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How to Be Popular

Review

How to Be Popular

Based on a Big Gulp spillage incident five years earlier, it's common for people in Stephanie's small Indiana town to advise others not to "pull a Steph Landry." Well, Stephanie is tired of it --- the jokes, the bullying from popular girl Lauren Moffat and her clique, the being ignored. This school year is going to be different.

Best friends Becca and Jason can't understand why Stephanie is suddenly dressing like teens in Seventeen, volunteering to run a school talent auction, and sitting with the popular kids at lunch. They don't know that she found an old book on "How to Be Popular" and is secretly following its advice. She's smiling, pretending not to notice when people make mean comments and volunteering to show her school spirit.

Becca starts joining her for lunch at beautiful Darlene's table but only after lots of persuasion, though Jason keeps making fun of her and seems genuinely angry. This doesn't stop her from spying into his room with binoculars, as Jason recently got really hot.

Another hottie, Mark Finley, begins noticing Stephanie for the first time as she gets to work on the big auction. Soon he's talking to her and defending her. Everything she wanted seems to be falling into place.

However, Stephanie is still getting hate notes and email, her family's bookstore is being run out of business by a local discount store, Jason starts avoiding her, and the new popular crowd wants to hold their big rager party in her grandfather's new Observatory. He built it for his new bride, and the wedding ceremony is this weekend; it's like a wedding present.

Stephanie doesn't want to go back to being made fun of as "Steph Landry," but maybe the advice in that book wasn't so great after all. Although popular, she is no longer herself. She might be eating at a popular lunch table, but she feels like she's losing her two best friends. When Mark Finley starts showing her a lot of attention, even while he has a girlfriend, Steph wonders if being "popular" is really worth it.

HOW TO BE POPULAR has the humor and great characters for which Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot is known. She's conveying to readers the truth behind the cliche "The grass is always greener on the other side." Even though it isn't good to worry about fitting in with any "popular" clique or set at any school, it is certain that this book will be very Popular for all the right reasons.

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Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 18, 2011

How to Be Popular
by Meg Cabot

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0060880120
  • ISBN-13: 9780060880125