MY TIKI GIRL
"Dreamy, even quasi-mystical nonconformity" - Kirkus
"In this emotionally powerful and realistic story... readers are swept along with Maggie’s swirling feelings, making it easy to understand how easily this fragile, sensitive girl could lose herself... a well-written tale of self-discovery."
- School Library Journal
"McMahon has a talent for successfully getting into the psyches of her teenage characters' heads, providing them with both the wisdom and the innocence to make them believable." - Curve
"Maggie’s narrative voice is compelling, dreamy and intense in a way that recalls Angela Chase’s voiceovers for My So-Called Life... and the book is poignant in depicting the contrast between her self-image as “Frankenstein girl” and the heated, fantasy-tinged intimacy she experiences in her affair with Dahlia.... readers will have no trouble recognizing the combination of disaster and glory that so often marks first love."
- Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
"The outrageous journey of Maggie and Dahlia's friendship turned love relationship leaves them and the world around them eternally altered. This coming-of-age story of heartache and hope takes the reader on Maggie's journey to discover her true self and demonstrates how one can be transformed by the power of a first love." - Children's Literature
About the book
Fifteen year old Maggie Keller was once a popular girl, the star of school plays. When a car accident kills her mother and leaves Maggie with a limp, she turns into Freak Frankenstein Girl, who just wants to be left alone.
When the new girl at school, Dahlia Wainwright, asks Maggie to be in her band, Maggie knows right away she's found a kindred spirit. Everyone thinks Dahlia’s a witch and a freak, but Maggie is captivated.
Dahlia's unconventional family soon becomes Maggie's new world -- a world where everyone has an alternate personality, and dolls have the power to control fate. What begins as a peculiar friendship soon develops into something much stronger… and perhaps more dangerous for both girls.
Excerpt from My Tiki Girl
Behind the book
The idea for MY TIKI GIRL came to me up on a roof. And no, I wasn’t fixing to jump. My partner Drea and I were shingling the weirdly-shaped roof of our house and spent many hours up there, kind of delirious from the hot sun, amusing each other with stories from our misspent youths. I told her was how my first girlfriend’s mother called me LaSamba, and about some of the adventures and misadventures I’d had with that first girlfriend. Drea suggested I write some of it down, that it was a good story.
I couldn’t write the story of all that truly happened in that dramatic part of my life, but I thought I could write a book that captured the essence of my experience of falling in love with my best friend: the secrecy, drama, and complications. I fictionalized it to the point where it is definitely not my story, but rather, a universal story about first love that I hope anyone can relate to. This is the book I wish I’d had when I was feeling like the only girl on the planet who’d ever fallen for another girl. I wrote it for all the real Dahlias and Maggies out there, and for myself at thirteen, the original LaSamba.