Monday, February 14, 2011
Review - Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
I must not have done more than skim the summary of this book, because when I picked it up from the library last week, the first thing I noticed was that the heart-spiral on the cover is filled with the phrase "I don't believe in Cupid" over and over, and I laughed and thought, "Is Cupid going to be in this story?"
Yes. Yes, he is. And Cupid wants his story told.
So, the fact that this is a Cupid story and today is Valentine's Day is pure coincidence, I swear.
Anyway, on to the review:
Alice, our main character, has enough going on in her life that this strange guy named Errol claiming to be Eros/Cupid/God-of-Love has trouble grabbing her attention. First, her mom's in a hospital for the mentally ill. That alone is enough to ruin a girl's summer, but Alice can't tell anyone outside of a small clan of trusted neighbors the truth, because her mom? She has a title of her own: Queen of Romance. The fans and publishing house can't know that their favorite romance author is sick. So Alice steps in, signing books, fending off questions about when the next book will be finished, telling everyone her mom is "overseas." When the hospital bills can't be paid, Alice puts her life on hold (even telling her crush it's too complicated right now) to step into her mother's shoes, trying to write her mom's "untitled work in progress."
This book deals with some tough issues, but the over-all tone of the book is light. Cupids start appearing everywhere in Alice's life, figurines, pictures, and Cupid himself. We even get to witness the knock-you-off-your-feet effects of Cupid's arrows.
There was a lot going on in this story. Alice's "family", her neighbors: Ms. Bobot, Ms. Bobot's granddaughter Realm, Reverend Ruttles, and Archibald, each had their own subplots, and Errol had his story of his one and only love, Psyche, to tell. This made some of the subplots seem rushed. I wanted to spend more time with the adult's stories. I wanted Errol's story fleshed out more (as it was, his tale of Psyche had barely more detail than the original myth). But what was there was good.
Overall, this was a fun read, and met my expectations (even though Cupid was a surprise... next time, I'll read the second paragraph of the description).
Lit Snit Verdict: B