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Reluctant Guardian

(The Ransomed Soul Series #1)

by
3.94  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Guarding Brecken Shaefer-a dark and dangerous rebel-is harder than it looks. Death was nothing like sixteen-year-old Alisa Callahan thought it would be. Resting on pink, fluffy clouds for eternity with her gram and best friend sounded like a dream come true. After all, enduring one torturous experience after another in her short life deserved some kind of reward, right? ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published September 20th 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing (first published September 19th 2013)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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Rebecca
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book couldn't end any other way, but it's the best ending to book that I have ever read. Alisa is a young woman who has a lot of problems. After looking a few loved ones and having a very painful past she decides that she can't live with herself anymore. Believing that death would be a better choice and she will finally have peace she kills herself. She finds out that death isn't all it's cracked up to be and is given a chance at redemption: to become a guardian and save someone from ...more
Jon Messenger
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard the premise for this book, I wanted to read it. Anytime a book starts with a protagonist committing suicide, you have my attention! I have to admit that this book absolutely lived up to my expectations.

Melissa Cunningham spins a fascinating story following a young woman after her death, as she passes through purgatory on her path toward redemption. Melissa's purgatory and even the seedy version of black, tar-filled hell that she created are phenomenal. It was creepy following
...more
Jocelyn Sanchez
Thank heavens I read this book! Ive been in such a reading flunk lately and cant seem to find an interesting enough book that keeps my attention. Ive been looking for a book that made me excited to read. Something that I would be so engrossed with, that I would stay up late into the early morning to read. This book is exactly what I needed!

Alisa Callahan was a sixteen year old girl. She had a mother, a father, and two brothers who loved her. She had so much in her life but sometimes, life isnt
...more
Laura Greenwood
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

I received a copy of Reluctant Guardian in exchange for my review.

Alisa hasn't been able to cope, and takes the easy option; suicide. She had hoped to be reunited with her grandmother and her best friend once she died, unfortunately for her death isn't as easy as that. Having taken her own life, Alisa has to do a penance, and doing that involves helping Brecken overcome an obstacle in his life. What Alisa doesn't expect is for Brecken
...more
Kristen Cansler
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-review, r2r
This book was a crazy roller coaster, and I don't think I was tall enough to ride it. The emotions that this book draws out are intense, and I loved it. Cunningham is skillful at capitalizing on human emotions and weaving them into her book seamlessly. You're left just as invested in the story as the characters.

The world building is so well thought out. You are transported into the afterlife of the main character, and Cunningham presents her version well enough that you're immediately
...more
Holly
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book and I must say, I loved it!!! I was drawn into the story immediately and couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. I've always been curious about what happens after you die, what that would look like. I also wondered about suicide. What happens to someone who takes their own life? Is there no hope for them?

Knowing that this was a story about the afterlife journey of a girl who commits suicide, I was a bit nervous about how it would be portrayed. I hoped it
...more
Laurie
I loved this book! Alisha dies then wakes up in an unusual purgatory. Wanting nothing more than to join her beloved grandmother and BFF in Heaven she soon discovers that her decision to end her own life has unexpected consequences. Alisha learns some hard lessons as the story progresses and I enjoyed watching her ponder her condition and navigate the events that conspire to help her understand the gravity of her unenviable situation.
The author has constructed an imaginative afterlife populated
...more
Priscilla Robinson
I don't think I have ever read a book that make made me cry so much. I felt so bad for everything that Alisa endured. Her emotions weren't just written somehow they were felt through the words.

The storyline was great. The characters were well developed and this was a sure page turner. The only thing I didn't like was the very last paragraph as it leaves so much questions behind. Great book!
Cheri Dautel
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, couldn't put it down!!
Emily
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This wasn't my cup of tea, but it still deserves a fair review. The tension was kept high throughout the entire book; definitely a page-turner! The "heaven and hell" representations were very intriguing, thought-provoking, and contain enough elements of truth that it's believable in this story. Themes of forgiveness and gratitude for what one has are poignant. All of these things I loved, and were well-written. This book would definitely give a person second thoughts about committing suicide.
...more
Ali (Our Book Boyfriends) Flores
3.5 Stars ~

High points ~ Theres a lot of mystery to the story. I enjoyed getting both POVs. Its unpredictable.

Alisa has a lot of growing up to do. Shes weak, a liar, and has zero respect for authority. She doesnt recognize a good thing when its staring her in the face. Shes very immature. This is typical for some teens, but definitely not all. I didnt feel like I could relate to her. She made decisions that would totally contradict what I would have done.

Brecken is in a situation that leaves
...more
Pam
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Alisa thought everything would be perfect if she died. She has had a hard time while she was alive so she should get an easy afterlife. That is not what she gets after she commits suicide. She has to be a guardian to a boy named Brecken to get to move on. Brecken isn't a normal boy. He has to take care of his sisters and will do anything for them. He also is different and holds many secrets. Something dark is after him and it is up to Alisa to save him. That may be hard to do when she has to let ...more
Savannah Mae
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Rebecca Micco for Say What? Savannah Mae Kids (1/14)

This book, "Reluctant Guardian" by Melissa J. Cunningham couldn't end any other way, but it's the best ending to book that I have ever read. Alisa is a young woman who has a lot of problems. After looking a few loved ones and having a very painful past she decides that she can't live with herself anymore. Believing that death would be a better choice and she will finally have peace she kills herself. She finds out that death isn't
...more
Holly
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book and I must say, I loved it!!! I was drawn into the story immediately and couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. I've always been curious about what happens after you die, what that would look like. I also wondered about suicide. What happens to someone who takes their own life? Is there no hope for them?

