Read The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne Online


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 lApparently 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....

Title : The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781409562184
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting Reviews

  • Emma Blackery
    2019-05-18 18:47

    Incredible piece of YA literature. Finally, an author who GETS it. You can say "we were all young once..." but if I had a penny for every time I came across a "young adult" novel that had unrelatable characters, no flaws, unconvincing dialogue... Holly isn't like that. This book will pull you in and refuse to let go. Probably the best YA novel I've ever read, and that's a strong statement to make.

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader
    2019-04-24 15:49

    I am not sure how to feel about the book. The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is basically about a high school outcast who experiments on how to be interesting as part of her research in becoming a writer. It’s kind of formulaic, cliché-ish, quite bitter and anti-humanistic but with a lot of truth to it. As usual, the writing is very bold, revolutionary and feministic. At times though, I feel like it went a bit too far. The things Bree personally decided to do as “parts” of her experiment are a bit too cringe-worthy and it broke my heart that she thought she had to do these things to achieve her dream of being a known writer. I’m still Holly Bourne’s fan. Her themes are always so relevant, current and something that will make you really think about how society really is. I just don’t think this particular book is her best but I’m still looking forward to the rest of the books she wrote.

  • Georgie
    2019-04-23 12:41

    I need to write this review because this book got on my nerves so much. It's great if you love this book. I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Before I started reading, I read a lot of reviews that declared 'The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting' as "the best of the year" or the new "favorite YA novel". I had high hopes, obviously. Instead of a great story with good characters and a solid plot, I found myself reading some kind of soap box speech about teenage culture and its downfalls. The writing's not bad, but the whole story just does not sit well with me on any level. Yes, there's a lot of truth to the themes in this novel. No, that doesn't make the way it was executed acceptable. It makes it unforgivable. This novel touches on a lot of issues that I've dealt with / am still dealing with. I love feeling connected to characters / plots that I can directly relate to - this book was not that. I was bullied horrendously for three and a half years; it's painful and it's horrible and it really, really sucks. Surprisingly, never did I once think that I should get revenge on the people who did it to me, because as much as they made me cry and gave me the problems I still have to deal with today, I knew that they were still people.This book angered me deeply and I only finished it because I wanted there to be some sort of fix for the awful things that Bree does. There wasn't really, there was just more preaching and skimming over issues that could have been approached with much more realism. "I'm horrible and I'm going to hurt you and try and seduce your boyfriend and I'm sorry but I have to."I mean, in what world do you sympathize with a character who thinks things like that? My friends have had to listen to me rant about Bree's stupidity all week long. I can't accurately describe how annoyed I was whilst reading. I want to make it clear that I think this novel offers some unfortunately truthful musings on teenage life, and that's great. What is not great at all is the way they're executed. Maybe it's me. Everyone seems to worship this book and I cannot understand that at all.

  • Julia
    2019-05-08 20:48

    Out of 70 books, this was the best book I have read this year.I could give you a 2000 words essay about how much I loved this book, but I don't think anything I'd write would nearly describe just how AWESOME it was. So I guess you'll have to find out for yourself if you want to know. :-)

  • Hannah
    2019-05-10 14:59

    LOVED this! Such a great take on "high school drama", identity & self-harm. So proud of my friend Holly for writing this & so glad I enjoyed it otherwise things would be awkward between us...

  • Kate (GirlReading)
    2019-05-15 18:40

    3.75* Firstly I have to say I really enjoy the way Holly Bourne writes. Her books are such comfortable reads. They flow brilliantly and read so quickly. I pretty much zoomed through and finished this in one sitting. Holly somehow manages to tackle difficult topics in a way that makes them 'easy' to read.With that being said, I didn't love this book. I enjoyed it but there's something making it hard for me to work out how I feel about it. I'm conflicted. The whole book gave me a huge 'Mean Girls' movie vibe, it was similar in so many ways that I couldn't stop comparing the two. I found myself struggling to warm to Bree's character which is odd considering we're somewhat similar in things we've dealt with/how we've felt. I just think In the ways that we're not similar, we're such polar opposites I found it hard to connect with her and her actions, especially towards others. BUT I couldn't stop reading, I was drawn into the book and the lives of these characters despite pretty accurately predicting what would happen. I just don't know how to feel. I enjoyed it, I think, just not as much as I had expected too. I think I possibly put my expectations on this book too high after loving Holly's other book 'Am I Normal Yet?' so much. I will 100% continue to read whatever Holly Bourne writes because, as I said, I LOVE the way she writes and they way I read her books!

  • Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
    2019-05-17 12:33

    I still don't know how I feel about this book. It was exactly like 'Mean Girls', in the way that a girl who thinks she's a loser, and social outcast, works her way up to the top of the popularity ladder with the application of lipstick and expensive hosiery. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the reality. The novel only really understood girls on a surface level, and took a long time before an epiphany was reached that even mean girls are human. I really liked the blogging element, and the idea about getting to know people before you judge them, but a lot of the characters had a very high opinion of themselves, and I just wasn't about that. Still, I'm really intrigued to read more from Holly Bourne, there's definitely something special there.

  • PaigeBookdragon
    2019-05-01 19:48

    Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set...Why do people always think that being in the "popular set" can make them "interesting"?

  • Nova
    2019-05-12 14:49

    (First of all a quick note to say I haven't edited this review. It's a mess. I'm tired. Oh well. I hope it's coherent.)This book was... okay.It had a message. It was well-written (ish). It kept me coming back and turning the page, desperate to read more explicit details of Bree's messy experiment. But it was also problematic.Bree was generally a very strange character. She had depth, yes- immensely so, as we figure out- but she seems like an ego-maniac, to be blunt. Maybe the author was trying to portray the teenage mind, but I think that would be a harsh criticism. Bree thinks she's smart, she thinks she's a brilliant writer, she thinks she looks hot after a makeover and that everyone suddenly loves her. In that sense, she's completely egoistic and ridiculously far from modest.But she also hates herself. Thinks she's not important, a loner, and has an incessant need to leave a mark on the world. To fall in love, to be part of the popular crowd. Everything in this book seems like a great big plot device. The story doesn't seem organic, nor real. It's like a parody of every cliche teen movie you've ever watched. The supporting characters only developed when it was called for by the plot. They are not deep unless Bree acknowledges them as such, if that makes sense. 99% of the time, they are vapid, 2D photocopies of what they could be. Airhead popular girls, arsehole players, hipster nerd boys, that one teacher that's somehow 'different'? But no tears are shed, no confessions are made until it moves Bree's narrative along.Maybe a bit of a spoiler: this book incorporates self-harm. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I can't really judge it, but it's never really thoroughly discussed, I think it would take up more than Bree's life than it does. Moving on to the actual writing of the book, though, I have to say it was relatively good. I loved the quick-witted banter and the snarky comebacks, but they made the entire story seem a bit larger-than-life. A lot of pop-culture/political references are made, even used as metaphors, which I initially liked but I soon realised it was done in a way that was more awkward than 'hip'.I also have to say that the actual Manifesto makes much too little of an appearance. I thought it would be a major plot point, but instead gets dragged along until it plays a role in the solution of the book. I would have liked more of a gritty look at writing such a thing, more self-awareness on Bree's part. She is, after all, publishing something for all the world to see. I thought the entirety of the book's solution was a bit out of the blue. Things all seemed very rushed and forced, because of course Bree's father's best friend would be the world's best lawyer, (view spoiler)[and of course her blog suddenly blows up, makes people worship her and overthrow the popular clique. Of course Holdo comes running back, Bree suddenly decides to change her life around, and of course she starts playing happy family. (hide spoiler)] Of course.All in all, this book was an experience. I liked the critical view it had on popularity and what it means to be interesting, but it didn't seem quite organic. Real. It lacked instinctual, realistic insight, and I think that was inevitably its downfall. The book itself- much like Bree- was trying too hard to be something it wasn't.

  • Lara
    2019-05-23 16:01

    I gave up reading this, this book made me cringe way to much and teacher-student relationship made me gag alot so Im done with this book sorry!

  • Ellen
    2019-05-21 12:40

    I hated this book. That sounds so harsh, because I thought I would never hate a book. I have always valued the authors craft, even if a book just wasn't for me. But this book was... So so so problematic. Let's start with Bree. She tries to self proclaim herself as a feminist voice but shames girls for liking boys. 'I have self respect'Yeah, Bree, self respect is self defined. Not up to your judgemental standards. There was an intense amount of girl hate in this book. Why do authors keep writing books about bullying and play it off as girl hate? It's so out of touch to how a real school exists. There will always be bullies in schools, but this book was not about bullying at all. It was girls hating girls, becoming friends with the girls they hate, then hating girls again."it must be hard to be male and a feminist"no it's not? The author tries to make this funny. But it just misses the mark completely. When she's trying to make Holdo (who I actually liked, shock horror) the only boy in the book who was intelligent and questioning of the world and then portray him as a joke to us. It's like the author can only make 2D characters.Oh, and don't forget when Bree (view spoiler)[tries to sleep with him because she feels like he 'deserves' it to make up for her being a shitty friend. (hide spoiler)]"Shhh Bree. Stop being a feminist just for now." Bree I would love for you to become a feminist at all. Maybe then you wouldn't succumb to girl hate, would value your worth more than what boys think of you, and would have some self esteem for you to be you.The author tries to make Bree a feminist voice so so badly. But if your whole book is full of anti feminist ideas then it just doesn't work."Someone's got man PMS." Stop equating womanhood to weakness and over emotional-ness. Stop saying that males have to be emotionally inept. I get that I'm nit picking, but it was a constant stream of things that made me think- Hm. I wouldn't want any young girl to read this and adopt that view.It also used the 'Popular Girls Don't Eat' cliche at one point. I don't need to explain why that is a bad idea to have in a book.Bree aspired to be an author, but there was no mention of any characters she had created. She didn't take nay inspiration from the world around her. The manifesto was often in the back ground and literally could have just been about Bree's desire to be popular.Bree also think she's a good writer because she got full marks in English Language GCSE. In my English Language GCSE, I remember the question being a letter about a music festival, and what events would you plan for the attendees. Either the author didn't do research into this, or she just didn't care.But I don't think any aspiring writer will hold their GCSE exam as a credit to them and their writing. Next is the Self-Harm in this book. It was so casually mentioned within the first few pages- and it was only a sentence, We knew that Bree Self-Harmed, but we didn't know anything about how it affected her emotionally. It was like a surface issue. We don't know why Bree does it. We don't know if she wants to stop. We don't know whether she feels guilty about it. Or whether she's ashamed. It was treated so casually, and on the surface. IT's like the Author researched the semantics of Self-Harm, but never went any deeper than that. It's a worrying thing to have in a book. I don't think the author discouraged it, even at the end. (view spoiler)[where Bree accidentally almost kills herself because of her Self-Harming. (hide spoiler)] She didn't discourage it because the true severity, the true strain it can have on someones life, was never touched upon.Mental Illness as a whole was touched upon so lightly in this book. There's a part where Bree discovers anti depressants in a characters bathroom when looking for something else."The usual anti depressants"I get that depression is a common mental illness to have, and maybe the author was trying to play it off like this, but if a character had that in their bathroom then they or their family members would have had depression- which is massive. It would have changed their life temporary and the author just skips over that happily to get back to teen drama. It's like Bree has no empathy at all for anyone else, that or she just wants to be popular so badly she's willing to destroy anything in herself that would recognise someone as another human being.There's so much I could talk about in this book but the worst part is definitely the presence of a teacher student relationship. The author does the usual "Oh, this shouldn't happen. But it feels so RIGHT. Oh, this is illegal. But he's so gorgeous!"The teacher was a predator. He broke the law. (view spoiler)[But he gets no repercussions in the book at all! He's free to teach somewhere else, ready to attack another teenage girl. (hide spoiler)]As always, the author skips over the severity of this issue. It's a very real thing. IT's not that she fails to mention that the teacher was wrong, it's that she fails to reenforce that. Bree doesn't believe that what he does is wrong, therefore we don't believe what he does is wrong. I don't understand why authors use this relationship so much. It's creepy. It's dangerous. Often, it doesn't get the true resolution it deserves.There were so many other things in this book I could have talked about but these were the main issues I had. I'll leave you with my favourite quote from the whole thing:"Her heart...hurt. She didn't know her organs could get cramp."

