Review: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

the manifestoTitle: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Publication Date: 1st August 2014 (Usborne)
Pages: 464
Genre: Contemporary
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones|  |Book Depository|

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. [Goodreads]

‘Is this really a Bourne book?’ was the only thought I could think of as I read myself just past half way. 100% not in a negative way, but the difference between her debut, Soulmates, and this book are huge. I don’t think my review will even do it justice!

Bree has strong hopes to make it into the world as a writer, but after a talk with her teacher telling her she is ‘boring,’ she starts to question herself. Secondary school: where you either sink or swim on the popularity scale. And that, my friends, is where The Manifesto on How to be Interesting springs from.

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is such a compact novel full of thoughts that pop up in teens lives. Not only this, it points out the the unspoken interactions that happen in school and the distancing that can form from life at home too. It doesn’t cut out the worst scenarios, it doesn’t have the soppy fictional scenes, it has what happens and how to overcome it. I did start to realize how much Bourne working at TheSite is how the book turned out the way it has. A reason for which I hope that this book can reach as far and wide as it can.

A lot of young adult novels lack in the presence of an adult/parent and, in this novel, I really loved how Bree’s parents where highlighted throughout the book. Bree’s mum, especially, featured every step of the way through the book and Bourne managed to make her into a solid one rather than the typical “only around for convenience” character.

My emotions for Bree went along a line of unexpectedness. She took roles which every teen wishes they could experience (including me) but then there were a strong boldness to her that made me want to tug her away from what she was doing. From liking Bree, to hating her, to wanting to hug her tight to wanting to slap some sense into her, I went through the whole string of emotions. The depth of Bree was really interesting and how everything slowly unravels. Not everything is stated straight away, there isn’t a mass dump of information about Bree and her life, it was shown more skilfully than simply being told.

If I had to say something that made me sad throughout the book it would be Holdo. A very minor point, I don’t think there is anything that could have been done about it, but I wanted more Holdo. I adored him, and maybe, it’s also because I love reading about girl-boy best friend relationships. Like Soulmates, I had a request of wanting more after the book. In this book, I want to know more about Holdo whilst Bree was under her new identity. Short story maybe? Possibly? Please?


“Being interesting isn’t the point. Being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of.”

My rating:
I really liked it

4 cup



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