At the recommendation of a colleague I read How NOT to be Popular byJennifer Ziegler and the verdict is….. I liked it quite a bit.  How NOT to be Popular is fun, cute book and in many places outright funny.

A new town, a new school – this is story of Maggie (real name Sugar Magnolia) Dempsey.  The amount of places she has lived in her young life is enough to make your head spin but her parents are hippies and they think living like this is really living.  Right now Maggie does not share that opinion especially when since Trevor, the guy she was madly in love with is now so far away.  Though she keeps it to herself
Mags is outright resentful of this move to Austin.  It completely sucks to move after you are in good with a group of people and in this new place she is determined not to like anybody and have people not like her.  The results make for a very funny book though at times I will say that it was a bit over the top and a little hard to believe. 

The plan Maggie has come up with to end up in social oblivan is not as easy to accomplish as she thought. She knows the social strata of high school down pat and can tell just with one look who rules the school and who is on the bottom rung.  In every school she has attended,  Maggie has mastered the art of fitting in. All she has to do is do the opposite of what she has always done and that includes dressing really really weird (i.e jumpsuits and galoshes to kimons), hanging out with the wrong people and joining clubs that nobody if they were in the upper echelon of the school society would ever join. All of her antics actually backfire because people think she is so cool for having the gumption to be real and uninhibited.

A couple of complaints – I have to deduct points for it being a bit predictable.  I knew that Maggie was going to end up popular – it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Since I found her to be entertaining,  it didn’t surprise me that others found her to be a breath of fresh air as well.  I also knew she was going to sabatoge her new found popularity at the expense of the people that grew to be her friends. I wish Ziegler would have done more with the fallout of Maggie’s betrayal instead of sashaying quickly to the end.

Ultimately, I think teens will like this book as Ziegler gets the high school scene so well.

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