I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

352p. ebook available. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062409119.
Gr 7 Up—Beatrice, known by her classmates as "Math Girl," is fed up. She and her best friends, Spencer and Gabe, are constantly bullied at school. However, Beatrice believes that senior year will be different: she has a new boyfriend and is practically guaranteed acceptance at MIT. Too bad reality doesn't match Bea's hopes. On the first day of school, the protagonist's new boyfriend becomes her ex-boyfriend when the new girl, Toile, steals him away. Instead of just rolling with it and continuing the last year of high school as a loser, Bea comes up with a mathematical formula that's bound to catapult her friends and her to popular status. The elevation of social status comes with a myriad of issues that Trix (formerly Bea) never considered before. McNeil takes a formulaic idea and makes it fresh. This work features the trope of the outcast changing into a beautiful butterfly, but it is different enough to feel new yet familiar enough to get lost in. While this title contains bullying, a bit of profanity, and general high school mischief, it points out how every kid, no matter how popular or odd, has a story.
VERDICT Fans of contemporary novels, particularly Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, will find this offering very satisfying.

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