  • Patricia Crowther
    2019-05-03 14:42


  • Ally
    2019-05-05 13:54

    Choose life. Choose love. And always remember to live.I think it’s time to admit that I’m too old for YA contemporary. Shit, I never thought that would happen. To be honest I never thought I would become a fully certified adult. It’s not something that I wanted for myself. But here I am, paying car tax, doing crafts and getting excited about home decor and help. There’s nothing wrong with anyone, of any age reading YA contemporary (I’d certainly be a hypocrite if I said that there was), but I feel personally our relationship is slowly coming to an end. We’ve had a good run. But our opinions are at odds now. The magic is dying and it’s sad, sure but I feel like we’ve just… grown apart. There’s been a couple of books recently that have made me go EEP I’M GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS, but it was pretty apparent with The Manifesto on How to be Interesting. This isn’t a bad book. It’s just that my own ideas about how to resolve problems and conflicts are so at odds with Bree, the protagonist that it was hard for me to relate to her.Being interesting isn't important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you're proud of.For a long time, I would never have called myself mature. I like YA, puppies, I have so many Disney stuffed characters around my apartment, I’m still crap at doing make up and I never plan ahead. But… I’ve realised (yes, 2016 truly was the year of realising things) that being mature is about so much more than your likes and dislikes and your shitty dress sense. It’s about the way that you communicate and express yourself, the way that you behave and how you view other people. And I’m finding the way that characters in YA contemporary behave increasingly frustrating. I find myself calling them dumb, but that’s unfair of me. They’re not dumb, they’re just young. And the authors aren’t bad authors for creating “dumb” characters. They’re good authors because they've nailed teenage behaviour. Bree’s actions I could easily sit here and list as ridiculous and selfish and immature. And yep, I’d be right. She’s all of those things. But she’s not wrong for being that way. She’s just a teenager going through a tough time without the gift of experience to be able to pick the best course of action. One misplaced comment from a teacher and she completely reinvents herself in an attempt to become interesting and infiltrate the popular clique in order to gather material for the book she wants to write after her previous two novels were wholeheartedly rejected by the publishers she submitted to. She playacts while she internally rolls her eyes at her classmates who she considers to be stupid, and petty, and beneath her. Okay, the girls she’s targeting are bullies, but they’re also people. To be fair to Bree, she does come to realise this and I enjoyed the way that Holly Bourne humanised the “bad guys”. So often the bullies are just cardboard cutouts of human garbage, soulless evil incarnate. So it was interesting to see them fully fleshed out and Bree even beginning warm to them as friends. But all the arrogance, the superiority, the isolation, that Bree maintains throughout the story was inexplicable for me. I found it all so infuriating. When Bree refused to open up to her awesome mum and her supportive friend Holdo, when she took unnecessary risks in her relationship with the weird teacher, when she continued to blindly follow through with her plan to destroy the popular girls even though her opinion of them was changing, when she ditched her old friend overnight in favour of the “plan” but didn’t share what she was doing? I just: I don’t think it’s even a case of poor character development. I genuinely think it’s just me. Bree's character does develop. Just not entirely in the way I would have liked to see. She comes to the conclusion that she needs to accept herself for who she is and while that’s great and all, it’s not the whole picture. Yes, you should learn to love who you are, but you should ditch this attitude of “this is who I am and if anyone doesn’t like it, they can fuck off” because that’s not how the world works. You do have to be flexible and you should be open to other people’s point of view and critique. But maybe that’s a lesson that someone of Bree’s age isn’t ready for? I don’t know. I thought that when Bree began her affair with the teacher things would kind of kick up a notch, and it rekindled my dwindling enthusiasm for the book. But honestly? It felt so random. I understand that she had been crushing on this teacher for a while, but to have the relationship play out the way it did seemed more like a dreamscape tacked on to the plot than anything based in reality. I’m not sure what we’re even supposed to take away from the whole debacle other than Bree is clearly not ready for a high-stakes, adult relationship. Oh, and the teacher is a shit. He messed both Bree and his wife around and then just up and left at the end leaving Bree with no closure. What a douche. I don’t know if I can recommend this book or not because I genuinely don’t know how I feel about it. To be fair, it was entertaining so long as you can weather the crushing, visceral secondhand embarrassment that it provokes (oh man, Bree fucks up proper good several times and my stomach literally hurt with it). But.. The way Bree behaves really pissed me off. A lot. But will that bother you if you’re the age that this book is actually intended for? See, this is my dilemma. You might be able to take something away from this story that went completely over my head because I’ve moved on from all the high school drama bullshit that the book is crammed with. Like, there is good stuff in here like remembering that everyone is just a human being, same as you, and most of the time, we’re all just doing the best we can. And that changing how you appear on the outside won’t magically fix everything on the inside. But I don’t know guys... Maybe I'm just having an old-woman crisis? Send help.

