For What It's Worth

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen


15705311Sometimes 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. ~ Goodreads

Review:
Tom Leveen's debut YA novel, Party, is one of my favorite books but manicpixiedreamgirl just landed him on my auto buy author list.

If you haven't read anything by Tom Leveen yet, you're in for a treat. His stories and characters are raw, imperfect, real and relatable. Life is messy and we don't always get neat tidy endings and Leveen's writing reflects that.

Tyler falls hard for Rebecca Webb from the moment he first sees her sitting alone in the cafeteria. She has an edgy hairstyle, a tattoo, sorts her animal crackers into piles of broken and unbroken and has that alluring yet aloof quality. No one talks to Becky and that just makes 15 year old Tyler want to break down those walls to know the *real* Becky Webb.

And this is the main theme for manicpixiedreamgirl. The title for the book was based on this article and the articles author, Nathan Rabin's, coining of the phrase. His definition: "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." (Fun follow up article with actresses that exemplify the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in film)

How many of us has built up a fantasy in our mind, especially in high school, of the person we dream of being with? What happens when you actually talk to that person? Can they possibly live up to our expectations for them?

As an aspiring writer, Tyler has featured Becky in many of his stories. She's always a star, always shining impossibly bright. He cast himself as her knight in shining armor. He’s suave (& with rock hard abs) saying the perfect thing that makes her melt and ride off with him on his white horse into the sunset.

The reality…he can't even work up the nerve to do more than covertly spy on her and make sure he's in the right place to walk by her in the hall every day. He befriends Sydney, a girl who knows Becky, just to get some intel. As time passes he falls into a relationship with Sydney but Becky is always on his mind.

Then after years of pining the unthinkable happens. He becomes friends with Becky and Tyler's neat little life starts spiraling out of control.

manicpixiedreamgirl is told in alternating present tense and flashbacks. The transitions are so smooth and blend perfectly together that I was completely lost to the story as dreams and reality collide.

Tyler is surrounded by a great cast of characters. His two best friends always back him up but aren't afraid to call it like they see it either. He also has a supportive family and I appreciated seeing a healthy brother/sister relationship for once. Becky is fascinating as the object of Tyler's affections. She finds herself wanting to be the girl that he sees her as. She's had a rough life and my heart broke for her.

The person who really intrigued me the most though is Tyler's girlfriend Sydney. Leveen didn't make her the typical jealous girlfriend or the uptight shrew to Becky's free spirit. Sydney is smart, confident and bold. She knows the score when it comes to Tyler's feelings about Becky. Yet she sticks around hoping he'll snap out of it but not in a needy, clingy way. She's good for Tyler and he does care about her. It just made me wonder if Tyler is Sydney's male version of a manicpixiedreamgirl - the aloof-artist-dreamer-boy, with her always playing second fiddle to his muse. Was she seeing Tyler as he could be but not as he was - like he was doing with Becky?

Sorry….I got off track there lol But the book really had me thinking about how high school relationships shape your future and what kind of person you decide that you want to be as an adult. It's such an awkward time when feelings are x's 1000! You can take chances, make mistakes, stumble and hopefully find your way out of it and learn from the experiences.

Final thoughts: I don't know what else to say. I loved this book. manicpixiedreamgirl shows the hope, despair, love, heartbreak and awkwardness of high school. It transported me back to those years and often made me cringe as I saw myself reflected in Tyler. If you're looking for perfect characters who do everything right - don't look here, occasionally you will want to shake Tyler. But if you want a funny, messy, poignant character driven story then I highly recommend manicpixiedreamgrl.

Author: Website | Twitter
Source: ARC provided by the author via Netgalley for my honest review
Buy the book! Release date: April 23, 2013 Amazon | Indie Bound

31 comments:

  1. I've never read any Tom Leveen, but I definitely want to now! This sounds like a book that just about anyone could relate to and I loved the way you described it. Really, really great review - I'm going to have to look up Party too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His characters seem very real to me. Not everyone does the right thing but I can recall almost every scenario from my high school days.

