Published by Carolrhoda Lab (R) on March 5, 2019
Riley lives in TropeTown, where everyone plays stock roles in novels. Riley, a Manic Pixie Dream Boy, is sent to group therapy after going off-script. Riley knows that breaking the rules again could get him terminated, yet he feels there must be more to life than recycling the same clich�s for readers' entertainment. Then he meets Zelda, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Geek Chic subtype), and falls head over heels in love. Zelda's in therapy too, along with several other Manic Pixies. But TropeTown has a dark secret, and if Riley and his fellow Manic Pixies don't get to the bottom of it, they may all be terminated.
This is an extremely interesting premise and it is quite unlike anything I have ever read before. There was some great breaking of the fourth wall and the whole book comes off very meta which I really enjoyed. Our main character Riley is someone you start rooting for almost automatically because he has such a likable personality and I really enjoy his struggle with whether he is who he is because of programming or because that really is him. There is a great moment in the book where the characters are talking about how readers are clamoring for more diverse stories and I really enjoyed that the author recognized this and decided to include it. All that being said I do have some issues with the book. The writing style was not my cup of tea, when we are going over a characters trait sheet a letter or two in every word is missing like old school text speech but it ends up just making the book harder to read. (Granted this is an e-arc so this might be something that is changed before the final copy comes out.) I also thought that at times the story was quite juvenile which threw me out of the story since the characters all live on their own and have jobs. Some of the plot was extremely convenient to a point that it was annoying and I wasn’t a fan of a particular trope that was used at the end of the story.
Verdict: All that being said, this was a very unique story and it definitely made me laugh. I enjoyed myself for the most part and will be interested to see what else this author puts out. I gave this book a 3/5.
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