  • Eden Davis
    2019-05-02 14:58

    I just finished this book and felt compelled to write a review. I seriously have no idea why it's so highly praised. It's predictable and unrealistic and so unbelievably similar to the plot of Mean Girls... I could hardly believe when I saw that the author had actually quoted 'Mean Girls' in the book! If you've seen the film, this book will feel very familiar - however, it fails to be as funny/iconic. Also, if you're a PLL fan you'll probably end up guessing one big twist in the story. I'm not sure why I finished this book, most likely so that I could leave an informed review. It was disappointing, uninspired and just 'meh'. I feel like some girls will relate to some of Bree's problems, but I'd suggest watching My Mad Fat Diary, Skins, Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars instead of reading this book. I actually didn't mind the writing style so I'm going to try to read 'Soulmates' and 'Am I Normal Yet?' and hope they have better plots.

  • Miss Page Turner
    2019-05-04 17:59

    First impression: Unique story approach and a protagonist worth getting to know better. Holly Bourne introduces us to Bree, a quiet girl who is very intelligent and withdrawn. Soon she's going to change radically. In the beginning she has a fantastic relationship with her best friend Holdo. They watch movies together and hang out. They have a very trusting and intimate friendship that makes both their lives so much brighter. It is a friendship that I recognized as something very important for Bree's story. One that could've worked against the mean girl streak she's developing at some point. Unfortunately, Holly Bourne allowed Bree to completely neglect the great support I saw in their friendship and ditch Holdo for her fake new life.Second glance: I can honestly say that I didn't like Bree anymore once she was caught in her plan to become popular at all costs. And all for the cause of her own curious social research for her writing. Her goal is to seduce Hugo and become friends with his girlfriend and their clique in order to observe their life and analyse their ways of being interesting and popular. I hated that everythigng was kind of an experiment for her and that she didn't really want to change her life the way she did because she wanted to live it that way. It all felt kind of fake and I couldn't but cringe at the sure future outcome and the unfairness towards the people she was deceiving.What could've saved Bree's story for me wasn't present. A romance that I could enjoy and get lost in. In all her confusion and revenge I was hoping for Bree to find a person who would be so good for her that she could finally accept herself. Her relationship to her teacher is an prominent part of the story in order to distinguish and show readers the difference between fake and real Bree. But sadly I'm no big fan of reading about student teacher romances. Don't you find them kind of irritating, too?Still, sometimes I even found myself engaging in Bree's transformation and hoped for the popular kids to actually like her so that she could establish an honest and kind friendship with them. Her manifesto changes the relationship to her parents as well and especially the bond between mother and daughter. The family part of Bree's story was probably my favourite because it was the one most real and emotional.Holly Bourne's writing was skillful and that's why I'll definitely read her debut novel SOULMATES soon.3/5 *** THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING - A very delicate thought experiment for every reader!THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING explores the depths of a teenager's feelings of failure and unacceptance. How important is popularity and success for a young adult? And how much is someone willing to sacrifice of what's been good in his or her life if they can get something supposedly better? Would you be willing to hurt the people you love in order to reach that goal?

