The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project – By Lenore Appelhans

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Goodreads Synopsis: Riley lives in TropeTown, where everyone plays stock roles in novels. Riley, a Manic Pixie Dream Boy, is sent to group therapy after going off-script. Riley knows that breaking the rules again could get him terminated, yet he feels there must be more to life than recycling the same clichés for readers’ entertainment. Then he meets Zelda, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Geek Chic subtype), and falls head over heels in love. Zelda’s in therapy too, along with several other Manic Pixies. But TropeTown has a dark secret, and if Riley and his fellow Manic Pixies don’t get to the bottom of it, they may all be terminated.

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I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved the idea of the story and the cover of the book was definitely what drew me in.

From the beginning of the book I had a love/hate relationship with it. The writing style both drew me in and pushed me away. It was funny and well written, but the way the author ended up doing the meta style was not my favorite.  Riley was also love/hate for me.  On the one hand I loved that the way that he was like every MPDB in YA but at the same time I found him to be boring. Like most MPD characters quirkiness does not make a personality. Because of this I never cared about Riley enough to care about what was happening to him.  I wanted him to be more than just a trope because I thought that was the point of the book, but he never grew that way.  So while I see what Appelhans was trying to do, I don’t think she quite made it there.  This book was a great idea but it never lived up to it’s potential.

As far as the story goes I really enjoyed the first half. I liked seeing Riley go to therapy with other MPD characters and seeing how he developed friendships and fall in love with Zelda.  But for me the plot fell apart once they started trying to work against one of their antagonists, Nebraska. The way they wanted to go about getting back at her  and also make sure they didn’t get terminated made no sense. It was all too nice and cutesy.

I have to admit that I didn’t read all of this book. Around 75% I started skimming and I pretty much gave up around 80% through. There just wasn’t enough to keep me going. In the end I gave the book 3 stars.

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