Title: How to Be Popular
Author: Meg Cabot
In fifth grade, Steph Landry spilled a red Super Big Gulp on Lauren Moffat’s white skirt. In revenge, Lauren coined the phrase, “Don’t be such a Steph!” – said whenever anyone does anything remotely dorky. Now, Steph is going into eleventh grade, and she’s determined that this is the year her name stops being synonymous with “moron.” With the help of The Book, Steph is going to turn her social status around.
I picked this up because I’ve been reading dry financial books for school, and I wanted a light-hearted, quick read. And Meg Cabot delivered.
Steph was an enjoyable character – kind of unremarkable at first, but highly interesting once she started following The Book’s advice. She started taking an interest in fashion and school spirit and generally being nice to people, much to the bafflement of her friends, Jason and Becca. I loved following her through trying to change her social status and get Mark, the most popular guy in school, to like her.
I really didn’t get much of a feel for the other characters. There were the basics, of course – Becca’s a farm girl, Jason’s a nonconformist – but other than that, not much. I didn’t really care, though, since I was more interested in Steph.
The plot was fun, too, even though there wasn’t a whole lot of one. It left me thinking, “There’s no reason I couldn’t be popular, too!” And then I had to laugh at myself and say, “there’s none of those tips that I didn’t already know.” But I loved watching Steph work through them and challenge Lauren as popularity queen.
About the only problem I had with the book was the romance angle. I found the twist on that plot annoyingly obvious. Although that could be just me – I have a habit of guessing the endings of books.
Overall, this was exactly what I wanted – a quick read, light and fun, interesting without being heavy-handed on the drama. It was precisely what I needed after that huge financial book.