Mad Love

Mad Love

4.0 31
by Suzanne Selfors

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When youre the daughter of a best-selling romance writer, life should be pretty good. But for 16-year-old Alice Amorous, daughter of the Queen of Romance, life is an agonizing lie. Her mothers been secretly hospitalized for mental illness, and Alice has been putting on a brave front, answering fan letters, forging her mothers signature, telling the publisher that all


When youre the daughter of a best-selling romance writer, life should be pretty good. But for 16-year-old Alice Amorous, daughter of the Queen of Romance, life is an agonizing lie. Her mothers been secretly hospitalized for mental illness, and Alice has been putting on a brave front, answering fan letters, forging her mothers signature, telling the publisher that all is well. But the next book is due and the Queen cant write it. Alice needs a story for her mother. And she needs one fast.

Thats when she meets Errol, a strange boy whos been following her. A boy who tells her that he has a love story. A boy who believes hes Cupid. As Alice begins to hear Errols voice in her head, and begins to see things she cant explain, she must face the truth - that shes either inherited her mothers madness, or Errol is for real.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alice's mother is the "Queen of Romance," the famous Belinda Amorous, author of countless romance novels like On Holiday with a Swarthy Scoundrel and Hunger of the Heart. But her mother has bipolar disorder and is hospitalized, leaving 16-year-old Alice to fend for herself, keep her mother's illness secret from a prying world, and somehow meet her mother's looming book deadline, too. Enter Errol, "the original, one and only Cupid," who wants Alice to write his life story. Alice puts aside her disbelief and gets to work, hoping she can get Errol off her back and make her mother's deadline at the same time. While still squarely planted on the frothier side of paranormally inflected romance (much like Selfors's 2009 novel, Coffeehouse Angel), this story adeptly touches on mental illness and its effect on a family. Selfors's proclivity for giving characters quirky names (Reverend Ruttles, Mrs. Bobot, Archibald Wattles, and Alice Amorous, of course) adds to an overall feeling of whimsy, and things are further enlivened by a dash of real-life romantic interest and well-meaning neighbors for the lonely, stressed-out Alice. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Heather Kinard
Everyone knows life for a typical sixteen-year old is carefree and exciting. But for Alice Amorous, daughter of the best-selling Queen of Romance, life is far from typical. Ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness, Alice has been living a lie. Instead of spending time with her new boyfriend, Alice spends her summer answering her mother's fan letters and trying to convince the publisher that all is well. But Alice is running out of time and money. Her mother's next book is overdue and so are the medical bills. Alice decides she must write the book herself, though she knows very little of romance. Then she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid and who insists he can help with her problem. He agrees to tell Alice the true story of his tragic relationship with Psyche if she will agree to write about it. Finally, the world will know the truth. Alice doesn't believe in Cupid, but when she begins to see and hear things she can't explain she must decide if what he has told her is true or if she has inherited her mother's madness. Finally, convinced that Errol is the god of love, Alice discovers that he is dying and she must hurry if she wants to help her new friend and also save her mother's career. This book has humor and romance, but also deals with the weightier issues of mental illness and single parenting. There are several instances where sexual encounters are implied making this suitable for an older audience. Reviewer: Heather Kinard
VOYA - Geri Diorio
Alice's mother, a writer who is the "Queen of Romance," suffers from bipolar disorder, and sixteen-year-old Alice struggles almost alone to cover up her mother's illness. The tenants in their small apartment building understand and help as best they can. Alice is having quite a week: she crushes on a new boy in town, copes with blackmail from the girl upstairs, tries to write a romance novel to fulfill her mother's commitment to a publisher, and then meets Cupid. The real Cupid. And things get weird. The main chunk of the story takes place over the course of one week, and the author packs a lot into that time. The pace is breakneck, but readers will enjoy being swept along for the ride, and the story concludes, much like a modern romance novel, with a complicated, but happy, ending. There are serious issues here—bipolar and eating disorders—just under a layer of madcap, paranormal fun: Alice's surname is Amorous, and some action takes place at an over-the-top pink beauty salon run by "Velvet," who provides wisdom as well as a bit of comic relief. There's a bit of mythology, a bit of romance, a bit of the paranormal, and some real-life problems, but Selfors juggles them all assuredly. Serious ideas are handled carefully, while real humor is spread throughout the whole book. This book has real charm with great depth. Reviewer: Geri Diorio
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—"What does a person do when confronted with a situation that is either madness or magic?" This is the very question that 16-year-old Alice Amorous asks herself. As the daughter of novelist Belinda Amorous, the Queen of Romance, things had been going so well. Then Belinda has a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized for bipolar disorder. Now not only must Alice fend for herself, but the publishing company is also threatening to take back the $100,000 advance unless a new romance novel appears before the August 31st deadline. Enter a pale boy named Errol who claims to be Cupid himself, insisting that Alice must pen the veritable version of the greatest love story ever told: his romance with Psyche. Alice may have just stumbled upon her mother's latest novel. Selfors is adept at making Alice a sympathetic and believable character. She keeps the pace going with the near-miss moments between Alice and her love interest, Tony. The story takes place in Seattle in the midst of a stifling, humid summer, which creates an atmosphere appropriate for Alice's situation. The story may seem like a lighthearted teen romance novel, but at moments it turns contemplative when dealing with Belinda's mental and Errol's physical illness. The author leaves readers wondering whether or not Errol is mad for believing that he is, in fact, Cupid or whether there is some magic in the world after all.—Kimberly Castle, Medina County District Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews

