Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Desert Angel

What makes the hunted turn hunter?
Price, C. (2011). Desert angel. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
YA Lit / Thriller / Realistic Fiction

QuickNEasy, 233 pages, ages 12-17

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

An interesting but improbable storyline kept me reading, but the climax was disappointing and everything resolved a bit to quickly and tidily. 

 The main character, Angel, is fourteen and alone but stalked, and she gets help from all kinds of unlikely sources, but she doesn't seem destined to get the real help she needs, which is psychological since she clearly has regular suicidal thoughts and mood extremes. I found it hard to believe the people who were helping her continued to do so when the cost was so high to their own families and lives.

The narration bothered me, jumping from Angel narrating in first-person to an omniscient point-of-view, one paragraph to the next; however, that was an efficient way for the reader to see all the things going on around the corner, that Angel didn't know about and that moved the story along.  Those omniscient narrations gave us information that then seemed to dissolve -- like parts of the story were missing and those extra pieces of information went unexplained. 

Having said all that, it is an easy book to read and is compelling enough that I wanted to find out more.  Seems like a couple more rounds of revision (I did find some type-os as well) could have taken this book a peg or two higher.

On the Clean-O-Meter, I'd give this a 7 out of 10.  It's violent, and the violence includes references to domestic violence and sexual violence. There is reference to multiple incidents of sexual abuse of a minor, but no actual sex scenes or discussions. The book is NOT sexy. I was surprised when late in the book, the first swear word showed-up (g*damn); it actually seemed weird.  Additionally, there are references to drug use and drug selling, and fairly clear descriptions of how to load a gun and use it.

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