I have very mixed feelings about this book! 60% of the time I thought this book was the best thing I’ve ever read! I was head over heels in love with it, I related to the characters and was so invested in the story. But 40% of the time, I just wanted to burn this book. Let me explain:
Reasons why I loved this book
- So ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting’ is basically the British Mean Girls and while I’m not your stereotypical teen, I’m a sucker for rom-coms and mainstream teen films. The book follows Bree on a quest to infiltrate the popular group in school and discover how she can become interesting (all in the hopes of becoming a better writer.) Because of this the book was pretty predictable and while there were little scenes that shocked me, I had a general idea of where the plot was moving. However despite following the typical rom-com storyline, this book felt entirely unique.
“Because, admit it, you’re gagging to know what colour I dyed my hair. You can’t wait to see the before and after and what my figure’s like now I’ve actually got the inclination to show it off. Hell, you’re frothing at the mouth in desperation to find out how I’ve made my lips look this damn gorgeous.”
“WE’RE ALL MASSIVE HYPOCRITES. We are. We want beauty. We want to watch beautiful people. We just don’t like to admit that to ourselves.”
- It’s scary how true the above quotes are! While the reader should be caring that Bree is rejecting who she truly is or that she is unable to share her troubles with anyone, we are more obsessed with how she looks and how she will become ‘interesting’. Holly Bourne is very clever!
- One of the best parts of the book was the character development of Bree, the protagonist. She starts off feeling very insecure and she has very little self belief, but Bree doesn’t realise that while her life is flawed, it is still better than the life the popular girls live, the life that most girls dream of having. For most of the book, Bree becomes someone she is not and there came a point when I stopped rooting for her and hoping she’d bring the popular girls down. Instead I pitied her. I found Bree fascinating and in a strange way, inspiring. Plus she is such a relatable character!
- Admittedly when I started this book I thought it was a bit heavy and verging on depressing, but I actually found it surprisingly uplifting towards the end! I feel like I really learned something about myself reading this book!
- Parts of this book I found really hilarious! Though most of me hated the ‘fake’ popular Bree, I loved how sassy she became and how confident her popularity made her.
“You can bow all you like, but I won’t be going into your Gash Palace, Your Highness.”
- Holly Bourne is a magnificent author!
- The characters aren’t all one dimensional. At times we see a more sympathetic portrayal of some of the popular kids!
- The main reason I adore this book is that it made me really think and also question a lot of my ideals. What makes someone interesting? Is being interesting really worth all that? Am I interesting?
Reasons why I disliked this book
- So I’ve you’ve read a lot of my old reviews, you’ve probably realised that I whine a lot about love triangles (especially involving brothers like in Ketchup Clouds.) However horrible brotherly love triangles are nothing compared to the romance in ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting.’ The romance in this book is a teacher/student relationship between Bree and her English teacher. I feel like I understand exactly why Holly Bourne chose to include a relationship like this and it worked really well, but at the same time I cringed every time the couple were together and wanted to throw the book at the wall. Long chunks of text all about Bree and Mr Fellows were hard to get through and painful to read (but perhaps that was the point!)
- I don’t like things that make me cringe a lot (hence why I usually stay away from contemporary and romance novels.) This book certainly had some cringeworthy moments.
- The storyline was pretty predictable… okay very predictable!
- At times this book just really frustrated me, I can’t really explain why!
Overall, I’m going to give this book 3.75 stars! Though I really hated parts of this book, I can’t deny that on the whole, this book was absolutely amazing! Don’t let my negative list put you off this book because in my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives!