It’s been ages since I’ve done a book review. So I’m happy to say here is my latest review of Guarded Wish by Addison Carmichael. I did my best to keep this spoiler free, because I’m also posting the review at Goodreads.
Title: Guarded Wish
By: Addison Carmichael
Series: Guarded, Book #1
Publication Date: February 18, 2018
Genres: YA Fantasy Romance
Blurb: What would you do if your fantasy love came to life?
It wasn’t weird that Sandy Koufax dreamed of Peter throughout the years. Everyone has imaginary friends growing up. Particularly if you’re a lonely foster kid in the system.
But just as Sandy comes of age and stops believing in the impossible existence of her perfect fantasy guy, she strangely receives a cupcake and candle with a notecard that reads:
Happy Birthday, Sandy.
Make a wish. I promise it will come true.
And you know I always keep my promises
—Love always, Peter.
Yet, as the saying goes—be careful what you wish for. All is not as it seems. When Sandy miraculously spots Peter around her new home in San Francisco, this could very well be her dream come true. Or she may have opened the door to something mysterious and dangerous—from another world altogether.
And what if Peter isn’t the only one she accidentally brought over? When Sandy’s warned in yet another dream that there is now an assassin in her world determined to hunt down and kill her, a mimic able to take the image of even her coworkers and friends, she’s not sure who she can trust. Or who will help her escape him.
This was a great read. I’ve never read a fantasy before (seriously) and I’m glad the author introduced me to her book. The main character, Sandy, has a distinct voice that was all her own. She sucked me in from the opening chapter.
Having been left at a fire station as an infant, Sandy grew up in the foster care system, which left emotional scars that are realistically portrayed, from Sandy’s fears of getting close to someone, or anyone, lest they leave her. She has barriers to overcome if she wants to grasp what she truly wants–love. Her arc was well executed from start to finish, as you watch Sandy emotionally grow. At the end it becomes less about herself and what’s happened to her, to battling to help those she cares deeply about.
Sandy’s favourite place to retreat is in her world of dreams, where this wonderful friend Peter is the perfect hero who makes all of the bad go away for Sandy. But he’s too perfect, because this place is Sandy’s escape, and we can only hide our heads in the sand for so long before we finally have to face reality and face ourselves.
The fantasy part, since I don’t know much about this genre, was awesome. I loved the idea of two worlds within the “world.” What a certain “token” Sandy keeps really means. The different characters you hear about. I felt as if I was at that special place.
The plot did get off to a slow start, but this was required to show Sandy’s arc. So that was more than fine with me, because I’m all about character-driven fiction. The book was plot heavy, but Sandy’s arc kept the focus of the story on her growth as a person.
The romance was very believable. The two characters get off to a shaky start, mainly because of Sandy’s inability to trust anyone, lest they abandon her. And her emotional arc is a huge part of this romance as you watch her shift gears, till she’s finally in fourth and riding high. Well done.
The secondary characters were also well shaped, from Tommie (the rebellious wild-child at the halfway house) to Marie (the very scared young girl caught up in the foster care system). Marie intrigued me so much, it’d be neat to see how her life pans out.
I highly recommend this book. It’s more than YA Fantasy Romance. It’s a story about a young woman growing up in the foster care system and how she must learn to believe in herself to overcome what holds her back, and also learn to trust if she wants what she secretly craves–love and friendship.
You’ll enjoy Sandy. She’s feisty, vulnerable, defensive, and even slightly childish at times. But she has a big heart, and she truly cares about others. She’s a fully fleshed out human being. She has goals, dreams, and desires. She tries so hard. I admire her determination.
Have you read Guarded Wish? If so, do you agree with my review? If you haven’t read Guarded Wish, are you curious to read it?