Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemprary Fiction
Released Date: August 1, 2014
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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.From the bestselling author of Soulmates comes a fearlessly frank take on school, cliques and crushes.
Our protagonist, Bree, likes to make list about everything, from why she shouldn’t be miserable to why she should be. So in honor of her quirky habit of making list, I’ll try to do the same while reviewing this book.
Reasons why I love the Manifesto on How to be Interesting
- The main character
Bree knew she was a nobody and she likes it. Well, until someone told her to live a life worth reading.
She's an aspiring novelist. Ever since she was 14, she’s been working her butt off researching, plotting and writing her novels. Unfortunately, her hard work for both her first and second books was rejected by every single publisher she queried. But no matter how many rejections she received, she will not let it bring her down. She’s very determined to get her dreams.
Which leads us to reason number 2.
- Bree is committed to achieve her goals. (Maybe, too committed)
Bree is as goal-driven as a bull that sees something red. She won’t stop until she hit that target. So when, someone told her to do more interesting things and be someone she would want to read about, she took it by heart.
She researched what makes people interesting, and by research I mean, watched every chick flick and teen movies she could get her hands on, and observed what the characteristic/traits the lead role has. Then she had a make-over, went on a shopping trip with her mom (for the first time) and went to a cardio class just to achieve Rule #1 in her Manifesto even if she's reluctant about it, at first. How's that for commitment? She did a lot of other things too, some of which were against her moral values. But she did it all for the sake of her experiment.
I was having conflicted emotions about her choices, though. Sometimes I want to stop her from committing a mistake but sometimes, I even urge her to make mistakes just to see how she will react and how she will learn from the consequences of her actions.
- Bree is so realistic, I sometimes feel like I'm reading a diary of a real girl instead of a fictional one.
There were a lot of instances where I have to stop reading because the story is becoming too real for me. I felt an intense emotional connection with Bree and it was overwhelming me at times. She has one of the most honest voices I’ve ever read in YA contemporary and it’s impossible not to empathize with her.
- The writing
"Are you a victim of Jassmine Incorporated? You are not alone. Call our free helpline service on 0800 LIFE'S UNFAIR to talk to a trusted advisor.”
Bree’s POV has a lot of attitude in it. Her tone is a combination of funny, sarcastic, morbid and serious. I was never bored reading it.
- This quote
"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met...And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”
Bree quoted this from her favorite book, The History Boys by Alan Bennett and I was amazed because it was so spot-on, about what Holly Bourne was doing to me while I was reading her book.
I didn’t experience Bree’s biggest issue but I can feel and see the reason behind it. I can feel her need to release all the things that troubled her especially when she can’t handle the stress anymore. She just chose the wrong way to release it. And when Bree finally found someone who understood why she’s doing that to herself. I felt relieved, along with her. She needed someone who can understand and accept that part of her, someone who will make her feel that she’s not alone. And I’m so happy for her when she finally did.
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting deals with school drama, bullying and a lot of heavy and serious issues. It has vulgar languages in it and is not suitable for younger readers (as stated at the back cover). But overall, it was an amazing read for me and I will recommend it to everyone.