  • Ellis
    2019-05-03 17:35

    So what did I think? From my high ranking you can guess that I enjoyed this book a lot. And I did. But it still isn't a book I would recommend everybody. First of all there is a big trigger warning for selfharm. And then again I guess you have to like this kind of story and they way it is told. I thought it was brilliant and didn't feel that connected to a book, not just to the characters but to the whole book in a while. I love it. I really think people overuse the word love and I try not to. But that just sums it up so well. I love it. And I know that not everybody will like this type of humor. Or the moral aspects of this book. I didn't like everything that happened in this book or agreed with everything. But this doesn't change my opinion at all. I think if you like book with a great writing style who talk about serious topics without drowning you in depression, this is the book.I thought I had more to say, but I don't really want to give others to high expectations. I wouldn't say this is the best book I have ever read. But it is one of the books I related to and felt for the most. Maybe the best book I have read this year. Maybe not. It was different and I enjoyed it. I guess that all I have to say, you have to see yourself.

  • Larnacouerde SH
    2019-05-09 20:39

    3,5İlk çeyrekte tamam dedim, yine bildiğimiz sıradan kötü kızlar ve diğerleri teması, yarıya kalmaz keserim bunun biletini ama gördüğünüz gibi kesmeye kalmadan kitabı bitirdim. *Smirking-Face-Emoji*Konu bildiğimiz bi' Mean Girls olsa da keyifle okunduğunu söyleyebilirim. Gariptir ki altını çizecek cümleler bulabilir ve henüz 47 yaşında değilseniz hayatınıza yön verecek fikirler edinebilirsiniz. Ben mi? Benim için artık çok geç; 25 yıldır yaşıyorum, 47 yaşındayım geceleri uyumadan evvel Ludovico Einaudi'nin albümlerini dinliyorum teşekkürler​.

  • Badz (Abandoned Marionette)
    2019-05-04 15:42

    I actually did not finish this book. I meam, I tried so hard to psuh through so that I could give a review concerning its entireity, but after just 100 pages, I just cannot stand it anymore.You see, I have seen this book everywhere and a lot of people I know completely fell in love with it. And so when I started readong it, I was so surprised at how annoying the main protagonist is.This is the type of book which claims to portray feminism but ruins the essence of it in actuality. The narrator claims to be a feminist yet she does a lot of thing to condratict that. She is constantly putting down other women, thinking herself as more superior because she doesn't care about looks "like other girls".I just don't like books like this because it is misleading and it's an example of why people think 'feminism' = 'man-hater' = something negative.To be more visual, here is how I look while reading through the first few chapters:“I’m much smarter than most people.““What pretty person achieved anything of merit anyway?”“And for pretty girls at school, their moment would soon be over. They were peaking at their happiness levels much too early. Which is why Bree stayed ugly–to delay the peakage to a usefulage. Another reason why Bree was much smarter than most people.““He was the only person who shared her intellect levels and decide to do something with their privilege instead of resting on the laurels of wealth.”And all these in just the first chapter. I can’t. Oh god.

  • Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
    2019-05-03 18:37

    Review originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction (book blog):https://afrolicthroughfiction.wordpre...I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I should have read this book first. Out of all of Holly Bourne’s books that I’ve read so far, I should’ve started with this one. Purely because when I read Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? I absolutely adored them, so my expectations for this one were high, to say the least. Everything that was said in those books I agreed with…and I feel like the exact opposite happened with this one, so that was a shock to the system.But more on that later.I did enjoy this book. I’m pretty sure by now that Holly Bourne has a theme of mentioning important topics in her books. Well, this one’s no different. While the main theme is popularity, self harm, friendship, family and many teenage issues are mentioned throughout. The amount of things covered actually impressed me. And they were all done quite well – even if they were only mentioned rather than being explored in more depth, just that acknowledgment that these issues exist was enough for me to add a tick.With this book being set in a school, the teen culture was obviously really strong. The way people act, the groups that form in school, the workload – everything seemed exactly the same as when I was in school myself. Which again, impressed me, because every time I’ve read a book set in a school so far it’s been a bit cheesy and full of stereotypes. But in this case, it felt real and I could relate to the experiences there.I really liked one specific thing this book explained about writing. I’m not a writer myself, but still this one thing really stood out to me. Our main character Bree is a wannabe writer, and so obviously she tries. That’s how the story kicks off. But what this book does is point out that while school is important, getting the grades is usually only helpful for getting further education. The writing you do in your GCSE’s is not the sort of thing that would be published and read for enjoyment. To be a good writer, you need to be passionate about what you’re writing, not just believe you’re good at it because of your grades. And like I said before, even though I’m not a writer myself, I was really glad to see this mentioned. To get the message out there.From the synopsis you can see this is a story about unpopular nerdy girl Bree trying to change herself in order to be more interesting. And I think it’s this what made me a bit..hesitant towards this book. For me, if I’m going to really enjoy a book, I have to either really like the main character or at least be able to relate to them. And with myself being one of those unpopular nerdy girls in school (and currently in college), I thought I’d be able to relate to Bree. But honestly, I couldn’t.And I know exactly why. While I liked the fact that Bree was nerdy and loved reading, I didn’t have anything else in common with her in ways of attitude. Like I said, the entire synopsis of the book is about how she’s planning on changing herself to suit other people more. And that, I actually really hate the idea of. She hides the fact that she loves reading, whereas I’m the sort who proudly talks about it nonstop. Granted, I was a bit awed at her determination to carry the entire idea out, but other than that, every single decision she made had me shaking my head slightly. I couldn’t really connect with her, since every time she did something I’d be sat thinking “whyyyyy Bree whyyyy?!?“The ending of this book was really quite dramatic. I mean, the events leading up to it were dramatic enough, and some of them were slightly uncomfortable to read about, I must say. But they WERE interesting to read about, so I guess the point of “the manifesto on how to be interesting” worked after all. And that’s why I appreciated this book – even though I hardly agreed with anything from it, I still found it interesting to read about. I do still have some questions after reading. The dramatic ending seemed a little bit cut short to me, and I want to know just a little bit more about what happened after. But other than that, I quite liked how the story was rounded off.I still wish I’d read this book of Holly Bourne’s first. I feel like if I had, the high expectations wouldn’t have been knocked down, and the rating might have been slightly higher. I know the ratings for this book are quite mixed, so I suppose it depends on the person. But even so, I thought this was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend picking it up if you’re interested.

  • ♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤
    2019-05-20 14:53

    So incredibly honest and raw- I cried my heart out, I related to this so much. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Honestly one of the most relatable and sad books I have ever read

  • Inge
    2019-05-18 12:35

    Found it very, very hard to root for this main character. Her actions (and the reasoning behind them) constantly baffled me. Still, Holly Bourne's way of writing feels effortless and it's an enjoyable read.

  • Dust&Shadows
    2019-04-26 14:53

    I read this a year ago and my review was long but crappy.I decided that I won't rewrite it because right now I don't have much time but I wanted to state that even though this book was entertaining(and I really enjoy reading about boarding or prep schools)and the writing was good enough though not special the book was just too cliché,it was not special or original,it seemed partly pointless,the characters were mostly there to exist and had no personality,the MC made me shake my head myriads of times with her stupid and bad thought out decisions and even though the message was good it was very indirect and sometimes too direct and basically like a cliché movie which was partly like Mean Girls and partly like other girly teen movies.The cover was gorgeous but that really does not count.Lastly teacher-student relationships are ,in my opinion,wrong and usually fake in a way(platonic is the word) and I'm glad that at the end Bree realized that even though it took her a lot of time.At the end of the day I found myself spending a lot of time reading this book,staying up at nights,sometimes rooting for Bree and loving the mother-daughter bond that was created so I have to say that Holly is a skillful writer and that I would buy more of her books to see if there's character development,a more original plot and devour the addicting writing as well as showcase the beautiful neon covers of her books.I've heard a lot about how heartbreaking and beautiful her debut is and I have my eye on it.By the way I don't know if Bourne knows French but Hugo D' can't really put an apostrophe when there is no vowel,it's De Felance,but that's another thing altogether.:D

  • Saliha
    2019-05-11 21:00

    Yazarın vermeye çalıştığı mesajı kitabın tamamından defalarca kez daha çok sevdim. -> "Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of.”

  • Sedef Tekiner
    2019-05-07 19:00

    2.5'tan 3 veriyorum. O ne boktan, anlamsız bir sondu öyle. Nefret ederim belirsizlikten. Karakterlerin hepsi beş para etmez olmasına rağmen konu 'ilginç' sayılır. ( Bayılırım kelime oyunlarına sjsksjdk)

  • Shann
    2019-05-17 12:32

    My first read of 2015 could not have been a better choice. After purchasing this back on August, even just the cover has had me so exited to indulge in this read. I didn't realise that the author, Holly Bourne had also written my all time favourite book 'Soulmates' that I read a little over a year ago now and as soon as the connection clicked, I knew I had l read it as soon as possible. Holly Bourne is such an incredible author and I love that her characters all suffer from serious problems that affect so many people on a daily basis. In this case the main character suffered from self harm and in Soulmates the main character had severe panic attacks. The Manifesto on how to be Interesting is a book I wish existed about five years ago for me when I was in high-school and feeling like a complete and utter social outcast. This book has touch me in so many ways, it's hard to put into words how much I loved ever aspect of it.Bree is an incredible character; she does the thing many people wish they had the guts to do and learns so much from it and I think we learn a lot along the way too. I felt like I was experiencing the things that Bree was experiencing myself. It gripped me, made me feel emotional and nostalgic for my school days and had me broken with tears and ecstatic with happiness. The real-to-life effect that this book has makes it an incredible read, and what's the point of reading a book if you don't at least relate To it and learn something along the way too? I wish I could buy every copy and hand them out to all those struggling through high-school because I think it would help a lot. It's nice to find a book, a set of characters who feel exactly the same way as you do, who suffer the same way you do. Having something to relate to and something that reminds you that maybe you aren't alone is a wonderful thing, a heart warming moment.All I can wish for is that Holly Bourne keeps on writing for many more years to come.

  • Anna (Enchanted by YA)
    2019-05-20 17:45

    Did not finish at page 112Maybe I was yet to find the message in this book, maybe it was too critical on teenage life, maybe the main character wasn't at all relateable, maybe I'm not the right age so this hits too close to home. Or maybe this book simply wasn’t for me.Whatever the case, I won’t be continuing this book, though I hope to read Soulmates in the future.

