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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Title: Rich and Mad
Author: William Nicholson
Publisher: EgmontUSA
US Pub. Date:  September 2010
Length: 336 Pages
Summary (from goodreads)
Maddy is a sixteen-year-old who likes a boy in her theater club.
Joe is cute and popular and, incredibly, sending signals that he likes her back. Or does he? Isn’t Joe going out with Gemma?
Rich has a crush on Grace, and he even sends a letter of recommendation from the pope to get her to pay attention to him. But Grace doesn’t appreciate that tactic. . . .
The problem is, in life’s messy mixed signals of friends and lies and sex and status, true love can be hard to find. And the real thing doesn’t always come in the most obvious package, either. Is it possible that the person you never thought of that way is the one who will ultimately touch your heart?
 This compelling exploration of feelings, expectations, and attraction offers a contemporary and candid look at love and sexuality while moving readers with its gentle portrayal of a very special first relationship.

My Thoughts: Rich and Mad is not for everyone. There's talk about sex in this book, and there is sex in this book. I'm going to get that out of the way first, because it seems like a lot of people have a hard time reading it because of the sex and are complaining about it, and therefore giving it a very low rating. I personally didn't mind that part of the novel at all because without it, Rich and Mad wouldn't have been as wonderful as it was.

I found both main characters, Maddy and Rich, were easy to relate to. They were unique in comparison to most YA characters today, always wondering if love can exist with/without sex and their persepectives on it. However, there were two or three times when I wondered what the heck they were doing, and some of the writing was pretty dialogue driven but those parts are few and far between, so it didn't bother me too much.

As it says on the author's website as well as the back flap of the book, William Nicholson wrote Rich and Mad so that girls would get an idea of what guys think about love and sex and vise versa. I think that was one of the greatest things about the book: that (though it is written in third person) you get well written, realistic POVs from both genders on love, lust, and everything in between.


  1. Here's the thing, I don't mind reading about sex, but in this book it was just all wrong. It wasn't that it was just awkward, because it completely was, it came across as sleazy, just not done tastefully at all. I then found their romance completely ridiculous and baseless. Didn't work for me unfortunately.

  2. I agree on it being realistic and I really loved this book. I guess the sex was a bit awkward, but I think that it fit in the book, because they're just teenagers. It's not like it's going to be this huge, passionate thing. It's not meant to be a steamy romance novel. Which is what I liked about it. It was sort of to the point. Sorry for rambling haha. Anyway, I thought this book was great and your review definitely did it justice :)

  3. Hmm, a very well-written and sensitive review, if I may say so! I haven't actually read this book, but I know that often sex, if not treated carefully, can ruin a book. It's a very delicate situation for YA books. Personally, I like the books where sex isn't hidden, but not implicit either. Maybe implied. There's a line in one of my favourite books that implies a sex scene, and it always makes me smile.
    But anyway, my point is that sex is a fine line, and many novelists get it wrong. But when they get it right... It's great =]

  4. Wow it sounds really really interesting. I'm really curious to read it, especially if it's realistic.


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