Title : Mad Love
Author : Suzanne Selfors
Publisher : Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre : Young Adult
ISBN : 978-0802784506
Series or Stand Alone : Stand Alone
Release Date : January 4, 2011
Rating : 4/5 Stars - Very Good
Description from Amazon :
When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother-and she needs one fast.
That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth-that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.
Alice Amorous is the Queen of Romance's daughter. Life is pretty tough for her though, because her mother suffers from a very serious mental condition. She's had it her whole life, but has recently been admitted into a hospital to help her out of a catatonic state. Alice has quit going to the private school she has been going to her whole life, and has climbed into a pair of adult pants earlier than she ever thought she would. She's been holding up the fort for quite some time, and letting everyone around her believe that everything is perfect, when clearly things just aren't. Now she has to come up with a new book for her mother's publisher, or they're life will surely go down the drain.
Errol, who claims he is the real Cupid, has confronted Alice with the true story of Cupid and Psyche. Alice doesn't believe a word he says, so she continues to make excuses as to the reason why she can't write his book for him. When she starts hearing his voice in her head, and can't stop thinking about him, she thinks she must be going insane just like her mother, and this is the scariest thing she can imagine for herself. Besides, he can't really be Cupid, right?
When I started this book I expected more of a comedic attempt at a story about Cupid. Surprisingly, I was wrong. I'm glad I was wrong though, because this book is perfect just the way it is. If not for lack of time due to a bit of nesting fever, I would have devoured this book within hours. I clearly have been missing out on the talent of Suzanne Selfors, and now I want to go back and read each and every one of her previous titles.
My favorite character in this title would have to be Archibald, the only gay tenant in the building that Alice and her Mother own and rent out. He always seemed to be there for someone, and never had anything to complain about, even when dealing with everyone else's drama. My least favorite character was Realm, previously known as Lily, until she cut all ties from her previous self and became a self-centered, manipulating little brat. There were times that I wanted to shake her because of the things she put Alice through, but her character clearly had some issues that she needed to work out.
The main character, Alice, annoyed me at some points in time. She was absorbed with trying to write a new romance novel in her mother's name, but didn't seem to realize that Errol was trying desperately to give her one. I thought she was a little stubborn at times, but like all of us, we just need to sit back and look at the big picture. Sometimes things just come to you when you least expect it.
Despite Alice's mother being the Queen of Romance, and Errol being the supposed 'real Cupid', there wasn't too much romance in this book. Alice has a huge crush on a new boy in town, Tony, and they do get to know each other a little bit throughout the book, but I wouldn't consider it to be too much of a romance between them. I'm glad that there wasn't that much romance between them though, because they are so young, and I hate to see young characters fall head over heels in love with each other within a few short chapters. I thought that their feelings toward each other, and the slow pacing of them getting acquainted was much more realistic than most young adult books.
I really liked how Selfors included a very serious mental condition into this book. It gives a lot of insight on what families have to go through when their loved ones can't take care of themselves and need to be admitted into a hospital. The illness in this book hits close to home too, because I do have a few family members that suffer from it, although they had it treated early on so it never had the time to come to the state that Alice's mother faced.
The bottom line is that this was a great book. Within the last few chapters I cried my eyes out, and I'm not sure if it was because Selfors is fantastic with depicting emotion, or if my pregnancy hormones were just raging at the moment. Either way, I love a book that can grip my heart and make it break for the characters. I highly recommend this book, to both young adults and adults alike, because it will give you a real insight on a teenager who has to deal with a parent being mentally ill, and how sometimes you have to grow up before your time.
Where did I get this book? :
I received this book from Kate at Bloomsbury Kids publishing house in exchange for my honest review for a blog tour.
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