ARC Review: I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Title: I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Author: Gretchen McNiel
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 352 pages
My Rating: 3 Stars

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 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 her boyfriend 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 was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

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 that they can be predictable, or as predictable as can be when it comes to contemporary. For the most part, I did enjoy this book, it’s just that I realized that this type of book is not for me.

I learned at the beginning of this book that the main character’s mother is a Filipina, and that made me really excited about the book. It’s quite rare that I see any Filipino characters in the books that I read, so it was a fantastic surprise! Bea’s mom also use Tagalog words like Anak, and I really saw the Filipino culture in her. Bea’s parents are also divorced but I liked that she has a good relationship with both of them, and even with her stepmother. She even lives with both her mom and dad on different days of the week, so they really get to spend time together.

This book focuses on a certain formula that Bea uses to make her and her two other friends popular because a new student, Toile, stole her boyfriend from her. It follows their transformation, as well as the new drama that emerged resulting from that transformation. I found Bea to be naive and heartless at times, but I realized that it’s understandable, given that this is set in high school.

My main issue with this book is that I didn’t connect with the story nor the characters. Overall, I actually found this book quite entertaining because a lot of things happened, but I just couldn’t fully enjoy it because I couldn’t connect. Sometimes it felt like there was too much drama going on and the friends were constantly fighting, but for the most part it was entertaining, like from a detached point of view. See, I found the drama entertaining! What is wrong with me?

Anyway, I liked the tension in the romance aspect, but that was about it. This book is kind of a ‘meh’ read for me. I mean, I read the book and didn’t exactly feel bored, but I didn’t feel excited either. I enjoyed it, but not that much. I just wished that I connected with it so I could give it a higher rating.

3 couldn't-connect stars

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