Thursday, 16 June 2011

Book Review: Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Amazon description:

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 Amarous the only daughter of a famous romance novel author is left to deal with her mother’s affairs when she is taken into a mental illness hospital because of her bipolar disorder, which leads to bouts of depression. The problem is no one apart from a few close friends know where her mother is, including the loyal fans of her books so Alice is forced to spin a web of lies in an attempt to keep the secret hidden including signing her mum’s books and even planning to write her next book that the publishes are demanding. If this isn’t enough stress to deal with, she meets a guy called Errol who thinks he’s Cupid and wants her to write the story of his life....

Alice is a very strong character and responsible with a fighting instinct because I’m sure many young girls facing the tough situations she was going through wouldn’t have been able to cope on their own as she did. Whilst being mature and independent might make her sound like a boring character, she also has a fun loving nature and a sense of humour that shines through. She seemed a realistic teenage girl with problems that she has to deal with and a real loyalty to her family so I was able to sympathise with her easily. I loved her relationship with  her crush Tony, the hot and adorable guy that she watches skate past her window every morning and their slowly budding romance uplifted the story by making it lighter hearted. There isn't much focus on this and I wish there had been more scenes including Alice and Tony featuring him as a more prominent character but Alice has a lot going on in her life so I understand why there wasn't.

There are several well written secondary characters in the story such as her friendly neighbours Mrs Bbot, Reverend Ruttles and Archibald who are always looking out for Alice’s well being and trying to help her in any way possible. Each of them bought something different to the story. Errol (Cupid) plays a big part in the book and his story is sad although I found his character very weird and creepy when I think he was meant to be portrayed as a bit of a mysterious sexy bad boy. The granddaughter of her neighbour Mrs Bobot called Realm was a particularly interesting character because she had a lot of self esteem issues and felt that she wasn't accepted or loved by her parents. She wasn't a very likable character but I'm glad she was a part of the story all the same.

Considering the bright pink cover adorned in hearts, you would have to be forgiven for thinking Mad Love is just a fluffy and cute romance. Whilst it does have elements of this, it surprised me that it has a much darker and deeper side to it too because it deals with mental illness and more specifically bipolar disorder. I thought that the author handled this really well because it was dealt with sensitively and formed a major part of the plot without weighing it down too much because it's still a fun book despite this. I know someone with bipolar disorder so it was interesting to find out more about the condition and I think others fascinated by mental illness and depression will like this aspect of the book.

This is the first Suzanne Selfor's book I've read and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised about her writing and humour! The book grew on me the more I read of it and although I didn't know that much about the myth of Cupid and Physche before, I enjoyed learning about it and liked the different take on Cupid from the chubby cherub baby with the bow and arrow we all picture him as.

Verdict: Mad Love takes the classic mythological God Cupid and spins a unique and cute story around it that deals sensitively with issues such as bipolar disorder whilst remaining humorous and fun at the same time.  I really enjoyed it and it a great book to add to your summer reading list!

Rating: 3.5

To  find out more about Suzanne Selfors, visit her website here!

Suzanne Selfors

Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing me with a review copy of Mad Love in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read anything by this author before, and this sounds brilliant! I also haven't read much about mental illness so I think I will enjoy this! Thanks for the review!


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