I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I think all of us as human beings wonder at some point why we're here, why we have to die, and what will happen to us after we die. Guardian is a story which explores possible answers to those questions. Reading this novel was emotional in a positive way and even comforting at times in terms of grief and life and death. I can't remember identifying with a character as much as I did Whitney with the way she grieved for her father.
At the beginning of Guardian, Whitney's dad died several weeks ago, leaving behind her and her mom and younger sister. Since his death, Whitney's mom has been wrapped in a deep depression, and Whitney becomes the glue holding everything together. She begins caring for her sister, cooking, paying the bills...all of the tasks adults are responsible for doing.
On top of taking on these heavy responsibilities, she's also heavily grieving and only sixteen years old. So it's completely understandable that when she starts having difficulty differentiating between dreams and reality and seeing things out of the corner of her eye, she thinks she's losing it. I would think that about myself as well!
Reading about Whitney's feelings of loss will probably always stay with me. I lost my mom to cancer right when I started high school, and while I didn't have to step in and take care of my little sister, I had the feeling I should and even wanted to. Not that I ever thought I could take our mom's place, but I knew my sister didn't get as many years with her as I did and wanted to care for her like a mom would.
I will say I'm glad I wasn't in Whitney's situation. There isn't anything more frightening to me than demons. Not even zombies. Wars between angels and demons fighting over human's souls - the stakes can't get much higher than life, death and the beyond. There were some tense moments where I had no idea what was going to happen. I went along for the ride and was not disappointed!
Guardian is the first book by Courtney Cole I've read, and I'm definitely a fan. This novel satisfied my craving for an angel/demon story and will stay with me long after the last page.