Monday, July 4, 2011

Rich and Mad

Review Time! This is honestly one tough cookie to review. Rich and Mad written by William Nicholson was released last year. The US cover is prettier but the one you’re looking at is the AUS cover. Thanks so much to Egmont (Hardi Grant) Australia for the review copy!

(Goodreads) 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...

The Short Story? – A novel about first love, first sex and everything in between. Rich and Mad is a coming-to-age that deals with issues that teens face everyday. Lies, betrayal and the importance of love. A novel about first times for everything and taking risks, learning to trust and getting back up when knocked down.

The Long Story? – The first thing that caught my notice about this book was the US cover, the couple in the steamy telephone box. Then I noticed the title, Rich and Mad, sounds like a scandalicious love story. Probably filled with good-looking boys, rich girls and boarding school. False. The cover and the title are very deceptive :P Rich (aka Richard) and Mad (aka Maddy) are two teens, this novel is a coming-to-age novel and I’m not a fan of coming-to-age novels. Not the greatest way to start reading is it?

As far as coming-to-age novels come, this is one of the better ones I have read. The plot was pretty good, a good flow and the pace suited the storyline. It was clever for Nicholson to alternate between telling the story between Rich and Mad, makes it a little more interesting. There was a start, middle and an ending and to expand from that there was drama and personal growth. One of my favorite things about the novel was the plot. It was boring at times and the romance was a little dry but Nicholson has written a fairly complex plot, it’s layered. It’s neat and carefully planned, it’s easy to read and understandable. We have the big idea of love but then we also have friendship and family, Rich and Mad deal with a lot of problems that teenagers face. First love, friendship, acceptance and dysfunctional families to an extent.

The characterization was brilliant. The thing I loved is that Rich and Mad wasn’t in love with each other from the start, they weren’t even in love at the end. They were together in the end because they needed each other. The novel was really telling two stories, Rich’s and Mad’s and how they choices and life pushed them together. Both of protagonists were complex characters that we can all connect to because we’re all teenagers at some point and the experiences they go through are ones that we went through as well. The novel also breaks the cliché that the boys have to be good-looking, let’s face guys, not all the guys are good-looking ( I know, the truth hurts, date a book not a boy :P) Minor characters were very well developed, we had characters to play every role. The loyal friend, the backstabbing friend, the schoolgirl crush, the clingy girlfriend, the beautiful sibling, the jerk sibling, the supportive parent and the not-so-supportive one. A great cast of characters that Nicholson obviously put a lot of thought into.

Rich and Mad is novel that I wished I had read a year or two ago. It’s a novel that deals with problems teenagers face hence the coming-to-age theme. Strong narrative voice, fantastic characterization and a plot that’s been carefully planned. Rich and Mad is a novel to be enjoyed by boys and girls of all ages, its powerful book that can be easily related to. For fans of Sarah Dessen and Judy Blume.

Rating – 3/5( it was really well-written and I enjoyed it but I’m still kid of on the fence for this one)

Badass Bookie xx


  1. A book about sex. A book about sex written by an author with the first name William. A book about sex written by an author with the first name William, and a cover that features horrible and wrinkly feet, and legs of a guy that are hairy (like mine: only like lol)

    Great review. I’d be skeptical about this one. Sounds bit Dessen-ish which I stay away from.

  2. I didn't really like this one myself, felt bland.

    Ace Review by the way :)