The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne

Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 448 pages
Published: 1st August 2014
 
I mentioned this book once before (in this post) and have finished it twice since then. I re-read it very recently so my thoughts and opinions on it are still fresh in mind, and I thought I'd jot them down and share them with you today.

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting focusses on the life of Bree, a wanna-be author and one of the school's biggest nobodies. When we first meet Bree she's just been rejected by another publishing house, she's very socially withdrawn and is very judgemental of the world. She's quiet, and makes an effort to be 'different' whether that's by dying strips of her hair vibrant colours or by wearing tatty striped tights. She can't fathom why her novels are repeatedly rejected by publishers, until her English teacher (and creepy love interest) suggests that perhaps her writing isn't interesting because of the fact that Bree's life isn't interesting. So, Bree gets drunk with her best friend Holdo, staggers home and creates herself a blog - and thus, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is born.
 
Bree's Manifesto is split into six different steps which are achieved through-out the length of the book. I'm not going to lie - I was pretty uncomfortable during Bree's entire Manifesto process. She decides that in order to become interesting, she has to conform to all of these 'normal' clich├ęs, such as becoming attractive, having sex with other attractive people and having a forbidden love. Bree gives herself a total make-over in order to fit in with the 'popular' girls at school, proceeds to act as a double agent by becoming best friends with these girls, then spills their secrets onto her blog. I hated the whole 'become attractive to become popular' thing, but I think that's probably because I'm very similar to Bree herself (at least, her true self) and because I know that it's infuriatingly and sadly true. At least it was when I was at school.  
 
There are a lot of things that happen to Bree that made me want to hug her, slap her or shake her - but I think that proves how relatable Bree and these events are. I don't want to give any spoilers, but there are two separate situations between Bree and two different guys, both of which irked me for different reasons. Things also become complicated as Bree gets closer to the popular girls, especially with Jassmine because I actually began to understand and care for her as Bree did, so it was conflicting to watch Bree screw her over.
 
Another relatable thing about this novel is the language used. It's a very English book, and by English I don't mean Oxford Dictionary English, I mean like teenage slang English. Words that I have genuinely heard real people say were mentioned in this book and made me cringe just as much as they did when I heard them aloud. I found it quite entertaining, actually. All of the dialogue between the teens is believable, especially the 'banter' from the guys. I've also heard similar things said before, but maybe it's just a question of the people I used to know at school.
 
Overall this book is really entertaining and honest, whilst still being quite deep and full of meaning. It's definitely an experience - I felt uncomfortable and annoyed during most of it, but I think that's the point. Bree deals with a self-harming habit that is mentioned a few times during the book, especially towards the end, so I will issue a trigger warning. I didn't find it particularly triggering, but I'd rather put it out there just in case.
 
I've decided to award The Manifesto on How to be Interesting 4/5 stars.
________________________________________________

If you liked The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, I'd recommend Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne.
 

5 comments

  1. You've summed up my feelings towards this book perfectly! I'm about to start another one of Holly Bourne's books and I'm interested to see how it plays out xx

    Charlotte / Colours & Carousels

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay... I really need to get my hands on this book. I really love the sound of this book and it sounds soo real <3
    Ramsha | Rose
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. These sounds like a really interesting and different read, Bree sounds like quite a relatable character :) xx
    Chasing Belle 23

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always really love long book reviews, you can tell when someone has really enjoyed a book! I like the concept of this book and will be adding it to my list :)

    Musings & More

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds really interesting, I recently finished 'Am I Normal Yet?' and I'd love to read some more of Holly Bourne's work. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! Please feel free to leave your links - I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read xo