Author: A.J. Messenger
Series: The Guardian Series: Book 1
Genre: Teen Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 261 pages
Publisher: Independently published
Release Date: May 18, 2014
Publisher’s Summary: Eighteen-year-old Declan Jane is just trying to make it through senior year in San Mar, the Northern California coastal town she’s lived in all her life. Perpetually under the radar, she’s surprised by the pull she feels to a mysterious and attractive new student, Alexander Ronin. Despite all the girls vying for his attention, Declan is the one he’s drawn to, and she finds herself returning his interest. As the intensity of their attraction builds and she discovers the truth behind his appearance in San Mar, he reveals the danger she’s in and why their relationship holds deadly consequences. But as Declan overcomes her fears and fights for her life, the connection between the two lovers may be the only thing that can save them both.
My Thoughts: I don’t read a lot of indie fiction lately unless I’m being paid to edit it, but something about Guardian drew me in and hooked me. If I had to summarize the premise in 3 words, they’d be: Twilight meets angels! But the first book in A.J. Messenger’s YA paranormal romance series is its own entity. Declan Jane is a hardworking teen who frequently suffers panic attacks. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself, I could instantly relate to and root for her. To make me love her even more, her best friend is on the Autism Spectrum, and I just want to break out of my review here for a second to extend a large THANK YOU to author A.J. Messenger. Finally, a realistic, sympathetic, and accurate portrayal of a high-functioning person on the autism spectrum who is just as kind, clever, lovable, and brilliant as real-life people with ASD are. Sooo refreshing.
So, back to the love story. Declan meets hot new guy at school, Alexander. He can’t possibly be attracted to her, right? So why does he seem interested? Turns out, he’s her guardian angel, sent to protect her from the fallen angels invading her sleepy coastal town of San Mar. A romance between Declan and Alexander is strictly forbidden but, you know…it’s inevitable.
My only complaint is that the revelation about Declan in the end is a bit convenient. I would’ve liked to see them really work out their separate worlds the hard way, something extreme like Bella having to convert to vampirism in Twilight. But regardless, I was sold on Declan as a heroine, sold on all the side characters, sold on the romance, and entertained from start to finish. If you love teen paranormal romance, this series needs to be on your TBR.