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How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

How Not to Be Popular

by Jennifer Ziegler

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Cute book about a girl, Maggie, that's tired of moving from place to place with her hippy parents and losing friends along the way. Finally, after moving to yet another school, Maggie decides she's done with trying to fit in as the "new-girl-in-class" once again. Maggie decides she's going to be as uncool as possible, so when her parents pack-up and move again, this time she won't be hurt when she has to leave friends behind.

This is a great general-fiction/chick-lit YA. How Not to Be Popular has funny characters, a great love interest and a surprising, but realistic ending. Highly recommended for fans of the Princess Diaries. ( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
This is a funny and delightful book. I smiled the whole way through it. Sugar Magnolia (Maggie) is entirely believable, as are her sweet, clueless hippie parents. Recommended! ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Sugar Magnolia (Maggie) Dempsey is the daughter of Les and Rosie, two hippies who constantly migrate because they believe that they should see all that the world has to offer. Maggie has never lived in the same place for more than a year. After leaving a boyfriend in Oregon the beginning of her senior year in high school, Maggie vows that she will not make any friends in Texas. Hoping to ward off potential friends, she dresses in outlandish outfits such as a kimono and accessorizes with the occasional potted plant or frog rain boots in addition to hanging out with the school’s “losers”. Maggie believes that if her plan works, she will be immune to the next move her oblivious parents decide to make.

The irony of How Not to be Popular is the best part of the book. While most teenagers strive for popularity, it comes naturally to Maggie so she must find a way to avoid it. Her intense dedication to this goal is humorous at times because of the different outlook on popularity.

Beginning each chapter is a tip from Maggie on how to achieve unpopularity which foreshadows her upcoming antics. This is a clever way to brace the reader for the embarrassing moments of high school. While including such realistic moments such as riding a bike in a massive dress down a busy road makes the story more personal, I found myself cringing at some of the truly awkward moments Maggie purposely places herself in.

The book’s theme is that people should not be concerned with who their friends are and what they look like. Although this theme is rather cliché, the reversed scenario is imaginative.

The ending is predictable in that the character does the right thing making it disappointing overall the book is a fun and easy read. ( )
  Sommmmer | Nov 4, 2012 |
Hilariously funny! Maggie has just moved to Austin, Texas with her loveably wacky hippie parents who have moved every few months, living all over the world, doing whatever they wanted when the mood struck them. Maggie left behind good friends and her boyfriend Trevor in Portland, Oregon. Trevor dumps her via a text message, and Maggie decides that she is never, ever getting attached to anyone again, since that would only make leaving painful (again). And thus begins the social experiment of unpopularity: Maggie decides to do exactly the opposite of what all of the popular kids do. She knows that quite well because she's been in the popular group all her life. Maggie starts off with clothes -- from the resale shop her father is running, she throws together outfits like gray mechanics overalls and black galoshes, accessorized by a Star Trek backpack and matching lunch box, and the next day a kimono, and the day after that she dresses like a psycho Bo Peep. The popular kids are predictably mean and shallow, and Maggie accidentally makes friends with Jack and Penny, and discovers they are quirky and wonderful people. How attached will she allow herself to get? Chick lit with a brain for 8th grade and up! ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
Definitely one of my more enjoyable forays into young adult literature. Sugar Magnolia "Maggie" Dempsey is the surprisingly well-adjusted daughter of hippie parents. While loving and supportive, her restless parents uproot Maggie every few months and move to another part of the country. As a young girl, Maggie loved the adventure and diversity of her parents nomadic lifestyle. However, Maggie is now in high school and this latest move has resulted in a break-up with her first serious boyfriend. Tired of making friends only to tearfully leave them a few months later, Maggie decides that she will protect herself this time by refusing to make friends. Thus begins her quest to become unpopular.

The book is laugh out loud funny as Maggie does her best to shun popularity through a series self-inflicted, horrifyingly embarrassing situations. The problem is that she's unwittingly setting trends as she goes against the social hierarchy of her new school. No matter how hard she tries to be a social outcast, she becomes the new "it" girl.

What makes the novel so relatable is Maggie. Maggie's smart, but not precocious. She's level-headed, but not so much so that she doesn't screw things up along the way. She's neither obnoxiously mature or immature--she just seems like a real teenager. And, to top it all off, she's funny and not wistfully pining for a vampire--my current requirements for young adult heroines. ( )
  snat | Feb 5, 2010 |
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... --Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Fair is foul and foul is fair... --William Shakespeare, Macbeth
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385734654, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Seventeen-year-old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plan to be unpopular at her new Austin, