Matt Burton is mute, meek, and mysophobic. In fact, he hasnt spoken a single syllable for the past year. Hes under a sworn oath of silence, and hes determined to stick to it even if it catapults his entire life into chaos. And it might. Matt is about to fail an oral presentation and convince his dad, once and for all, that hes hopeless. Whats an adolescent hypochondriac to do?
In an interesting twist, Matt is writing a novel. For the careful reader, they can see a lot of similarities between his novel and what happens in his real life.
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Peter Pays Tribute features examples of:
- Ambiguous Disorder: What exactly is wrong with Matt? He has some sort of pathological fear of germs, along with a sort of social anxiety. It's never given a name in-story.
- Bookworm: Matt likes to finish books as fast as possible so that the characters won't be stuck in peril.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Matt used to be an honor student, but he decided it wasn't worth the effort. Now, he does the bare minimum to keep his Dad happy. That is, until he runs into Mr. Gregory...
- Cute Mute: What kicks off the plot.
- Dark Is Evil: The Gray god is the god of vengeance. He's also kind of a jerk.
- Deadpan Snarker: For a kid who refuses to talk, Matt has a very snide outlook on things.
- Determined Defeatist: Peter thinks that his quest is impossible, but he refuses to run away with Rag.
- Elective Mute: Matt can talk, he just chooses not to.
- Expy: The characters in Matt's novel are all expys of his real-life friends.
- Framing Device: Matt's novel.
- Grew a Spine: As his quest goes on, Peter stands up to the Gray God more and more.
- Hates Being Touched: Due to his weird fear of all things germy, Matt cannot stand being touched.
- Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: The Gray God wants Peter to find the very embodiment of sickness, but fails to provide any sort of direction.
- Intelligence = Isolation: How Matt views himself. Probably isn't helped by the fact that he doesn't talk.
- Loners Are Freaks: In all fairness, Matt is kind of weird.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Maggy could qualify as one.
- Neat Freak: To the point of it being a disorder. Matt can barely stand to sit on public benches, he's so afraid of germs.
- Nested Story: So Matt is writing a novel, and in that novel the bard tells stories.
- Nervous Wreck: Matt has a couple of near panic attacks, and he's constantly on edge over the smallest things.
- Odd Friendship: Maggy is bubbly, ditzy and friendly. She hangs around the school pariah.
- Plot Parallel: Combined with Real Life Writesthe Plot, Matt's novel is an allegory for his own life.
- Save Your Deity: For an omnipotent being, the Gray God needs a lot of assistance.
- Show Within a Show: Matt's novel, featuring an expy of himself and almost every other character in the story.
- Stylistic Suck: While Matt's writing isn't terrible, there is a noticeable change in style in his writing from the ordinary narration.
- Super OCD: While the book never openly states it, Matt shows a lot of symptoms of OCD.
- Terrified of Germs: To the point of it being an Ambiguous Disorder.
- Villain Decay: Without his monstrous sidekicks, Briskle is less of a threat than he is an annoyance.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Matt may ridicule his Dad, but you can tell how much he also wants his approval.