09 June 2011

Review: Mad Love

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
Also by Author: Coffehouse Angel; Saving Juliet
Official Website
Description: As the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life for sixteen-year-old Alice Amorous should be pretty good. But ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness, Alice has been forced to maintain a brave front--lying to her new crush, Tony, answering fan letters, forging her mother's signature, telling the publisher that all is well. Now time is running out and so is their money. The next book is overdue and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs to deliver a new novel for her mother--and she needs to come up with one fast. That's when she meets Errol, a strange guy claiming to be Cupid, who insists that Alice must write about his tragic romance with Psyche--the greatest love story of all time. Only, Alice doesn't believe in Cupid....
Review: When I see a really interesting book on Goodreads or on here, I add it to my To-Read pile, like everyone else. However, I'm guilty of forgetting the books I add there. But when I saw Mad Love in my library, I remembered adding it, and the feelings of discovering and falling in love with it came back. And I must say, I did fall in love with this book... (Alright, I'll just get to the review)

Mad Love is about a 15 year old girl named Alice Amorous. (That is such a nice name) Her mother, Belinda, is the Queen of Romance. In her lifetime, she's written 30 gush-worthy books of strong heroines and hunky males. Unknown to her fans and readers, Belinda suffers from bipolar disorder. Alice's mother has happy periods, where she writes her books and is a friendly person, and depressed periods, where she holes herself up in her room or disappears for days at a time. Alice feels her mother doesn't love her and Alice has to take on the role of the adult.

When Belinda goes into a mental hospital, Alice is now responsible with keeping it a secret. Only a select few know, like her neighbors, who help take care of Alice. She get's a letter from her mom's publishing house saying that she needs to publish a book in the next 2 months. At a book signing that Alice attends for her mother, a strange man named Errol gives her a stack of notes and the instructions to write his book. Errol tells Alice that he's Cupid. A) He's not a cherubic little baby and B) that happened BCE. Following an accident with an invisible bow, and feeling lovesick for Errol, Alice cannot help but think that this is truly Cupid. Alice needs to write a story and this man has one: It sounds like the perfect set-up.

I really enjoyed Mad Love. I was never bored reading this book, and setting was fun. Since I'm in the midst of a heat wave myself, I can relate to the character. 101 degree weather is no fun, especially since Alice is trying to look cute for a guy. So the boy's name is Tony Lee, and he's a flippy haired, hipster glasses-wearing senior who works at his fathers shop. He skateboards past Alice's house everyday at 9:30 (She has an alarm set) and Alice stares at him, in her pajamas, from her window, every day. I couldn't help laughing out loud at that part, because we're all a little guilty of staring out cute boys from out windows.

I wanted to see more of the romance between Tony and Alice. Instead, the book was mainly focused on Errol's story. I didn't like Errol. Even though he was supposed to be in the body of a 17 year old boy, I felt like he was a creepy older man. And he was annoying. A lot of the characters were annoying. Realm, who you can tell I didn't like from my Goodreads battle cry. (I was on my iPhone, don't judge) Realm was blackmailing Alice, Errol was badgering her about the story, and then there was Mrs. Bobot, the neighbor, who was trying to look out for Alice, but was more like an unknowing grandmother, who let everything slide. I usually love old people, but she was annoying! The only characters I could stand was Belinda, Alice, Tony and Archibald, their other neighbor.

I liked the way Selfors wrote about Belinda's disease. I've never had a family member with bipolar, but my aunt was in a serious depression for about 4-5 months, and it was terrible. I can understand was Alice went through on those dark times, when Belinda wouldn't talk to her, or do much of anything. Living with a relative like that is heartbreaking, and knowing you cannot do anything is scary.

I'm like Alice. I stare at the boys from afar, making up stories about talking to them and being with the and stuff. Alice go over it though. Although it was awkward at first, and she had to start the conversation, she talked to him. And they get together. I have to start doing things like that, taking chances like Alice Amorous.

“But what made you change your mind? I mean, how did you work up the courage to go talk to her?”
“It comes down to this - you either go out and get what you want or you don’t.” 
-Mad Love; Suzanne Selfors

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