Book: MAD LOVE
Author: SUZANNE SELFORS
Genre: CONTEMPORARY YA
Published: January 2011, WALKER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Source: Publisher, no other compensation given for honest review
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.
Mad Love tackles the very serious issue of someone who suffers from bipolar issues. But, it's told from the point of view of the young daughter that has to watch her mother succumb to this disease, and is left to protect the mother's reputation as Queen of Romance.
I did actually have some issues with the way that Alice was left with no adult supervision within her own home. Sure, there were several neighbors looking out for her in the apartment building that her mother owned, but I just found it woefully impossible that Alice could live in those conditions, hiding her mother being committed to a hospital miles away and living virtually on her own. At best, I could see this situation lasting for only a few weeks or months, especially when Alice makes public appearances for her mother and uses the weak excuse that her mother is "overseas".
That being said, I quite enjoyed MAD LOVE. Suzanne Selfors does a very good job of showing the toll that bipolar can take, not just on the person that suffers from it, but also on the family and people around that person. Alice's character takes things into stride, but I can imagine her loneliness, and how isolated she feels with her situation.
The lovely thing about this novel is that it has more than one plot line, but neither one is so complicated that it is too hard to follow along, nor do any of the strings seem to be unrelated to the overall arc, or to lead nowhere. Sure, the inciting event is the mother's bipolar issues, but the real star of the book is "Cupid", who Alice meets, and must help before he succumbs to his own surprising mortality.
MAD LOVE is a light read, in that the language and pace move the reader along fairly quickly. I was able to read this book in less than three sittings, over the course of a few hours. Though the topics are serious, this is not a difficult book to read, and I think that the incorporation of Cupid's love story, along with Alice's possible burgeoning love life, as well as her independent nature, will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
3.5/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
3.5/5 for language
My Rating: 11/15 (3 stars)
Recommend, if you liked:
Kindred by Tammar Stein
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Links for the author and books:
* Barnes and Noble
* Book Depository
Available formats: Print (Hardcover), E-Book