The daughter of a bestselling romance novelist feels forced to keep a terrible secret when her mother is hospitalized with bipolar disorder in this unique, heartfelt and fantastical romance. When unpaid bills jeopardize her mother's care and her publisher threatens litigation surrounding her unfulfilled contract, 16-year-old Alice decides she must write the novel in question. By fateful coincidence, a strange boy named Errol appears on the scene and, claiming to be Cupid, is desperate to tell her the true story of his and Psyche's mythic love affair. Buoyed by wryly funny dialogue, this packs a lot into its pages—a love interest for Alice, her anguish over her mother's illness, Errol's tragic predicament and several well-executed subplots involving Alice's neighbors. While all of these balls are convincingly kept aloft until the very end, their resolution in a sort of epilogue seems somewhat too neat for all of the messy subject matter tackled in the story—but perhaps it is, as Alice suggests to Errol, "what the readers want...They want happily ever after."(Fantasy. 12 & up)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
406 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Suzanne Selfors is the author of Coffeehouse Angel and Saving Juliet as well as a middle-grade series with Little, Brown. She held a number of jobs before becoming a writer, including childrens photographer, video producer, organic flower grower, and marketing director. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Suzanne Selfors is the author of Saving Juliet as well as a middle grade series with Little, Brown. She held a number of jobs before becoming a writer, including childrens photographer, video producer, organic flower grower, and marketing director. She lives in Washington.

