‘Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. But that’s all about to change.’
Meet Bree, she’s not popular, she’s not pretty and by the age of seventeen she’s already a failed novelist. Her school life bores her and it’s not like she has a great relationship with her parents either, she’s just too different. After being given some advice to be more open Bree has an idea, she’s going to conduct an experiment and find out how to be interesting and she’ll risk anything to find out.
How do I even begin to describe Holly Bourne’s incredible novel. I picked this up a few years ago, I’d never heard of Holly but saw her speaking at a Young Adult book fair. To say that I’m glad I picked this novel up would be an understatement, it’s a serious contender for one of my favourite YA novels ever. I mean ever. With it’s bright pink and black cover it screams out from the shelf but the idea of the novel jumped out at me to. I mean who hasn’t wanted to feel more interesting growing up?
The character of Bree felt intensely real to me, I understood her and I think that there are so many teenagers who will. It’s that feeling of not quite being comfortable with who you are and mocking things around you because you’re not quite there yet. I used to do this a lot when I was younger purely because I was so anxious all the time and it was a great way to cover it up. In that respect I think Holly hits the nail on the head with her relevant depictions of what teenagers are really like today.
I loved the relationship between Bree and Holdo, because it reminded me of a personal relationship I have. My oldest friend at university is a guy called Joe and through my first year we were so much like Bree and Holdo and I didn’t really ‘get’ the girl thing. I could really understand both characters and their feelings throughout the novel. I think this novel also looks at how relationships have to adapt as you get older and the kind of differences a male and female friendship have. I adored Holdo as a character and just wanted to hug him throughout.
If I had to try and explain the novel without spoiling it I’d say it’s kind of like a Cady Heron Mean Girls esque vibe meets the online world. It’s been very cleverly done and also has a way of reminding you what is important in life and just how damn hard it is to be a teenager sometimes. Holly’s books have this impossibly positive vibe to them and I absolutely love it. I wish her novels had been around when I was a teenager because they could have certainly taught me something.
Of course I am going to give this novel five stars *****! It’s an absolutely incredible piece of writing and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve personally met Holly and she is one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met as well as being insanely talented. The novel is refreshing because it’s one of the very few characters I felt like could have easily been me at points in my life. I’d definitely recommend picking this up the next time you’re in a book shop, I can guarantee it will not disappoint.
Review by Chloe Metzger