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Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Rich and MadMaddie wants to fall in love, so deeply and madly in love that she can’t think. She’s even found the perfect candidate in Joe, who is incredibly cute and popular. Too bad he has a girlfriend, but if he’s dating Gemma, then why is he sending signals that he likes Maddie back? Rich had had a crush on Maddie’s friend Grace for the longest time. He knows there’s no chance Grace would like him back, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to win her over anyway. In the midst of all the lies and confusion, Maddie and Rich both struggle to figure out love and relationships. In the end, though, they’ll find that love sometimes comes from where you least expected it.

Rich and Mad is a detailed and realistic exploration of romantic relationships, first love, and everything that comes with that. Nicholson does a fantastic job of portraying teens. I find it rare that an author will go so in depth in discussing love and sex; this novel is less a romance than a question and answer of what love is.  With varied but always believable characters, Nicholson is able to write about relationships and opinions of love from multiple angles. Everything about this story, from the content to the questions it presents to the emotions of the characters is sure to resonate with all teen readers. Though some of the plot is predictable or just strange, Rich and Mad remains a very sweet and enjoyable read.

Rich and Mad should be read by teens everywhere and will particularly appeal to those who enjoyed Crash Test Love by Ted Michael and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher EgmontUSA

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