Friday, November 18, 2016

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

Title: I'm Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Series: N/A - Standalone

Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication: October 18, 2016  by Balzer + Bray

Source: I received a review copy from Saichek Publicity in exchange for a honest review.

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?
I first heard about this book back in February. McNeil was a guest author at a book signing I was attending. And at this signing the authors all talked about their current/upcoming projects and it was there that McNeil talked about her upcoming book, I’m Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl. McNeil is known for her Mystery/Horror novels and stated that this book is unlike anything she ever wrote before. I was intrigued, so when I was pitched this book to review I immediately and happily agreed!

This book was quite a surprise. I enjoyed it more than I expected considering I’m not a fan of the term/trope ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ but there were definitely some up and downs that came with the territory. I liked the concept of the book, it may not be anything new…we’ve seen it done one way or another but McNeil put her own spin on it and made it her own. The writing was smooth and it flowed perfectly which kept me engaged the entire time. For a contemporary book, there sure was a lot of action which is always a must for me.

The initial stage of Bea’s formula experiment was fun and entertaining to watch. It kind of reminded me of Mean Girls, When Cady infiltrated Regina’s group. It was cool seeing her formula working immediately; skyrocketing her and her friends from nobodies to the most popular kids in school. But her experiment began to spiral out of control and she started to see the cause and effects of her actions. I’ll admit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl had me smiling and giggling at the beginning but after awhile it got a bit tiring and cringe worthy. Bea crossed a line that she shouldn’t have and lost track of why she did the experiment in the first place. However, everything didn’t completely go downhill. Bea eventually realized what she was doing, fixed her mistakes and the story ended on a good note.

All in all, I’m Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl was a fun read. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it’s definitely worth a read and I really liked McNeil’s writing style. If you’re looking for a light, fun, and easy read, then give this book a try!

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