Friday, January 23, 2015

REVIEW: Guardian (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Guardian
Author: Natasha Deen
Series: N/A
Pages: 192
Date Published: September 1st, 2014
Publisher: Great Plains Publishing
Format: ebook
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:

For seventeen-year-old Maggie Johnson, transitioning the dead isn’t hard. What’s tough is surviving the insults and pranks of Serge Popov, high school thug and the dumbest jock to ever set foot in Dead Falls, Alberta. When she finds him dead from alcohol poisoning and later discovers his spirit trapped in her room, she figures it’s a case of divine justice. Let the jerk rot. But someone—or something—has a different agenda. If Maggie doesn’t help Serge cross over, she’ll die at the hands of the otherworldly entity that’s taken an interest in the deceased bully. As she digs into the circumstances of Serge’s death, now classified a murder, she’ll uncover the secrets hidden by the world of the living and the wonders revealed by cities of the dead—if her investigation doesn’t kill her, first.

~My Thoughts~
YA is my absolute favorite age group to read right now. There's something about that self-discovery and optimistic outlook that teenagers have for their future that gets me every time. Guardian is morbidly cool...it deals with tough issues like bullying, drug abuse, and murder. While my teenager-hood seems blessed in comparison, everyone goes through issues like this in highschool, though I hope with the exception of murder...yeesh. 

Maggie is 17, old for the genre, and she is very intelligent and resourceful which I loved. She's still very young and naieve, but she has her wits about her and has at least started sorting out who she is as a person. Seeing her go through her struggles, and using her creativity and strength to figure out the plot-Maggie is someone you can really stand behind. 

 I think my favorite part of this book was Natasha's writing style. With the explosion of independent-or I should say...non-traditional- publishing, I now feel that it's a shot in the dark of if I'm going to be reading something that is well-written, or something that was cobbled together and sent in as an unedited mess. Fortunately, Natasha's writing is some of the former, and was a joy to read. The flow was smooth and articulate and the pace raced forward without seeming rushed or too much. A very good read all around! 

Oh, and the story was set in Canada! (Eh!
~Try an Excerpt!~
Crap.

I hated the guy, but I was sorry he was dead. Seventeen is young to off yourself. And I was super creeped out that he’d decided to do it in my car. But that was Serge. He always had to be the last to give you the finger—even from the grave. I flipped my cell around and phoned my dad.

He picked up on the third ring. “Hey, baby girl, what is it?”

The sound of his voice—soft and gentle—soothed me. My whole life, it’s never been anything but me and my dad, which made us both seriously over-protective of each other.

I went for a casual tone and said, “Hey, Dad, I got a problem here.”

Through the phone lines, I felt him stiffen.

“Yeah?” There was an edge to his voice, like he was ready to put on a military uniform and turn our beat-up minivan into a Sherman tank.

“Nothing like that—well, a bit like—Dad, Serge’s body’s in my trunk.”

There was a stunned pause, “Maggie, what did you do?”

“What! Nothing—!”

Okay, maybe I deserved that. One day, I’d live down the sausage incident but right now, I was staring at the cadaver of my six-foot-three-inch tormentor. It didn’t seem like the time to argue over the past. “He killed himself…in my car.”

There was a worried, processing silence on the other end.

“You sure?”

“I think I know a dead body when I see it.”

“No, I mean about him killing himself. You sure someone didn’t dump him in your car?”


Well, thanks a lot daddio. That just added a whole new level of creep-me-out to the October night.
~Meet Natasha!~
Award-winning author Natasha Deen has written everything from fantasy to comedy, mystery and horror, and she was the 2013 Regional Writer in Residence for the Metro Edmonton Library Federation.  When not working on her manuscripts, she inhales disgusting amounts of chocolate and wrestles her furry children for a spot on the couch. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com.

Author Links:
www.natashadeen.com
www.facebook.com/natasha.deen.9
www.twitter.com/natasha_deen
www.goodreads.com/author/show/1314477.Natasha_Deen 
Natasha will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

35 comments:

  1. thank you for the excerpt, i enjoyed reading it

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    1. Lisa,

      Thanks for the comment!

      The "thanks a lot, daddio" was one of my favourite lines to write. I loved her dad going somewhere completely different in his thinking and making her life just a little more complicated and freaky.

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  2. Replies
    1. Me too! I was so thrilled to see the cover! And the fact that it sweetly tied into the trailer was one of those planet-aligning moments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBldlLwbLp4

      Thanks so much for commenting!

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  3. Andra,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review the book. I LOVE that you call Guardian "morbidly cool." SUCH a *GREAT* way to end my week and start my weekend!!

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  4. Guardian was inspired by the question, "Can people change?" and so I'm tossing out that question to the blogosphere. :-) What do you think? Can people change or are (some of) the psychologists right and who we are at seven is just who we'll always be?

    For more reader & writer information on Guardian, check out http://www.natashadeen.com/guardian/

    Have a great morning, everyone!

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  5. Can't wait to buy this book! Heading to the bookstore today!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jodi, and HUGE congrats on the release of your new YA novel, Forever Julia!

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  6. What a fabulous and well-deserved review! I'm currently reading the book and loving it! (Wish I had more 'me' time to read :() Congrats, my friend...great job!

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    1. Your book, Heart of the Witch, was high on the creep factor, so I'm glad Guardian meets your hair-raising standards. :D

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  7. Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Rita, hope you're having a great day!

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  8. Great excerpt and review! I'm with you, the YA genre is packed with some really great stories or self-discovery and they really are amazing. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway :)

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    1. Definitely agree, Victoria--the YA genre has got some amazing stuff right now!

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

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    1. Hi Cali,

      Thanks for taking the time to join us—hope you're having a great weekend!

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  10. "Morbidly cool" caught my attention.

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  11. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the review.
    Lori

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lori, I appreciate it. Hope you're having a great day!

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  12. Excellent excerpt! It does make me wonder what happened.

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    1. Hi Glenda,

      I had a lot of fun writing this novel and coming up with scenarios I hoped would keep readers turning the page...(y'know, when I wasn't banging my head against the keyboard :P).

      Thanks for stopping by! I

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  13. This sentence: "When not working on her manuscripts, she inhales disgusting amounts of chocolate and wrestles her furry children for a spot on the couch." lol!!! :D :D

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  15. Oh, and not just chocolate, but brownies (https://www.facebook.com/natasha.deen.9/photos/a.678072548912782.1073741827.678017625584941/789963391057030/?type=1)
    & chocolate-chip cookies, too (https://www.facebook.com/natasha.deen.9/photos/a.678072548912782.1073741827.678017625584941/786914601361909/?type=1)...makes up for all the times the cats and dogs beat me to the couch. :P

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  16. Replies
    1. Hi Curtis,

      Hope your day's going well!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading the excerpt--I'd wondered if "daddio" was out of a teen's vocabulary, but I think it works with Maggie's character.

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  17. Liked "I think I know a dead body when I see it." The master of understatement, LOL!

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    1. No kidding, right, Laney? I think most of us have had that moment when we say something with *great authority* only to the statement voided immediately...at least, I hope it's not just me who's said things in the dog park like, "Wow, the puppies are really learning the "come" command."...only to have them completely and totally ignore me. :-)

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  18. I enjoyed the excerpt and the mystery about it.

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I appreciate you stopping by. The mystery was fun--and challenging--to write. Unlike other genres I've worked in, mysteries have you plotting backwards so the clues, red herrings, etc., are properly placed.

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