The Migraine Mafia- Maia Sepp

Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis (from amazon)

On paper, Viive McBroom lives the perfect life—a key player in a fast-paced, technical field, one promotion away from real success—but that’s only if you ignore one little problem.

Sandwiched between one migraine and the next, Viive’s life is like those choose-your-own-adventure books you read as a kid, only less fun and with a lot more drugs. And lately, as her bosses politely march her toward a vacation that might never end, even the good days seem like a struggle for survival.

Faced with frustration from her loved ones and the dark machinations of a new coworker, Viive feels herself getting pulled under by guilt, apologies, and workplace shenanigans. But then she meets the Migraine Mafia, a quirky, vibrant support group, and her fragile camouflage begins to crumble. She discovers that a room full of strangers just might be able to change the way she views her illness—and realizes that if she doesn’t learn to ask for help, her health isn’t the only thing she stands to lose.


I suffer from migraines, and that’s really what drew me to this book. I do not suffer anywhere nearly as badly as Viive does. At my worst I was getting no more than two migraines a week, and currently I’m getting less than one a month *touch wood*. The severity of hers seems worse than mine too, although sometimes she can sit through them, which I really can’t. I have had my share of problems with them, mainly to do with work, but, luckily, my manager was quite understanding. Of course it’s a bit difficult for Viive’s managers to by sympathetic because she won’t admit that she has a problem.

If nothing else The Migraine Mafia is a good portrait of what a migraine can be like. One of my pet hates is people who call migraines headaches, or people who say they have migraines when they ‘just’ have a headache. Trust me, if you have a migraine you’ll know about it! Maybe it’s a book I should try to force on people to make them understand? The best thing I’ve found for this however is The Migraine Trust’s video

The story itself is about migraines more that anything. It might have been nice to see a few more ways of fighting migraine. There is an element of it but the book does make it seem like every solution is a bit of a shot in the dark. It kind of is with drugs, I still haven’t found the perfect drug to take when I have a migraine. However things like working out triggers didn’t really seem to feature so much as ‘these are common triggers, lets try stopping them’. I suppose if Viive had kept a migraine diary throughout the novel however it would have made a less enjoyable read.

The book was an easy read actually, but still interesting, possibly more so for those who don’t know anything about migraine. I was a little frustrated with Viive at times, but I did generally like her. I really liked the Migraine Mafia however.

If you would like to know more about migraine you can visit The Migraine Trust, or read one of my previous posts concerning migraine.


Buy it:

Kindle (£1.99)

Paperback (£5.99)



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

4 responses to “The Migraine Mafia- Maia Sepp

  1. Hi there!

    Thanks for taking the time to read my book and write a review. I was born with migraine and was diagnosed very young, so it’s a story that is very personal for me. I did have a beta reader who is also a migraineur, which I found very helpful – and it reminded me how unique migraine is for all of us.
    However things like working out triggers didn’t really seem to feature so much as ‘these are common triggers, lets try stopping them’.
    I think that’s a good interpretation of the story. Viive was in such bad shape that they were really trying from square one. [SPOILER?] How she actually goes about implementing changes and managing her triggers is really the next part of the story. Her “happy ending” is that she stops being in denial.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read, and Happy New Year.

  2. Thanks for commenting Maia.

    I have had migraine from a young age too. I think I get your point about her being in denial before, she was very self-treated, wasn’t she? I was the same up to a point as well, but more because my migraines weren’t as severe when I was younger, I didn’t feel the need to try and control them too much, although I had worked out more obvious triggers.

    It seems a lot like doctors just push medication at you anyway. Even a GP migraine specialist I saw seemed to do that, although she did talk to me a little about triggers. It is something you really have to work out for yourself.

  3. An interesting book and great that it gets people talking about suffering from migraine. I am not a sufferer myself, but I have given aromatherapy treatments to someone who did suffer, which effectively delayed the onset of the migraine. I hope more people read the book and enter the discussion.

  4. Pingback: Sunday Surfing 12/1/14 | Lucybird's Book Blog

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