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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
When pain and despair seem insurmountable, Alisa Callahan chooses suicide. Right away, however, she discovers that she did not make a good choice because she does not get welcomed into heaven and the loving arms of her Gram and best friend, Natty. Instead, she has to redeem herself and that leads Alisa to the same feelings of insecurity and hopelessness she had in life. Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham relates the task Alisa needs to fulfill in order to be redeemed and have a chance to get to heaven and enjoy the everlasting peace she thought she would find. Acting as the guardian for Brecken Shaefer, a teenager with plenty of troubles of his own, is not the easy job Alisa thought it would be. In fact, this assignment leads both Alisa and Brecken to the gates of hell where they face demons trying to steal their souls. For a girl who always took the easy way out, is there any hope of success?
Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham casually but clearly portrays not only the anguish that leads a young girl to suicide, but also the devastating effect this event has on the entire family. Without preaching, there is a message about salvation and redemption and the choices that can have a dramatic effect on the eventual outcome of every life. It is easy to feel Alisa’s doubts and joys, wondering with each new scene whether she will be successful or not in her role as Brecken’s guardian. With some interesting twists and surprises, this is a story well worth reading.