by Charlie Price
Angel wakes up one morning to discover that her mother has been murdered by the mother's horrible boyfriend Scotty. He has buried her in the desert. Angel's only focus is survival as Scotty hunts her down as the only witness. She must face desert, betrayal, and the constant fear of a wily predator. But when she finds help in a small town, what might ultimately destroy her is the her inability to trust.
This is quick and dirty because I am super busy, but here it goes!I couldn’t put Desert Angel down! It was a riveting story. Angel has such a unique voice. She is damaged, and always in survival mode, gathering information about her environment in case she has to run, playing an eternal chess game with her pursuer. I loved the moments when she would try and get into his head to predict his next move.
The sad thing is, she has never known anything other than survival mode. Her mother always chose the worst boyfriends, and she has learned how to cope and not to trust anyone. When she is confronted with love and help, she is not sure how to accept it, or if she should. Even if she does accept it, she will put those she cares about in danger as Scotty circles her hideout.
The pace slowed down a bit in the middle and I found myself missing the action and the emotional connection. The story began to drag when the author focused on Scotty almost doing something, but not doing it yet. I was hoping for a big pay off, as there is a large piece of information that the reader knows, but Angel does not know when she is extrapolating his next move. Alas, the ending was a little anticlimactic. You expect a large confrontation with those she has come to care about fighting for her against Scotty, or her confronting Scotty alone and avenging her mother. However, there is only so much a YA book can allow a 14 year old girl to do, I guess.
It is an exciting thriller, but it is ultimately about opening yourself up to trust.