I Should’ve Read The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting By Holly Bourne First…


*All reviews I write are spoiler free*

So, this is the third Holly Bourne book I’ve read.

I plan on buying and reading them all, so right now I just need one more (Soulmates) before I have them all – well, that’s until the last book in the Normal series comes out in August.

Anyway, let’s talk about The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting!

(PS. I apologize for the lack of quality in this photo. My review image turned out really bad so I had to find an old photo to use.)

The manifesto on how to be interesting

Title: The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting

Author: Holly Bourne

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Series Status: Standalone

Number of Pages:  448

Synopsis new

(Found on back cover, see other version on Goodreads)

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 by no means popular. Most of the time, she hate her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when Bree is told she needs to stop shutting the world out and start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is born. A manifesto that will change everything…

…but the question is, at what cost?

review new

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.

Rated 3/5 stars

3 stars

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Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book?

What did you think? (mark your spoilers if you mention any!)

If you haven’t read it, do you plan to? Is it on your TBR?

Have you read any other Holly Bourne books?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…


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8 thoughts on “I Should’ve Read The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting By Holly Bourne First…

  1. Oh, this has been on my wishlist for some time, but it doesn’t really sound like my kind of thing after all. Thank you for the review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a shame! It really is an enjoyable read, but if it doesn’t sound like what you expected then I suppose you’ll be put off. It’s not for everyone, after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This actually sounds like a nice read. In particular, the part about writing really stands out. I think her observations are spot-on, to be honest. Writing is nothing like getting top marks in exams. I studied hard for GCSES/A Levels, and I was always passionate about writing too, but there’s a very big difference between the two. I could easily have started writing without getting good grades. That’s quite interesting that she’s noted that 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      And yeah, the writing you have to do for GCSEs would just be wayyyy too jam packed with metaphors and onomatopoeia (etc) for readers to enjoy. Passionate writing always turns out best!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really disliked this book; like you, I thought a lot of the stuff Bree did was just incredibly stupid. I also didn’t really follow the horrible human=interesting reasoning. But I’ve read Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be? and enjoyed them much more. I think the feminist themes Bourne is so keen to weave into her writing work a lot more effectively in these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this is one of her earlier books, so I kind of see it as not being that bad if we didn’t enjoy them AS much as her latest ones. Plus they’re about completely different things. I’m just glad I (and many other people) really enjoy Am I Normal Yet? and that’s what she’s best known for! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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