Thursday, August 28, 2014

Release Day Launch and Review: Guardian


GUARDIAN Synopsis:
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.

Buy Links!
Barnes and Noble (don't have link yet!)


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My Review!

I didn't know what to expect from this book, because the synopsis was vague as hell. But it sounded so good! Was it a horror book, a ghost story, or some other paranormal being that we won't know about until we read it? I had no clue! And I loved that. It made everything so surprising and twisty.


Rating: 4 Stars!

At the beginning of this novel, I wasn't sure I could read it. Not because it was bad or that I disliked the writing. It was so eerily similar to what my life was like four years ago, and still kind of is today. It made me put it aside for like a week, because I didn't feel emotionally ready for how this book started out. I almost didn't do it for this release day launch. But then I started reading it again during my "lunch break" at school and I was hooked.

I really loved the main character's voice and how she told the story. Whitney has just been through a terrible tragedy, but she's pushing away her grief to help her mother and baby sister. At times, she resents that, which is normal and makes total sense. But she also just has a huge heart and she can't stand not being able to do anything to heal her mother's broken heart. She's standing on her own, swirling in a world filled with grief and heartache, yet she still does whatever she can to ease her family's pain. That takes strength, and a lot of courage. I admired Whit for her caring nature and golden heart, all the while suffering by herself with no one to lean on. She struggles on a daily basis to be happy and live her life, and she has to balance that with a life that is quickly and rapidly changing. From a crush developing into something more to a mom that won't snap out of her grief to a revelation that rocks Whit's entire universe, she has to come to terms with everything that's happening. But Whit keeps her cool, her calmness, and she's very self-aware of herself and the people around her. This girl seriously doesn't have a flaw, and I found that to be a little bit ridiculous because no one is perfect. But she had great growth throughout the book.

The secondary characters were all wonderfully fleshed out! I loved Whit's relationship with her little sister, and even her mom. I ADORED Delaney, Whit's best friend. She was awesome, and their friendship was beautiful. For reasons I cannot say because they would spoil plot, I also loved the character who shows up and rocks Whit's world with the truth about everything. And there is a little bit of romance, but it's not the focus. I liked that because this was more about Whit healing from a tragedy that changed her life and learning that not everything is as it seems.


And boy is that statement the TRUTH. Because I was so blind from the synopsis (and obviously I missed the hot guy with wings on the cover--not even joking, I just realized this when I started writing the review), I was pleasantly surprised with the direction the story took. That story-line has been overdone and the "twist" near the end was very easy to figure out for me, but I thought this book made things unique. It was fairly simple and straightforward yet there is a lot the reader doesn't know. There is a lot Whitney doesn't know, and I loved watching her untangle the truths behind what she never knew was real.

Guardian was a young adult paranormal that started out reading like a contemporary but quickly changed into a story about good vs. evil, monsters in the dark vs. guardians of the light. And I loved it!


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Excerpt!
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 glanceat 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.
But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.
A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature. 
I notice because I can see my breath.
Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air. 
Holy crap.  Oh my God. 
What the hell?
The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.
Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall.  They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move. 
My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move.   I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it.  Something terrifying. 
With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed. 
The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow. 
I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat.  Because that’s the only explanation.  I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down. 
But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction. 
74 degrees. 
It must be broken.  It has to be broken.
My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants. 
My fear isn’t logical.  I know there’s nothing here.  I’m the only one in this room. 
Or am I?
The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real.  Something unseen. 
My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight.  I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor.  I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down. 
The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance. 
I struggle to focus, to see what it is. 
But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20. 
Twenty degrees?
The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe. 
All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me.  It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules.  It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black. 
Something is here. 
With me. 
“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff.  Because what else could it be?
I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision.   The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain. 
Then there’s nothing.

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To celebrate Courtney’s Birthday, she is putting the following titles on sale for just $.99 on August 28th ONLY!





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ABOUT COURTNEY COLE:
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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