Knowing that this was a story about the afterlife journey of a girl who commits suicide, I was a bit nervous about how it would be portrayed. I hoped it
...more
Sara
Reluctant Guardian, by Melissa J. Cunningham is the type of book that once I started reading it, I had to keep on going to find out what happens next. There is suspense, humor, and elements of paranormal romance as well throughout the story.

As far as the storyline, the basic premise involves Alisa, a teenager who has had several bad events happen in her life, including the death of her best friend and Grandma. In an attempt at ending the pain and grief she feels over the loss of these two people
...more
Brittany
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review*

This book explores the idea of suicide; what could possibly drive you to such circumstances, how it effects those you leave behind, where you go afterwards and whether you would change anything you did if you got the opportunity. The author created her own version of afterlife that captivated the reader and I loved how she created it with parallels to our world. The idea that this could be happening without us knowing it; that
...more
Deborah Bean
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever read a book that touched you so deep and it hit so close to home that it made it hard to write a review? Well that is what happened when I read Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham. I had to take a step back and clear my head before I could get near the keyboard. This was an awesome book and even though it is meant for YA, I think people of all ages would enjoy it.
This book really shows how our individual decisions can affect and change all of those around us. Reluctant
...more
Rebecca
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**

I could not have picked a better book to read. It pulls you in right from the beginning. A young girl doesn't know who she is anymore after the death of her dearest friend and grandmother. She feels alone in the world and doesn't know what else to do. When she commits suicide by crashing her car into a tree, she believes she will find peace and be reunited with her loved ones. She is sorely mistaken. She has to redeem herself. She is put
...more
Erica Kiefer
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Reluctant Guardian, Melissa Cunningham tackles the challenging and sensitive topic of suicide and what life might be like for spirits on the "other side," as well as what life might be like for loved ones on earth. Her vivid descriptions create poignant scenes that at times made me cry, and at other times, cringe in fear. Her writing allowed me to see the spirit worlds she describes, and I appreciated the thought-provoking insight that I gathered throughout the book. I enjoyed watching the ...more
Angi Naerebout
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. It started out so very sad and heart wrenching, then it's funny and hopeful. You get to go through so much with Alisa and the way it flows through reality, the spiritual realm and back again is very captivating. Reading about the effects of suicide on a family was tragic, but beautifully written. The full circle aspect in their lives was also nice. Then in the midst of all the tragedy, and heaviness, there is humor, cynicism, special moments. It was not Anyang that I ...more
Andrea
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reluctant Guardian is the tale of a girl who commits suicide, thinking her problems will be over, only to find her afterlife is rife with more issues than she had even in life. A story where forgiveness and understanding just how important your life is to all those around you are major themes, the romance between Alisa and her charge Brecken still takes center stage. The romance is very clean and well done. This book is violent and deals with some mature themes, so I would recommend it for 16 ...more
Melanie's
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well this book has been sitting in my TBR pile for a while now and all I can say is WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING???

Incredibly well written and a totally unique take on life, death and what could be beyond. The characters are so real my heart was breaking for them.

Touching on subjects so often shied away from in YA books this author does an incredible job of mixing in the paranormal with real teenage issues.

A well deserved 5 stars from me. Amazing!!! V""V
Linds Morris
Definitely recommend

First off, if you're reading this book to judge the editing, there are a few minor mistakes. But that's in all books. Don't be a grammar Nazi. Read for the characters.

The characters don't disappoint. They're full off life, love, sadness. The plot carries on well and there are plenty of no way! moments. You'll laugh, cry, get annoyed with the characters, not at them.

I definitely recommend this book. It's amazing!
Natalie Billings
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading Reluctant Guardian I had no idea how the story could end happy where the main character is dead. I was however pleasantly surprised. I loved this book. There were so many twists and turns I had no clue as to where it was going to go or end up. I was so happy with the way it ended. I can't wait for the 2nd book.
Lauren Taylor
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a flawlessly written take on the afterlife. It puts forward some original ideas mixed in with the traditional producing a well-rounded book that a lot of people will enjoy. My favourite part was the ending, and I don't mean that I was happy it ended. I mean the ending was brave and not what I expected.
Jennifer
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drawn in from the first page to the last

I had no idea how this book would make me feel for Alisa. I went back and forth with her, feeling for her as she was faced with paths to take and decisions to make.

Ms. Cunningham writes with clarity, realism in terms of teen characters, and great imagery.
ara133photography
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this book was awesome!! i loved alisa and brecken. the characters were well-developed, and the plot was fast-paced - i stayed up way too late reading! and gah! the ending - i need the sequel now!!!
Marie
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Addicting!

This is a clean, nervous making, white knuckling, and fun romance. I also like that it has a great anti-suicide message...plus it is very hopeful. This is a great book for teenagers on up! I am reading the next one in the series!
Candie Campbell
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. A thrilling and fun journey into a realm of the unknown.
Leah Alvord
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Melissa J Cunningham (also known as M.E. Cunningham) comes from a land, far, far away, and ended up on a little farm in northern Utah, living with numerous magical creatures: horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and a goat. Cunningham began writing quite by accident, the fall through the fabric of time dropped M.E. into the mysterious land of Terratir (The Eye of Tanub).

Favorite topics include ghosts,
...more

Other books in the series

The Ransomed Soul Series (2 books)
  • The Elementalist (Ransomed Soul Series, #2)

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