MY TIKI GIRL by Jennifer McMahon


Age Range: 14 & up
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An author for adults shifts her audience to teens with mixed success in this romance about two girls. The slow-paced plot hinges on familiar elements: a teenager whose mother has died, a strong sense of alienation and a surprisingly successful band. Tenth-grader Maggie, who was popular in junior high, attributes her current alienation to the car accident two years earlier that killed her mother, for which Maggie feels guilty. Calling herself “Frankenstein girl” because she limps, Maggie befriends another outsider, the new girl Dahlia. Much of the book details Maggie’s growing love for Dahlia and her infatuation with the free-spirited but poor life Dahlia shares with her brother and mentally ill mother. Their romance, which becomes sexual, encounters problems and painful homophobia. The girls also start an implausibly good band with a handsome football star who falls for Dahlia. Although most of the other characters are not fully developed, Maggie and Dahlia grow and change through their romance and pain. Readers who like dreamy, even quasi-mystical, nonconformity may enjoy this slightly dark but ultimately hopeful romance. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-525-47943-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2008