  • emma
    2019-05-13 13:34


  • Atlas
    2019-04-27 18:52

    I need to be interesting, Logan, I need to be someone*1 / 5 My secondary school years a couple of years behind me now, but looking back I feel like I had a fairly typical experience: a small group of close friends, studied hard, mostly enjoyed myself. The worst age was probably fourteen to about sixteen where I was gangly and socially awkward. A couple of boys were mean to me, but I wouldn't say I was bullied. In Sixth Form, aged sixteen to eighteen, I had an amazing time. Not so for Bree.Bree sighed, bored of this evening, bored of her life. Tired of it always feeling like sludge to wade through. Queen's Hall school is the most cliche of high schools. I'm not really sure such a thing actually exists in reality. I sat down and thought pretty hard and I couldn't name a "popular clique" from my school; yeah, there were dickwad boys and pretty girls and social circles, but no Queen Bee terrorising the school. Perhaps I was just lucky that there was no Jassmine (with two s's), Gemma, Jessica, or Emily running around spreading evil gossip and naked photos of other girls. Bree is a failed seventeen year old writer who is instantly dislikable. There's little gems like "Another reason why Bree was much smarter than most people" sprinkled everywhere. Bree and her bestfriend Holdo are social rejects and Bree doesn't care until she realises that her writing sucks and that her life is boring. So she gets a makeover, runs a blog, and decides to infiltrate the popular group and steal Jassmine's boyfriend for an experiment, to give her writing material. The thing is, it could have worked. I read and enjoyed another of Bourne's YA novels, Am I Normal Yet?, about teen girls and she has a really good writing style. Unfortunately, I absolutely hated this book. Forgive me Virginia Woolf, Bree thought to herself, for I have sinnedNo one is likeable. Bree is pitiable and misguided at best, incredibly self-absorbed, naive, and arrogant at worst. Her best friend "Holdo" is a walking cliche: loves the Godfather, names himself after a Catcher in the Rye character, insists on proper grammar, and has a massive pornography stash. I think he's supposed to be likeable and a yardstick to measure Bree by, instead he just reminds me of every sleazy "devil's advocate" boy I've ever met. The mean girl possy is, of course, mean by definition, and I think every single other boy in this book is horny, sleazy, and entirely sex-obsessed. Even Bree's parents are distant and only show a glimmer of promise towards the end. It's such a doorstopper of a novel. 450 pages is excessive for a YA novel, but it can work. Just not in this case. It doesn't help that the plot is so meandering, wandering from Bree's reflections on her rise to popularity, the "revelation" that mean girls are, gasp, actual human beings with thoughts and feelings, Bree's writing projects (which don't feature nearly enough), her relationships with boys and her parents, and self-harm. I had the same problem with Bourne's other book in that Bourne tries to tackle too much, but I enjoyed Am I Normal Yet? a heck of a lot more than this one. She'd expected a wealth of knee-jerking discoveries about these girls. A glimpse into the hidden brilliant-ness of what made them so powerful. But they just seemed like normal, average girlsWhat absolutely cinched this as a one star book, for me, was the presence of a student-teacher relationship. I wouldn't have touched this if I had known it would feature one so heavily. It made me feel ill to read about it, about Bree's married English teacher who kissed her when she was sixteen. Frankly, I thought it was disgusting and Bourne did not do anywhere near enough to condemn it. It's not that I think Bourne approves of student-teacher relationships, it's just that the book is so heavily from Bree's perspective that all you get, all you experience is Bree's utter adoration and fascination with this man who, objectively, is not only disgusting but also sad, shallow, and pathetic. Overall, I recommend people skip this book and try some of Bourne's The Spinster Club books, which I found to be much more enjoyable. Read this review and more on my blog:

  • AlbertGubler
    2019-05-16 14:35

    "The Manifesto on How to be Interesting" is an very inconsistent, but ultimately very entertaining book. I could argue that I'm probably not in the target group for this novel, but after reading so many contemporary YA books with a boy at its center (Looking for Alaska, Kind of a Funny Story, Spectacular Now, The Beginning of Everything), I almost got the feeling that books needed to be set in the dystopian future to focus more on a girl (Hunger Games, Divergent, 5th Wave with TFIOS as an exception). So I'm glad that this one focuses on a girl.The story is about Bree, a seventeen-year old self-described failed writer who is very, very rich and is an outcast at her posh private school in a town outside of London. The book in general is very British with words like bloke and gash oozin out of every page and with Rugby being the school sport and not American football. After her teacher, on whom she has a massive crush on, tells her she needs to be more interesting to be a better writer, she undergoes a makeover and tries to ingratiate herself with the popular crowd...The reason why I say the book is inconsistent is because there passages and descriptions that were not very elegant and made me cringe. But in general, Ms Bourne managed to create an interesting and deep main character while also making me care for the other characters around. Bree is also very clever and witty and quite aware of her shortcomings. I also really enjoyed the depiction of Bree's mother, who seems to be a grade A plastic, but is very caring and quite smart actually and of her father, a powerful absentee dad. The whole story had a very "Mean Girls" vibe to it and with the movie being one of the best teen movies around, I did really enjoy the plot.I found some of the pacing to be off with a lot of weight put on the build-up and less focus on the aftermath of her actions. But for me, the book got stronger the closer it got to the ending. In the end, I spent a few very entertaining hours in the book's world and enjoyed the message (which is kinda in your face, but hey, it is YA) it conveyed.EDITs: Typos and Grammar mistakes.

