Nothing Left to Lose by Kirsty Moseley
If I'm being completely honest, I accidentally bought this book on my Kindle and thought I might as well read it , there really was, excuse the pun, "nothing left to lose", bar a couple hours of my life and £1.99.
You don't understand how happy I was to cry over a book that didn't disappoint (well the ending didn't) it was quite disturbing from the outset but that comes with the territory of reading a book where *spoiler alert* the second character you meet gets beaten to death by a gang of men in the first chapter.
Despite the rather graphically horrific first chapter the book was a rather pleasant read, excusing the rather infrequently frequent R rated content, in the sense that the ending left me feeling very satisfied. I suppose a little synopsis is required:
Annabelle Spencer’s life is every girl’s dream, on her 16th birthday her dream night turns into an eternity of suffering when her boyfriend Jack is murdered right in front of her, and she’s kidnapped by his murderer, Carter Thomas, a big time drug and arms dealer. *Random BeaBookBound finding: this plot has a few similarities to the 2 Fast 2 Furious plot when Eva Mendes goes undercover with arms dealer Carter Verone. -Note to self why are all fictional arms dealers called Carter- It also reminded me of The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner*. After ten months of being held captive she's physically found but her soul is lost. It appears her time in captivity not only broke her body but her spirit too. The mantra Anna now lives by is: ‘If you don’t care about anything, then you have nothing to lose’.
Carter is currently serving time for the murder of Jack, a conviction that Anna helped secure. But his retrial is coming up because some key evidence appears to have been tampered with. Unbeknownst to Anna, death threats are being received by her father, the Senator who is also running for Presidency. It appears that Carter is still interested in Anna and will stop at nothing to get her back.
Ashton Taylor *cue swooning girls* is brought in to protect her. He’s a newly qualified SWAT agent, a bright spark, the agency’s new golden boy. He is assigned undercover, posing as her boyfriend. His job is to help her through college and keep her safe until the end of the trial in eight months’ time.
For three years she has been the broken, damaged girl, refusing to feel emotion or pain, but can Ashton help her rebuild her life and finally deal with the grief of losing her childhood sweetheart? Will he be the one to make her see that life is, in fact, worth living and that not all men will hurt her?
(Book description taken from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Left-Lose-Kirsty-Moseley/dp/1492787701 - Edited)
I was in two minds as to how to approach this book after reading it; was I to go with my heart which is quite fickle when it comes to romance novels, or do I condemn the author for being completely oblivious to the serious issues addressed in the novel and be disappointed at the lack of finesse to the book. I suppose I am somewhere in between, I read fiction because it’s imaginative and doesn't necessarily have to make sense in the literal world, yet I become annoyed when the book isn't realistic in the slightest. Nevertheless it was a good concept. When it comes to fiction, your own enjoyment is dependent on whether or not you can appreciate the author’s style. I for one was able to.
I'm not sure whether I liked this book because of the emotional factor, danger, brooding characters or the fact it was well written for a story that was originally published on Wattpad. Perhaps it's a combination of all of the above.
When they said, “due to heavy subject matter and sexual content this book is recommended for 18+ readers” they were not kidding. In terms of explicit content this book was extremely heavy but once you've started you won't be able to put it down, it's intoxicating.
Nothing Left to Lose is by no means perfect and the fact that I wasn't sure about where the book was set until they specified location suggests that geography was not the Moseley’s forte. In spite of the discrepancies in regard to the nitty gritty particulars regarding American politics and the justice system, the storyline was long yet well executed; it had everything you’d want in Young Adult fiction: suspense, drama, action, angst and a whole lot of passion. I know I’m not alone in saying that there were times when I laughed, cried and became frustrated all within the same chapter. To true Wattpad style this book was told through both point of views which meant that you had an insight into their thoughts and the profundity of their feelings which was quite beautiful and added some depth to the characters.
To say Anna’s character is superficially complex would be putting it mildly; there are so many different facets to her character, she’s vulnerable yet strong willed. Moseley’s development of Anna from the damaged 16 year old girl to the 19 year old woman who’s endured an eternity of suffering but powers through it all was brilliantly done and it allowed me to fall in love with her fiery spirit and strength.
Ashton is a beautiful simple character for all the right reasons. Yes he’s SWAT and he can kick ass but in terms of his character’s depth there is so much more to him than just being an agent. Without giving away the entire book there is a lot more to him than I initially thought.
From the get go the story is intense, it mellows a little in the middle and ending has you waiting with baited breath skimming to see how things pan out. It was quite the emotional rollercoaster, and a long one at that, the thirteen hour and 40 minutes read didn't seem to bother me at the time because I was hooked by the simplicity of a complex plot. As predictable as it was at times, I have fallen in love with this story, it was so powerful, and really made me think. Putting aside my judgments of Young Adult Fiction you can learn something from anything. Nothing Left to Lose taught me "All things worth having are worth fighting for" in the context of the book this statement is so much more meaningful.
As much as I have gone on about the depth of the characters and their feelings this book really isn't for those who enjoy a complicated plot line with an array of versatile characters. It’s your not-so-typical-typical teen romance novel, it’s pretty cheesy but it’ll leave you with a smile, by far one of the best books to ever grace Wattpad.
If you love Nothing Left to Lose as much as I did you can look forward to Enjoying the Chase in Spring 2014!
[All images were taken fromhttp://www.kirstymoseley.com]