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Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite
Katya Zinn's Manic-Depressive Pixie Dream Girl demonstrates her views on love, mental illness, and social constructs. As a gifted person, Zinn displays a unique self-awareness as she discusses the pitfalls of romanticizing mental illness. The author presents poetry, a mostly redacted story, a retelling of Peter Pan through Wendy's journal, her version of the origin of Chuck E. Cheese, and references classic stories, music, and modern fiction. Katya Zinn invites readers to see another perspective, one they may partially recognize as someone touches on it in a late-night conversation, but never fully understand enough to embrace.
I think readers will be amazed by Katya Zinn's depth and find they can relate to more than a few lines. In Pickled, my heart broke for Zinn as she described a muted existence that seemed to make the people around her feel better. As Zinn is an educator, one of the most eye-opening pieces is the letter to caregivers who are against teaching young children about consent. It was open, honest, and detailed, and I agreed with every point. The author sees parallels between herself and another student, but the tragic story illustrates the way well-meaning but truly unempathetic members of society interpret the student's actions and reactions. Zinn's words prompted me to consider that if we struggle to comprehend her perspective, maybe it's time to examine our viewpoints. Readers who are tired of being labeled by words meant to make them feel special but only push them into another compartment will enjoy reading Manic-Depressive Pixie Dream Girl.