I will be diving into the world of Holly Bourne without knowing anything about her and what I am about to read. I just went to our local bookstore one day and hoped that I could find a decent book to read. Then suddenly, The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting happened to show itself in a cramped shelf full of common YA titles. I immediately grabbed it because I thought it would be like a guide and teenager-ized version of a self help book. It was just what I needed, because I felt really unimportant that day. I realized then that the pages were red, and it immediately made me want to get my hands on the book. To be honest, I was too distracted by the red pages that I did not properly read the blurb on the back. I also ended up not buying it because I did not have enough money then.
The sentence above happened last March. I only got the book in October. Isn’t that fun?
Nonetheless, I read it as soon as the book came into my possession. This will be fun. I know it would be.
Title & Author: The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Year Published: August 1st 2014
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Source: Paperback, Bought
“Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. But that’s all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you’re very welcome.”
Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.
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.
It’s like a British version of Mean Girls. Bree reminds me so much of Cady Heron, but nonetheless they two have very different personalities. Also, Bree had some qualities that reminded me of Janice. Imagine Janice, the girl with the black hair who was friends with Cady in the movie Mean Girls. Then transform her into one of The Plastics. You get Bree.
Next we have the Plastics. Tame Regina George and make her cling to Aaron Samuels (who is now a douche with a massive ego and not the type of gentleman that you would want his hair looking sexy when pushed back) desperately, you get Jassmine. Make Gretchen Weiners more evil and make her use her big head that’s full of secrets to add more stuff in the Burn Book AND publicize it, you get Gemma. Put Karen Smith in every school musical and make her have less unintelligent remarks, you get Jessica and Emily.
My Mean Girls comparison stops there. Because in the total sense, The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting is much more than Mean Girls. Because Cady Heron did not have the guts to make a blog called The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting. Bree did.
It was peculiar to read something that speaks to so many of us. I mean, who doesn’t want to be interesting? I admire the fact that Bree really did it. I found her stubborn at first because I don’t get what she is whining about. She is very talented, smart and undoubtedly courageous. She has everything that life has to give. (I mean come on, she could buy all of the books she wants.) Yet somehow, Bree wanted more. She wanted to be recognized and she wanted all the glory that one can have while being a teenager. Then she followed an advice of a crappy grown-up, and it led her to practically change herself. Her blog, The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting, was her only vent. She became a person consumed by her own thoughts, because no one was supposed to know about the manifesto. This brings us to the main issue of the story.
Bree could have had avoided everything if she just talked about it. Sure, it would not change a thing about how the perfect posse and Hugo and his minions would have had treated her, but it would have made her life much more easier. But then, I guess that was needed for her character to progress as a person. It just led me to have this urge to lightly knock on her head… But as the story progressed, Bree stuck to me as a ridiculously honest person. It was that voice of hers that made me want to root for her till the end, even if she did make some pretty dumb decisions.
Yet, the stupid decision making is one of the perks(curses) of being a teenager. Teenagers stumble and fall trying to become someone in high school. We all faced the terrors of going to school everyday with butterflies in our stomachs, thinking about the possibilities of being known by everyone as someone who has achieved a certain thing. One cannot blame Bree on wanting to achieve the same thing.
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’s Bree is the true voice of anyone who wants/has become interesting in many aspects. It was a wonderfully-written book that you could read over and over again. The twists and turns were unexpected. And Bree is the type of heroine that you would want to be with until the end. Her story gives us a valuable lesson that will help us get through any struggle, if one thinks that one has to be more interesting. But in all honesty, just having the book with you automatically makes you interesting. Read it, fall in love with it, and wing Bree’s manifestos. This book is a keeper.
Holly Bourne writes for young adults for a living. She is a journalist for www.TheSite.org, an advice and information website for 16-25 year-olds.
Before this, she spent two years working as a local news reporter on the Surrey Mirror and was nominated as Print Journalist of the Year 2010. She also has a first class degree in Journalism Studies and has won awards for her writing.
Her debut novel, Soulmates, is published by Usborne on September 1, 2013.
I’m back. I would like to thank our mini-sembreak for getting me back on my feet. Oh wait look… Star Wars is on.