Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: How Not to be Popular

How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
3.5 stars

Reasons for reading: Have been meaning to since it came out; 10 in 10 Chick Lit Challenge

Description: "Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

First lines: "Oh crap. What did I just do? My right hand hovers over my phone, fingertips tingling like the sparking ends of live wires."

My thoughts: I liked that this book looked at popularity and how shallow it can be. I'm so saddened by all of the Clique-y books out there - it was nice to see someone being herself, even if it was for rather misguided (though understandable) reasons. It was a bit teen movie-ish - every day Maggie chose a terrible outfit from her dad's thrift store and I could see it totally being a montage. Though I did like her choices (the can-barely-walk kimono was quite inspired). Maggie's loving, hippie-intellectual parents were awesome (her name is actually Sugar Magnolia, after the Grateful Dead song). My favourite scene was when they out-talked, in a completely friendly way, the evil school principal. And it was fairly predictable and the bit right before the end where Maggie gave up and decided to go with the popular bitches was a bit jarring. But overall, it was a good book and I could feel Maggie's pain - I've lived within a few miles of the same house my entire life, I can't imagine what it would have been like to have been uprooted every year.

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