Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

I've been curious about reading something by William Nicholson for awhile, but I hadn't quite gotten around to anything of his before Rich and Mad. And if I'm honest, I had a few problems with this book, so I'm not entirely sure I'm convinced as yet to pick anything else up.

It is a shame, because I was quite looking forward to Rich and Mad. It's the story of two teenagers who have never been properly in love and they'd like to be. They want to get lost in someone else so entirely and be loved in return. Fair enough, I think, a lot of YA books explore love, but in order to get past my issues with Rich and Maddy loving near-strangers, I started to think of their sort of love in a different way.

Rich has a huge crush on mysterious and unattainable Grace, whereas Maddy thinks she loves Joe, but he has a girlfriend. Still, neither Rich or Maddy are put off by these facts and pine away, getting hurt and heartbroken in the process. The entire novel seemed to be a study on relationships and sex and love. Unrequited love, crushes from afar, damaged relationships, first time having sex, relationships falling apart, relationships that have strong and dependable. I thought a lot of the book was very interesting, but aside from the love issue, which I didn't feel was love, I thought that the story was let down by the characters and the dialogue.

I didn't really believe Rich and Maddy spoke like teenagers. The dialogue felt weird in lots of places, like the characters were visiting from a different era. And there was lots of dialogue, which slightly put me off. I was creeped out by certain characters and other friends of Rich or Maddy annoyed me a great deal. And yet, I kept reading. I did think that Rich and Maddy's relationship was sort of sweet in parts, but I wanted to hear their story in a different way. Can't win them all, I guess.


  1. Really interesting review. I did by and large enjoy this book, though I can certainly understand how not everyone would have.

  2. I totally agree with you re the language. I thought it read like it could have been written in the 70s even though I know - since I saw him talking about it - Nicholson thought it was really edgy and modern.

  3. Jenni - Yes, totally. Not a book for me, but others might enjoy it!

    Keris - Wow, I find that bordering on the unbelievable. Edgy and modern?!

  4. I'm really curious to see what I'd think of this one.

  5. Sophie - Oh definitely read it and see for yourself :) I'd be curious to see what you think of it too!

  6. I remember being really interested in this one when it first came out, but saw a couple of middling reviews, so never picked up a copy.


HI! Thank you for leaving a comment, you've just become my new best friend :)