YABC Scavenger Hunt: I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Plus Gretchen McNeil’s Author Top Five, and Extra Giveaway!



Today we’re excited to share Gretchen McNeil’s Top 5 Manic Pixie Dream Girls inspired by her novel, I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt! Read on for more about Gretchen, her novel, and an extra giveaway! And don’t forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance to win the Grand Prize!


You can find Scavenger Hunt rules and entry form HERE.


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. 


From acclaimed author Gretchen McNeil comes her first realistic contemporary romance—perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger’s The Duff and Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

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?


Top Five Manic Pixie Dream Girls

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 laying out my Top Five Manic Pixie Dream Girls for your perusal.

5. Claire, Elizabethtown
“I’m impossible to forget but I’m hard to remember.”

Included on this list because she’s the character who inspired reviewer Nathan Rabin to invent the term “manic pixie dream girl” in the first place, Kirsten Dunst plays a flirty, flighty chatterbox stewardess who talks circles around brooding (read: clinically depressed) Orlando Bloom. I know a lot of people love this movie and this character, but my concern is that we learn so little about Claire in the film as to make her role practically superfluous.

And for the life of me, I can’t tell what she sees in Orlando Bloom. He’s not very nice to her and he talks about himself ad nauseum. BUT WHATEVER.

4. Susan, Bringing Up Baby
“There is a leopard on your roof and it’s my leopard and I have to get it and to get it I have to sing.”

Claire isn’t the only superfluous manic pixie dream girl on the list, in this screwball comedy from 1938, Katharine Hepburn plays a giggly scatterbrain whose crazy demands lead to the best day of Cary Grant’s life. But while I’ve never understood the lure of the relationship in Elizabethtown, I’ve always 100% understood the draw of Cary Grant. And so, though Susan has no real character motivation other than finding her leopard, I can’t help but adore her and this film.

3. Clementine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a f***ed-up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”

The thing I love about Kate Winslet’s honest and nuanced performance as the ever-changing Clementine is that she knows men project manic pixie dream girl status on her, and she calls them out on it. Her self-aware manic pixie is amazing.

2. Holly Go-Lightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell.”

I love Audrey Hepburn. I truly do. I love Sabrina. I love Roman Holiday. I love Charade. But when I refer to Holly Go-Lightly here, I’m 100% referring to the character from Truman Capote’s novella, not the 1961 film adaptation. Why? Because the film turns Holly into a romantic heroine, where (spoilers!) she and her neighbor Paul fall in love and end up together. Yeah, no. In true manic pixie dream girl fashion, Capote’s Holly takes off to Europe with some rich dude and the narrator never sees her again.

1. Maria, The Sound of Music
Captain Von Trapp: “Were you this much trouble at the Abbey?” Maria: “Oh, much more, sir!”

Aside from the fact that I love this movie, and that I love Julie Andrews, and that I secretly want to be her when I grow up, the reason I chose Maria for the top spot on this list is simple: the story of The Sound of Music is Maria’s story. It’s not Captain Von Trapp’s story. It’s not the Von Trapp children’s story. The central arc is all about Maria.

A manic pixie dream girl with her own story arc? Is that possible, you ask? Absolutely! And that’s what I would love to see more of with this trope. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water—let’s reclaim all that is great and magical about the trope. 

 I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

By: Gretchen McNeil

Release Date: October 18, 2016 





One winner will receive a copy of I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl. US only

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

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**And for a chance at the YABC Scavenger Hunt Grand Prize,
continue to the OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM. When completed, submit your entry by clicking the Rafflecopter post below.

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15 thoughts on “YABC Scavenger Hunt: I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Plus Gretchen McNeil’s Author Top Five, and Extra Giveaway!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Which manic pixie dream girls didn’t make the cut?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I loved Clementine! Do you consider yourself a Manic Pixie Dream Girl?

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is your third-favorite kind of animal?

  4. Anonymous says:

    How long did it take to write this book?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Who doesn’t want to be Julie Andrews when they grow up? Lol. What’s your favorite Julie Andrews movie besides the Sound of Music?

  6. Anonymous says:

    SO MANY! Natalie Portman in Garden State, Charlize Theron in Sweet November, Amelie, Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly, Winona Ryder in Autumn in New York, Zoe Deschanel in anything…

  7. Anonymous says:

    No way. I have my own agenda!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Errrrr, champagne?

  9. Anonymous says:

    About three months.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mary Poppins and Victor Victoria

  11. Anonymous says:

    Do you listen to music when you write, if so what type?

  12. Anonymous says:

    How do you avoid distractions while writing?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whats your favorite Genre to Read?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Did you always want to be an author? If you weren’t writing what would you love to be doing?

  15. Danielle Hammelef says:

    What is you favorite genre to read for pleasure?

Comments are closed.