      Delete

    2. Hi everyone I'm Sharon Stones and am here to share the wonderful work Dr ILASHE did for me. After 5 years of marriage, my husband started acting weird and going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatened to divorce me if I dare question him about his affair with other ladies, I was totally devastated and confused until an old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called Dr. ILASHE who helped people with relationshipS and marriages problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contact him, he helped me cast a love spell and within 48hours my husband came back to me and started apologizing, now he has stopped going out with other ladies and he’s with me for good and for real. Contact this great love spell caster for your relationship or marriage problem to be solved today via email: supersolutioncenter474@gmail.com or Call or WhatsApp: +2347055064262

      Read more about his good works on his website: https://supersolutioncenter.home.blog

      Delete
    3. A GREAT SPELL CASTER (DR. EMU) THAT HELP ME BRING BACK MY EX GIRLFRIEND.
      Am so happy to testify about a great spell caster that helped me when all hope was lost for me to unite with my ex-girlfriend that I love so much. I had a girlfriend that love me so much but something terrible happen to our relationship one afternoon when her friend that was always trying to get to me was trying to force me to make love to her just because she was been jealous of her friend that i was dating and on the scene my girlfriend just walk in and she thought we had something special doing together, i tried to explain things to her that her friend always do this whenever she is not with me and i always refuse her but i never told her because i did not want the both of them to be enemies to each other but she never believed me. She broke up with me and I tried times without numbers to make her believe me but she never believed me until one day i heard about the DR. EMU and I emailed him and he replied to me so kindly and helped me get back my lovely relationship that was already gone for two months.
      Email him at: Emutemple@gmail.com
      Website: http://emutemple.website2.me/
      Call or Whats-app him: +2347012841542

      Delete
  2. Great review!!!
    Loved when you asked: "It just made me wonder if Tyler is Sydney's male version of a manicpixiedreamgirl - the aloof-artist-dreamer-boy, with her always playing second fiddle to his muse. Was she seeing Tyler as he could be but not as he was - like he was doing with Becky?"

    Interesting point. It just shows how mysterious and heartbreaking love can be. Thanks so much for encouraging me to read this!

    Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah - high school is rough lol

      I think we all have more of a fantasy in our heads with our first crushes. I look back at my yearbook and I think I liked HIM!!!

      Delete
  3. Now on your auto-buy author list, huh? I knew Jen loved this, but I haven't seen many other reviews for it. Now I'm definitely curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you read it! Any of his books really. They are all really good.

      Delete
  4. oh, this sounds interesting! I know there are problems with the manic pixie dream girl context because it's like, justification for "nice guys" or whatever. I already felt frustrated with Tyler reading your review so I wonder how it will be if I actually read it, ha. I like the question you raised if Tyler was Sydney's ideal. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tyler can be frustrating but all of his actions were believable to me. I tend to get angry at characters but I got where he was coming from.

      I thought there were interesting dynamics going on with Tyler/Sydney and Becky. Without giving too much away - I wouldn't call Becky a true manicpixiedreamgirl - more inspired by. I think this was more a coming of age story. For all the characters.

      Delete

    2. Hi everyone I'm Sharon Stones and am here to share the wonderful work Dr ILASHE did for me. After 5 years of marriage, my husband started acting weird and going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatened to divorce me if I dare question him about his affair with other ladies, I was totally devastated and confused until an old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called Dr. ILASHE who helped people with relationshipS and marriages problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contact him, he helped me cast a love spell and within 48hours my husband came back to me and started apologizing, now he has stopped going out with other ladies and he’s with me for good and for real. Contact this great love spell caster for your relationship or marriage problem to be solved today via email: supersolutioncenter474@gmail.com or Call or WhatsApp: +2347055064262

      Read more about his good works on his website: https://supersolutioncenter.home.blog

      Delete
  5. The title is just too much for me, I could never remember it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! that's so funny....it's so unique that I can't forget it.

