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I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Review

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL is the first young adult contemporary release from Gretchen McNeil, the author of TEN, POSSESS and several other titles. When the novel begins, the main character, Beatrice Giovanni is entering her senior year of high school. Her whole life she has been a target for school bullies along with her best friends, Spencer and Gabe. Fed up with always being a target, Bea uses her math knowledge to create a formula that will guarantee the three friends popularity and happiness in school. But everything still isn’t perfect for Bea. Her boyfriend, Jesse, dumps her for the new girl, Tolie, a quintessential manic pixie dream girl. Bea adopts a new “manic pixie” formula and sets a plan into motion to beat Tolie at her own game.

"I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL has a strong and important message. I definitely think that high schoolers can especially benefit from the themes in this book. "

This book was a super fun read! It looks into the social aspects of high school in a new and relatable way. The tropes that the characters aimed to fill were developed well. I was especially interested in the manic pixie dream girl trope, which Bea adopts. Overall I found that the way the friends altered themselves to fit specific stereotypes were displayed perfectly and spoke volumes about the social environment in most American high schools.

I was also really interested by the addition of formulas to the plot. As someone who is not a big fan of math, it was interesting to see how Bea’s brain worked in relation to math. McNeil continuously included subtle references to math in Bea’s everyday thoughts as well. Even though some of the math references and formulas were lost on me, I still found them super interesting to think about.

My biggest problem with this book was its predictability. When reading a book I love to be surprised and I found that I was rarely shocked when reading I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL. There were various moments where I knew what the next “plot twist” would be, chapters before it actually happened. However, there was one plot twist that was able to catch me by surprise. It didn’t completely make up for the predictability throughout the majority of the book, but I was definitely happy to be shocked by that moment.

I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL has a strong and important message. I definitely think that high schoolers can especially benefit from the themes in this book. It discusses popularity in a high school setting as well as the feeling of needing to change yourself. It especially explores the idea of needing to change yourself for someone else, rather than for your own advantage. As a high schooler, I really understood a lot of the thoughts and feelings expressed by the main characters of the book. I think I learned a bit about social perception in high school and can now take some of that with me to school every day now.

I would obviously recommend this book to high schoolers. Whether they consider themselves popular or a nerd, they will benefit from seeing a new perspective on the classic ideas of high school social status. It is a pretty easy read so even someone who isn’t a frequent reader will be able to get into the story and understand it. I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL is a fun, enlightening and interesting read, unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

Reviewed by Danielle F., Teen Board Member on October 28, 2016

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
by Gretchen McNeil

  • Publication Date: October 18, 2016
  • Genres: Dating, Fiction, Friendship, Humor, Sex
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • ISBN-10: 0062409115
  • ISBN-13: 9780062409119