Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guardian Release Day Review and Excerpt

Guardian RDL Banner   
 To celebrate today's release of Guardian and the fact that it is also Courtney Cole's birthday (Happy Birthday)  Guardian will be on sale for .99 TODAY ONLY!


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Author: Courtney Cole
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Publisher: Lakehouse Press Inc.
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Age Recommendation: 14 and up
Rating: 3 stars

 Book Description: 

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.  My name is Whitney Lane.  I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy. I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there. Until one day, there was. Our world isn’t what we think.  There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things. Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are. They’re very real, and they’re terrifying. I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t.  I don’t know what to think anymore.  I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true. There’s only one thing I know for sure. Nothing is what it seems.  

My Review:

" Whoever said that grief gets better with time, that time heals all wounds is a filthy liar."
 - Whitey 

Guardian is a book a book about heartache and tragedy.  It is a book about finding oneself  and overcoming your pain and fears.  Courtney Cole wrote Guardian following the unexpected death of her father and while reading this I could feel every ounce of her emotion as it pours through the heroine, Whitney.  

Whitney was no different from any other sixteen year old girl.  She spends her time enjoying her family, friends, school, and her beach community until the day a terrible tragedy occurs taking her father and leaves her the caretaker to her mother who succumbs (to what Whitney believes is terrible grief and depression) and her young sister, Ellie.

Whitney out of fear that her mother will be hospitalized keeps her mother's deterioration a secret from everyone.  She shoulders the responsibilities of family life, guarding the secret afraid that she and her sister will be put into foster care.  In her attempt to make things appear as normal as possible she continues with her summer plans to attend drivers ed where she meets the too good to be true Brady.  Brady isn't the only boy to garner her attention however, who is this brooding boy, Carter. This boy glares at her, whom she's never met but who stares at her with hatred and barely contained fury.  

Courtney Cole writes Whitney true to heart.  This is a character that I think we can all feel for, like, and see ourselves in, no matter our age.  Whitney struggles everyday with the loss of her father, with being strong enough to maintain her family, and also with feeling like maybe it is okay to let go a little and continue to live.  

"I'm supposed to be grieving.  My dad just died a minute ago- what kind of daughter am I anyway? "I can't think about that right now." I mutter. "Yes, you can.  It's okay, Whitney."  Delaney stares at me from across the small table, with a serious expression on her usually carefree face.  I watch her play with the multicolored string bracelets circling her slender pale wrist.  I'd made one of them for her.  "It's Okay for you to miss your dad and still do normal things.  My mom said so."' 

But now Whitney is starting to wonder if she, like her mother, is loosing her sanity.  She's seeing things, 'imagining' brief touches glide across her arms, having overly realistic dreams, and feeling moments of darkness and light surround her.  As she soon discovers not all is what it may seem and she has difficult and painful choices to make ahead of her.  While she is surrounded by people these are choices that she will have to make on her own, this is her path laid out in front of her and it is her decision on which direction it will lead her.  

Guardian is a heartbreaking story, but it is laced through out with love and faith.  In the end that is what I think the story is about.  Believing in the power of love and the power of faith and the way we can overcome when we hold those two emotions in our hearts.  

I think this is a wonderful read even for our younger teens (there are some sexual suggestions, but nothing too fast or too much) and especially those who are looking for a faith based read.  It is a compelling and beautiful tale that will pull at your heartstrings.  

Guardian Available now  

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real. 
Happy birthday to me.  I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life. It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want. I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me. I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket.  Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window. My room is completely dark and I glance at my clock in confusion. 3:00 a.m. As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room. In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary. I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain. As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning. Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it.  And there are no trees near enough to brush against it.  It was just a dream. It was only a dream. I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

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