(I'm calling it Friday Rewind now because I don't think this feature is active anymore)
Go to YA Litwit and check it out!
My choice this week is:
How Not to be Popular
By: Jennifer Ziegler
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.
So Sugar Magnolia aka Maggie is pissed off about this latest move and decides that she's going to do everything she can to stay away from friends and boyfriends. She starts by wearing crazy clothes and carrying outrageous lunchboxes. She sits w/ Penny at lunch, a girl w/ no friends. Then she starts making friends with the geeks of the school and getting into it with the popular crowd. Suddenly everyone starts thinking Maggie is cool because she dresses how she wants and appears fearless. She starts having feelings for Jack, one of her geeky clique-mates and then of course her facade starts to crumble....
I would have to say this book was just ok. When I read the title I thought I would love it. I mean I loved Meg Cabot's How to be Popular, and I love books about popularity, so this one should've been right up my alley. Only it wasn't. It was too predictable and silly. All the over-the-top clothes irked me. I mean if she didn't want people to like her why not fly under the radar and not talk to anyone? You're not exactly going to blend in if you're dressed like a star trek character or carrying around a potted plant at school, ya know? What's wrong with sweatpants and greasy hair? So yes it is fiction and I have imagination, but I just found the crazy get-ups kind of stupid.
Another problem I had with this book was that not only did this replay the tired stereotype that ALL popular people are evil and all dorks are awesome, but for some reason it offended me by doing it. I guess it was the fact that Maggie assumed that by making friends with the unpopulars, she would never get attached to them. Which to me made it seem like she saw them as beneath her, and that pissed me off. What was so great about this girl? All she did was whine, why would anyone popular or not be lining up to be friends with her?
Last thing.... I was so NOT crushing on the Young Republican Nerd-Alert with NO personality. Not into that awkward romance at all.
Overall: I thought the initial idea was cute, but it just didn't work for me. It was too superficial and you could see everything that was going to happen coming from a mile away. Also the M/C wasn't very like-able and I didn't think she deserved redemption (which is sort of a bad thing if the author was wanting you to root for Maggie).
Add it to your To-Read List (or not)