I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This giveaway is sponsored by the author/publisher.

Hello, gentle readers! How's it going? I have not actually read and reviewed this book yet, because I have been going through the most horrific semester and I just hit submit on my last two finals. (Sweet relief.)

But I digress! I'm so excited to share this book excerpt and giveaway with you from one of my favorite authors, Gretchen McNeil! Yes, the long-awaited I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl is here, and I've got a copy to give away! The giveaway is for US addresses only, and ends 11/20/2016. Read on for more info, the excerpt, and a chance to win!

About the Book

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 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 Jesse 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 Jesse 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?


"Manic pixie dream girl!" Gabe practically shouted. "Of course."

It was like they were speaking a language I didn’t understand. "A manic pixie what what?"

"Have you read anything by John Green?" Gabe asked.

I shook my head.

"Do you know who Audrey Hepburn is?" Spencer asked.

"Or Zooey Deschanel?" Gabe suggested. "She's an actress on a sitcom. Do you know what that is?"

Spencer laughed. "You know she hasn't watched a scripted TV show in ten years."

"I just prefer nonfiction television, thank you very much," I said with pursed lips. "Besides, you watch too much TV."

He lowered himself to the edge of my bed and leaned back on his elbows. "Don’t get bent out of shape, Spock. 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."

Quirky and effervescent. Those adjectives definitely applied to Toile. "What else does she do?"

"Not much," Gabe said.

"What do you mean?"

Spencer shrugged. "That's just it. Her entire existence in the framework of a fictional plot is to improve the male character. She makes him better so he can make the world better."

I sat down next to Spencer. "Let me get this straight: She exists solely for the guy in her life?"

"Yep," Spencer said.

"That sounds horrible."

Gabe shrugged. "But it works. Toile's clearly charmed Jesse, and pretty much everyone else at school too."

He was right. I remembered how Cassilyn and her friends had fawned over Toile in the cafeteria from day one, and how Jesse knew more about her after an hour of English class than he knew about me in two months of dating. She might have been a flighty space cadet, but there was something about Toile that made people like her.

Guys dig it when a girl thinks they’re interesting.” Gabe jabbed his thumb at Spencer. "Just look at Picasso here. Cassilyn bats her eyelashes and asks about his painting and suddenly they’re inseparable."

I turned to Spencer. "Inseparable?"

He cleared his throat. "Gabe's being dramatic."

"That’s not what I heard." He pursed his lips and made a kissing sound as he pulled his phone out of his bag.

* * *

Spencer lounged on my bed flipping through a book while I combed the internet. I couldn’t believe how many results came up in my search. Films dating back to the thirties, foreign and domestic. Television shows. Even books. This manic pixie dream girl phenomenon had legs, deeply entrenched roots in our society, and yet somehow I'd never heard of it. I grabbed pen and paper and started jotting down a list of films.

"How did I not know about this?"

"You don’t go to movies, read books with plots, or have the TV on after eight o’clock," he said without looking up.

"I see movies."

He closed the book. "Oh yeah? Name one."

I looked at him pointedly. "We saw that new Will Ferrell comedy together before you left for Europe, remember?"

"I remember." He paused while I returned to my list. "So you didn't see any movies with Jesse?"

I winced at his name.

"Sorry," Spencer said. The bed rocked as he shifted position. "I brought you something."


"Yeah." He dropped a red plastic thumb drive on to my laptop.

"What's this?" I pushed it aside and began to cross-reference my film list against accessible online streaming sources.

He cleared his throat. "Plug it in. You"ll see."

Probably more YouTube videos to cheer me up. But I didn’t have time for cats dressed as sharks riding around on Roombas. I had work to do. "Thanks, Spence. I’ll watch it later, okay?"

"Oh." He sounded disappointed.

"I need your help with this," I began, glancing up at him. "If I were to watch a movie with one of these manic pixie dream girl characters, where should I start?"

Spencer blinked several times, his eyes shifting to the thumb drive I’d placed next to me on the bed, then he sighed. "What’s on your list?"

"How did you know I had a list?"

Spencer snorted. "You make a list for everything. Pros and cons, pluses and minuses, ranking probable outcomes from their least to most likely occurrence."

I hated the fact that he could read me so easily. "Fine. I've got Betty Blue, Garden State, (500) Days of Summer, Sweet November, Ruby Sparks, Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, Bringing Up Baby, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Annie Hall."

Spencer whistled. "Well, Elizabethtown is the movie that inspired the term. Maybe we should start there."


He leaned his long body back on his elbows. "Your boyfriend just dumped you and now you’re on a crusade to figure out why. Do you really think I’m going to let you endure that death spiral alone?"

I wanted to be pissy at the implication that I needed to be protected from myself, but deep down, I knew he was right, and I really appreciated his company. "Fine," I said, suppressing a smile while I tossed him the Roku remote. "But be prepared to take notes. There'll be a quiz at the end."

Excerpted from I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL © Copyright 2016 by Gretchen McNeil. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


About the Author

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, a writer, and a clown. She is also the author of Get Even as well as Ten, which was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and an ALA Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth and was nominated for Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012 by Romantic Times. Gretchen blogs with the Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels.

Giveaway Time!

1 US winner will receive a finished copy of I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL by Gretchen McNeil. You can either tweet, Facebook, Instagram, or comment on the blog to answer the question

Who is your favorite “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” character from a movie or book and why? #ImNotYourManicPixieDreamGirl

Everyone who is eligible gets 1 free entry (just click on the Rafflecopter widget)

For an additional 5 points you can comment on the blog, tweet (you need to edit the tweet!), post on Facebook, or post on Instagram. Your extra entry must have an answer and the hashtag #ImNotYourManicPixieDreamGirl or it won't count!


  1. Open to the US only, ends 11/20/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
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  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
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Good luck, everyone!