The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne.
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting was the first book I read by Holly Bourne but it was by no means the last novel I’ve read by her. Although it’s not my favourite book by Holly Bourne, I still thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
Bree; the main protagonist novel comes to the conclusion that she’s not interesting at the start of the novel. Throughout the novel she decides to reinvent herself in order to become interesting (and thus a better author). It reminded me of a YA version of the film ‘Mean Girls.’
However unlike Mean Girls, this novel deals with a lot of different issues that teenagers go through, even if they were only mentioned in passing. It’s nice to see a YA novel that acknowledges the difficulties that teenagers face instead of ignoring them.
However unlike Evie, Lottie and Amber from Bourne’s other novels, although I empathized with Bree at the beginning of the novel, as the novel wore on and Bree becomes obsessed with becoming ‘interesting’, I started to lose all sympathy for her. Although I did feel sorry for her during her relationship with Logan and Mr Fellows (both of which were incredibly well written), I felt like she should have been honest with Jasmine and Holdo.
However as the novel progressed despite losing sympathy with Bree, I found myself warming up to Bree especially when she returns to school and stands up for herself. Despite all that happened I found myself agreeing with Bree’s dad (who is absent for the majority of the book) that going back to school was the best option, and when Bree goes back to school it shows the character development that she’s gone through in the novel and how much stronger she has become.
One character I really enjoyed reading about was Jasmine, at the beginning of the novel she is just your stereotypical popular girl. However when Bree befriends her, we as the readers discover that there is more to her than meets the eye.
I also enjoyed the mother-daughter scenes with Bree and her mother, it’s nice to see a present parent in a YA novel for a change!
Overall I’d give this book 4/5, I really enjoyed this book and the concept, however I found myself struggling to empathize with Bree especially when she became popular and ignored her best friend in favour of the ‘popular’ people.
Side note: How do you not even notice that your blog is incredibly popular?
“Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of”