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

A review by Nalini Haynes

Maggie Butt is a teenager managing a mother who’s suddenly started dating again, hence The Pain. Sir Tiffy is a cat whose owner has been permanently hospitalized. The Pain took in Sir Tiffy but his landlord threatened to evict them both so he asked Maggie and her mom to take in this mangy old cat. Cyber Boy is a computer nerd undertaking the same community service as Maggie while she’s hunting for a partner for the school prom.

You’d think Maggie had enough to cope with but then her hairdresser mangles her hair and there are ISSUES at school as well, largely due to changing schools after her father left, followed by an INCIDENT.

Maggie’s voice is quintessentially the teenage girl, in turns snarky, narcissistic and endearing. Although sometimes she ‘tells’ a bit more than ‘shows’, it works because she’s ‘talking’ as if to a friend.

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me doesn’t relate to my teen years but it appealed to me as an adult who survived myriad teenagers traipsing through my house. There were times I laughed out loud while reading and I thoroughly enjoyed the geek references. The end of the story is a little too easy and sweet, with perhaps a bit too much giving on Maggie’s part but it’s a comedy. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781742991504
Format: paperback, 263 pages
Publisher: Omnibus (Scholastic Australia)

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy & Me