Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Tiki Girl” as Want to Read:
My Tiki Girl
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

My Tiki Girl

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  417 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Maggie was looking for a friend in Dahlia. She never guessed she?d find love, too. All the tenth-grade girls hate Dahlia Wainwright?a smart, natural beauty and freaky outsider all in one. And that's "exactly" what Maggie Keller is drawn to, for she herself is an outsider, having withdrawn from the high school elite crowd after a car accident that killed her mother?an accid ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 15th 2008 by Dutton Juvenile
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Tiki Girl, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Tiki Girl

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,419)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Maggie Keller's life has been turned upside down because of an automobile accident. She used to be one of the popular girls but now she is just the dark, freaky girl with the bad leg. Then she meets Dahlia. This new girl brings Maggie out of her shell. Dahlia's mother suffers from depression and other mental issues, but her unpredictability and manic personality are just what Maggie needs. The entire story touches on the question "What is normal?" When Maggie finds herself falling in love with D ...more
A lot of people want to focus on the queer storyline, but I feel the larger theme here is mental illness. The instability, the escaping from reality, these moments shine through as signs of people searching for something. Their world feels comfortable but not safe, fun but not healthy. A place everyone should visit, but no one should stay in.
The story is about Maggie, a girl who used to be popular until a car accident killed her mother and left her with a scarred and limping leg. Maggie can't face her old popular friends, so she becomes close to one of the outcasts, Dahlia, who loves Sylvia Plath, wants to form a band, and has a crazy family. As Maggie gets wrapped up in the elaborate fantasy life Dahlia's family creates, Maggie also loses herself to the power and fear that is first love...with Dahlia.

I feel like I've read a lot of
Not sure If I'm going to enjoy this book. I dislike the behaviors of all the characters. Stealing gas from cars in an AA meeting parking lot, and shoplifting for fun. I'm not liking it.... but we'll see.


Ok, I finished the book, and I change my mind, I did like the book. At first the concept of the "dolls", was a little weird. After reading more of the book, I realized the dolls, especially "Tiki girl" and "LaSamba", symbolize
I thought this book was very scandalous! You would never think this book was about two girls falling for each other. Soon later on boys start getting in the way of them, causing conflict. Watching how everything unfolds is really suspensful. for example Maggie realized Dahlia is falling in love with a bad boy from school, she tries to steal her away. Dahlia finally say how much Maggie cared for her and fell in love with her.
Definitely one of, if not the best, YA I've read. I like the way they weaved Escapism (and other psychological self defense/themes) into the story. Some characters are just so broken and they try to adjust by trying to make it seem normal by playing along even when it isn't. Yep, my eyes did tear up a bit on some parts ...
Carolyn Grayson
Not what I expected. I kept waiting for someone to be killed, some crazy psychopath to show such luck. Simple coming of age tale which isn't really my thing.
Maggie Keller forgot Toto, and that is where everything turned upside down. She is Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz play at her school, and forces her mother to turn back. After an accident, not only does she lose her mother but her popularity as well. Now she is the outcast, with the bad leg. Then she meets Dahlia, the new girl. Dahlia forces her out of her shell, and teaches her to look at life a different way. Under the guidance of Dahlia and her mother, she becomes Tiki Girl. She is loved, and sh ...more
Jenni Frencham
Two years ago Maggie's life was irrevocably changed. A car accident shattered Maggie's leg and took the life of her mother. Maggie spent most of the year in the hospital and then recovering at home. Once a straight-A student and heavily involved in drama, Maggie's not sure who she is anymore. Her friends and classmates don't know who she is, either, and Maggie is feeling very alone.

Enter Dahlia. Dahlia lives with her mentally ill mother in the not-so-nice part of town. Maggie soon finds herself
Samantha Boyette
Perhaps you've noticed my love affair with Jennifer McMahon? When you read three books by someone in a week, it becomes obvious that you are a little obsessed. Then comes the fall, the moment you realize that you have read all their books and the there is no more to read. Ironically, that's sorta what this book was like. Hard, fast love followed by the realization that your love story isn't forever.

