Title: Me Mam. Me Dad. Me
Author: Malcolm Duffy
Genre: Teens and YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.16
My Rating: 5*
Humorous and heartbreaking debut novel with the fresh, funny, honest voice of a 14-year-old Geordie lad recounting the trials and tribulations of family life and finding first love.
Danny’s mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good – Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can’t deny he’s got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like him.
But cracks begin to show, and they’re not the sort that can be easily repaired. As Danny witnesses Mam suffer and Callum spiral out of control he goes in search of his dad.
The Dad he’s never met.
Set in Newcastle and Edinburgh, this supremely readable coming-of-age drama tackles domestic violence head on, but finds humour and hope in the most unlikely of places.
I have to start off my saying that I admire any author who can write from a child’s POV. Having to think about the grammar and the slang words to make the voice seem genuine, to me, is a real art and I’m not sure that I could do that and make a story readable.
Malcolm Duffy succeeds at this and more. The story is relatable, believable and had me glued to it from the first page. Told entirely from the POV of Danny, a 14 year old boy, it almost read like a diary. Whilst he is trying to cope with the normal life of a teenager his age he also has his mam’s boyfriend Callum to live with. I can not imagine what it must be like for any child to live amongst domestic violence and hopefully this book will speak to others going through the same thing. Who knows it may even give them the courage to speak out or seek help, the right way.
There were some moments of humour in there, I particularly liked Danny’s nickname for Callum and seeing his relationship with his dad develop was sweet. I almost felt sorry for Stevie at the end. I know that what he did was wrong but it seemed a shame that things had to go that way for him. That’s just me wanting every to have their fairytale ending but I understand why it ended the way it did. Actions have repercussions and if any teenagers reading this take one thing way from it let it be that there is a wrong way and a right way to solve a problem.
A great read with some interesting characters, as a debut I think Malcolm Duffy is off to a great start. Here’s hoping we see some more from him.