Emerson Baxter does not have the most auspicious of beginnings. The product of a rape, she is being raised by her single mother and doesn’t know (or want to know) her father. She lives in New York City and attends the Livingston Academy on a partial scholarship. On a unexpected warm day in January, most of the school has decided to play hooky. Emerson and the boy/girl twin Japanese exchange students are the only ones in class. Getting a pass for the restroom, Emerson hears something from the janitor’s closet. When she opens the door, she sees one of the people from the front office. He’s mumbling to himself and keeps saying “They are coming for him” as he thrusts an index card into Emerson’s hand and tells her to find him.
Then the unthinkable happens: shots ring out, Rio, the boy twin, covers her on the ground and Miku, the girl twin, begins to sing a melody so haunting that it hurts. When Rio finally lets up Emerson, she sees the bodies of three dead men. Rio and Miku drag Emmy from the school and outside to a waiting car. Once the drive to a nearby residence, she is startled when a boy appears before her very eyes who has wings. And Emerson’s name is on the card.
Emmy finds out that these people aren’t people, they’re angels. Each has a specific gift which has to do with the way they each died. She also learns the story of souls, where they go, and how they get there. Supposedly, she is involved in all of this. She is supposed to have an object that will help them locate an angel named Julian that was cast to earth because of his love of a mortal woman. There is a bad angel, of course; and he and his followers will stop at nothing to capture this object and Julian as well.
An interesting idea, this book never completely took flight for me. The first and third sections are told from the female main character’s point of view, the second from the view of Marcus, the head angel of the Guardians. So you know that Emmy is in love with Marcus, and he is experiencing a pull in her direction as well. Marcus has a girlfriend, so this causes some tension and confrontations.
The characters needed much more depth. I knew exactly who I was supposed to root for and who to like and who to not trust, but that didn’t mean I liked any of them. Emerson is whiny, withholds information (which should just about never be the catalyst for a story) and she cries a lot. She can’t decide if she’s going to be a pushover or a screaming teen. Her interactions with Marcus, the angel who may/may not be her love interest, are immature and embarrassing. The frustration she feels because of this up to now unknown situation happening to her does not seem in sync with her personality. This is not to say that, when pushed so far, she would not finally stand up and shout; it’s just that the execution seemed forced, especially when she would continue to waver between her two “personalities.” Plus, even though Marcus has a girlfriend, Emmy demands a date with him. Who would do this?
As for Marcus, other than reading in his first person narrative that he felt drawn to Emmy, you would never know he had any feelings for her. So when she kisses him, it is entirely unexpected for two of us – Marcus and me, the reader. Where did that come from? Marcus certainly wasn’t giving out any signals and Emmy didn’t seem the type. Then he tells Emmy he loves her but can’t be with her. What?
Funnily enough, the secondary characters seemed more developed and real than Emmy and Marcus. They pretty much acted the way I thought they should, given their stories. I think I cared about them more than the mains, especially Jay and Reese. They had good banter.
As is, this book sounds more like a teen girl’s diary (I love you! I hate you!) than a meaningful story. There were also a few typos, but nothing life-threatening.
2.5 of 5 Stars (Based on Ink and Page’s Rating System)
Genres: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy Angels
Ages: 14 and up
You might want to know: Mild language
Guardians: The Girl (Guardians #1) by Lola St. Vil was published January 9, 2012 by CreateSpace. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review.
Book One is free for a short time on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.