No Love Lost by Therone ShellmanNo Love Lost
by Therone Shellman
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Reviewed by: Joey Pinkney
November 2008


Therone Shellman's No Love Lost is more than your average hood-centric novel. This novel goes beneath the surface of street life and shows all facets of what happens when people are in the "game". Most urban fiction novels cover the drugs, the dealers and the money, clothes and cars. Those aspects are present in this novel, yet No Love Lost actually does nothing to glorify the wrong doings of drug dealers and gangsters. It also does not vilify the police officers who sometimes work with the very criminals they are sworn to keep in check. No Love Lost shows the drug game in its totality, no holds barred.

Cousins Derrick and Jermaine are like two peas in a pod. Their close bond isn't broken by Derrick's 6 month stint in Juvenile Detention. Derrick comes back a changed young man, but not in the way that his mother would have expected. Derrick's friend Supreme rubbed off on him. Now a 5 Percenter, Derrick no longer eats pork and now wants to be called Infinite. That part of his new identity doesn't bother his mother nearly as much as his affinity for criminal endeavors.

Although he lived in a home with two caring parents, Jermaine chose the streets. Rolling with his cousin Infinite (Derrick) and Supreme, he sells marijuana on the block to make money. They wanted Jermaine to sell a little, save his money and go to college to get his education. Jermaine was addicted to the money and slowly persuades Supreme and Infinite to put him onto the next level stuff they were into.

It doesn't take long for Infinite and Supreme to see if Jermaine is down by law. His first time out with the crew to do some dirt solidifies his ability make it happen when the pressure is on. The trio jack a weed dealer at a truck stop and end up having to let the guns clap to get the job done. The unexpected turn of events leave the weed dealer dead and Jermaine with nick name for the streets, "Blaze". His frazzled nerves instantly calms when he counts all the cash procured from the murderous turn of events.

Infinite and Blaze continue on without Supreme, who attempts to live straight and enlist in the army. They hook up with a group known as M-P-R (Money Power Respect) to form a criminal enterprise. Infinite and Blaze rob M-P-R's competition and turns the drugs over to M-P-R to flip and share the profits.

All hood things must come to an end. M-P-R's operations gets shut down after the police are tipped off by Boom after he's jacked by Infinite and Blaze. The streets loves no one and the outcome is always the same, you die or go to jail. Therone Shellman's skills as an author makes getting there for his characters very interesting and truthful.

Teenage street soldiers, loyal girlfriends and a caring police officer are mixed in with kidnappings, sergeants having extra-marital affairs with reporters and snitching relatives. No Love Lost is one of the most realistic portrayals of inner-city struggles that I've read. Kudos.

What did you like best about this book?
I really enjoyed the balance that Therone Shellman offered his readers. Every character had a story that needed one. For instance Sergeant Ronald Aldoe is more than a hardened police officer without feelings. When he confides in his mistress/star reporter Carla Simmons the toll the streets have taken on him, you really get to see another side of Aldoe. The cop duo of Frank and Speedy is another powerful aspect of the book. Officer "Speedy" got the name because of his track star speed with on-foot pursuits. His hatred for black people is perfectly juxtaposed by Frank's attitude of sympathy and compassion. It's rare that you get an officer that's halfway understanding of the why some people get into the type of trouble you can find in the hood.

I also enjoyed some of the plot twists. The killer white girl was a total surprise. You have to read it to understand.

The book cover was another positive point for No Love Lost. I get tired of seeing poorly composed renditions of Master P covers from back in the 90s. You remember the shiny diamond-encrusted letters, the dollars falling from the sky, the Benz on dubs...ridiculousness. Oh, I almost forgot the scantily clad female.

No Love Lost had a decent book cover that didn't attempt to exploit what you get from videos.

What did you dislike about this book?
I didn't like the grammatical error. Usually you can let a couple slide. There were enough in this book to take away from the flow of the story. Like the Derrick/Infinite narrative. Derrick got the name Infinite when he went to juvie and got hooked up with the 5 Percenters. Cool.

A couple of pages later, Infinite and his cousin Jermaine are about to his up a weed dealer for a lick. Therone Shellman uses Derrick and Infinite in a sentence where he should have used Jermain and Infinite. It took me two minutes to figure out what was going on. I had to go back to the beginning of the book to figure out who was who and what was what.

I also didn't like the fact that twin brothers Hassan and Rassan took on the god body names of Knowledge and Knowledge-Knowledge. There were a couple of sentences that got confusing when they were referenced within the same sentence.

How can the author improve this book?
Get a professional editor, and this book will be all good.


The views expressed in published reviews are solely those of the reviewer. The Urban Book Source cannot be held accountable. The information featured, represents that of the reviewer and not that of The Urban Book Source. The reviewer takes full responsibility for the information presented.

Comments page 1 of 1:
Click Here to Add a Comment
BARBARA GROVNER, AUTHOR OF :
Posted 3116 days ago
YOU ARE SUCH A GREAT REVIEWER AND YOU LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED. YOUR TALENT FOR TAKING IN "ALL" IS AWESOME AND YOUR HONESTY INSPIRES AUTHORS AND PROMPTS US TO IMPROVE ON OUR CRAFT.
MR. SHELLMAN'S BOOK WAS GRIPPING AND RIGHT TO THE POINT. IT'S A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT TO GIVE TO A YOUNG MAN ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST THIS YEAR!
Sidne, The Book Club Reviewer :
Posted 3119 days ago
Very, very nice review. You cover every angle a reviewer should.
Definitely interested in reading the book. Be back to check out your other reviews. Thanks for checking me out!!
An Author :
Posted 3121 days ago
I hate to admit it, but I read the book about 8 months ago and liked it. I used to watched dudes posts on another urban lit site about his views on lit and thought he was cocky, arrogant and felt he was better than other writers and the readers because he is well read. The book to me was more like a documentary than a novel b/c after it had me really thinking about shit-like my son and nephews. This was some real life shit, that needs to be in schools and scared straight prison programs. I probably will never tell dude cuz he on some next shit, but he got skills and his own way with words which stands out.
 




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