Nothing to Lose
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Nothing to Lose

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,080 ratings  ·  106 reviews
I shouldn't have come back to Miami . . . I've been escaping cops' notice for a year now. I'm no longer Michael Daye, high school athlete with a promising future. Now I look like someone whit no future.

When Michael saw a chance to leave town with a traveling carnival a year ago, he took it. Back then, his home life was spinning violently out of control. The carnival, with...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by HarperTeen (first published March 30th 2004)
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This is probably the fourth or fifth book I've read from Alex Flinn, and although it was one of her first novels published way back in 2005, I still loved it just as much as some of her more recent novels. In "Nothing to Lose" Michael Daye's mother is being prosecuted for killing her abusive husband, who is also Michael's stepfather. The book alternates chapters to retell the events that Michael experienced under Walker's (the stepfathers) roof and explain what Michael is currently experiencing;...more
I love Alex Flinn's contemporary YA novels. While Beastly is one of my favorite books ever, I'm not as big a fan of Ms. Flinn's other paranormal/fantasy YA. This early dark stuff? Amazing. Just like with Breathing Underwater, Nothing to Lose tackles some heavy issues (in this case, spousal abuse leading to the stepdad's death and the stepson running away -- this isn't a spoiler, it's the basis of the book). I enjoyed the characters, and I really appreciated the resolution. Definitely worth a rea...more
Caroline Nixon
This is a book about a young boy who's life starting spinning out of control when he step father is abusing his mother and there is nothing that he can do to stop. Then one day, after he quit the football team and left all of his friends, an old friend asked to take him to the fair. When Michael gets tot he fair, what does he find? Trouble? How about love? After meeting someone new at the fair his life seems ot be getting a little better. He spends time with his new "friend" and forgets all abou...more
Kole Morrissey
From this year to last, transitioning from past to present, Alex Flinn wrote an amazing story about the effects from a violent realationship. Not just the physical scars to Micheal's mom but the mental scars left in Micheal's head. Micheal is a runaway that travels from town to town with the other carnies at the fair. He ends back in the town of all his horrors, his home town, Miami. His mom is in prison for killing the man who had been beateing her. In the present Micheal is trying to get her o...more
Not sure why this was on my shelf, but there it was when I needed a quick read and it wasn't bad. I think young adults will enjoy it; I was pretty certain failry early what the ending would be, and I was right, but maybe a newer reader won't. I thought about giving 2 stars, but since I finished, and quickly, I kicked it up one. I am not sure what book of hers is the best, but if I find out, I might read it.
"'Don't leave.' Her still-sleepy voice was like a little kid's.

'I'm not leaving. I'm just going to pack my things, to say good-bye.'

She was sitting up now. 'Don't. Please don't. If you go, they'll suck you back in. They'll make you stay and...' She fumbled with the sheet now, pulling it around her."

Nothing to Lose is all about good-byes and changes. It focuses on Michael, who has run away from home to join the travelling fair. We learn about Michael's abusive background, along with his love for...more
Michael’s life became complicated when his mother married Walker, a big lawyer in Miami. His mother swears she’s sticking to the marriage all for him, but Michael wishes his mother would leave the abusive situation. She claims that Walker will kill them both if she tries to leave, so she continues to live in fear. Michael finds a way of escape through the carnival that comes to town, especially through a girl named Kirsten. She encourages him to run away with them and be a carnie, and Michael is...more
Alex Flinn did it again. After reading Beastly I got excited when I saw another book by Alex Flinn. Nothing To Lose was a really compelling page turner for me. The Story is set in two different times. Now don't think this is Sci-Fi but its told all in the main character, Micheal Daye's, point of view from One Year ago and the present time.
Michael, like many boys, loves football and his friends but when his attractive mother marries a rich lawyer things for him seem to go down hill, He quits the...more
"She was the one who started me on the road I'm on now. If I can find her, maybe she'll help me figure out where I'm going."

Michael had a decent life. Sure, it had its ups and downs but he always knew he would get through it. He was a great football player and had a group of people that cared about him. This all changed when his single mom married Walker. For two years Michael watched as his mother was hit and abused by his stepfather. Feeling too weak to do anything, the vicious cycle of abuse...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a nice change from the dystopian, futuristic novels that I've been reading recently. I found the new perspective refreshing, and enjoyed the realistic plot that came along with it.

