No Love Lost
Reviewed by: Joey Pinkney
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 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?
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?
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