Review: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne.

“Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of.” – Holly Bourne.

This Young Adult novel follows Bree and an experiment she conducts on how to be interesting in order to better herself as a writer while she is a student in school.

tmohtbiI really enjoyed reading this book. I kept needing more, constantly turning the pages to hear about Bree’s experiment and had finished it all within the weekend (which is an accomplishment considering how I rarely have the time to read anymore due to my upcoming exams).

Not only was the book a pleasure to read, but it also had a great message at the end of it. Bourne teaches us that it’s okay to be yourself and not to worry about what other people think of you, because as long as you’re happy, all of those other people don’t matter. I don’t know about you, but I think that this is a beautiful message which is important for all of us to take into consideration because for the majority of us we are always concerned about what other people think of us.

Furthermore, some of us do go as far as to change how we behave and how we dress, we change who we are, because we want to feel accepted, included, we want to be the same as everyone else because we want to seem “normal” and feel like we are apart of something, such as a particular group of friends. However, the truth is that if you have to change who you are in order for people to accept you, then those aren’t the people you should want to hang out with. Additionally, I doubt they’ll be too pleased to one day find out that a person they’ve always considered a friend, isn’t the person they always thought they were. This means that to be yourself isn’t a selfish thing to do and therefore you should never be afraid to be yourself.

When I was younger, I always wanted to be like my best friend. I suppose it was a way of making us feel close because we would seem to have so much in common. This didn’t last long though because as I grew older I would deviate. I wanted to be more myself and I found people that I could be more myself around, so when I was with my best friend I would occasionally do something different to how I usually behaved. When we were fifteen I tried to become a vegetarian and she argued that I was just copying another friend of ours and that I had changed because the Lexi she knew would never give up meat. I was amazed at this comment. I thought, she of all people should know that I love animals and that I hate the horrible way in which they are treated and killed so that human beings can survive, but then I realised that I have always been so worried about her opinions that I’ve never shared these thoughts for fear of being different.

When we were sixteen we then fell out because she said that I had changed, that I wasn’t the person I used to be. She was right. I had grown up and realised that I needed to be myself and not act according to her behaviour. At some point or another I think we all come to this realisation. Becoming myself allowed me to grow up and this very much included me becoming independent. When I was small I was always very shy and timid, I barely spoke, and while I am till like that to an extent, I am more confident because I always used to rely on my best friend to speak for us etc.

I find it sad though how we have to go through a period of conformity in order for us to eventually realise who we are and what we want out of life. As a result of this, I think this is why I enjoyed this book so much. It’s like, the character is making these mistakes which we can learn from, so that we don’t have to.

From now on, I am going to try and not let fear of other people’s reactions influence my behaviour and my actions. As long as something makes me happy, what’s the problem? I’m not harming anyone and it’s none of their business, quite frankly.

If you take anything from this post, even if you don’t think you’re interested in this book (which I do recommend, by the way), please just be yourself.

– driftinglexi

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