Nothing but Trouble

Fiction - Drama
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/09/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Zelmer Wilson (1975- ) was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. At the age of three, he moved with his family to Fort Smith, Arkansas. He would live there until he was eleven years old. In the summer of 1986, he left Arkansas and moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his father and stepmother. During the summer of 1990, while visiting his mother and two sisters in Birmingham, Alabama, he discovered his calling in life, to be a writer. His debut novel, In the Middle, is inspired by his own difficult teenage years in Phoenix, Arizona.

His influences are Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Larry Brown, Janet Fitch, and James Ellroy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Nothing but Trouble by Zelmer Wilson is about Bobbie Lamont. She is not your typical girl. She used to prefer books over boys and she only has one friend, Billie Carver. Instead of going away to college, she decided to stay with her parents and attend Tulane University. After attending an all-girls Catholic school called St. Augustine Academy for Girls, she was very excited to see what life will bring her. That turns out to be Malcolm.

After getting her heart broken by two boys before him, Malcolm felt like a gift to Bobbie; little did she know that Malcolm's love would be short lived as well. Two months after that, he has to leave to attend Columbia University to get his master’s degree. It is an opportunity that he should not miss and he does not want to. Bobbie does not want him to leave, but she has no choice. When the day comes, he kisses her goodbye and walks out of her life. As her life takes an unsuspecting turn, she takes joy in writing and reading. Her friendship with her only friend is threatened after her goodbye to Malcolm. With outside forces trying to break up the two girls and test their friendship, they will have to make the decision to stay or cut each other loose.

Zelmer Wilson wrote a beautifully complicated story. The story had so many facets - at one point we see the friendship problems between the two girls, and at another point we are seeing Bobbie dealing with boys and sexual tension. There is so much happening in the story, but all the elements are well thought out and told through beautiful prose. A job well done by Zelmer Wilson. I really enjoyed it!

Natasha Jackson

Nothing But Trouble is the story of Bobbie Lamont, a recent high school graduate who is about to start the craziest, most tumultuous years of her young life. Especially regarding men. Bobbie falls in and out of love a lot, and living with her parents at that age just makes her life more stressful, particularly her strained relationship with her mother. But beyond Bobbie’s failed attempts at love, Zelmer Wilson’s story is about the friendship between Bobbie and Billie. Theirs was a friendship with staying power, surviving bullies, broken hearts, four hard years of college and moving on. Billie was her rock as she constantly pursued the wrong men in a misguided attempt to forge her own identity.

This story was an interesting coming of age tale that focused on Bobbie and her friendship with Billie. I felt that Billie was an underdeveloped secondary character when her presence was so essential to the story, but when she was in a scene it was more real. The way Zelmer Wilson writes is plainspoken, but it works for these New Orleans based characters. What they say is real and you don’t need to be a master of subtext to get it, which I think is a credit to the author. This was by no means a typical coming of age story, but it was filled with emotions and mistakes and growth, which is what those vitally important four years is all about. I was happy to see Bobbie try to break out of certain molds that had been created for her or self-crafted; it showed real growth that makes you want to know what happens next.