Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Suzanne Selfors' Mad Love (Review, Interview, and Giveaway!)

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:

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.

Review:

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+

Mad Love is now out!

Source: Author. Thanks, Suzanne!

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Interview:

Suzanne Selfors is the author of many novels for Young Adults (Coffeehouse Angel, Saving Juliet, and the newly released Mad Love) and Kids (Smells Like Treasure, Smells Like Dog, To Catch a Mermaid, and Fortune's Magic Farm), and today she's here to answer a few of my questions about Mad Love and various other topics.

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In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens (or even adults) should consider picking up Mad Love the next time they see it online or in stores?

Well I think the most important reason to pick up a book, be it Mad Love or any book, is to be whisked away into another world for a bit. I'm all about escapism. I want a story to entertain and take me to new places. I hope I'm successful at writing that kind of story.

Mad Love tells the story of Alice so would you sharing with us a little about her? Also, if you could offer her any type of advice, what would you say?

Alice lives in the shadow of her mother's mental illness. And that totally sucks. I grew up with an alcoholic father, so I know what it's like to have a parent appear one way to the outside world, but be another way at home. Alice's battle is claiming her own identity. Each of us goes through this in varying degrees.

Mad Love takes place in Seattle, Washinton, so what made you decide to have the story take place there?

Most of my stories take place in imaginary worlds. Because Mad Love deals with weightier issues than any of my previous books, it felt right to set it in the real world. I know Seattle better than any other place.

One of my favorite parts of Mad Love was Errol, as well as his claims of being cupid. So what first inspired you to tackle the story of cupid with Mad Love? And what was one of the hardest parts of getting Errol's character down?

I'm crazy about Greek mythology. In Coffeehouse Angel, I reinvented the Greek messenger, Hermes. So when I started to think about Cupid, I realized he would be great fun to reinvent. My Cupid would be nothing like the little cherub we see on Valentine's cards. I went through dozens of revisions, more than any other book I've written, to figure out Errol's story. In the early drafts he was a dwarf. In the early drafts we went back in time with him. The mistake I made in the earlier drafts was to focus on his backstory. But I realized that the story belonged to Alice so I deleted many chapters. I'm thinking, though, that Errol's story could make a great sequel. We'll see.

That would be such a great topic for a sequel! In Mad Love, Alice's mom is the Queen of Romance, which cases much chaos throughout the novel. So what inspired you to give her mother that particular profession?

I know many romance writers. And honestly, before I got to know them, I had a pretty negative opinion about the genre. Pure ignorance. These writers are amazing, and work harder than any other writers I know. So it was fun to highlight the stereotypes while defending the genre at the same time.

What's a really great book you've read recently?

I haven't had much time to read lately. That's the price I've paid for writing two books a year. However, I did just read Across the Universe and found it very entertaining.

Oh, I love that book! What's up next for you book wise? Also, is there anything else you would like to add?

In May 2011 Smells Like Treasure will be released. It's the sequel to my middle grade book, Smells Like Dog. And I'm busy writing my 4th teen novel, which will be released in 2012. I'm really excited about it. It's a fairy tale so it's been fun playing with that genre.

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Thanks so much, Suzanne!

To find out more about Suzanne and her books, be sure to head on over to her website.

Also, here's the book trailer for Mad Love.



Giveaway:

Now for the part you've all been waiting for, Bloomsbury/Walker Books have given me the chance to giveaway not only one hardcover copy of Mad Love but a paperback copy of Coffeehouse Angel as well!

Though, as with any contest there are rules:

~ Must be 13 years or older to enter.
~ Open to those with US mailing address (No PO boxes please!).
~ There will be ONE winner who receives both books.
~ This contest will close on March 1, 2011!

*This giveaway is now over.*

7 comments:

  1. Fantastic review!!! I really enjoyed this one as well, it really was a great book. It's been getting a lot of mixed reviews though so I'm glad you enjoyed it! I have not read Cofeehouse Angel but i really want to after reading Mad Love so thank you for the giveaway :)

    www.blackfingernailedreviews.blogspot.com

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  2. Ah, even the busy authors have read Across the Universe and I haven't yet T_T

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  3. Great review and I loved the interview. I have to agree that a wonderful reason to pick up a book is to find a little escape into another world. Looking forward to reading this.

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  4. I have been hearing such good things about Mad Love. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. I also agree that Across the Universe was an awesome book!

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  5. I'm so glad you liked this one! I've been eyeing it for some time, but haven't picked it up yet!

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  6. Awesome! I read Coffeehouse Angel recently, and ADORED IT. This new book looks fantastic as well!!

    -Maddz

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