Another book from my Beat The Backlist challenge is complete – here are my thoughts on Holly Bourne’s The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting.
The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne
COVER/TITLE. I absolutely love the cover and the title – they were the main reasons I picked this particular Holly Bourne book up. I’ve only ever read one other book she’s written called Soulmates, many years ago, which I had mixed opinions on. I’ve heard she’s supposed to be a feminist writer within young adult so I thought I would give it a try.
PLOT/NARRATIVE. I think in terms of pacing everything was relatively good – it did speed up a little towards the end but I think the ending tied things up without attempting to drag it out too much. I did, however, struggle with believability towards the end – anyone running a blog is always checking their stats. That’s as much as I can say without going into spoilers, but it felt like an unnecessary addition of to further alienate readers (which, since the whole novel centres around very rich kids, made me a little distanced from the characters. That being said, I like the breaking down of stereotypes that occurs, even if the secondary school drama did reach cliche at several points.
CHARACTERS. Despite how rich Bree was, I identified with her quite closely – especially in the beginning chapters. I found it relatively easy to see her rationale for creating The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting. I was slightly frustrated, however, with this idea that anyone can be pretty if they “try”. I don’t think that was the intended message, but all of a sudden Bree become pretty – that isn’t practical or realistic. Makeup is a real art and if her prettiness comes out of putting mascara on, she was pretty in the first place. Maybe it’s a strange thing to be critical about, but it was bugging me throughout. That being said, the voice of Bree was well written and I enjoyed reading everything from her perspective.
OVERALL. I’m giving this a solid rating of 4* – I liked it, and from half way in I was absolutely hooked. I don’t think it was perfect, but I admired that the concept was about a girl changing herself to be more interesting rather than a girl changing herself to be liked by a boy (which would have been all too easy to do). I’ll be making sure to check out other Holly Bourne books from now on. This book was another of my Beat The Backlist 2017 books, so expect an update post soon!
Have you read The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting, or any other Holly Bourne books? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
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