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I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,315 ratings  ·  279 reviews
From acclaimed author Gretchen McNeil comes her first realistic contemporary romance—perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger’s The Duff  and Morgan Matson’s Since You've Been Gone.

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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Aadeeba I absolutely loved sybg but honestly i don't see any similarities from this synopsis. maybe because reinventing yourself is a common factor in both books?

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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  1,315 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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Natalie Monroe
4.5 stars

"Toile's type is heroin for a guy like Jesse."

"And what type is that?" I asked.

Spencer laughed. "Duh. She's a manic pixie dream girl."

I alternated between two expressions while reading. Going "Awww!" or having a big fat grin plastered on my face.

Fine, they're the same thing. I'm a little stuck for ideas on how to communicate the utter magic and intense teenage joy I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl brought me, so in honor of the protagonist Bea's nerdiness, I'm making a list.

Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

As soon as I saw my friend Peach reading this, I knew I had to get a copy of it immediately simply for that title alone. You’re all familiar with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl by this point, right? If not you probably live on Mars, but here’s a description for you . . . .

“A manic pixie dream girl is a character trope: a quirky, effervescent female who walks to the beat of her own drum and makes the male lead feel like she’s c
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“A manic pixie dream girl is a character trope: a quirky, effervescent female who walks to the beat of her own drum and makes the male lead feel like she’s changed his world.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who tried to stop her friends being bullied by using a mathematical formula.

Bea was an okay character, and it was noble of her to try and help h
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This was absolutely unrealistic and ridiculous, and I was almost fully on board with it!

Probably the only thing that got my eyes rolling is the fact that the least popular girl in school became the most popular one, simply by changing her style and starting to say hi to everyone and speak/laugh really loud(???)
I mean, just think about it for a second: imagine that unpopular girl from your highschool, the one whose name hardly anyone knew. Now imagine her coming to school one day with a new hairc
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
The concept for I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s concept is not that unique as I have seen it in other books like This is My Brain on Boys and The Boyfriend App but the author definitely made it unique in her own way. That said, I should probably avoid books like this in the future - books where the girls use some kind of academic knowledge in real life and things fail. Sometimes the character tends to seem robotic in this book, and although the author manages to make things unique, I find ...more
I've always been a huge fan of Gretchen's, so I was super excited to see what she came up with for her first contemp without murdery goodness. And she definitely delivered.

I love love loved Bea and Gabe and especially Spencer. They're all awesome characters and I think we would have an amazing time getting arrested. I truly enjoyed being in Bea's head and seeing how she was all math all the time. It was amusing {and a bit exasperating} that someone so smart could be so stupid, but I was through
Colleen Houck
I loved that the heroine is a math wiz. You just don't see enough of those in YA literature. This was a fun journey with the heroine and I admire her bravery. Don't think I could have pulled something like that off. I related to her on so many levels. ...more
Jen Ryland
Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

I've read all of Gretchen McNeil's books and there are always aspects of them that I enjoy. She has a lively, funny writing style and is always switching up genres.

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl had its appealing points, but also some things I didn't enjoy. At times, it felt to me like this book was a bunch of classic movies (Mean Girls, Election, Garden State, Clueless, Revenge of the Nerds) thrown into a blender and then pou
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too problematic to earn a rec from me.

The whole concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is controversial. Do a little Googling and you're going to quickly realize what a sexist term it is. So I thought this book might be an enjoyable commentary on that sexism and the problem with it. Alas, it isn't.

I'm usually the champion and defender of unlikable heroines but this time I just can't make myself do it. I liked the idea of this book but once I had it in my hands and started to read I quickly realiz
Apr 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I thought this would be a subversive, feminist look into manic pixie dream girls, but it was the exact opposite. Bea is Not Like Other Girls and is the world’s most unlikable protagonist. Everyone was unlikable in this book, actually.

I also loooved how Bea used fun insults like “pussy” and “skank.” A super fun feminist read for the whole feminist family. Not.
Viktoria Winter
I received an ARC from the publisher, and that in no way swayed my honest opinion.

If you're a fan of high school comedies like Mean Girls or Clueless, this is the one for you. It was quirky, funny, and a little dark at times. But I enjoyed it nevertheless! (Full review to come soon.)
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sfp, lgbtqia, library, ya, ebook, fluff
I'm not sure if this was a clever commentary on problematic tropes or an enabler. Yes, the MPDG is called out and addressed, but all of the other characters are also stereotypes. The best friend who is secretly in love with the heroine and everyone knows it, the gay best friend who is not your typical homosexual (and the boyfriend he's ashamed of at first but embraces by the end), the parents who are basically children themselves, the well-meaning but clueless step-parent, the arch-nemesis for n ...more
Laurence R.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the idea of this book, but it developped into something similar to many other books. Still cute, though!
Christina Tremaine
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Roni Loren
Mar 10, 2017 added it
Shelves: ya, sweet
Very cute. Read it in one sitting.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