The narrations from both the past and the present worked wonderfully to help the story flow, and I found both tales equally interesting. Every character was flawed, and very relatable. The gaps in the narrations fill themselves in as the story progresses, and by the end of the book I had a very clear view of M...more
Michael Daye used to be an honor student and a football star. Now, he’s working and living in a travelling carnival, calling himself Robert Frost, and pretending to be nineteen years old. He’s been running and hiding from his past for over a year, but now that the carnival is back in Miami, where he started, he can’t run any more.

Because Michael’s mother is on trial for murder—the murder of her abusive husband, Walker Monroe. Now, Michael needs to face up to his past if he wants to be able to ha...more
*Megan* 8-3*
May 04, 2008 *Megan* 8-3* rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers and mystery lovers
Nothing to Lose
I read “Nothing to Lose” for my April book report. “Nothing to Lose is written by Alex Flinn and it is a mystery book. The main character is Michael Daye/Robert Frost.
The book takes place at two different times so it may be a little confusing. It flips back and forth between last year and this year.
Last Year:
Michael’s mom married Walker, a lawyer, who beats his mother, and Michael only wants to stay away from him. He also wants to be there so his mother doesn’t get beat. He quiet...more
Alma Guerrero
Michael has been trying to deal with his abusive step father but when it became too much he ran away with the carnival. He's been hiding from authority because he's underage and his mother is in jail for killing his step father. But when the carnival is back in town he sees that his mom may go to prison for a long time and he wants to help her. When his help isn't making much of a difference he confesses that he was the one who killed his step father.
Evan Teters
Alex Flinn's portrayal of Michael Daye and his struggle with his family was definitely refreshing read. The story felt original and seemed to stray from the plot lines of typical teen fiction. The way the chapters alternated between past and present events for Michael continue to unveil new secrets and keep the story interesting. I could really feel Michael's struggle as I continued to read.
Although I really liked the development of the plot and of Michael's character, I felt like Michael was th...more
This book was intresting. We meet Michael who has ran away from home. This mother marries a laywer named Walker, who is abusive and his mother takes it. Michael cannot stand it anymore so he runs away to Miami to be a carni. His mother is devistated but Michael has warned his mother that it would happen if things didnt change. But there is a twist, because Michael's mother is on trial for the murder of Walker. Only Michael knows the truth and he is the only one who can save his mom. Throughout t...more
This was not my favorite Alex Flinn novel. It's just all right. I felt like the character development was missing in this one. Normally Alex Flinn is really good at making you empathize with and understand everyone's side. I didn't really care that much about Michael and, I hate to say it, but I didn't have a lot of sympathy for his mother, either. Walker seemed too bad to be true. I wish she had given him a couple of good qualities because I think that would have helped make this book as multi-...more
Eileen flood
i just started reading nothing to lose by Alex Flinn. I have already read two of her books and enjoyed them alot. In this book Michael bounces back from this year to last year telling memorie of his mom and Walker. This year Walkers mom was convicted of the murder of Walker. No one believes her how Walker was abusive but Michael keeps having multiple flashbacks of Walker beating her. I really am excited to be reading this book because it keeps me on my toes.

Im on page 102 and its getting ve...more
A year after running away with a traveling carnival to escape his unbearable home life, sixteen-year-old Michael returns to Miami, Florida, to find that his mother is going on trial for the murder of his abusive stepfather.

