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Review: Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

M a d  L o v e by Suzanne Selfors
Release Date: 1/4/11
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult (13+)
Pages: 336
Source: Borrowed/public library
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kindle
Word Blurb: Unique, insane, and likable!
"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."

The true story of Cupid and Psyche... now, that is pretty original! This book has so many things going on, but not in a bad way, as though the plot's cluttered. It's not. I felt truly sympathetic toward Alice, in not being able to live as a normal teenager would, constantly having to lie to protect her mother, and bearing a sharp loneliness as her mother's being hospitalized for a deeply-rooted mental illness. MAD LOVE is all about love and acceptance, that if you let it, possibilities, a new story within your story can run away from you, and that happy endings aren't always the right endings, the true and real ones.

As I said before, it was hard not to feel bad for Alice and her current predicament. She's lonely, and used to being that way, even though she has other people who care about her. She's used to protecting her mother, spinning whatever lie that helps at the moment. And when everything blows up in her face, since no one knows of her mother's condition, and she has to struggle to keep things together, it was impossible for me not feel touched and sorry for her... Being around the real cupid, helped break down walls, helped her realize love, and in a way, break out of the shell she's been hiding behind. In a lot of ways, I found Alice adorable. Only adorable people (and not stalkerlike people) would stand by the window at 9: 30 every morning, in cute pink pajamas eating Cap'n Crunch, waiting for the cute Skateboard Guy to zoom passed.

And cute Skateboard Guy, aka Tony, is actually pretty hot, and utterly lovable. He wears black hipster glasses and has the nicest black hair and these really tan, muscular arms... Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself here... It was nice to see Alice get some attention from an attractive, sweet guy. And I loved seeing that in return, he feels the same way about her.

Cupid is another gloomy, tortured story altogether. Poor guy. Keep in mind, that he wants Alice to write his and Psyche's true love story, so there's a lot of recounting of his sad past. I thought it pretty funny when he pulls out all of the stops to prove to her that he's the one and only Cupid. It may seem tedious, that Alice doesn't right away believe and accept. But, come on, you've been raised in the norm, all you know is the norm, and your mother's being treated for mental disorder as we speak. Are you really going to believe right away that Cupid actually exists? I think not.

And between helping Cupid, getting closer to Tony, all the while trying to somehow manage to cover for her ill mother, Alice goes through hell of a ride. And by the end of the book, I was immensely satisfied with the results. I felt sorrow for Cupid, happiness for Alice and Tony, as well as for Alice's mom. All around, it's a pretty good book, one that I really like, and mayhap revisit.

"He shot up a moment later and shook his hair from his eyes. The spray fell across my shoulders. 'Can you swim?' he asked, playfully tugging on my mattress.
'Yes, but don't you dare.'
With a devilish smile, he disappeared again. And then I was in the lake, my mattress overturned. We treaded water slowly moving around one another...But then he was right in front of me, his arms around my waist, and he kissed me" (224 | 336).

Thanks for reading! And happy blogging!