Hey guys! Today I am here with another book review. One of the few good things about quarantine is that I have more time to read. Hopefully, I will be posting book reviews more frequently.
Today’s book is Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors. I have read Coffeehouse Angel by Selfors as well, but I can’t remember the plot or my thoughts about the novel. It’s an older novel, published in 2011. I bought this when I was a teenager and just now got around to reading it.
I picked this novel because I wanted something light and easy. Like a Hallmark movie that is easy and has a happy ending. WELL, this novel is not what I expected.
Description: The main character, Alice, is the daughter of a best-selling romance author. But her mother has been secretly hospitalized for mental illness. Alice needs to write a new book for her mother. Alice meets Errol, a stranger who claims to be Cupid and has a story for her to write.
Now maybe I just misread the except, but I thought Alice was going to be writing the novel near the beginning of the novel. But it takes a while to get going. During the first half of the novel, I was wondering when they were going to get to the book writing back.
The book is very readable. So while I was waiting for the plot to speed up, I still was going through the book quickly. The tempo was good that I was always wanting to pick up the book and learn what was going to happen next.
Now I thought this book was going to be a romance novel, so I was disappointed when the romance was a secondary plot. Tony, the love interest, is cute and I liked him. But I was left wanting more.
The main theme/point of the novel was mental illness. Alice’s mother is bipolar. Throughout the novel, Alice is dealing with her relationship with her mother. She is also afraid that she is going to inherit her mother’s disease, which complicates her relationship with Errol.
It’s hard because this novel is nine years ago and society’s views and opinions on mental health have come a long way since this book came out. I think at the time it was one of the first YA novels discussing it, so I think that’s good that it broke down the stigma. But I think our understanding of mental illness has changed since the book came out and so some things are outdated. This is just something to keep in mind – especially since I didn’t know the novel was going to focus so much on this when going into it.
There is also some magical realism in the novel with the character Errol being Cupid. While I understand that Alice was reluctant to believe Errol because of her fear of mental illness, I also found it infuriating. I was like come on, just accept it and let’s move on. I also wanted more. I felt that the magical realism was very surface level and wasn’t explained very thoroughly. I think Selfors could have taken away from other side characters to have better told Errol’s story.
What I loved most about the novel is the cast of characters. They are all so different and not what you see in an average teen romance. I enjoyed all the characters and thought most of them were more multidimensional than the main character. I also liked how all the characters plot-lines ended.
My overall thoughts were that I enjoyed the book even though it wasn’t what I expected going into it. I was hooked and wanted to know what going to happen next. I would recommend this book if you are interested in reading a YA novel about mental illness. Like I mentioned it’s a little outdated but still cute.
And that is my review! Let me know if you have read this novel and what your thoughts were. I am also currently reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and I’m also done so there should be another book review soon.