This tense book opens with a newspaper clipping discussing the upcoming trial of Lisa Monroe, who is charged with murdering her husband. Michael, the main character in the story, joined the carnival a year ago, at age 15, and is now back in his hometown of Miami, Florida where...more
Dara Williams
Mar 01, 2010 Dara Williams added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a good fiction book
Recommended to Dara by: no one
Nothing To Loose by Alex Flinn is a very good book, and I really enjoyed reading it, unlike many other books that I've read it truly kept me wanting to read more. (I also think that I enjoy reding Alex Flinn books in general because I loved Breathing Underwater.) At first I was a bit confused when reading this novel because the plots go back and forth from when the main character Micheal living with his mother to when he came back. Yet I believe the reason why I liked this novel so much was beca...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael, a sixteen year old boy, joins a carnival group in order to run away from his horrible life at home. He lives the life of any carnival member- mysterious and unknown. His identity is not questioned by any member of the carnival because everyone else has has a past that they wish to hide. Michael sees, on the newspaper, news of a woman who is put on trial for murdering her husband. He realizes that the woman is his mother and decides to return to Miami, Florida, to return to his past, and...more
Not my usual sort of book, but it held my interest all the way through. It's about a boy whose mom was abused by her husband. So, kinda depressing. But it works out in the end, so that made it not as depressing a book as it could have been. It's not exactly a 'happily ever after', of course, but it's a satisfying ending that's about as positive as would be fitting for a story like this.
Annie Bennett
Nov 02, 2012 Annie Bennett rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: see last line in review
"Nothing to Lose" was a really good book. I thought the whole thing with switching the years was a little confusing, but it was put together well. What I didn't like was the whole thing about how powerless the mom was. Yeah, I know, they're just showing what really happens to people in real life. I remember a line that talked about how some people just didn't want to think that something this bad was possible. That really got to me. Anyway, that line is right. I don't want to know all the detail...more
Flinn burst onto the YA scene with a tough tale of a boy beating his girlfriend in Breathing Underwater. She returns to the theme of domestic violence in her third offering, but here her teen protagonist isn't the perp or the victim, but rather Michael, who watches his step-father's attacks on his mother. As in Breathing Underwater, Flinn cross-cuts the past and present, building texture to the characters and tension in the story, which climaxes in the trial of his mother for the murder of his b...more
Alyssa Wayt
So you know how some books are just great books? And when you are reading them, you are going "Oh this book is amazing, and the ending will just be great because how else can it end?" So I was saying that for about 250 pages of this book. And then on 251, BAM the whole story just flops and flips and twirls in a sorts! I did NOT at all see the ending coming, and it was just spectacular.

So what is this book about? It is about a kid whose mom was in an abusive relationship and the kid couldn't do...more
A surprisingly good book for picking it up at random.

Heartbreaking, and moving, but not a real downer. That's a hard combination for any book, but this one pulled it off.

It is a classic rite of passage story. The main character is in a horrible family situation, and is forced between a bad decision, and a worse decision. Through this he learns what is really important to him, and what matters in life.

While things turn out to be ok in the end, it isn't tied up with a pretty bow. Flinn leaves yo...more
Kenzie Wolfley
In this story, Michael Daye is just returning home after running away with the local carnival. It's been a year since he's been in town. And now, his mother is on trial for the murder of his stepfather. Flinn tells of a mysterious tale of how a boy deals with the hardships of an abusive relationship in his home. This book keeps readers on their toes.

I enjoyed this read. The author kept the story interesting by switching each chapter between Michael's past and present. There was a lot of emotion...more
Oct 27, 2008 Joanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Joanna by: Ms.Roggerson
This book is reallyyy interesting. I thought i wasnt going to like it. The only reason i wanted to read it was because the cover looked cool. But as i started to read it, I got really into it. Its basically about a boy who struggles with life at home and ends up running away to a carnival, then works there for a few years to try to stay away from his past. But eventually he comes back to his hometown and realizes that he never should have left. His mom is being accused of murdering her husband a...more
Vanesa Salas
I thought this book was very interesting and compelling. In the beginning, it was hard to understand how to read the book because of how it is written. Once you get the hang of it, it's a great book. I didn't quite understand why Michael's mother didn't leave her husband. She had so many opportunities like at the hospital or home alone, but she stayed. I feel bad for Michael because of what he had to go through. He was just trying to play football and be a regular teenager, but taking care of hi...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Emily Thompson's Book Review 1 10 Nov 17, 2012 01:03PM  
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I was born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of . . . okay, maybe not. I was born on Long Island, New York. When I was five years old, my mom said that I should be an author. I guess I must have nodded or something because, from that point on, every poem I ever wrote in school was submitted to Highlights or Cricket magazine. I was collecting rejection slips at age seven!

I learned to read early. But...more
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