Mad Love

First Lines: When you’re sixteen, summer is supposed to spread before you like a magic carpet, waiting to carry you to new, exciting places.  Paperback novel in hand, bare feet buried in speckled sand, long kisses with the boy in the kayak–that’s what it’s supposed to be about.

I’ve recently been trying to dig deep into my to-read list to find those books that I had once really wanted to read but forgot about.  I’ve read two others by Selfors, so I knew I liked her writing style and what this book would probably deliver.  All I had to do was read it!

Alice Amorous is living a lie.  Her mother, the bestselling Queen of Romance, should be home with Alice for the summer, writing her next book.  Instead, Alice’s mother has been hospitalized for mental illness, and Alice isn’t supposed to tell anyone.  But time is running out for Alice and her secrets.  Her mother’s next book is overdue and the publishing company wants a draft now.  When Alice meets Errol, she thinks her luck is changing.  He has a story he wants Alice to write: the epic tragic love of Cupid and Psyche.  The only problem?  Errol insists that he is Cupid.  But when weird things begin happening to Alice, things she can’t explain, she may be forced to believe Errol, as he may be the only one who can save her.

What I love about Selfors’s writing style is that her stories always have this very strong basis in realism, but with some bold element of fantasy.  It makes for incredibly interesting storytelling.

Let’s start by talking about the plot and Alice.  Alice is alone, drowning in stress, and dealing with adult things like paying bills and buying food.  She the kind of character who is clearly cracking under the pressure, but she thinks she can still handle it.  But she’s still really sweet, especially when she’s trying to awkwardly flirt with a hot guy.  That was hilarious.

And the story itself was good.  It moved along at a good pace, beginning by showing us Alice’s life before throwing in all this Cupid weirdness.  There are a lot of fun moments in the story as well as many serious moments.  Alice is dealing with things that are way bigger than she is.  Her aging neighbors keep pulling her into their problems.  Errol’s motives for writing this story are heavy.  So it’s not exactly a fluffy beach read, but it does have its fun moments.  (Like the aforementioned flirting.)

Now, this Cupid thing.  I thought adding Cupid to the story was genius.  As a fan of mythology, this was awesome.  (And notice how close “Errol” is to “Eros”?)  As a character, Errol is kind of a jerk.  I thought that was an interesting move, but there is a reason.

Overall, I liked it, but there were a few times that were too heavy for me to keep reading in one solid sitting.  And there were other times I didn’t want to stop reading!

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