Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Appelhans - ADVISABLE

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Appelhans, 258 pages.  Carolrhoba LAB (Lerner), 2019.  $19. 

Language: G (4 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: G



Riley, the only Manic Pixie Dream Boy, lives in TropeTown with all of the other stock character as they wait for their bit parts in creating books by whatever author needs them at the time.  Only Developed characters remain with the books after they are finished.  Riley has been ordered to therapy, because he has been talking back to his Authors and ad-libbing his lines.  There he finds Zelda, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl that he just met and fell in love with.  How can he declare his love for Zelda, complete his therapy satisfactorily so that he can continue existing, and save the Manic Pixie Dream trope from being retired? That’s a lot to do from a group of characters that thrive on being positive inspiration.

I admit it, I had no idea what a Manic Pixie Dream trope character was before I started reading this. I loved the “behind the scenes” look at the life of stock characters – especially since most of them were referred to by only their trope name (New Age Therapists, Mopey Mallrats).  Will kids love this is they have no idea what a trope is?  I don’t know. A little googling will give them enough information for further enjoyment.  That’s why at least middle school  - they need to know more about the world of writing before they can plunge in.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

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