This wasn't what I was expecting (but don't ask me what exactly I was expecting, because I still don't know). It's about a girl who is nerdy and her two best friends and her get bullied. They find a formula to becoming cool and she discovers Manic Pixie Dream Girl tropes and becomes one to steal her boyfriend back.
I think I was first annoyed by the girl who comes to their school and is the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" who is honestly weird and flamboyant and she is automatically accepted as
Nov 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
This read like a corny after school special with the occasional swear word thrown in, which made the tone about as confusing as it sounds.
I knew this book was either going to be such a good twist on a shitty trope that I would absolutely love it or it would be such a fucking mess that I would hate it so much my breasts would ache with rage.

Spoiler alert, it's the second one.

I don't know where to start, so let's just drive right into the juicy stuff, shall we?

(An own-voices review of the Filipino rep.)

• Ableism. There are ableist slurs/language throughout the entire book. Addiction is used as metaphor a few times. The biggest examp
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)
For more reviews and bookish content:

"I'd found so much comfort in my precise, flawless formulas, and yet life wasn't precise or flawless. Life was a mess."

I picked up this book because I wanted to see a clever deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl tropes a la Scott Pilgrim. That is only…sort of what I got? I had a lot of issues with this book, only some of which ended up getting smoothed out by the end. I did like the mathematical approach to figuring out what mad
Josiah (bookishfanboy)
Actual rating: 3.7 stars

It's started so slow, and I'm not really interested on what was happening at first. I'm glad that it got better and I got hooked after 100 pages. I thought that this book was funny and so pleased that it involves awareness especially in bullying. Full review to come!!

*Special thanks to Harper Collins International for sending me a review copy of this book*
This was fun! It's obviously very conscious trope subversion, and with a fun cast of characters, eminently readable writing style, and OH MY GOD JUST HAVE The Conversation and KISS ALREADY ship <3 ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, ya, z-2018, fiction
Cute but requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief. I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl asks you to believe, among other things: that the 'popular' kids are all dumb as a single box of bricks (seriously, they don't even get their own boxes); that you can reinvent yourself more or less overnight and nobody will so much as blink (they might not even notice); that personae such as Effeminate Gay Stereotype and (of course) Manic Pixie Dream Girl are instant wins with the popular crowd.

Rachel (borntoberustic)
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! Finished it in just a couple sittings and enjoyed every moment of it. :) Beatrice is geeky, relatable, and a fantastic female protagonist! This might be one of my all time favorite contemporaries. For me, it ranks up wth books like "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" and "Don't Call Me Ishmael." Definitely a fun read! If you enjoy reading about some good high school drama, this is the book for you. :) ...more
Mireille Duval
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! It was very typical contemporary YA, with the trying on new personalities to see if they'd fit, and finding out what it means to be yourself, and what all those FEELINGS mean, and which way do they really point to?! I thought it was well-balanced between school, parents, friends,
lovers, enemies, something that novels don't always manage. (view spoiler) And I liked all the math stuff :)
Petite Draig
Sep 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I thought this would be some kind of memoir/essay type thing. It wasn't.

What it was, though, was horrible. Boring horrible. This is every YA unoriginal story you've ever read. And yes, she is a stupid pixie dream girl. Not mine, thank God. If I were you, I wouldn't read this.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and the plot! It was such a cute novel :))
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
i heard "half-filipina" and i have never clicked the "want to read" button faster than i did just then.


review post-reading:

oh my god, i wanted to like this book so much.

a beyond-genius filipina character taking on the sexist ideal that is the manic pixie dream girl? sign me up. sign me the hell up. it sounded like such a good premise to me.

i'm gonna admit, i flipped through this book quickly than i thought i would, mainly because this is such a fast read. i liked how quickly we were introduce
(...) I pointed my finger in Jesse's face. "I don't want you anymore. And I certainly don't have to put up with your shit. I deserve to be treated better, and so does Toile."

"I do?" Toile said.

"Yeah," I said. "You don't have to settle for a boyfriend who only likes you when you're getting attention from the popular people. He should like you all the time. No matter who you are."

This is the book I wish I had in high school.

It's so...empowering. Seriously, girls, women, ladies, you will love
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Bea is a math genius headed for MIT, so she develops The Formula in order to save her friends from a final year of bullying, designed to put her friends in the top social circles of high school. Gabe, one of her best friends, is now in with the popular clique, on his way to being Student Body President, and Spencer is getting his art skills noticed. Bea decides to use The Formula on herself when her new boyfriend Jesse dumps h
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Gretchen McNeil is the author of the YA horror/suspense novels POSSESS, 3:59, RELIC, GET EVEN, GET DIRTY, and TEN (a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth) all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. Gretchen’s first YA contemporary I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, also with Balzer + Bray, hit shelve ...more

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