Release: 1st August 2014
Genre: UKYA, Contemporary
"Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. 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."
Last year I was lucky enough to read Holly Bourne’s debut novel Soulmates before publication. It was one of my favourite books of 2013 and I hugely anticipated Holly’s second book which is of course The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting.
Manifesto is a little different from Soulmates in that it’s completely contemporary but one huge similarity is how honest it is. Once again Holly offers us characters who read like real teenagers who are going through relatable situations. It never feels like a fiction story with a typical beginning, middle and inevitable happy ending but more like we are getting a glimpse into a real person’s life and that’s what has quickly made Holly Bourne one of my favourite authors.
The book is about Bree a self-confessed loser who enjoys watching obscure movies with her best friend Holdo and dreams of one day getting one of her many novels published. After one too many rejection letters from agents and publishers and some advice from her English teacher, Bree decides that she needs to be someone who you would want to read about. Bree doesn’t want to be popular but she does want to be interesting and so her blog ‘The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting’ is born as she chronicles her journey into getting a life to use as “research” for her next WIP.
As you’d expect this book is witty and clever. I quickly connected with Bree and was chuckling away after a few pages. What I didn’t expect from Manifesto was it to be so moving. Bree is really insecure in who she is and although she’s a damn good writer she doubts herself and her dreams. Bree reads like a real teenager so although there are plenty of hilarious moments here there are also some serious themes covered too such as self-harm and bullying. I loved that this wasn’t a purely happy or sad book but a messy realistic in between – much like life really.
Basically The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting gave me everything I could ever want in a contemporary read. Holly Bourne’s books are sprinkled with pearls of wisdom when it comes to growing up. I only wish these books were around when I was a teen! If you’re looking for real honest UKYA look no further than Holly Bourne.