What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Many thanks to Random House for offering this ARC on netgally.com.  This is the second Tom Leeven ARC I have received and read.  I loved Zero and loved Manicpixiedreamgirl even more.  Leveen's first book, Party, gave me some mixed feelings, but Zero was great and Manicpixiedreamgirl just proves that Leveen is getting better and better.   His characters are real and avoid stereotypes.  They are not "all bad" or "all good," they are characters who live in grey, who make good decisions and poor ones...just like real people!  The title comes from the idea of a stock film character, like Marilyn Monroe's character, Sugar, in Some Like it Hot, Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.  According to film critic, Nathan Rabin, who created the term, the MPDG is "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."
Becky Webb is Tyler Darcy's MPDG.  He spots on her his first day of high school and loves her (loves the idea he has created of her, actually) from afar for two years.
Becky is a girl of mystery.  She doesn't seem to have any friends, everyone pretty much ignores her, except for the guys who hook up with her in a closet, or a car and leave without acknowledging her further.
Tyler has a girlfriend, Sydney, who knows of his obsession with Becky, but keeps hoping that someday he will let it go.
It all comes to a head though, in one evening, when Sydney sees a copy of a short story that Tyler has published in a literary magazine.  Now his deep feelings for Becky are out there and he must decide what to do about them, if anything at all.
The story is funny, brilliant, honest and real.  As I said, truly Leveen is a rising star.

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