Maggie has become a outcast by her own free will. After a car accident that killed her mom, she is
Maggie finds her old friendships and school don't hold much interest anymore after her mother dies in a car accident that she feels she was the cause of. She takes up with new girl and outsider Dahlia, and begins to spend lots of time with her and her wacky (read mentally ill) mother, and cute but disturbed younger brother, to the point of neglecting her schoolwork and ignoring her father. She falls in love with Dahlia, and Dahlia seemingly returns her feelings until others find out. Suddenly Da ...more

Jennifer McMahon is one of my favorite authors. I have read all of her books so far, and 3 1/2 stars would have been a better rating for this book. All of her books are eccentric, bizarre, strange, and slightly twisted, which I think is the main reason I like them. I always feel like I'm in some sort of perverted circus world a little bit when I read them (Is that weird?). And this one was no different, however I feel that her first attempt at a young adult novel was a little bit too provocativ

Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Maggie Keller's life turned upside down the day she forgot Toto. In eighth grade, Maggie was cast as Dorothy, the lead in The Wizard of Oz. As her mom is driving her to rehearsal, Maggie shouts out that she forgot the stuffed dog at home. Her mom, without checking the traffic around them, turns the car around and causes an accident.

Maggie was once the most popular girl in her class. But after the accident, she has a deformed leg, and considers herself the
This book was unlike McMahon's other stories. It's a coming of age book with a slight twist, the twist being that it's about a girl who finds herself in love with another girl. It's a book I would have loved to have read in high school or junior high because it fits that genre. I think it would be a good read for young girls, especially those who don't fit in completely.
Marissa Cunneen
I really enjoyed this book. Although I feel like if I didn’t give it a chance I probably wouldn’t have liked it. I thought the “dolls” was a little weird along with a lot of the other details the author used. It was a really negative story for the most part. Jennifer McMahon had a real powerful opinion on relationships in this book. It was pretty accurate to a lot of teenagers now a days. One of the things I found really extraordinary about this book was that it hit almost all the feelings and ...more
Melissa Dally
I finally got my hands on the last Jennifer McMahon book I hadn't read! Although this one was a departure from the subject matter her other books tend to have, I really enjoyed it. It is more of a young adult book, but her style of really getting inside a character is there along with the danger and unpredictability.
Ok, I didn't read this story word for word, I got about halfway through before I couldn't take any more of it, and I just skimmed the rest. I didn't like it, maybe there was more the story than what I saw, but it was about two young girls falling in love, with each other. I thought it was going to be a mystery, as I have enjoyed the other two Jennifer McMahon books I have read, but this one I didn't really like at all. I felt sorry for Maggie, losing her mother and all, and I am sure it was hard ...more
Hannah Elizabeth McCowan
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. I got it for four dollars at a used bookstore. But I loved it. The characterization was super strong and I will probably re read it at some point.
I hate to say I didn't like it... but I didn't like it. Crazy teenage drama romance just really isn't my thing. It definitely wasn't an awful book, but I just didn't really understand the point the book was trying to make. I am not the targeted age group and I don't struggle with my sexual identity, so I think that made me a little detached from the book. I would say that it is probably a wonderful book for younger readers who are trying to figure themselves out, but that just isn't me anymore. ...more
I didn't like this as well as some of her other books. I didn't even finish it.
Rebecca Stephenson
I really enjoyed Jennifer McMahon's others books and was interested to see how her YA book "My Tiki Girl" would fare. . .
McMahon has a talent for writing in such a way where you become so interested in the characters that you keep turning the page to what's going to happen to them.
I didn't realize this book was going to address topics of teenage sexuality and homosexuality in the way that it did, because I was so focused on Maggie's tragic loss of her mother, but McMahon did it in a tactful and
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this expecting it to be more like her other books. of course I saved this for last. I must say I was disappointed. I personally would have preferred not wasting time on this book, good thing it was short.

