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 a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.
But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.
I absolutely adored Soulmates so even if this was a completely different topic, I knew Bourne's writing would not disappoint. And boy was it amazing! It told of Bree as she struggles to write anything anyone wants to read and takes the advice of her teacher a bit too far and changes herself to become interesting enough so people want to read about her. She undergoes a great project to infiltrate the popular group at her school and catalogue what she finds on a blog.
I loved reading this; the start reminded me a great deal of Mean Girls, with its geeky girl being accepted by the cool kids. And of course Bree lost herself a bit along the way, caught up in the way the world works for beautiful, interesting people. Her exploits were both typical, like getting a makeover, a bit awkward like losing her virginity, and sometimes insane like falling for someone forbidden. Bree documents everything, even the awkward (if relatable) stuff and in her adventures, she uncovers truths about the popular crowd. It was obvious they were meant to be the stereotypical mean girls but as Bree befriends them, we learn more about what made them that way and I actually felt sorry for them, especially Jassmine.
There were various issues covered, most typical of teenage life, like boys and sex, and difficult ones like self-harm and falling in love with your teacher. Everything was treated as equally important and although Bree clearly didn't know how to handle some parts, like the overwhelming urge to self-harm, the subject was tackled fairly and discussed openly, so plenty of readers will take advice from this.
The ending was so brilliant, I nearly cried. Despite writing her adventures on her blog, Bree was not aware of anyone reading it. Discovering how many people she had touched, how many teens went through the same thing, was just the icing on the cake after a really crappy fallout. The story was tougher than I expected but so many people go through similar stuff and Bourne handled everything really well. I absolutely fell in love with Bree and was so proud of her by the end, not just because of what she accomplished with her writing, but also with her friends and family.
Published 1st August 2014 by Usborne.