Thursday, 8 January 2015

REVIEW || The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

Book Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne, August 1st, 2014
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | The 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.
Ultimately The Manifesto on How to be Interesting was a very fun read and is definitely one of the better YA contemporaries I’ve read this year, but in the end I was left unsatisfied and slightly irritated with the ending, and unfortunately the book as a whole. It left me feeling like “well, that was nice… let’s read another book *carries on with life*” and what I mean by this is it didn’t really leave any sort of imprint on me; it was just ehh nice enough, good book, moving ooooon.

Holly Bourne’s writing was engaging but didn’t do anything for me, to be wholly honest, I couldn’t find anything unique about it but the story definitely made up for that, in my eyes. It echoes the likes of Holly Smale’s Geek Girl and Non Pratt’s Trouble – with identifiable characters, a bucket load of personalities, issues, experiences, and other what-not’s that make up a person.

I thought the entire plot of the the novel was fantastically inventive but still totally grounded and real – it was also well executed, from the little elements like Bree being a failing novelist, to the bigger ones like her relationship with, ehem, Logan. (Who by the way, I kind of liked in the beginning, but I now think he is a slimy cockroach of a human who I would happily punch.) I have to say though, it was all a bit predictable, then again I didn't expect it to do a Gone Girl on me, so it wasn't that much of a negative point – but I would have liked something that surprised me a little more. Speaking of the relationship, it was a little hard to get comfortable with the whole student-teacher romance, for me personally because I'm not a big fan of that whole... thing. Although, Bourne did make it a cohesive element of the book and for that I can overlook my discomfort.

Bree as a main character is very, very, true and I think in a lot of cases quite relatable but (of course, there's a but) despite all that I didn't find her a likable character, yet I think that's one thing that actually carried the novel for me. Whereas in most contemporary novels if I don't like the main character then the book just become a lost cause, in The Manifesto it actually works in favour of the book. 

In general The Manifesto on How to be Interesting was a really good book, but was lacking in some areas - yet it is ultimately, what I think to be, one of the best portrayals of a normal (as in no illnesses, no tragedy, etc - just a regular person with regular issues) teenager struggling with school (and social life) that I've seen in YA. I definitely recommend it if you're looking to sample something in the contemporary YA genre.

Rating = 4 Bookish Birds

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This sounds like one I could pick up and flick through pretty quickly if I was in the mood for it. I've never read a teacher/pupil relationship novel... I wonder how I would feel about them. Hmmmm.


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