I wanted the first book I read, start-to-finish, in 2023 to be a book I knew I would adore.
That book was Katherine Center’s The Bodyguard.
Last year, I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy through a Goodreads Giveaway. I already knew the main characters, the plot, the setting.
Did that diminish this year’s reading in any way? Absolutely not.
(By the way – I bought the hardcover version of The Bodyguard from Ms. Center’s favorite local independent bookstore because she signs them!)
Did I find this second read of The Bodyguard enjoyable?
Was The Bodyguard the reason I stayed up later than planned just so I could read one more chapter?
Here are just a few of my favorite passages:
“People who want to be famous think it’s the same thing as being loved, but it’s not. Strangers can only ever love a version of you. People loving you for your best qualities is not the same as people loving you despite your worst.”
“Was I lovable? I mean, are any of us really lovable if you overthink it?
“It was tempting to chicken out.
“But then I thought of Jack going bwok, bwok, bwok, and then I wondered if having faith in yourself was just deciding you could do it — whatever it was — and then making yourself follow through.
“So I decided something right then: Every chance you take is a choice. A choice to decide who you are.”
“I kept pushing. ‘You can’t control the world — or other people. You can’t make them love you, either. They will or they won’t, and that’s the truth. But what you can do is decide who you want to be in the face of it all. Do you want to be a person who helps —or hurts? Do you want to be a person who burns with anger —or shines with compassion? Do you want to be hopeful or hopeless? Give up or keep going? Live or die?”
“Maybe love isn’t a judgment you render —but a chance you take. Maybe it’s something you choose to do —over and over.
“For yourself. And everyone else.
“Because love isn’t like fame. It’s not something other people bestow on you. It’s not something that comes from the outside.
“Love is something you do.
“Love is something you generate.
“And loving other people really does turn out, in the end, to be a genuine way of loving yourself.”