does Ms. Scott do it? Is this magic? No, it is the mark of amazing talent and profound inner life.
This is a book that you cannot miss. If you're reading this now, go ahead, click on 'BUY'. And once you're done, don't even wait -- buy the sequel, "Desert Flower" (review to be entered separately).
Posted January 31, 2013
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
When twelve year old Samantha wakes up to a dead mother, she and her fifteen year old brother Jacob have to hide the body and scramble fast to leave their West Virginia home or face the possibility of being forced into being charges of the state. The prospect of being separated in foster care is not an option. They have to make a run for it, leaving Jacob in control of their destiny. They pack their personal belongings, raid their sparse pantry, collect what money they can find, and flee the confines of their tattered mobile home to ride off into the sunset in their junky Chevy. Days turn into nights and then into days as they struggle to drive on gas fumes, camping in the car and surviving on canned foods. Jacob is aware of the danger of his budding sister’s appearance. He cuts her hair and insists that she dress as a boy. Samantha is not happy with this dysfunctional transition into teenage years, but does as her brother says. Their dwindling finances forces them to halt their travels in Arizona long enough for Jacob to find work and for Sam to meet Jesus.
"Desert Rice" is a heart-wrenching tale of two youngsters fighting to stay together and doing whatever is necessary to escape an abusive past. I applaud Angela Scott’s depiction of one brother’s loyalty and devoted sense of responsibility to his sister. The guilt he feels in not keeping her safe is palpable in every turn of the page. This book is character-driven. The plot flows smoothly with excellent pacing. This book will stay with you long after you close the cover.
Posted November 14, 2012
By Angela Scott
Samantha Jean Haggert is on the run with her brother Jacob after her mother dies. They must stick together since Sam is only twelve and Jacob fifteen they will do anything they can to keep from having Child Protective Services separate them. Since Sam begins to draw too much unwanted attention from men Jacob has her cut off all her hair and hides her beauty under baggy clothes and a baseball cap. But everything begins to unravel when they finally find people whom want them to become part of their family and the truth may tear them all apart.
Angela Scott has written an emotional rollercoaster of a novel with such a surprising twist towards the end that will make you cringe and cry out at the injustice of what has happened. I loved it, my husband on the other hand decided headphones was the way to go after some of the more heinous secrets where revealed. I say this more to point out that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does have one of the best ending I have come across in a long time. I am trying to be as vague as possible so I will not give anything away but also to do this novel justice, it is truly an amazing read so well written and emotional charged that it is hard to set down. Warning though you may want a big box of tissues at hand just in case you turn into a geyser, it’s that good.
I was sent a free copy of this book for an honest review.
Posted November 14, 2012
This was such an emotional story. There were parts that were touching, others that were devastating. This book ran rampant over my emotions. I really felt for Sam and Jacob. I didn't expect the twists that were thrown in! The things these kids have to go through and the love that they show for one another was amazing. Get the tissues ready before you sit down with one. If you are looking for a light read, this isn't it. There are some heavy subjects dealt with in Desert Rice. But, I loved it! I was again devastated when it ended. I wanted more. No, I need more! I gotta know what comes next for Jacob and Sam. This book will stay with me for a long while. Angela Scott did an amazing job creating these characters and pulled me right in. Book two comes out in January 2013.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2012
Impossible to put down right from the start! Well-rounded characters that jump out of the page, begging to become part of your life. A plot that seems so simple and yet retains the element of surprise. Heartbreaking, intense and yet (somehow) still an easy read, I've become a fan of Angela Scott overnight.
Thoroughly recommended. A super read!
Posted September 4, 2012
I was totally captivated with "Desert Rice" and had a really hard time putting it down until I was finished! Beautifully written story with incredible characters facing difficult times and a love that overcomes all. A recommended book for all..
This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review.
Posted September 2, 2012
It’s one of the hardest reviews to write since I have started writing this blog. What do I say about the book that was so perfect?
Desert rice sucked me in from the very first sentence. The whole book is so tense that I didn't want to stop. I stayed up at night just to read.
Characters are really well created, but the main heroine, Sam is so perfect that I have no words to describe her. She’s going through a lot and trying to find herself in a word that is really cruel.
