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manicpixiedreamgirl Kindle Edition

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Every Last Breath
Sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell… See the full Dark Elements series

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Tyler Darcy, 17, is in love, but not with Sydney, the girl who's been his steady for the past two years. He looks back on his first day of freshman year, when Becky became his unending obsession before Sydney even came into the picture. He knew nothing about her when their eyes met in a cafeteria line. That's pretty much the extent of the encounter, but from that moment on, Tyler makes her the star of his evolving short story. He writes Becky into his perfect dream girl. Over time, as a friendship forms between the two, he can't see past the character he has created. He makes excuses for one telling incident after another, and because everyone else seems to know about her reputation, including Sydney, Becky assumes that Tyler does, too. It's not until his short story is published by a literary magazine that both Sydney and Becky are forced to face the truth. Tyler is not in love with Sydney; he is in love with a girl that Becky can never hope to be. In this spare, well-written romance, Leveen points out the many ways in which we, often unwittingly, deceive ourselves and those around us when we fall in love. Teens will recognize themselves in the course of their own early romances, and possibly begin to realize what a messy business love can be.-Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

It’s hard not to love the title of Leveen’s latest, though it is somewhat misleading. The object of 17-year-old Ty’s obsession, Becky Webb, is more of a moody goth. For three years, Ty has been maneuvering to get closer to Becky, maybe even to touch her. Did we mention Ty already has a girlfriend, Sydney? He does. It’s a setup ripe for standard romantic comedy follies, so it’s a pleasure to watch it play out into something more affecting. Sydney is a wonderful side character who deserves better—sexy, smart, and indulgent of Ty’s undying fantasy. Becky, meanwhile, feels less fresh—she is the inscrutable girl with a checkered past who just needs a guy to be nice to her. It is Ty who emerges as the (well-meaning) jerk, treating Syd shabbily while overidealizing Becky. The story unfolds over flashbacks during the night when Ty and Becky might finally hook up, and though it begins comedically (I lacked the testicular fortitude to make contact), it quickly turns morose—not a bad thing for folks who like their romances unresolved and realistic. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

Product Details

  • File Size: 3432 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375870059
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (April 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009Y4I9BK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tom was born and raised in Arizona, where he lives with his wife. From the first time his second-grade teacher asked him to read to the first graders a short story he'd written, he was hooked. Writing fiction has been a part of his life ever since.

Tom has more than twenty-two years of theatre experience as an actor and director. He is the former Artistic Director of two companies: Is What It Is Theatre, a community theatre company; and Chyro Arts Venue, a mixed-use venue hosting theatre, live music, visual art, spoken word, independent film, and other arts. Tom is currently writing young adult fiction full time.

"The best part of the job is the school visits," he says. "I love meeting teachers, librarians, and students, talking about writing, publishing, and life in general. I write YA because for all the drama and trauma I went through in high school, it was still one of the best times of my life. When you're a student, anything is possible. The best stories are found in that time of life."

Tom is the author of PARTY, a YA novel told from 11 different points of view. His second YA novel, ZERO, is due out in Spring 2012.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ink and Page on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5

The Low Down: Ever since he first saw her freshman year, Tyler Darcy has been drawn to Becky Webb like a moth to the flame. She has no idea of his almost obsession with her; after all, in the beginning, he can't bring himself to speak to her, much less spill his secrets. All his friends know of his infatuation, hell, even his girlfriend knows. Syd is beautiful, smart and so cool. Why she puts up with his fixation is beyond him. But every chance he gets, he looks for Becky. Thinks about her. Writes about her. Concocts scenarios in which she falls madly in love with him. Writes about that. Even when they eventually become friends, he keeps her in the same box marked "perfect."

Watching closely makes you learn things, though. Things that maybe you don't want to know, things that might ruin your idea of perfection about someone. In Tyler's case, though, discovering certain things about Becky only makes him want to protect her. She's unwanted, both by her parents and the boys that use her, ignore her and spread tales about "Becca," the girl who doesn't say no.

But how do two people with such conflicting views of the same person ever get on the same page?

Best Thang `Bout It: I love that the protagonist is a male. A guy with a huge attraction who can't act on it. In fact, he can't stand up to any of his relationships: his girlfriend, who got that position because he said nothing; his sister, who, while is supportive, is frank about how she thinks Tyler needs to run his relationships; and his friends, Robby and Justin, who act like court jesters but who express their opinions about his lack of fortitude with both his girlfriend and his obsession.

If there's such a thing as a "healthy" obsession, this was it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angie on July 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Manicpixiedreamgirl had me at the title. I knew exactly what this book was going to be about without even reading the blurb, and I was excited for it. Alternating between the one night that changes everything, and the three years leading up to it, we follow Tyler as he pines after Becky. He saw her on the first day of high school and she stayed with him, even though they didn't speak until he joined the drama club sophomore year. But by then he was dating Sydney. Now he has his chance to see if his manic, pixie, dream girl is actually the girl for him.

While I did like Manicpixiedreamgirl overall, I found myself bored with it at times. Which is a shame, since it's such a short book. That did make it feel longer since the story would drag in places. Tyler is head over heels for Becky but never does anything about it. Then he gets a girlfriend, and stays with her for two years despite his feelings for someone else. Although, Sydney is partly to blame too, since she admits to know that his affections lie elsewhere. But, it's the same thing over and over. Tyler says he's happy with Sydney even though he doesn't love her, then he hangs out with Becky (as just friends), then he's alone and all of his thoughts are of Becky. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's something up with that girl that Tyler doesn't see and it needs to come out eventually! As do his feelings for her.

I did find the story very realistic though. I'm sure at one point we've all had a crush who we thought was unattainable but kept our interest while we moved on with our lives, whether that involved a relationship or not. I also liked how there wasn't any big dramatics when everything comes out in the open.
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Format: Hardcover
This is my first Tom Leveen novel and I am head over heels for his writing. You can bet after reading this slim but superb novel about a young man chasing a vision of what he wants instead of appreciating what he has that I will be adding Leveen's other novels to my shelf.

Manicpixiedreamgirl opens on Tyler Darcy and his friends Rob and Justin celebrating after Tyler sells a short story to a literary magazine. After three years of pining for Rebecca, Tyler's forced to decide whether it's time to act or time to move on.

I can't say enough about this book. It's 256 pages of real people with real emotions, actions and reactions that is nothing short of absolutely compelling.

Every character is unique and steps outside of some of the stereotypical teenage characters you see in fiction. For example, Tyler's friend Rob is constantly evolving, changing his look and trying new things but never trying to become someone else. Vignettes that showcase this evolution are a testament to the teenage search for self that everyone goes through in high school.

Voice is the thing that gripped me most about manicpixiedreamgirl. Tyler tells his story as it happened. For the most part it's his unembellished, true account of what happened down to his self-doubt and reflection on his actions or lack thereof. His honest review of his past during a single day of his present is what made this novel so difficult to put down.

Tyler's obsession with Rebecca is lost on his girlfriend and two best friends. Rob and Justin wonder why Tyler put her on a pedestal and why he hasn't given up the dream, especially when Sydney is right in front of him.

Sydney is convinced that maybe Tyler will eventually realize what he has.
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