Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nothing to Lose / Consuelo Saah Baehr

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
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Consuelo Saah Baehr was born in El Salvador to French/Palestinian parents. She attended George Washington University, after college she began writing advertising copy for the Macy Corp. Marriage and three children followed. After an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times she received offers from book publishers. The result was the personal memoir, Report From The Heart (Simon & Schuster). Four novels followed: Best Friends (Delacorte/Dell); Nothing To Lose (Putnam's); Daughters (Delacorte/Dell) and 100 Open Houses; a Kindle original. You can find out more on her website, The repurposed writer. She also belongs to GoodReads.


April Taylor has been overweight her whole life. She is pretty and she is smart. Feeling emotionally detached from her parents her whole life she marries the first man who comes along. When he leaves her for another woman, she spirals into depression and gains weight seeking comfort from food.

Luis O'Neill 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 the history of Burdie's department store. He is living the American dream although he refuses to attach himself emotionally to anyone.
Sixty pounds overweight and reeling from a broken marriage, April wangles a job as a soft-goods copywriter in a suburban department store. Yep, you guessed it, Burdie’s. She’s a woman trying to find herself and love.


I think this book had a lot of potential, but due to an overuse of narrative, it missed the mark for me. There is some good dialogue throughout the story, but the author spends most of her time telling us what the characters think and feel, instead of showing us. When an author tells the story this way the characters end up flat, and I have a hard time connecting with them. It’s like reading a text book for me.

Don, the black design manager who is determined to help April lose weight, is the most honest character in the story and shows the most emotion.

April was certain she could control her future by simply losing weight. While it is true that losing weight will increase your self-confidence and you will feel better, it won’t make all your dreams come true., although this is the way it worked out for April. After she loses sixty pounds, all of a sudden Luis starts paying attention to her, even though he never even acknowledges that she has lost weight. Thank goodness she didn’t pin all of her self worth on emotionally aloof Luis.

I suspect this relationship with Luis will end up the same as her failed marriage because none of the underlying issues of destructive behavior were dealt with. An open and honest conversation between April and Luis is truly needed for both their sakes, unfortunately we never got to see that.


There are a few F bombs dropped along with other adult language. Sexual situations were mainly behind closed doors.

Format/Typo Issues:

There are several editing issues in this book: missing letters, wrong words, missing quotation marks, names such as Sarah are sometimes Sara, and Harald is spelled Herald one time. There are also what could be several small OCR scanning issues as in spaces (space s) in some wording (word ing) that doesn’t belong. The editing issues surprise me because I was under the impression this was a traditionally published book at one time.

Rating: ** Two stars 

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