its a coming of age novel and maybe it was because I am past that stage in life but I felt it never really went anywhere or got terribly interesting. most of her books I cannot wait to read the ending and finish it in a couple of days this took forever to go somewhere and never quite mad
Jan 17, 2008 Tammara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA
Aside from the obligatory angst of teenage high school hell, 'My Tiki Girl' deftly explores the world of difference and the fallacies of preceptions.
There are several things I appreciate in 'My Tiki Girl': a complete cast of characters from the popular kids through a variety of 'misfits'; realistic dialogue and teenage attitudes; tough topics tackled from the impact of family tragedy to sexual identity; and the positive but non-fluff ending.
I'd definitely recommend this well-written YA novel.
An excellent YA novel that really elevates the queer YA subgenre beyond didactic coming out stories and into the realm of romance and poetry. The characters were all so realistic, and the ending (while abrupt) was consistent with the building feverish pitch that could not possibly be sustained. I was struck by how often thing the characters did and said reminded me of things I had done and said at that age. In that way, I found myself able to relate to almost all of them.
I think this is an excellent "young adult" book; I hope Jennifer McMahon writes more. Reminded me a bit of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, which is one of the best books I've ever read, never mind one of the best "young adult" books I've ever read. (I keep putting "young adult" in quotes because there's such a weird ebb and flow between late-childhood/teen/adult books so it's such a fluid category...anyway.) Sensitive, interesting, thoughtful, funny, moving.
Dec 02, 2008 Raina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens, high school, maybe middle school
Recommended to Raina by: YALSA-BK
Girl dealing with the death of her mother falls in love with her free spirit friend. Deals with mental illness, queer issues, physical abuse, popularity, choices, parents, magic, imagination, identity. Very engrossing as only teen angst can be. It was excruciating to read it (practically) a chapter at a time on breaks at work. Also an interesting exploration of alternative/hippie/gypsy/mental lifestyle vs. more "normal" suburban life.
I loved this novel so much. It deals with the confusion of being an adolescent, and not just with sexual orientation. The battle in Maggie's mind is one that I think more people have than care to admit. The author brings the battle down to earth by making the characters real enough to love, but just otherwordly enough to allow you to live vicariously through them without thinking that you are them, if that makes any sense.
Ok so I started to read this book and kind of pre-judged it. I thought that it was going to be one of those really out-there books that are just odd, not that there is anything wrong with those, they just aren't my favorites. I ended up liking this book though, I mean it wasnt the best book that I have ever read but I enjoyed the quirkyness of it and the freeness of the characters. Good read.
After writing adult fiction and moving into YA, it astounds me how little difference there often is. Mostly, no adults. Or adults on the side. A healthy dose. But not the main course.

I liked this book. It was realistic, dealt with same sex attraction as well as the variety of attraction altogether. Ended realistically. No cinderella or HEA here.

A good read for people of any age.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gravel Queen
  • M+O 4EVR
  • Down to the Bone
  • Crush
  • Cycler (Cycler, #1)
  • Crush
  • Debbie Harry Sings in French
  • The Traitor Game
  • Girl from Mars
  • Far from Xanadu
  • Love & Lies: Marisol's Story
  • Don't Ask
  • Silhouette of a Sparrow
  • Girl Walking Backwards
  • Another Life Altogether
  • Hey, Dollface
  • Tripping to Somewhere
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
I'm the author of Promise Not to Tell, Island of Lost Girls, Dismantled, Don't Breathe a Word, and The One I Left Behind. My next novel, The Winter People will be released February 11, 2014. I live in central Vermont with my partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.
More about Jennifer McMahon...
The Winter People Promise Not to Tell Don't Breathe a Word The One I Left Behind Island of Lost Girls

Share This Book

“I've lived here ... my whole life. It's where I lost all my baby teeth. Where tiny hamster, gerbil, and bird skeletons lie in rotted-out cardboard coffins beneath the oak tree in our backyard. Also where, if some future archaeologist goes digging, they'll find the remains of a plush toy: a gray terrier named Toto I buried after the accident.” 7 likes
More quotes…