I don’t know how I feel about this one, just know that I read it.
In Elijah Douresseau’s The Nasty Business of Being a Bodyguard, Alvin Gates must play world-class chef and criminal informant to villain-on-the-rise, Coco. But even months of diva tantrums won’t get Alvin ready for Coco’s real power move. Still, he might just have one more trick up his sleeve.
If I had to put this novel in a category, I would call it Abstract Slice-Of-Life. There is probably a better word for it, but nothing else is coming up for me. The non-linear plot was really what kept throwing me for a loop, but, as time went on, I realized that there were other things going on here that just were not connecting for me.
Don’t get me wrong, this book started slow, but I enjoyed a good part of it. Once I got myself used to the fact that this definitely wasn’t a traditional representation of any genre that I’m used to reading, I appreciated its weirdness. As someone who regularly devours romance it was really nice to get into a book that had none of that whatsoever.
I wasn’t too fond of that ending though, but I try my best not to write spoiler reviews.
That being said, I don’t know if I just wasn’t paying close enough attention to the story, or if the author was in a trope-circumventing mood. That ending just went completely over my head. I could not understand it. I also hope that this book is a huge success so that someone could kindly explain it to me. There were like five paragraphs of science fiction moments going on, but I don’t think that’s enough to make sense of what happens.
I liked Alvin as a character, but it really boggled my mind as to how he really ended up in the situation that got us this story. The author does a great job of telling us about Alvin’s childhood and his grandmother as it relates to cooking, and even gives us a few throwaway characters to help round out his life. But I really didn’t understand how he found Coco, or how Coco found him.
As for Coco, I really just like that she was a villain and there was no need for redemption. I’m not going to get on a soapbox about how black characters should get to be villains without it being a thing the same way everyone else does,. However, in this era of having a reason for everything, I’m glad that Coco got to be a top-tier villain just because she wanted to be.
Ultimately, I would recommend this one as a palate cleanser. It breaks up the monotony of your usual genres. It’s for readers who like quirky books that do things you really wouldn’t expect. Is it divisive? Probably not. It might be polarizing, though, but I need more people to read this so we can argue about it.
Here’s to hoping that you’ll like it too.
If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about this particular novel, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.