I didn’t like Jacob so much but I respected him for doing so much for his sister and acting so mature. The relationship between those siblings feels really natural and I loved it.
The genre is contemporary but it’s one of the best mysteries I have read in a long time. When everything came out, my heart was literally beating faster. Some descriptions are really cruel though, so if you are very sensitive, it’s not for you.
To sum up everything, it’s a must read for everyone who’s looking for a tense, epic read.
Posted August 27, 2012
Did you read the blurb? If you did, didn't you find the idea,
captivating? Just imagine, a girl disguising as a boy, how hard can that
be? I liked the story-line very much. This book is unique and intriguing
to the very core! Samantha Jean, is a pretty 12-year-old girl, but
nobody can see that. Ever since her mother died, she and her brother,
Jacob are running from town to town. If anyone finds them, they will end
up separated in foster care. Samantha is growing up and getting more
girly, so Jacob cuts her long blond her and gives her his clothes; so
she can look like his brother, not sister. Samantha doesn't want this;
but she doesn't want to be separated from her brother, too. It's
pretty hard for a fifteen year old boy and a twelve year old girl to
find a place to live. Specially if they have so little money with them.
Jacob and Samantha fight through the obstacles and make new friends,
but what awaits them in the future, is not what they would have
expected AT ALL. How has Sam's mother died? What will happen to
Jacob and Samantha? Will they ever have a real family? Find out much
more when you read this heart-wrenching, thought-provoking story of
self-discovery and hidden traumas. I liked this book a LOT. It
was definitely not what I expected. Angela Scott has a really beautiful
writing style, it's simple and straight-forward. Most of the characters
are three-dimensional and believable. I loved to see the world through
Samantha's eyes and to watch her grow and go through puberty. Although I
didn't like Jacob as much as Sam, he was so BOSSY but he was protective
of his sister so I loved him for that! The plot of the story is
unique and character development is very well executed. If you wonder
why I gave this book 4 stars, it's just that the book wasn't one of the
books I would usually read but it was WONDERFUL! This book is
recommended to all lovers of contemporary YA and contemporary, in
general. Trust me, this is great! I will definitely be reading the
sequel to this book,which is called Desert Flower.
Posted August 25, 2012
Desert Rice by Angela Scott Ok I am not really even sure what to say
about this book, I picked it up today to read and never put it down
once. Angela Scott has written a fantastic novel. I cannot express how
much I enjoyed this story and Angela Scott's writing. Where to begin
but I suppose at the beginning, we are introduced quickly to Sam and her
brother Jacob moving their dead mother into their trailer. Once they get
the body where they want Jacob informs Sam that its time to leave.
Packing as much as they could they take off in the family car. During
the trip Jacob informs Sam that she has to dress more like a boy and he
cuts off her hair and makes her wear baggy clothes. He doesn't want
anything to happen to her, he needs to protect her and keep her safe.
Chills went up my back knowing there is more to this story and I have to
admit it was well worth the read. Angela Scott has written a story that
is heartbreaking and yet I couldn't stop reading. God I can't tell you
how many tears I had to wipe away from my eyes so I could continue
Desert Rice. It is a must read and I have rated it a 5 star rating and
I would rate it 10 if I could. It was terrific, fantastic, heart
wrenching..OMG just go buy it and see for yourself no words will express
how much this story is worth reading. You end up loving Sam and want to
just hug her and Jacob for trying to do everything a 15 year old boy
could do to keep his sister safe.
Posted August 24, 2012
So, how do I even begin to tell you how I feel about this book? It’s
intense! I mean seriously intense! Here we have two kids, the main
characters Jacob and Sam and they are being put, quite literally,
through hell. Their mother dies and Jacob who is only 15 has to take
care of Sam. You can tell from the very start that they are very poor
and I so wanted to just take them under my arm and take care of them.
You don’t get to really know them, there’s just bits and pieces, a few
clues strewn about, letting us know what is going on, while they try to
survive on their own. It’s not until nearly half way through the book
that I really started putting things together. I felt Desert Rice was a
little slow in the beginning but mainly because I just couldn’t
comprehend what his motives really were without delving more into the
story. Jacob was making choices that I did not understand. He tells Sam
that he doesn’t want them separated, that foster home would be the worst
place for them, but the situations these two go through is worst than
foster homes! And poor Sam being only 12 has to sit there and listen to
her brother and do pretty much what he says or he’ll freak out on her.
