Grade: 3.7 stars out of 5
Alice Amorous is the daughter of the Queen of Romance, but she has yet to experience love and all of its consumption let alone tell a love story. But that’s what Alice has to do if she wants her mom better and her life not on the street. Heartstrings Publishing will cut off royalty checks and demand their $100,000 advance back if the Queen of Romance does not produce another work and soon. How hard can it be to keep your mother’s bipolar disorder a secret from the world and writing a romance novel under her mother’s name? Alice has the perfect love story—Cupid and Psyche’s tragic tale—with firsthand accounts from Cupid himself. Now time’s a-ticking.Mad Love hits many disorders, illnesses, and life stress. Realm, former known as Lily, is staying with her grandmother in Amorous’s apartment duplex and has an eating disorder. Alice’s mother has bipolar disorder. Alice lives in fear of possibly having the same disorder as her mother. Cupid has cancer and dying. Reverend Ruttles is living with gay legal secretary Archibald after his wife’s death. Tony Lee, cute boy with freckles, is allergic to selfish. However, despite this load of severity and heaviness Mad Love didn’t focus a lot on these topics. Instead we dealt with Alice’s life while her mother was in the hospital: the loneliness and self-doubt.
A part of me found Mad Love to be a frustrating read. It took more than half way through the book for Alice to be convinced that Errol was in fact Cupid. A part of me understands that in the realistic sense, it will most likely take several days, weeks, to come to terms that maybe a guy isn’t crazy, but really is Cupid. Yet the time from being introduced to Errol to accepting Errol as Cupid was slow-crawled. The rest of the novel definitely picks up the slack and speeds along. The climax was punctured by the heavy thunder storm yet as the saying goes, after a storm comes a rainbow. There isn’t a happy-happy ending per se, but it fits nicely in the plot.
Characters: Realm and Alice butt heads quite a few times. I think because they have similar personalities and life experiences are the reason why. While Realm is selfish and stubborn and fairly cruel, Alice is blind sighted of what’s right in front of her. They both choose to see things differently than what it is. Reading Realm was so very, very aggravating for the reasons above. Alice was also very, very aggravating to read because being the reader I can expect what comes next and what should happen, but Alice is slow to act.
Once finished with Mad Love there were still concerns and questions: who was the one to oust the Amorous family. What did the doctors switch? Who was publishing the love story of Cupid and Psyche? The explanation of the auras: why so many colors?
Source: ARC from author; accepted pitch
Published: 4, January 2011