Friday, 24 June 2016

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me by Michael Gerard Bauer

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me by Michael Gerard Bauer
Published May 1, 2016 by Scholastic
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars

From the blurb: It really all started with The Pain. He officially came into my life exactly nine weeks and one day before our Year Ten Graduation Dance. And despite my very best efforts to wipe the day from my mind, I can still remember it clearly. It was a Friday. The thirteenth day of the month. Notice anything there? 
Maggie Butt is facing not only a stranger taking over her mother's life but her own as well, and she is not going to let that happen. But then there's the one-eyed snaggle-toothed cat, senior subject choices, the dream date and Cyber Boy, the geek in the library to contend with as well. 
It's going to be an interesting year.

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me by Michael Gerard Bauer centres around fifteen year old Marguerite Butt, who will accept the nickname Maggie but absolutely despises the name Mags. Since her actor father left four years ago, Maggie and her mother have been a two-person team, occasionally her mother dates someone, but nothing too serious. Until now. Danny shows up one evening, and serenades Maggie with Rod Stewart's classic, Maggie May. Immediately she knows she definitely does not want her mother to date him, and nicknames him The Pain.

Maggie is a girl with opinions, strong ones and lots of them. Personally, I would love people to sing Maggie May to me at any given opportunity (feel free to sing it to me if you ever see me, I'll even join in!) Maggie's personality jumps, no, screams, off the page. She is full of sass, snark, and sarcasm. She's at that age where everything is a big deal and she has a tendency to over-dramatise. But underneath all the talk and exaggeration is a girl who has no friends and must be extremely lonely. She has 3 goals for the year, one is to find a friend, and this really made me sympathise with her.

The story itself is quite fast-paced and covers Maggie's home life, her time at school, her volunteer work at a nursing home, their new cat, as well as her developing crush on Jeremy, aka Cyber Boy.

The story reads genuinely, as if a teenage girl wrote it, with lots of exclamation points, capitalised words, nicknames for almost every character, and lotttttttts of word lengthening. It's fun and entertaining, but also intense and a bit tiring once I got closer to the end of the book.

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me is a great story for teens, focusing on families, friendship, bullying, and first loves.

Ableist language: psycho, mental, dumb.

Thank you to Scholastic for my review copy.

Cover design: Helen Crawford-White

This is a fun, colourful cover and it suits the feel of the story perfectly.

I started with a base of Illamasqua Load, a pale yellow, then used acrylic paint for the stripes and the characters.

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