How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

March 7, 2008 at 9:40 am 1 comment

Here’s my YA book of the week. 17 year old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey, “Maggie,” is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plans to be unpopular at her new Austin, TX high school backfires when other students join her on the path to supreme dorkdom.

This was an ok book, a bit on the long side (337 pages), but I did enjoy the “anti-popularity” tips which began each chapter. Maggie spends too much time obsessing about the boyfriend she left behind (who dumps her), and how her life isn’t fair. That bit gets old by page 150, when Maggie is meeting some fun and really interesting people (dorks, though).

My favorite part comes on page 121, at the first meeting of the “Helping Hands Club” which Maggie joins, hoping to associate with dorks and also get a good letter of recommendation for college. Here’s the scene I love: ‘Frank thinks you look like Galadriel, only with darker hair.’ ‘Oh. . .’ I smile vaguely, unable to place the name, although it does sound familiar. The twins notice my confusion. ‘You know,’ Frank prompts. ‘Lady Galadriel? Ruler of the Elves?'”

Since Galadriel is my middle name, I got a huge kick out of this. Some of the other, dare I say, dorkier references to Star Trek and other fantasy/sci-fi things went over my head.

Anyway, after spending 300 pages watching Maggie screw up you only get 30 pages in which she magically solves her problems and gets the happy ending. So that was a bit disappointing. I guess I’m just feeling lukewarm about this novel.


Entry filed under: Young Adult. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kelly  |  February 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I agree about this one!


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