Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult Fiction; English
In this book we meet Bre, a teenager who has an ambition of being a famous writer. The problem is that her works are always rejected by the publishers, they deemed it too dramatic or even suicidal. Bre’s student life was something everyone never wished for, she only had one friend and she was invisible in a school full of spoiled rich kids. She did have Mr. Fellows’ class to look forward to, she was advised by him to be a little bit more interesting and “commercial” because that is what publishers like. It was something she was not happy to hear about but she took that advice and together with Holdo’s, her only friend, idea of making a blog. She started a journey of transforming herself to be more interesting and wrote about it on her blog which was later on called the manifesto on how to be interesting. This transformation came with gaining new set of friends, falling in love, making someone happy but it also came with losing her true friends, getting hurt in love, and did I mention, nearly dying.
Not your usual YA book
This is the first YA book I read since I stopped abstaining from reading a book for a hobby. I always thought of these kind of books as something for light reading or simply a read during a long relaxing weekend/holiday. I never expected it to be that interesting that I had to read it slowly just to make the book last longer.
The way that Holly Bourne, the author, wrote this novel is something out of the ordinary YA books (that I have read as of now) mixed with the typical high school setting and scenarios every book of this genre had a reputation for.
What I really liked about this book is that it talks about self- harming and how it affects the lives of the characters in the story. It also talks about it as if it is a normal scene for teens, which I think is true nowadays, and that it is what most teens might actually think of doing when faced with a situation like Bre’s.
The main character is someone that you will become friends with. She is the epitome of the social outcast, the weirdo, and I guess the anxious normal teen sans the cutting part. She wasn’t the super depressed girl but the regular girl you will meet around school who is silent and knows when and where she should talk. Bre has this confident vibe in her personality that I personally like for a teen or someone younger than me should look up to. She wasn’t the typical nerd that is a super outcast that spends her time popping pimples and talks about scientific terms that a normal person can not even pronounce correctly. She is this girl that is smart and strong, that is probably why most popular people do not notice her. She is too smart for them and it was not really considered cool to be friends with a girl like her in this type of books.
What I didn’t like on this book..
It showed self-harming as something so normal and something that should be taken lightly. It did not really show the seriousness of the situation besides the part where the character almost lost her life. Depression was talked about but it was only a small part of the book. I guess it is just me and my stance towards mental illness awareness.
This book is a great read. It is not for those who think self-harming and mental illnesses is a joke in this society that we live in. This book gave me an idea about what other people experience when they are in that state and how that behavior affects everyone around them. It helped me open my eyes to what is always under the shade and is not talked about often about these issues. Hopefully I get to read more books concerning these topics because I think it will help everybody understand more about these illnesses.
So what books have you read lately? Does it touch any topic about mental illnesses? How is it different from this book? Would you mind sharing it to me? 😀