Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars

Narrators: Kirt Graves and Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours, 23 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

Ever since Falcon’s family moved in next door, Andy has felt a special connection to Falcon. When Falcon moved in, Andy gained a best friend and ally. Years of being the class dork and all that came with that role seemed to evaporate thanks to being friends with Falcon. Over the years, Andy’s feelings have only grown for his best friend. In fact, he’s secretly been in love with Falcon for a while. And why not? Andy and Falcon are practically joined at the hip. Even now at college, they are in each other’s pockets as roommates. Andy is ready for something more, but before he can declare his undying love and affection for Falcon, he needs a major image overhaul. Everyone, and especially Andy, sees Andy as a “sidekick” more than a romantic lead. And when Andy and Falcon’s summer plans leave them separated during break, Andy is determined to seize the opportunity for a makeover.

Andy never thought a hot hockey player named Law would figure into his plans to transform into the perfect boyfriend for Falcon. Yet when the former ace of the school’s hockey team seeks out Andy’s help, they come up with a unique deal. Andy, a physics whiz, will tutor the undergraduates Law is coaching. The players must pass a physics class if there is any hope for Law to demonstrate his coaching prowess to recruiters. In return, Law will help Andy change his image and change his attitude…all for the chance for Andy to nab Falcon. But somewhere along the way, Law realizes he actually likes Andy. And the more time they spend together, the more those feelings increase. It’s hard when Andy is dead set on confessing his love to Falcon. Especially when Law sees and appreciates who Andy is even without the benefit of any makeover.

Project Hero is a contemporary get-together story by Blair Prescott that centers on a triangle of characters. Andy and Law share narration roles, so they are clearly positioned as main characters. Plus, the story and alternating POVs really highlight how Andy and Law’s relationship to one another changes over the course of the book. All that said, Falcon occupies an interesting space: he’s rarely on page, but clearly drives just about everything Andy does and the signs of his impact on Andy abound. These two are truly BFFs, they’re roommates at college, Falcon isn’t friends with Andy out of pity, and Andy has harbored a huge crush on Falcon for a long time. Falcon also figures prominently into the story for the rivalry he and his basketball teammates have with Law and his hockey team.

I thought the split narration served the book incredibly well. At the beginning, Andy and Law see each other simply as a means to an end. Law needs Andy to tutor his hockey team so the players don’t get kicked off the team and tank Law’s chance at being scouted by professional hockey people. Andy needs Law’s help transforming from the boy-next-door he’s always been into a sexpot worthy of Falcon’s romantic attention. These superficial connections almost immediately start shifting when physics nerd Andy realizes just how easy it is to be himself around Law. Similarly, Law finds out he enjoys Andy’s “self-deprecating” humor. In other words, these two have really good chemistry from the get-go. I think the fact that they’re interacting with each other outside the context of sex/romance allows them to get to know each other.

Of course, the longer Andy and Law are together, the more they grow to trust one another. The biggest example of this is when Andy realizes he trusts Law enough to ask Law to teach him the art of sex. This comes after Andy spent a rare night out with Falcon and his sport friends and learned Falcon and the rest of them are firmly in the “don’t want to have sex with virgins” camp. Thus, Andy turns to Law for an education. No emotions needed, of course. They enter a friends with benefits arrangement that leaves Law increasingly convinced he’s falling for Andy. Andy, on the other hand, starts having hugely conflicting emotions. Especially when he realizes he simply enjoys the friendship (and other things) with Law…without seeing it as a means to capture Falcon’s attention. And yet, Andy continually reminds himself he’s been in love with Falcon forever, so he simply cannot actually be feeling anything more for Law. If unrequited feelings or unresolved emotional tension is your thing, then Project Hero delivers in spades.

As an audiobook, I loved, loved, loved that the split narrative is shared by two different narrators. Joel Leslie voices Andy and Kirt Graves voices Law. I enjoyed Leslie’s cadence as he performed; it felt like he captured the mile-a-minute energy Andy has. But for me, Leslie’s tone feels a bit too “seasoned” for a twenty-something college nerd. I was less into Graves’ performance; it felt a little flat and a little more like reading to me. Still, I enjoyed having dual narrators. I think it’s a great way to differentiate different POVs in the book, so I never had to guess (or never had a chance to forget) from whose perspective the action was unfolding. I would have liked having Leslie voicing Andy’s lines when the action is coming from Law’s perspective and vice-versa, but that’s just me. As a whole, I thought the audio format worked very well with the story.