The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting
by Holly Bourne
Published: 1st August 2014
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words.
But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born.
Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.
I purchased this book in Waterstones upon recommendation from Abbey, who really rated this book highly. I’d already read and loved the newest novel from this author, Am I Normal Yet? – so I knew I’d love this book too. I read this book very quickly, once I started it I couldn’t stop and I flew through it. If it wasn’t for work getting in the way I’d have read this in one day. If I feel like I’m being forced to put my book down, I know that it’s done something right.
Bree is definitely not the most popular girl in school, and she’s perfectly fine with that. She’s an aspiring author and unfortunately her manuscripts are constantly rejected. After taking some advice she receives to the extreme, she opens a blog called The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting – a six step guide to becoming interesting. Not everything goes to plan, and there’s definitely plenty of drama.
In terms of the character, Bree – she isn’t one I fell in love with straight away. She’s a little cynical, and is down on herself. My opinion quickly turned around when I got to know her, and through her journey I felt very strongly for her. She transforms herself physically, moulding herself into the perfect popular girl, in a sort of experiment on the typical high school culture. In doing so, she finds out a lot about herself.
The plot was truly perfection for me it gripped me from start to finish. The experiment that Bree conducts truly highlights the dynamics of the social hierarchy and exposes some truths. She infiltrates the mean girls group of school and realised that they all had the same insecurities in the end. The author touches on a lot of issues that young girls (and boys) deal with on a daily basis, including self-harm, and I felt this book makes quite the statement about the norm that society has deemed acceptable.
Asides from the main narrative arc, the experiment and the repercussions, I thought the sub-plot lines were also fantastic. The one forbidden love plot line that weaves throughout the book I found to be particularly chilling. I’m very happy with how this was dealt with, and I felt it was an interesting addition to the already drama filled plot. One I absolutely was not expecting when I went into this book.
One thing I rate very highly with this author is that her writing is authentic. It’s truly believable – each character, each plot point, each piece of dialogue screams realism. I often felt I was back in high school and witnessing this next to Bree. Overall, I really loved this book – and I’d definitely be interested in reading the rest of the books in the author’s repertoire.
One of the best YA books I’ve read this year. Definitely recommend.