Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Tour, Review & Excerpt: Desert Rice

Title: Desert Rice
ISBN: 1622538544

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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This book made me cry like a baby.


As I've mentioned before a couple of times, I hate human interest stories, or tragic ones, or ones that have a very traumatizing event occur in them that the whole book is dealing with that issue. I hate being so emotionally invested in a book, and right now I am holding a tissue drying my eyes as I write this.

This book was good, and bad, and awful, and brilliant.

The book starts with Jacob and Samantha carrying their mother's dead body inside so the corpse wouldn't be eaten up by dogs. They then proceed to go on the run in order to not be taken into foster care and be separated. Samantha's twelve, a child on her way to her teens, whilst Jacob is fifteen, pretty much not old enough to drive that family car he'd taken from his mother.  Jacob forces Sam to dress up as a boy and cuts her hair so she wouldn't draw extra attention to herself. They find it hard to stand one another in this long and frustrating journey to Arizona , because it's apparently warm down there. They land in a city and struggle to make-do with what they have and stay in the motel. Jacob takes on two jobs and works himself to death whilst Sam finds more creative ways to spend her time alone and make money. But an incident with her brother drives her to meet Boone, a nice man she refers to as 'Jesus'. So when her brother gets deathly ill, Sam finds no one else to go to for help. There brother and sister are forced to confront their past and what caused them to be here, and none of it is pleasant - or in Sam's case is even remembered!

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I read the synopsis and signed up for this tour. I mean, the cover was awesome - as I am known for my impulsiveness with regards to covers - and the synopsis didn't give away much so I signed up and had at it. The first few lines were very hooking. I wanted to know straight off what the heck was going on. Then the author proceeded to keep me on said hook all the way throughout the book.

I mean come on when a book starts with this:

"Grab 'er feet!"

To grab her feet, I'd have to touch her, and nothing could be worse than putting my hands on a dead body, even my own mama's.

How can one not be caught into the web that is this book? The author's style was flowing, simple, and entrancing. It was like I cast under a spell until the book ended where I was allowed to be free. The events happened in a moderate pace that gave the book more plausibility and frankly I was impressed. I just hated the idea of crying all over, but I couldn't help myself. The added mystery and twists I didn't expect had my eyes bulging at times. I honestly didn't see most of them coming and it was a hard blow. I love such blows to your bubble of what you think is going on, when it's not really that at all.

An amazing read! I cannot wait to get my hands on book two to know what happens next!

Rating: 5/5

(Here's a little expert. Maybe I can share my disease and have you guys entranced as well?)

I was mighty grateful that he covered her up, especially when he said that death made a person look frightful, and that I shouldn't even attempt to look. 

Yeah, no problem there. 

"Just do it or I'll clock you upside your head." He bent down and placed his hands under her arms to get a good grip. "Grab 'er feet, and when I say lift, you'd better lift, or else." 
I wanted to tell him to leave me alone, and that just because he was older than me didn’t give him the right to tell me what to do, but his warning look kept me from saying a word. I bent over to take hold of her feet and accidently breathed in the acidic smell of decay, alcohol, and cheap perfume permeating from the sheet. 

Bile burned in my throat, and my eyes stung and began watering. I rolled my shoulders forward when my stomach lurched, but despite my body's mad attempt to force me to puke my guts out, only dry heaves followed, over and over. It took a while for the waves of nausea to settle, but my head swam in dizziness and my body ached—boy, did I hurt. My legs wobbled and my insides twisted and cramped, but I didn't throw up. Once the dry heaving stopped, I swiped the back of my hand over my mouth to remove a fine thread of spittle from my lips. 

"I'm sorry." Jacob's face softened, though he continued to hold onto Mama's shoulders, letting me know we still needed to move a dead body. "I really am." 

"Whatever." I gave in, bending and grabbing my dead mama's ankles. "Let's do this." 

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