It’s upsetting to say the least! But I am here to tell you, everything
comes together before the end! Actually, at about that halfway point
when you start to figure out and put the pieces together, that’s when
the story really starts to make sense. Jacob’s wild behavior over his
sister is erratic but all of his decisions are based on love. Although
Jacob really ticked me off a few times he is a great character, strong
and determined. Sam was fabulous although very distraught about having
to dress like a boy and with all the rules Jacob kept giving her. It’s
hard enough to be a 12 year old girl without all of that extra pressure.
My favorite character though is Boone. He’s a really great guy. He wants
to support these kids and do something for them even when so many other
minor characters didn’t. Some may have gave them a hand but they didn’t
DO anything for the kids, such is life. But Boone is really great and as
great as he is, even he makes mistakes. Fabulous guy, I wish I knew him!
It’s a great story about very serious, difficult things that love can
always overcome. Jacob’s love for his sister is nothing short of
amazing. Fabulous but really intense story! I’d definitely recommend to
anyone that enjoys Contemporary and can deal with reading some difficult themes.
Posted August 16, 2012
[This review also appears on Andi's Young Adult Books.] This book
affected me deeply. It is one of the best reads I have had this summer.
Samantha and Jacob's story is a sad one. No one wants them. Their father
is estranged. Their mama is dead. They only have each other. They're way
underage, but determined to stay together. Jacob is extremely
overprotective of Sam, but he has good reason. He just hasn't shared
that with her, yet, so she hasn't yet shared it with us. They fumble
around, trying to make ends meet, while simultaneously fearing getting
caught. Sam wants to trust people who are kind to her, but Jacob is
still extremely wary of adults. Neither one knows how to handle any
kindnesses given to them. It is heartbreaking. I was reading while holed
up in a booth at my local bar and grill and had to duck to hide the
tears in my eyes. I made sure I left when I got toward the end where all
of the secrets are revealed, because I didn't want to cry in public.
The love between these siblings is intense. It's not something you
witness every day. The secrets that they hide are absolutely horrible.
You think you know what really happened to them, until you find out the
truth. The twists will keep you on your toes. At the end of my review
copy was a chapter from an upcoming book called Desert Flower. It is a
continuation of their story. I need to get my hands on that one. Well
done, Angela Scott. I received a complimentary ebook in exchange for my
Posted August 13, 2012
I seriously still have chills on my arms!! Angela Scott has some of the best first chapters and mid book twists that I have ever read. This is my second book of hers to read and right from the start I was captivated by both. She packs a huge punch in just a few sentences and I can definitely say that I will be on the lookout for her next book.
This story is very different from her zombie novel WANTED. This one is about survival and the love between brothers and sisters. Samantha and Jacob do not have the ideal life. They live with their mother who is abusive and their days consist of just trying to survive. Well when their mother dies, Jacob takes Sam on the run so that they can stay together and not be split up in foster care. My goodness, what these two go through is beyond heartbreaking. Jacob at only fifteen takes his sister who is twelve across many states, finds a job by lying about his age, and basically takes care of her the best way he can. That right there is love. Is their journey perfect, no not by a long shot. Pressure builds and Jacob shows that he is only a child several times and Sam goes through the same thing. My heart really broke for these two characters. The turning point in the story is when Sam meets Boone. Things take a very intense turn when Sam and Jacobs true story comes out and let me tell you, you will need tissues for that part. I was in shock and I am still in shock over what happened to these two kids.
Again this story is not perfect and I think if the author had made it a perfect ending with a bow then it would not have been real. Jacob did what he did for the love of his sister and he will forever hold a place in my heart. I did not know that this was going to be a series so I am very intrigued to see where Ms.Scott takes this story. There are a few loose ends that I know need to be tied up and I am very curious how those will play out. Another brilliant story from Angela Scott!
Posted September 14, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted January 3, 2013
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Posted October 23, 2012
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