Title: How To Be Popular
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2008
Genre: YA, Humor
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
My star rating: 5/5
Do you want to be popular
Everyone wants to be popular-but Steph Landry wants it more than most. Steph's been the least popular girl in class ever since she spilt red Super Big Gulp over Lauren Moffat's white D&G miniskirt five years ago.
Does being popular matter?
It matters very much - to Steph. That's why this year she's got a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. Her secret weapon: an old book called - what else? - How to be Popular.
But don't forget the most important thing about popularity!
It's easy to become popular. It's a lot less easy staying that way.
I think this is a great book for every person to read, no matter what your age. The story is focused on Stephanie Landry wanting to be part of the popular crowd mainly because she’s in love with quarterback Mark Finley, the most popular student at Steph’s school. It doesn’t take long for Steph, an ordinary girl, to take matters into her hands and with the help of a book on how to be popular which she got in a box of old books from her best friend Jason’s grandmother, and some money she borrowed from her grandfather, to gain enough self-confidence to take on the popular crowd at school and become one of them.
Although the story centers on how to become a popular person, the message isn’t exactly that. In Steph’s quest to win Mark’s attention and fit into his crowd, although she’s hated by his girlfriend, Lauren, Steph learns a few valuable lessons. Following the advice from The Book she learns that being popular is all about having self-confidence, making people around you feel like they’re the most important person to you, the value of a genuine smile, and the importance of true friends. All the lessons she learns from The Book are ones we can apply in our daily lives, whether we want to be popular or not. Actually, it has nothing to do with popularity, but simply being the best person you can be, for yourself and to others. The most important lesson Stephanie learns at the end of the story is one The Book didn’t teach her but which experience did - that being popular isn’t all it’s cut out to be.
I enjoyed the characters and their background stories, and I liked that each of them came from such interesting, somewhat dysfunctional families. Mean girl, Lauren, is rather stereotypical of mean girls portrayed in other YA books and movies, but the rest of the characters were all authentic with quirky, endearing traits. There’s really nothing new to this story than what I’ve read before, but still I enjoyed it for the positive message it sends to young girls without being too in your face about it. Lots of laughs throughout the book and an ending that leaves you smiling gets this book an easy five stars.
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