The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me by Michael Gerard Bauer
Published by Omnibus Books
Maggie Butt is in year 10 and like many teenagers her life is full of self-perceived issues. There’s her last name, for one thing.
Maggie describes herself as the ‘sulky, withdrawn, irritable, anti-social, product-of-a-broken-home, pissed off-at-the-world, don’t want-to-be-here, zero-personality new kid’ at her school.
Written in the first person, The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me is Maggie’s hilariously fraught tale of how she believes others impact on her life. There’s The Pain, otherwise described as her mother’s latest boyfriend, who seems intent on not being temporary in her mother’s life, unlike all the others. He is also disarmingly and annoyingly frank and even, God forbid, nice, despite Maggie’s determination to dislike him. Maggie’s mother is also highly irritating and so is Sir Tiffy, a weepy-eyed, scraggy elderly cat that Maggie’s mother and The Pain insist on bringing into the house.
Add in the agonies of peer friendships at St Brenda’s Girls College. Then there’s the complication of Cyber Boy, real name Jeremy Tyler-Roy, an awkward boy who attends St Gregory’s Boys College across the road.
Maggie sets goals, such as to find a really good friend at school, secure a partner for the year 10 graduation dance and to achieve an overall A for English, but circumstances and an apparently unbending teacher always get in the way. Of course, nothing is ever Maggie’s fault.
Written from the self-obsessed, angst-filled viewpoint of a teenage girl, this novel is fast-paced and very funny. Importantly, the tone never lectures, yet between the words and through her daily experiences, there’s a slowly developing realisation in Maggie that everyone has a story to tell and not everything revolves around self. Highly recommended for teens.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Michael Gerard Bauer
Title: The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me
Publisher: Omnibus Books
Published: May 2016