Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Guardian by Joyce Sweeney

Title: The Guardian
Joyce Sweeney
Age Group:
# of Pages: 177
My Rating:

Hunter is alone, for as long as he could remember. Over the years, he has been moving around and living with different foster families. Now, he is currently under the roof with three foster sisters who are equally annoying in their own way and their abusive foster mother, Stephanie. Continuously bullied at school and at home, Hunter is sick of it all. He seeks for guidance and help from the great forces beyond.

After wishing for a couple of things, they miraculously come true! Hunter can not believe it. Is it really Saint Gabriel, his guardian angel, come to aid him? Starting to believe in it, Hunter begins to feel more confident about himself. Maybe life isn't so bad after all. But, can this also be the worse thing that has ever happened to him?

When I chose this book to review, I expected a bit more from it. Not overly amazing but something I would like. Honestly, I don't know how to feel about it. But annoyance held onto me throughout the book for sure.

Let's start with Hunter. Never have I read a book with such a weak and unintelligent male protagonist. With a personality like his, I can see why he was always picked on. He could not stand up for himself. After years of being bullied, I expected him to smarten up a bit. Stephanie abused him non-stop but he didn't bother to go to child protection services. I know I would. School teaches you about this stuff. A red flag should go up in your head when you are getting bruises in a non-accidental manner. Instead, this guy tried to please her by getting a job so she could take away his hard-earned money! If I could slap this guy, I seriously would. I disliked him more and more until the last one hundred pages. He grew up a bit towards the end but still needed a lot more character development. I especially hated Stephanie because she was so unfit to take care of kids but I guess it was her job to make the readers hate her so I can let her off for that.

The writing itself was a bit bland. Since it is written in first person, you are only seeing the story from Hunter's point of view. If the author added more details about the character's surroundings instead of simply stating what is going on, I know I would connect with the book much more. For sure, it would've been much better in third person. While I read it, I didn't like it. But after finishing it, I realized that it was not so bad if you look at the overall content. Of course I could still rant on about it, but The Guardian reveals the lives of unloved youth who were left behind when they were young. It invokes pity in the reader. But I am unlikely to recommend this book.

Review ARC copy provided by
Henry Holt and Company.

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The Book Resort said...

Thank you so much for your honest reviews. It was bland, huh?

Diana Dang said...

You're welcome! And yes, yes it was sadly. I was happy that it was quite short.

Sadako said...

Ah...It has an interesting look but bland is bad. For food, for books...for everything. Really like your blog in general!

Diana Dang said...

Yes, it is interesting indeed. I can hate it but like it at the same time.

Haha, thank you!