Monday, April 22, 2013

manicpixiedreamgirl: By Tom Leveen



Sometimes the most dramatic scenes in a high school theater club are the ones that happen between the actors and crew off stage.

Seventeen-year-old Tyler Darcy's dream of being a writer is starting to feel very real now that he's sold his first short story to a literary journal. He should be celebrating its publication with his two best friends who've always had his back, but on this night, a steady stream of texts from his girlfriend Sidney keep intruding. So do the memories of his dream girl, Becky, who's been on his mind a little too much since the first day of high school. Before the night is over, Ty might just find the nerve to stop all the obsessing and finally take action. 


I hadn’t read any of Tom Leveen’s books before reading manicpixiedreamgirl, but after reading manicpixiedreamgirl I want to see what else he’s written.

Manicpixiedreamgirl is an interesting story. First, Leveen doesn’t pull he punches in making his protagonist Tyler say or do the “right” thing in terms of his girlfriend Sydney. Leveen focuses on the complexity of liking someone while dating someone else. Tyler, who readers will both dislike and empathize with is a fantastic protagonist. He is so completely wrapped up in his own imaginary image of this perfect girl that he is unable to come to terms with her reality.

The story is told on one night with flashbacks to the creation of Tyler’s current situation, slowly unraveling the truth from what was initially perceived, until finally ending with the present, and the continuation of the night.

That said what I liked most about manicpixiedreamgirl is how real this book is. Some aspects may seem a bit far fetched but most of it strikes home in reality. Between the shattering of an idealized person on the slow and resistant discovery of their true selves, to the reluctance to leave your comfort zone in order to go after what you think you want, and how your inability to make this separation hurts everyone involved. All of these lessons are true and will resonate with readers of all ages.

All in all I really liked manicpixiedreamgirl. I thought it was engaging, had an interesting story, had likable characters, and most importantly it left me wanting to read more and find out what happened next. The only issue I had with it is almost a complement to the book in that I liked Tyler’s friends Robby and Justin and would have liked more stories involving them, heck I wouldn’t mind a spin off from either of their POV.  


Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Published: April 23, 2013

Price: $16.99

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