Holly Bourne’s The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting

From https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22533460-the-manifesto-on-how-to-be-interestingBree is a teenager and a writer. She is told that her life needs to be more interesting, that it needs to be something that people would want to read about, so she creates the Manifesto: six steps to make her more interesting to everyone else.

I picked this book up because of the amazing reviews it had on Goodreads. I had to write this review because this book got on my nerves so much.It’s great if you love this book. I’m happy that you enjoyed it. Before I started reading, I read a lot of reviews that declared ‘The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’ as “the best of the year” or the new “favorite YA novel”. I had high hopes, obviously.

Instead of a great story with good characters and a solid plot, I found myself reading some kind of soap box speech about teenage culture and its downfalls. The writing’s not bad, but the whole story just does not sit well with me on any level. Yes, there’s a lot of truth to the themes in this novel. No, that doesn’t make the way it was executed acceptable. It makes it unforgivable, especially as the author is a journalist for thesite.org which is a very helpful resource.

This novel touches on a lot of issues that I’ve dealt with / am still dealing with. I love feeling connected to characters / plots that I can directly relate to – this book was not that. I was bullied horrendously for three and a half years; it’s painful and it’s horrible and it really, really sucks. Surprisingly, never did I once think that I should get revenge on the people who did it to me, because as much as they made me cry and gave me the problems I still have to deal with today, I knew that they were still people.

This book angered me deeply and I only finished it because I wanted there to be some sort of fix for the awful things that Bree did. There wasn’t really, there was just more preaching and skimming over issues that could have been approached with much more realism.

“I’m horrible and I’m going to hurt you and try and seduce your boyfriend and I’m sorry but I have to.”

I mean, in what world do you sympathize with a character who thinks things like that? My friends had to listen to me rant about Bree’s stupidity all week long when I was reading this. I don’t think I can accurately describe how annoyed I was whilst reading this.

I want to make it clear that I think this novel offers some unfortunately truthful musings on teenage life, and that’s great. What is not great at all is the way they’re executed.

Maybe it’s just me. Everyone else seems to worship this book and I cannot understand that at all.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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