Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: Desert Angel, by Charlie Price

Whoa! Desert Angel opens with Angel in mortal peril, and it pretty much stays that way throughout the entire book. I would definitely call this one a page turner.

Fourteen-year-old Angel regularly escapes the trailer that her mom and Scotty, the latest boyfriend, live in. One morning, after sleeping in a nearby drainage ditch, Angel returns to the trailer and her mother is nowhere to be found, and there is blood. She follows pickup tracks and finds her mother, dead, buried in a shallow grave. This begins Angel’s flight from Scotty. Because she knows that he will stop at nothing to find her and get rid of her.

She returns to the trailer, and he almost kills her by rendering her unconscious and burning down the trailer, but she tricks him and survives. After that, her life becomes one of fighting for survival. Every person she meets (and she meets some great people) that offers her any help becomes a target for Scotty. After living in terror for some weeks, she decides to take matters into her own hands and do whatever it takes to make herself, and those that have helped her, safe.

Price has created a gritty, well-written, plot-driven tale. Angel is sympathetic, but this book isn’t really about character development, it’s about survival. Those teens who crave a good survival story will eat this one up. There’s absolutely no romance, so this is a great boy book, even though the main character is a girl – she’s tough.

There’s a message about friendship, and accepting help, and sacrificing for those you care about which embodies everything that Angel’s life HAS NOT been. She grows a bit throughout this harrowing adventure.

It’s very quick, it’s un-putdownable, and it’s quite a ride. Angel does handle and shoot guns, and there is mention of drug use. Also, it is implied that Scotty may have taken advantage of Angel, but nothing explicit, so I would recommend this to high school students.

Published by Farrar Strauss Giroux, October 25, 2011
ARC received for review from Linworth Publishing
233 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. Finding books for boys, regardless of their age, is so hard to do. The fast paced plot and the gritty adventure seems like a great pick for reluctant readers. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, Annette. I never heard of it before.


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