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-04-30 19:38

    I rang in 2017 with a Holly Bourne, so I was hoping to wait until the New Year to read this. But Thursday saw me feeling a little down—not in any serious way, but just in the sense that I wanted a book that wouldn’t be too sad. Bourne’s writing, despite involving sensitive issues—in this case, bullying, sexual harassment/assault, and self-harm and attempted suicide (trigger warning: I will discuss these later)—always puts me in a better mood. She has this way of buoying you, of making you feel hopeful even as she portrays adolescents at the nadir of their experiences. So I opened up The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, figuring I would read the first few chapters in the bath, then knit and watch a movie for the rest of the evening. I should have known better: I ended up reading nearly two-thirds of the book that night and finished it early the next morning.Bree begins this book as a self-professed “loser” whose obsession with writing and disappointment over her rejections clouds her enjoyment of her college (A-Level) years. A comment from her English teacher gives her the idea to start an anonymous blog, titled the same as this book, and completely change her look, behaviour, and attitude in an effort to become more “interesting”. Bree’s alterations will have her growing closer to her mom, at least superficially, and befriending the Popular Girls at her school—but she will alienate her best friend, make decisions she will come to regret, and sacrifice her core beliefs, all in the name of experiencing enough that she might finally write something “good”.Bourne perfectly captures the particular brand of desperation that follows you around in adolescence. This is not the same desperation that those of us in our late twenties feel—that ticking clock of “Wait, is this all there is? I haven’t even figured out my life yet! Oh God, don’t tell me I need to do grad school to get a real job!” No, this is a fresher sense of desperation; it still has that new-hormone smell. Bree needs to be published, needs to be recognized, needs to be interesting. It’s a conflict created by her internal ambition trying to express itself in a world that, sadly, often tells teenagers to sit down and shut up—or encourages them to funnel their self-expression into acceptable, muted, channelled avenues.On the surface, Bree’s journey into the land of pretty and popular follows the trajectory of numerous other, similar stories: she gets herself a makeover, shows up at school a Whole New Girl™, knocks the socks off everyone, and slides into the Popular Girls clique. She takes on a new persona—kind of, though she’s allowing herself little breathers by helping her English teacher with the Year 8 creative writing club. She collects as much material as possible and begins to formulate the “rules” that make up her manifesto, the ways in which to live in order to ensure maximum Life Experience and therefore, hopefully, maximum interesting writing.Dig deeper, though, and that’s where The Manifesto on How to be Interesting really gets … well … interesting. Bourne is here to remind us that all those stock characters in the books and movies like this one are actually, when you dig down, real people. Bree’s mom isn’t aloof—she’s confused and conflicted about her daughter’s teenage reticence to bond, and until Bree asks her to go shopping, has no idea how to talk to her daughter. Jassmine, Jessica, Gemma, and Emily aren’t plastic bitch-queens-in-training: they’re girls Bree’s own age, just as human and damaged as she is, just coping with it differently.The best and rawest moments of this book are when Bree has a heart-to-heart with the least likely of people. For example, when she and Jassmine are preparing for a party, and the latter discovers Bree’s cut marks on her thighs, Jassmine confesses to her own type of self-harm. It’s a significant, genuine moment undercut by the dramatic irony of Bree deceiving Jassmine when it comes to the reasons behind their newfound friendship. Bourne has a knack for depicting teenagers’ behaviours in interesting, dynamic, and accurate ways. From the interactions among the girls to the posturing of Hugo or the actual meanness beneath his exterior, Bourne shows us the myriad ways in which teenagers are constantly re-evaluating their relationships with one another.As a high school teacher myself, I have to confess I found the relationship between Bree and Mr. Fellows difficult to read at the best of times. This is not a criticism of Bourne for including it; she definitely portrays it the way it should be portrayed. I just hate subplots involving teacher–student relationships … I kept yelling at the book as I watched these two characters orbit each other, Bree enjoying the attention, Fellows acting like a creepy, skeevy man who shouldn’t be allowed near children.And then we reach the climax and what, as I’m coming to realize, is Bourne’s hallmark: everything goes pear-shaped. In this particular case, Bree reaches a point where the only recourse seems to be to begin cutting again, and she takes it too far and nearly kills herself. She doesn’t, though, of course, because this is not that kind of book. She wakes up in a hospital, under careful watch—and her parents and her live happily-ever-after, and everything is fine. Except it isn’t, because this is not that kind of book either.No, this is the brilliance of Bourne and the reason I keep reading her books: she finds a middle way. She finds this hopeful path through the dark forest, and it feels very true. Bree is not automatically going to be All Right now that she has had her crisis moment. Nor is she totally lost. There is a darkness in The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, but there is also so much compassion and empathy. There is a message reminding us that even in those moments of absolute loss, there is still hope. But we have to fight for it. And when we are too weak or tired of fighting, we have to be willing to let those who care about us in, so they can fight on our behalf.At over 400 pages, this is a pretty long book. But it moves so fast, and it is so fascinating, and it is so good, that you will probably inhale it like I did. The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is just another example of why I love Bourne’s work and will keep picking up her stuff, hopefully for years to come.Oh, and pat on the back for making it through this entire review without a Mean Girls comparison!