Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen


by Tom Leveen
Published by Random House Children's Book
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Pages: 256
Source: ARC from Author via NetGalley


(from Goodreads)
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.

My Thoughts

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

With this sentence, I was hooked and knew that I must read this book. Tom Leveen made me a believer in his talent with his novel Zero and amazed me even more with manicpixiedreamgirl. His writing is dynamic and honest and REAL. He draws the reader in with his character development and overwhelms us with his storytelling. Pure genius. Leveen just gets it right. 
The story jumps right in letting the reader know that the main character Tyler is caught up this imagined love affair with is dream girl, Becky, while still maintaining a relationship with his current girlfriend, Sydney. He's struggling with his need to finally tell her how he really feels because he know that it will change everything. Everything.

I loved how the story takes place in a single night with Tyler out with his friends celebrating having a story published. We get to see how Tyler comes to love Becky, but end up with Sydney through flashbacks of the past few years.  Leveen's style of writing was seemless and it felt like this is exactly how we, as readers, were supposed to see the story unfold.
I appreciated that the two girls weren’t really pitted against each other - Sydney (Syd) wasn’t a girl that you hateful girlfriend that you begged Tyler to dump, and you didn’t feel sympathy for her either when you realized that Tyler has mind on another girl - Syd was a girl who had it together. She saw the situation as it was and maintained some dignity. If anything, her poise and acceptance of this reality added to the love/hate relationship that you have for Tyler. Love him because of his devotion to this other girl, Becky, who his sister claimed was “damaged” and didn’t take advantage of her, but hated him ( well not really hated him) for jerking Syd around for so long. And Becky who seemed so unattainable to Tyler, she didn't play games with him. 

There is a genuine friendship between Tyler and Becky. At first, he is intrigued by her unusual quirkiness, but once he joins the drama club and they work on plays together - their friendship begins to become authentic. She's still guarded and doesn't let him in completely, and he doesn't ask questions that he doesn't want to know the answers to, but they become as close as they will allow themselves to be.

As much as this book had me entralled, turning page after page and unable to read it fast enough, there were moments that were difficult to read. There were a couple of moments of horrific conversations between Becky and her parents that forced me to put the book down and take a deep breath before I could continue reading. It was that affecting.

I've read many books this year that I have absolutely loved and Manicpixiedreamgirl is no different. Since I can't and won't pick a favorite, I'll just add this one to that list. (I'm pretty sure I said almost this exact same thing about Zero) Manicpixiedreamgirl is a gem of a book and one that I hope makes it into the hands of many readers. 

Disclaimer: I received this Advanced Readers Copy for review from the author and publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any compensation for providing this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. I reviewed this one today also -- I really enjoyed it, but I did like Zero better. Both are recommended though! Great review!

    1. I saw that. I plan to stop by your blog and read it later. I agree Zero was really good too. I've yet to read Party, but if it is anything like MPDG or Zero, I'm sure to me amazed.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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