Friday, October 10, 2014

Student Bodyguard for Hire by Callie James Review

I won a giveaway from Goodreads First Reads.

"When her younger brother becomes victim to Ridgeview High’s worst group of bullies, Peyton Greene sets out to hire the most feared student in school to protect him. It never occurs to her that the antisocial, two-time senior won’t agree to do it, even for the large sum she’s willing to pay.

Sam Guerra can’t afford to pick a fight at school and risk another expulsion, but after witnessing the beginning of a humiliating locker room beat down, he gets involved anyway. Soon more students approach him with offers of money and requests for protection. Having zero interest in becoming anyone’s bodyguard, he finds other students willing to take his place for the same fee. A growing list of names rapidly morphs into a reason to approach the pretty geek again, and despite the stark differences in his and Peyton’s backgrounds, they begin seeing each other outside of school.

But everything changes when Peyton transforms the list into a bodyguard website for a class project. Not long after go-live, she’s struggling to maintain the burgeoning database of bullied students matched with student bodyguards. What happens next turns the senior class assignment into a non-profit, nationwide project that will ultimately tear her parents' marriage apart and the town in two as it fuels the hot topic of violence to stop violence in an already divided nation. Her struggle to do the right thing becomes even more complicated when she learns of Sam’s dark past and equally violent present—information that could compromise their relationship, her reputation, and the integrity of a successful, anti-violence project she refuses to quit."

It is a bit "meh" in the beginning, but it starts picking up (redeeming) itself around the middle portion of the book. Student Bodyguard For Hire certainly has a few perks and downsides. The characters (the narrators) are interesting, and I can easily tell them apart with the help of subtitles and announcements below the chapter body begins. 

Alright, let's get down to business. I haven't been reviewing books for a day and skipped another day, so... I better start catching up.

Let's talk about the two main characters. There is Sam. And there is Peyton. These two are meant to be, of course. And that is obvious. Even the friend of Peyton (who wants to be more than her friend) doesn't make it love triangle at all. These two characters are more similar than they originally thought. They draw parallels to each other, despite the different covers and masks they wear. But I didn't really see that spark. That chemistry. The romance? I saw that a mile away. But the chemistry, the flames? Not there.

I'm utterly convinced that Student Bodyguard For Hire has been making allusions to Supernatural throughout the entire book. First, there is a character named SAM who drives an IMPALA and works at WINCHESTER garage. Uh, huh. Don't pretend that doesn't exist.

The beginning of the book could use a bit of work. It is that kind of place where the book tries to find its place, its momentum. By the time it reaches the middle, it starts straightening out and focuses on issues such as bullying to parental control. 

The book is a bit darker than some romantic books. The characters have a darker past. And this book tackles bullying. And that is a very dark subject. 

Overall, Student Bodyguard For Hire is an above average book but not outstanding enough for me to consider giving it a five. But the book is interesting and kept me reading the entire thing. There were a lot of secrets, but there wasn't a lot of foreshadowing though. I'm not sure if that is the author's intentions, but I really don't care.

I do, however, like the Supernatural references.

Rating: Three out of Five (the higher threes)

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