Book Review: Nothing to Lose July 14, 2011Posted by Jaidis in 2 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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A novel of insight and great humor, this is a Cinderella story about the triumphant makeover of the body and spirit of April Taylor, a fat girl from Queens with the right mind but the wrong body.
April – 60 lbs. overweight, reeling from a broken marriage wangles a job as a softgoods copywriter in a suburban department store. There she meets Don, the black design manager who is determined to help her. “You’re not really breathing,” he tells her. “You’re holding your breath for the next insult . . . such a waste, such a pretty face.” April capitulates and the program begins: the wogging, the jogging, the hip walking and near starvation that will melt her prison of fat.
Nothing to Lose is also about April’s fantasy lover, Luis O’Neill. Luis is a half Irish, half Puerto Rican boy from the projects who makes it to Princeton and utilizes his dazzling good looks to become the youngest president in Burdie’s history. Set against the backdrop of the outrageous world of advertising and marketing this is a jubilant and satisfying story of risk-taking and love between two worthy survivors.
Nothing to Lose by Consuelo Saah Baehr is a story about breaking free from the stereo types, beating the odds, and taking the unexpected path in life. Good things don’t come to those who wait. They’re snatched up by those who seize the moment and make it their own and that’s exactly what April Taylor and Luis O’Neil were going to do!
April had always been a heavy-set girl but hadn’t really seen that as a hindrance. It merely was what it was. She had her mother’s large hazel eyes and her father’s thick chestnut hair, making it obvious to others that she’d be a total knock-out if she could just lose the extra pounds. Thankfully Sylvie, April’s best friend, had found a great job for April that would not only take her out of her comfort zone, but would help get April going in the right direction with her life. She soon left Queens and jumped straight into a Manhattan lifestyle! She had lost weight and gained the self-confidence she needed in order to get ahead and go after what she wanted…love. She set her sights on Harald, falling hard and fast. Everything was picture perfect, just as it should be. Unfortunately, her fairytale ending didn’t last long and April found herself alone and diving deeper into her bad habits and self-destructive ways. That is, until she went to work for Mr. Luis O’Neil.
Luis O’Neil was the son of an Irish father and Puerto Rican mother. He was a handsome and academically gifted child, straying from the expected street life he grew up with. Instead, he focused on achievement, being the best at what he did, and living the American dream! After studying at Princeton he landed himself a job with a major retail corporation, starting off small as a buyer and quickly becoming one of the company’s presidents! He had worked hard and it had paid off, giving him all he had ever wanted. Everything but love. Real, secure, unquestionable love. Then he met April.
Miss Baehr tells a tale of life, love and what happens when fate interjects. A concept I have always been a fan of, but it didn’t quite have the spark and connection to the reader that was needed. April seems to fall in love with any man who so much as smiles at her and her struggles with being overweight are too drawn out and redundant. Instead of identifying with and feeling for April, I found myself slightly annoyed by her. I had the same problem with Luis’s character, as he didn’t really have any depth to him, having gone through life with almost no resistance or road blocks. I also found myself distracted by typos throughout the entire book. I do feel this story had incredible potential, but that it needed more excitement to provoke and engage the reader.