"Rule 1: One must be attractive."
Bree is rich, literary, and considers herself totally outside of all of the vacuous materialism of her mother-yoga bunny-housewife-fashionista and the cliques of popular kids in her school: nasty, shallow, wholly uncultured. Bree’s only friend is Holdo, self-titled after Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye fame, whose love of classic films and vintage burgundy makes him the only person Bree feels she can truly relate to. Bree has just had her second novel rejected. Bree is alone, an outsider, and rather unhappy.
But when she is told that if she wants a book published, she should just start being more interesting, Bree decides that enough is enough. Armed with all of the chick flicks which Holdo so detests, and newly invested in fashion and fitness, Bree sets out on her most ambitious writing project to date—her blog, 'The Manifesto on How to be Interesting'. On here, she will chart her path to popularity in school, and in doing so will create a deep analysis of what it really is to be cool. This will be her greatest piece of writing yet, and to make it as an author, she is willing to lose everything of her previous self…
Holly Bourne’s young adult writing is as true-to-life as it comes, addressing all of the pitfalls of the teenage experience with charm and wit. The book’s feminist messages are as valuable as those we can take from Bree’s experience—the importance of standing up for yourself, keeping an open mind, and accepting who you are. Tackling issues as wide-ranging as self-harm, the importance of not dismissing things which may not be considered intellectual, and how to deal with a slightly needy best friend, Bourne’s deconstruction of teen culture is suffused with humour and relatability, and provides a sparklingly insightful and fresh take on the YA teen drama.