      Delete
  6. Wow! This sounds fab! Must add this one to the wishlist. It sounds like a good character book to me... plus you had me at artist... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, he's a writer but he fills that dreamy artistic type - easily diverted by a muse :-)

      Delete
  7. I wanted to read this book ...but my copy was bad through Net Galley :( . I enjoyed his other book

    ReplyDelete
  8. So this is the book you were raving about on Twitter! I am definitely curious about the series. I will put these on my tbr. Great review, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The raw stories and perfectly imperfect characters sound great. I haven't read anything by him but should try
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, this book wasn't on my radar at ALL and now I'm totally going to add it to the wish list to buy! It sounds awesome, I love poignant books with fallible characters.

    Seriously, great review! :)

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

    ReplyDelete

  11. Hi everyone I'm Sharon Stones and am here to share the wonderful work Dr ILASHE did for me. After 5 years of marriage, my husband started acting weird and going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatened to divorce me if I dare question him about his affair with other ladies, I was totally devastated and confused until an old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called Dr. ILASHE who helped people with relationshipS and marriages problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contact him, he helped me cast a love spell and within 48hours my husband came back to me and started apologizing, now he has stopped going out with other ladies and he’s with me for good and for real. Contact this great love spell caster for your relationship or marriage problem to be solved today via email: supersolutioncenter474@gmail.com or Call or WhatsApp: +2347055064262

    Read more about his good works on his website: https://supersolutioncenter.home.blog

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want to let the world know about Doctor Osasu the Great spell caster that brought back my husband to me when i thought all hope was lost. Doctor Osasu used his powerful spell to put a smile on my face by bringing back my man with his spell, at first i thought i was dreaming when my husband came back to me on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back and even since then he loves me more than i ever expected so i made a vow to my self the i will let the World know about Doctor Osasu because he is a God on earth. Do you have problems in your relationship ? have your partner broke up with you and you still love and want him back ? Do you have problem with your finance ? or do you need help of any kind then contact Doctor Osasu today for i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you just as he helped me. Doctor Osasu email is: drosasu25@gmail.com or add him on whasapp +2347064365391

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to let the world know about Doctor Osasu the Great spell caster that brought back my husband to me when i thought all hope was lost. Doctor Osasu used his powerful spell to put a smile on my face by bringing back my man with his spell, at first i thought i was dreaming when my husband came back to me on his knees begging me to forgive him and accept him back and even since then he loves me more than i ever expected so i made a vow to my self the i will let the World know about Doctor Osasu because he is a God on earth. Do you have problems in your relationship ? have your partner broke up with you and you still love and want him back ? Do you have problem with your finance ? or do you need help of any kind then contact Doctor Osasu today for i give you 100% guarantee that he will help you just as he helped me. Doctor Osasu email is: drosasu25@gmail.com or add him on whasapp +2347064365391

    ReplyDelete

  14. Finding a true love spell was like a nightmare to me,I have paid over $1650 to different spell caster that never work,Until I meet Mrs Okojie.please if you are looking for a real and fast result love spell then she is the answer,you can contact her now on. mrsokojiehealinghomeforall@gmail.com
    (mrsokojiehealinghomeforall@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  15. HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL FROM DR Osasu My name is Olivia Jayden, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for one year, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Jesse who told me about a spell caster called Dr. Osasu , She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle,i couldn't conceive but as soon as the spell was cast,i became pregnant and gave birth to my third child,if you need any assistance from him you can contact him via:email: drosasu25@gmail.com Or WhatsApp or call him now: +2347064365391 . Dr.Osasu also cures: 1. HIV / AIDS 2. HERPES 1/2 3. CANCER 4. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) 5. Hepatitis B

    ReplyDelete
  16. HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL FROM DR Osasu My name is Olivia Jayden, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for one year, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Jesse who told me about a spell caster called Dr. Osasu , She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle,i couldn't conceive but as soon as the spell was cast,i became pregnant and gave birth to my third child,if you need any assistance from him you can contact him via:email: drosasu25@gmail.com Or WhatsApp or call him now: +2347064365391 . Dr.Osasu also cures: 1. HIV / AIDS 2. HERPES 1/2 3. CANCER 4. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) 5. Hepatitis B

    ReplyDelete
  17. Save Your Relationship and Get Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend Back! Here his facebook page; fb.me/druzoyalovespell Is certainly the best spell caster online and his result is 100% guarantee. My Name David Vennie currently living in Canada. After 12 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Uzoya can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 48 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that's was how he came back with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage has now be stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Uzoya.he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr,Uzoya is real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband has moved in with another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact Email him at; driraborspellcaster@gmail.com Or call his cell phone directly on +1(301) 909-8775.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello i am here to spread this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR IROSI the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to DR IROSI about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR IROSI at the following email address DRIROSISOLUTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on DRIROSISOLUTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM or call his mobile number or add him up on whatsapp via (+2348118829771). and get your problems solve like me.    

