Today we're excited to share Gretchen McNeil's playlist for her novel, I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt! Read on for more about Gretchen and her novel!

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Meet Gretchen McNeil!

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) 3:59 and RELIC, as well as GET EVEN and GET DIRTY, part of her mystery/suspense series Don't Get Mad, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins.  Gretchen’s first YA contemporary I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, also with Balzer + Bray, hit shelves in 2016.  

Gretchen’s novels have been published internationally in Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, and Czech.  The film adaptation of TEN was shot in late 2016 in upstate New York, starring China Anne McClain (Descendants 2), Rome Flynn (The Bold and the Beautiful), and Callan McAuliffe (I Am Number Four), directed by Chris Robert for Rain Maker Films.  

In addition to her writing, Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.


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Meet I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl!

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?



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~ A Manic Pixie Playlist ~


man·ic pix·ie dream girl


(especially in film) a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist.

Sounds kind of horrible, huh?  A female trope whose sole purpose in life is to inspire her man to be better.   What is this, the ‘60s?

Personally, I have a knee jerk reaction to this trope, which is why I wrote I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL about a girl who deconstructs the trope and turns it on his head, learning more about herself and what she wants out of life in the process.  And while I certainly have a love-hate relationship with the trope, I’m pulling together some Manic Pixie Dream Girl songs for your perusal.

“Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” – The Police

Practically the definition of a manic pixie dream girl – YOU ARE MAGICAL!  YOU’VE CHANGED MY LIFE!  And the last lyric, like a tag line as the song fades to black, hints at the dark underbelly of the manic pixie…  “It’s a big enough umbrella,/ But it’s always me that ends up getting wet.”

“Arabella” – Arctic Monkeys

The video for this one really drives the theme home – a slightly depressed young man, obsessed with this quirky, sexually awakened girl.  I love this band to pieces but…barf.

“Cardiac Arrest” – Bad Suns

Another slightly depressed young man finding inspiration and life in a vivacious woman.  “Like cardiac arrest, high voltage in her lips.”  LE SIGH.

“Chelsea Dagger” – The Fratellis

I love this song to pieces, especially with an opening line like “Well you must be a girl with shoes like that” because me. Shoes. Unholy love.  But “The boys get lonely after you leave” is total manic pixie territory.

“I Was Made for You” – She & Him

Since Zooey Deschanel is the lead singer of She & Him, it’s kind of like a manic pixie dream girl wooing her next victim, er, boyfriend.

“She’s a Riot” – The Jungle Giants

I find dude’s comb over in this video to be disturbing.  Regardless, with lyrics like “Oh this love would kill me/ But I don’t think I mind/ Blame it on the way/ We don’t even care” is disconcerting.  Comb Over Dude – you don’t have to be afraid of your cuckoo pants girlfriend.  THERE ARE SANE LADIES OUT THERE WHO WILL DATE YOU, I PROMISE!

“Short Skirt, Long Jacket” – Cake

Cake’s laundry list of things he wants in a girl is so long and involved ONLY a manic pixie dream girl can fit the bill!

“Can’t Be Sure” – The Sundays

Harriet Wheeler, lead singer of the 90s British band The Sundays is basically who I wanted to be when I was in high school  This album – Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic is one of my favorite of all time.  To me, this song is a manic pixie dream girl’s cry of freedom, which is why I chose it to end this list.  “Well it's my life, and it's my life/ And though I can't be sure if I want any more/ It will come to me later.”  It always does, Harriet.  It always does.



I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

By: Gretchen McNeil

Release Date: October 18th, 2016

Publisher: Balzer + Bray





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