ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published April 23, 2013. Random House. 241 pp.
Through present time and flashbacks, readers are introduced to sixteen-year-old Tyler Darcy. From the moment he first laid eyes on Rebecca in 9th grade, Tyler was in love. He kept all his feelings to himself, writing about her and fantasizing about the ways he’d “wow” her with his brilliance. Unfortunately for Tyler, no brilliance ever surfaced and he spent his high school years unable to let Becky know how he felt.
Despite getting involved with the school’s drama department so he could regularly see Becky, having a steady girlfriend, and being a talented writer, Tyler is fixated on one thing: being with Becky. It’ll take a major alignment of all the planets, stars and a few moons before Tyler gets the nerve to talk to her, but it’s worth the wait to read his story.
“Manicpixiedreamgirl” is filled with guy humor, and thoughts, as it’s told from Tyler’s lovestruck point of view. Being a guy himself, Leveen’s portrayal of Tyler is very realistic, good for plenty of laughs with Tyler and his friends as well as Tyler’s “insight” into female thoughts and behavior. Along with the humor, a dose of heartbreak keeps things on an even keel, and is sure to be enjoyed by readers 14 and older – especially boys.