RILEY'S REVIEW GUARDIAN...BY COURTNEY COLE

"I know. I feel it, too. Whitney, am I crazy to say that I was meant to meet you? That it feels like all of this was meant to happen?" I shake my head. "I know it was. Everything that happened tonight was in my plan. And your plan. Our plans are connected. And tonight they collided." ~ Carter Kelley

Whitney Lane's life used to be normal. She was a regular girl turning 16, getting ready to get her driver's license and looking at cute boys with her best friend Delaney. That all changes the day her dad tries to help a drowning stranger and winds up drowning himself.

Obviously, Whitney's life changes drastically. Her mom totally goes off the deep end. She goes way beyond grieving. It's like she's losing her mind.

Whitney, frightened of being put in foster care and separated from her little sister Ellie, tells no one about their situation. I mean, everyone knows her dad died, but no one knows the crazy that's going on in the house. Whitney grows up fast and begins to take care of everything.

Whitney starts seeing shadows lurking around her. She hears strange noises and has completely uneasy feelings in her own home. In her own room. Whitney can't explain any of these things and she keeps it all to herself. Never asks anyone for help at all.

I'm sure you've realized by the title of the book and the cover that there's some sort of Guardian Angel involved in the story. His name is Samuel, he explains to Whitney he's her guardian, his job is to protect her as much as he can and guide her through her life's plan. When Samuel comes to Whitney, he comes in the human form of a beautiful teenage boy, which is a good idea since he's a seven foot tall angel with huge wings coming out of his back. He explains to Whitney that her life has a plan and something very big is brewing on the horizon. Imagine losing your dad, your mom going looney and then running into your Guardian Angel who tells you big troubles coming. Scary right?

Throw into this mix two gorgeous in different ways boys and the story just gets trickier. Brady Parker with his California surfer good looks shows up on this scene and tells Whitney he's very into her. He's very sweet and helpful and he always has the right things to say to Whitney. He makes Whitney feel those feelings teenage girls feel about teenage boys. She's drawn to Parker and falls for him.

Dark and brooding Carter Kelley seems to loathe Whitney for no reason. They've never met but whenever they're near each other, his icy glares leave Whitney unnerved and wondering why this boy hates her so much. Carter's got his own story (read the book).

Guardian made me remember how much I love books about angels. It's one of the best angel books that I've ever read. Samuel is an incredible character. He's powerful and he guides Whitney through an incredibly difficult chapter in her life.

I'll tell you this story gets worse before it gets better. Mom goes totally takes the bus to crazy town and Whitney realizes she needs help and calls in her grandparents. Then Whitney, trying to figure out what's going on finds artifacts from an archeological dig her father was on in Israel. They turn the room icy cold and freak her out.

There's a plot twist, a powerful battle between angels and demons, and a young girl who's in the fight of her life to save her family.

I think Samuel said it best to Whitney when they met: Remember, nothing is what it seems to be. That statement can be applied to the entire book. Just when you think you know what it's all about, the plot changes and goes in another direction.

If you love books about Guardian Angels, this is a must read. I can't even explain how much this book affected me. Courtney Cole's story telling in Guardian is moving and definitely gives you something to think about.

I have to give Guardian a five lip smack review. It's a YA, paranormal read. Yes there's some teenage romance, but it's the plot of the story and Whitney that make the book so intense.



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