This young british writer has managed to create magic with her writing which I absolutely love. So when her new book was announced, of course I had to have it. Pre-ordered. Pre-paid. It arrived a week before its official released date. THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING. A book I have been waiting for more than 365 days... And it was here, in my hands. I was jumping up and down from excitement.
To be truthful though, I have been a little bit worried if Holly would be able to re-create the success of Soulmates. You know how it goes... The second book or the second music album isn't usually that great as the artist is trying too hard to repeat the previous success. But Bourne's writing did not disappoint.
Everything... Every page... Every little paragraph is absolutely brilliant.
Firstly, let's talk about the cover.. Black with neon red and bold letters. Pages framed in red colour. The Description of the book and blur on the back gives you a glimpse into the story, which is so much better and braver than I expected.
Meet Bree. Bree is a seventeen-year-old girl who is a kind of an outsider in her posh school. To be honest, she doesn't really care what other people think about her. She is happy with who she is and concentrates on her one goal. She wants to become a writer - a published author. But after yet another rejection letter, and not-so-kind pep talk from her english teacher (who Bree has a major crush on), she decides to take the matter in her own hands. She decides to become interesting and write all about in on a blog. There are five rules to obey:
Rule 1: ONE MUST BE ATTRACTIVE
Rule 2: ONE MUST MAKE FRIENDS WITH OTHER ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE
Rule 3: ONE MUST FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEBODY FORBIDDEN
Rule 4: ONE MUST LOSE ALL SIGHTS OF ONESELF, GET INTO A HUGE EMOTIONAL MESS, AND BREAK DOWN AS A PERSON
Rule 5: I GUESS IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS. YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO KEEP READING.
Intrigued? I certainly was.
At the start it reminded me a remake of 90210 (yes, I am a saddo and I did watch the original and the remake as well.), but slowly it picks up the pace and Ms Bourne manages to get me more and more interested. I start to become way to invested in this book. It's hilarious. Easy to read and it gives you a unique view of high school life and how the hierarchy can influence people on various levels. Bree and her social experiment is mind-blowing, but at the same time it opens your mind to see what we are actually missing. Maybe the so called popular girls aren't always bitchy. Maybe they have hearts? Is the school jokey just playing to be cold and arrogant and secretly he is a guy who every girl dreams of? I have enjoyed the idea of Bree comparing her own experiences with to the ones seen in romance films and series. Not everything works out or goes according to the plan. Real life is different. I appreciate that Ms Bourne managed to capture this truth in her newest novel.
Not to mention, that she wasn't scared to touch upon the subjects normally forbidden in YA genre - self-harming and forbidden relationships with teachers. We all can see it. We all know that it is happening, but we are scared to talk about it. We are afraid that it can be true? So we don't mention it. We leave in the depths of dark corners for others to deal with. Authors of YA genre seems to usually stay away from it, but Holly and her story isn't the case. She manages to tell the real story and how it can help in her own truthful way.
Wow. I have loved every single page of this book. It is so so so easy to read. Very modern. Entertaining. Open-minded. Funny. Truthful. Unique. Absolutely fantastic. The words fly of the page straight to your mind. You will not be able to put this book down as it is so relate able. Every single person can find their story (or part of it) within these pages. We all know that high school can be the hell on earth, and somehow it always leaves a mark on you for the rest of our lives. And the author of this novel explains in her original way, why and how it happens.
Holly Bourne put the whole high school experience into a truthful package which gives you the ins and outs of surviving in this hell. It makes you glad that that part of your life is behind you. And the original idea to bring into this the modern age of blogging is fascinating.
I have loved the book all the way through and I wish that it wouldn't end. It made me laugh out loud. It made me think.. It made me cry. Certain things mentioned in the book stay on your mind long after you finished. Bree's last post and epilogue to the book is one of the most insightful and sticks-to-the-facts epilogues I have read in a while. And somehow every single time I read it makes me stronger. It makes me realise that every word written in the epilogue gives me a new insight of how I look at myself and how many girls in the world look at themselves. It's a perfect ending to a perfect story.
Another well done Holly! You impressed me and managed to make me love your writing and stories even more. Thank you for another beautiful and incredible story !