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Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy - Review

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Where did I get it? Netgalley, courtesy of Head of Zeus, so thank you very much to them 

What's it about? Danny is a teenage boy living in Gateshead, in the north of England, with his mum Kim. She meets Callum, a man with a flash car and a big house and a lot of money, and Danny and Kim soon move in with him. Danny isn't bothered by him to begin with, but then Callum starts to hit Kim, physically and mentally abusing her. Callum becomes desperate to do something about it, so he goes to Edinburgh to find the dad he's never met in the hope that his dad will help him sort Callum out. 

I'm familiar with the north east and its accent so it was lovely to read something with a Geordie accent. I think most of the dialect words are either easily understandable or were explained, but if you're reading it have a go at sounding the words out! I think it's brilliant to see a regional accent represented like this. We need more regional novels like this and more novels set in the kind of poverty that Danny is living in at the beginning of the book 

Danny also gets a girlfriend, Amy, and I really liked her - I liked her as a subplot because she added some light relief. She also seemed like a really well drawn girl unafraid of standing up for herself. 

What age range is it for? I'm going to say at least 14+ because there's a lot of violence

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? There are brief mentions but nothing graphic 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? Yes and violence as mentioned above too. It's a pretty tough read so be gentle with yourself

Are there swear words? Yes, a few. 

What criticisms do I have? I think the timeline is all kinds of confusing. Time passes really quickly in places and it's sometimes really disconcerting. I understand why the writer would do this, but I felt like a younder reader might need more signposts as to what was happening. This may happen in the finished copy, I realise I was only reading a proof. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes, definitely. It's really good and funny in parts, as well as really sad and poignant. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was scrolling on Kindle, as I do! 

What other books is it like? You know, I really can't think of any... My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher maybe? It seems similar in tone. 

How many stars? Four out of five! Enjoyable read, Danny was a really likeable character even when he was being a bit of an idiot. 

Me Mam, Me Dad, Me will be published in April 2018. 

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