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Mad Love 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
MAD LOVE, by Suzanne Selfors, is an adorable story about a girl who is shut down from the world until a little help from a non-stereotypical Cupid enters her life. When I was first offered to read this, I read through the synopsis and I thought it was a fresh idea and wanted to give it a shot. Well, after reading I know I got a lot more than I expected. I had no idea that I would get so attached to these characters. Selfors made her characters have many layers and each chapter brought something new about them. I loved (loved!) Alice as the MC. She is a strong teenage female character, but her emotional flaws concerning her personal life and her mother made her very real. The strange dynamic between Alice, Tony, and Errol was interesting to say the least. Each of the male roles was clearly defined in Alice's life, but they were always stepping on each others toes. The mythology of Cupid and Psyche was right up my alley. I love Greek mythology and the inclusion of that in the book made me love it even more. Errol set out to have the greatest love story written and as the story unfolded I truly think it was. Selfors brought the idea of Cupid to life in hot-teenage boy form and I applaud her for the creativity. The way his arrows brought about passionate love was hilarious and ingenious to say the least. And the antidote was equally amusing. Behind the romance, a few mental issues were approached in some of the characters. Alice's mother's mental illness was an important part of molding Alice into the girl she is. Her ability to grow up so quickly showed a lot of strength for such a young girl. And Alice's summer-neighbor Realm battled an eating disorder that others just put off as being angsty. Although the illnesses weren't the main focus of the story, the powerfulness of these diseases added another layer to the characters and story. Overall, such a great book! This book has romance and love in many different ways. If you are looking for a little bit of mythology and cute boys, this is the book for you!
Anonymous 5 months ago
I cant get enghoph of this book!! I have read it countless times and i think that you should get it!!!!:) i also think that you will like the book called saving juliet
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may I recommend that you put this book out for the next free Friday deal!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read this book but I still have something to say to #6 or something. Suzane Selfors is an amazing auther. The Smells Like... series are some of the best books i have ever read!-Georgia Byng and Suzane Selfor's #1 fan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to a lot of people! I will admit, I was a little on edge about whether to buy it or not but I was glad I did! I'm looking to reading more of Suzanne Selfors books like this particular one. Like I stated, I would highly recommend this book! BUY IT!!!!! 5 star worthy!
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TMBreck More than 1 year ago
I couldn't give this story 5 stars because I think it could do with some fleshing out of both the main story and the side stories, but I had to give it a 4 because it shows a tragic love, a new love, and an enduring and painful love, and shows all three in a very beautiful way. The one that really got to me, though, was the love between Alice and her mother. We really don't get to see them together until the end when Alice really begins to understand that, though her mother and her love is not perfect, it's still very real. I also enjoyed how it had Alice struggling to maintain her world while not painting her as a tragic martyr. If the writer had portrayed her that way, I don't think the story would have been half as touching nor Alice even a fraction as likeable.
GHott More than 1 year ago
Even though this book is written in first person, it was really easy for me to read. Usually it takes me a while but I was hooked on the first page. Who wouldn't be - a sixteen year old is lying and trying to keep a secret from everyone. Shocking, right? I really liked that at sixteen, Alice has never been 'into' guys. To me that makes it a wonderful thing for teen readers because they'll know it's okay to not want to be with a guy until it's time. I really enjoyed the glimpses into Cupid's life and his story with Psyche it really made this. If it hadn't been there I would constantly have been wondering. This was really cute - not uproariously funny - but a fun book to read! ** I also want to give some kudos to the author for managing to take a serious illness and create a humorous book without taking away from the illness or making light of it.
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Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Last year, Suzanne Selfors' heart-warming Coffeehouse Angel managed to work its way into my heart with its quirky characters and sweet romance, and this year, Mad Love has done the same, because not only is Mad Love funny and well-written but it contains a lot of heart and real-life scenarios. Ones that I'm sure many will end up appreciating. Mad Love tells the story of Alice Amorous, the daughter of the acclaimed Queen of Romance. As the daughter of the Queen of Romance, Alice has enjoyed many perks to her mothers fame, though under it all lays some deep dark secrets that Alice and her mom can't beer to admit- secrets that have now left Alice all alone with her mother's next book deadline lying right in front of her. Though, everything changes when Errol works his way into Alice's life. Errol is like no one Alice has meet before. For one, he claims he's cupid, and because of it begs Alice to write his life story. Will Alice write his story? Is Errol truly cupid? Will Alice and her mom get their happy endings? Only time will tell in this fast-paced book of one girl's quest for love and happiness in one of Seattle's biggest warm spells. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book were the characters, Alice to be exact. Alice is someone I feel many will come to love as much (if not more than) I did. She's sweet, trustworthy, and a girl who has her friends and family's backs no matter what. And most importantly, she always seemed like a real teenage girl to me because she had problems, though managed to deal with them. Sure she could have hid in her apartment when her mom was hospitalized for mental illness, but no, she held her own and tried to solve it, leaving me to know this is one girl I would want on my side if she was real. I also loved her relationship with Errol. Errol was someone who I adored because he was yet another person who could have been extremely negatives but instead was positive and installed hope and love into Alice's life. Also, he way very funny at times. Lastly, loved the side characters such as Mrs. Bobot, Realm, and Tony, because all brought something great to the table. Adding to the plot of Mad Love was also very enjoyable. I really liked how while it was lighthearted it was also serious at the same time, which left it to have the perfect balance of each. Furthermore, I loved how Ms. Selfors brought to life the myth of cupid and tied into Mad Love in such a perfect and intriguing way. In all, Mad Love is yet another fantastic attempt by Suzanne Selfors. It's funny, adorable read. One I can't wait but to suggest to others come its release. Grade: A+
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Emily Greenway More than 1 year ago
This was one of the the best books I've ever read! Perfect!
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