Wednesday, May 14, 2014

YA Guy Reviews... THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN by Meredith McArdle (plus a giveaway)!

Today on YA Guy, I'm hosting Meredith McArdle's blog tour for her YA time-travel debut, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN! Let's start with the blurb, then move on to my review and more information about Meredith and the great giveaway she's running!

About THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN: Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris.

It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together.

But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever.

Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?

Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon)
Genre:  YA time travel thriller
ISBN: 978-1477847138

Buy links:

My review: What do you get when you combine an action-packed plot, a kick-butt heroine, and some of the coolest history lessons your high school teacher (never) taught you?


Meredith McArdle's time-travel debut is a hugely fun, exciting, and--yes--informative read. I know those three adjectives don't typically occur together, but the fact is, McArdle's plot enables her not only to keep readers on the edge of their seats but to correct some misconceptions about American history. The result is a book that's at once fast-moving and thoughtful, as the reader discovers along with main character Amanda (code name Iris) just how complex and twisted history (not to mention family and love) can be.

I won't delve deeply into the plot, since you just read the blurb. What I will say is that I found Iris's story particularly affecting, as she must leave behind everyone and everything she loves for the chance to serve in the top-secret Annum Guard. The Guard's work is fun, challenging, and exciting--as in one of my favorite scenes, where Iris and her companions foil a multi-million-dollar art heist--but Iris can never forget that she's trapped, unable to leave the Guard without risking imprisonment. As she tries to find her place in the Guard, an exclusive enclave that views her as an outsider, she's tormented by a past that includes her father's mysterious disappearance and her mother's psychiatric illness. The irony, of course, is that while Iris can change the past--as she does in one hilarious scene by throwing herself in front of a cab containing a senator she needs to prevent from casting a crucial vote--Amanda feels powerless to change her own fate. Watching Iris/Amanda take control of her life and unravel the secrets in her past is at least as much fun as watching her travel through time, altering events at the behest of her superiors.

If you're looking for a thrilling read with a cool premise and a sympathetic heroine--and if you suspect that history holds a lot more surprises and difficult truths than anyone ever told you--THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN just might be the book for you!

Praise for THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN: "THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN had everything I wanted in a story: I fell in love with the characters, gasped at the mystery, and laughed at Iris's unfailing snark. Lucky for me, this high-energy, edge-of-your-seat thriller is only the first in what I know will become one of my favorite series." ~Susan Dennard, author of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY trilogy

About Meredith McCardle: Meredith McCardle is a former lawyer who lives in South Florida with her husband and two young daughters. Like her main character, she has a fondness for strong coffee, comfortable pants, and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Unlike her main character, she cannot travel through time. Sadly. Her debut, THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, will be published by Skyscape/Amazon Children’s in Spring 2014.

Social media links:
Twitter: @MeredithMcP

Rafflecopter giveaway: Amanda is giving away 2 Kindle Paperwhites, a signed hardcover of THE EIGHTH GUARDIAN, and a paperback + book-themed necklace. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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