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Mad Love: 12/21/14
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors is set in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. While being primarily a YA fantasy about Cupid, aka Errol, befriending the teenage daughter of a romance writer, it's also a serious exploration of single parenthood, mental illness, and terminal illness.
Alice Amorous is the daughter of the Queen of Romance. She should be living an easy life off the massive royalties her mother's books earn. Except, her mother's been hospitalized for a mental breakdown and the medical bills are draining the coffers. As her father isn't around, Alice is left in the care of her mother's tenants — who provide her last source of regular income too.
Now with the deadline for the latest book long since past, the publisher is demanding results. Alice feels her only chance to save her mother's reputation and keep her safe is to write the book herself.
In the middle of all of this is a strange skateboarding dude named Errol who needs her help on his own unusual quest. While Alice is trying her best to keep her life together, he needs her to believe in magic, curses and long forgotten about Gods.
I could write essays on the themes and motifs of Mad Love. It takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster, while forcing them to think on difficult subjects. The mother's mental illness and Errol's chronic pain are smartly rendered.