    ReplyDelete
  19. Everyone wanted a relationship that lasts forever, you have to respect your husband, because your relationship will last forever, just as you want me to respect my husband so much that I follow his rules. But after many years of marriage, my husband came home from work and was very sad. I tried to talk to him to leave the house and he told me that you want a divorce. I was very frustrated and confused because I love my husband so much. when we have two children together, I don't know what to do by luck. I met a friend of mine who referred me to a kind and powerful man named Dr. Okpodo, who cast a love spell that took my husband home successfully. very grateful for the help of dr.okpodosolutionhome@gmail.com or whatsapp just +234815105617 in my family, all thanks to you for saving my marriage, my husband, now he loves me more than ever

    ReplyDelete
  20. Am very grateful to Dr Patrick for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I lost my fiancee, and i required help until i found Dr. Patrick spell caster, And he assured me that I will get my fiancee back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my fiancee who has not called me for long, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to devote the rest of his life with me. Dr. Patrick released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him......right now me and my fiancee are living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up..All thanks goes to Dr.Patrick for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is Dr.Patrick email address in any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as Dr.Patrick has done mine for me, so he will definitely help you too. Email:dr.patrickspelltemple1@gmail.com or Whats/call +2348055367947

    ReplyDelete
  21. My name is Sandra Madison
    This is a testimony I volunteered to share with the world on how i got my husband back. I felt bad when my husband left me and my kids for another woman some couple of months ago,after 10 yrs of happy marriage. We had a lovely marriage but he started a relationship with another woman at his office,who he moved with to another city..I felt devastated and have shed tears all night . I love him so much and I can't move on without him, He's all I've got to love forever.i became depressed and can't find sleep all night...I went to many Tarot reading and psychic readers and they can't find any help I want.i search for help online and came across hundreds of testimony on some blogs about Dr Itula how he help a lot of families with love spells.., I talked to some couples in there and they told me he's the best I can find in the world,that he can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and change the future. So I contacted him and he did a spell for me. 4 days later on, my husband came to me and apologized for leaving me. He did promised on an oath never to leave me again.. And then, everything has turned out to be lovely and he's full of care... We are happily living together again. All thanks to Dr itula. If you need a spell caster that can cast a powerful spelI I suggest you contact him. He's the most trusted you can find in the world.. Here is his email

    Itulaspelltemple@gmail.com

    And call/WhatsApp him on +2347089447881

    ReplyDelete
  22. My name is John Carthy~This is my testimony to the world on how Dr okoso helped me to save my job after they,the company I was working in terminated my contract with them.. I have a house mortgage to pay for, I'm doing my PhD's study, i have a family to take care of too and lots of other personal expenses..and been in this lockdown i have little money left in my bank..I felt so depressed and felt life wasn't worth living.I started drinking alcohols and then I saw a post on a blog,about a spell caster Dr okoso. OKOSOTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM I took to WhatsApp to talk to Dr okoso about my job loss and he asked me to send my company name and my position..I didn't believe at the beginning but I have to trust him. He casted a Job spell on me and after 3 days, I got a call from my office (the company) that i have been reinstated back to my position.... Woow I was so happy and I decided to share this with the world on how Dr okoso powerful spell saved me from the humiliation of a job loss..I have referred lots of colleague to him and they have gotten other good jobs from high pay companies

    If you need any help with a job spell, get your job back when your been sacked by your office or then, you need a spell to get employed in a high pay job, contact him here on his email OKOSOTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM ~ his website http://okosotemple.blogspot.com/ or on his WhatsApp +2348104720961

    ReplyDelete