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Friday, August 29, 2014
ARC Review: Guardian by Courtney Cole
Whitney is an older sister to little Ellie, who is understandably quiet and introspective now that she has experienced death so close to her as a little girl. Whitney instantly assumes the role of Mother in the home because their mom has disassociated herself from the real world; she is like a ghost to her daughters. While Maricel Lane (the mother) is slowly withering away from what appears to be depression, Whitney is caring for her sister, paying the bills in her mother’s name, and slowly forgetting what it’s like to be a teenager. Then, of course, she finds herself enamored by a boy named Brady who has been a student for the past two years. Now, I’ll admit that I instantly found this unusual since Whitney’s best friend Delaney has always been the one to admit her fascination with the pretty boy football star of the school, not Whitney; until now.
On top of her attraction to Brady that happens suddenly, she is strangely curious about a new boy who has arrived in town named Carter. This interest made much more sense to me because not only does Carter appear to be equally attractive in comparison with Brady, but he seems to hate Whitney. Every time he sees her, she feels like he is trying to sear her flesh, his gaze is so dark with emotion that appears to be hate-filled. So, naturally, Whitney is drawn to him because the situation is inexplicable and young girls have a tendency to lock onto target’s they cannot have. With that said, it becomes clear soon afterward that there are supernatural forces at work around Whitney, and that these two boys both play a part.
Brady seems so perfect; he manages to be empathetic regarding Whitney’s mom and her catatonic behavior. He even enlists his father whom happens to be a psychiatrist to help. Carter turns out to be a really sweet guy, albeit a little bit of a tortured soul. With that said, after Samuel comes into the picture as Whitney’s guardian angel, nothing is as it seems. Nearly every person who appears to be helping her, who appears to be loyal, is using her; tricking her. Samuel, of course, cannot interfere by guiding Whitney to make decisions, but he is always watching out for her safety.
After Samuel’s appearance, I began to view the story as unique because of angels and demons existing so closely among humans. I liked how the author brought free will into the mix and how demons could create circumstances to push evil forward in a human’s decision making. However, it was hard for me to get on board with the idea that every single person has a plan according to God. That idea has been among many peoples’ beliefs for so very long, but according to the angel Samuel, what is supposed to happen to an individual is basically mapped out for potentially years in the making. If this is true, if our “plan” is mapped out for us, then we truly do not have as much freedom as we think. After all, despite our having free will to make our own decisions, all roads lead to our intended destiny regardless. That idea was a little hard for me to swallow, simply because I have a hard time liking the idea of anyone or anything having any control of my life. With that said, this is a story, so I suppose that if the writing made me think so deeply about one detail, the book is a success.
Ultimately, Whitney is a part of a disastrous plot involving demons and a plan to overtake the human world; to overthrow God and the angels. Her family just happened to be involved because of unforeseen circumstances. Her dad was an archaeologist and somehow his work is intertwined with ancient evil. Whitney is caught in the middle and somehow has to save her family, herself, and the world. Luckily, with the help of her guardian angel, a special boy with roots that go back to the beginning, and her own bravery, she wins the battle. To say that this story was great would be an understatement. There is creativity in each aspect brought to the book in the action, romance, and tragedy. I thought a few parts were predictable, but I only had an idea for the possibilities, not how the book itself would play out. Therefore, I can honestly say that I would be more than happy to get my hands on any books that Courtney Cole writes.
**ARC provided by InkSlinger PR**
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