Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Rich & Mad by William Nicholson

Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
Published by EgmontUSA
Rating: 4.5/5
Age Group: 16+
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...

I’ll admit it. I picked this book up at a book blogger party because I was told there was a hot sex scene in it and I was game for that. Well, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I was not at all disappointed in that arena! Quite blushing, really.

I was also very excited in this being my first British YA book. If you’re a Britophile like myself you’ll love all the quirky words and phrases and ponder over what a yum yum is (even a British friend of mine didn’t know!). The style is a bit unique and sometimes very stark in means of description and that takes a bit to get used to, but once I did, I hardly noticed it. In case you didn’t know, Nicholson is actually and Academy Award nominee screenwriter!

But what most impacted me and LOVED about this book was the insightful teenage thoughts and speculations on relationships in Rich’s POV. Maddy’s could get a bit negative, but his were so sweet and true, funny and just a touch heart-wrenching. Here’s a little quote for you on relationships and sex: “He had no confidence in himself as a seducer, but he knew he could be a comforter; hoping through kindness to arrive at closeness. It’s closeness we all want. Sex too, in time, but only because it’s the closest kind of closeness. He was far more afraid alone than being a virgin.”

Some people on Goodreads have given this book a low rating because of it’s graphic sex scene that happens at the end, calling it “vulgar”. First of all you rate it low because of that and you negate the first 300 pages that weren’t like that. Second, you clearly weren’t paying attention to the relationship that defined the ‘graphic, but not sexy’ sex. And thirdly, they are British. The British throw around “vulgar” words like cock a lot more than we do. I commend this book for being realistic! Teens have sex, might as well not stick your head in the sand about it.

Overall, I loved this book for its Grade A drama, humor and truths as well as bringing up a number of other issues teens have to face like abusive relationships, parent’s relationship problems and horribly deceitful friends.


  1. I might have to add this to my tbr pile. I'm always game for a steamy sex scene. Add in some lovely Brits, and I'm totally there. ;D

  2. William Nicholson is one of my favourite authors, and Rich and Mad is another awesome book from him. Authors like him make me proud of being British!