RICH AND MAD
Author: William Nicholson
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 14, 2010)
This is a compelling and beautifully written novel about first love, first sex, and everything in between. Maddy Fisher has decided to fall in love. And not just any sort of love: can’t-eat can’t-sleep crazy in love. Rich Ross is after the same thing. He’s set his sights high, and he’s going to make it happen. The problem is, in life’s messy whirlwind of friends and lies and sex and porn, the real thing can be hard to fine. But there’s always a first time for everything. . .
I have had this book on my radar for a while now even though many readers have found this book less than great. Maybe the cover kept appealing to me, maybe the summary had me hooked, but I just knew I wanted to read this book.
First of all, let me say that a lot of people have had a hard time reading this book due to certain sexual scenes that can come across offensive. That is fine and I agree that some of it didn’t really need to be in the book to make the point. What I will add to that though is I am well past my teen years, but I have children who are just entering this stage. I don’t censor their reading at all because that is my parenting style. I would have no problem with my daughter reading this book even with the talk of porn, sex, virginity, physical abuse and sexual orientation. I feel what is the book going to hurt when they hear about this stuff from friends anyway. Besides, I have been that age and I remember that books were not the source of info on this stuff–my friends were. Not trying to sound preachy here in my review, but if you don’t feel the same way, be cautious of your teen reading it.
With all of that being said, the book was still just an okay book for me. I loved the character of Rich, even though at times his though process made no sense. Who thinks writing a letter from the pope is going to help get a girl to like them? I found that funny and less than attractive. Rich just didn’t think that one through. Maddy was a great character that you would like for a friend. She is naive in many things, but she still gives a person the benefit of the doubt. These two were so naive in ways of thinking love should be.
Some of the side characters were great. I loved Cathy and Max. They were funny and what you would expect in normal teenagers for friends. Grace was a piece of work who needed serious help, but I can also understand part of the problem she has. Without going into spoilers, I hope teenagers have learned that this way of thinking by Grace is not love. Joe was up and down for me. At first he was sweet, then I despised him, and then the author does a complete turn around that redeemed him and made him the good guy again or all along.
I loved parts of the books, but there were little things that added up to negatives for the book as well. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t fall in love with it like I thought I would. I love the cover the most! It seems romantic and gives you hint at the tenderness that can be found with certain characters of the book.
Okay book, but it left me wanting more! 3 STARS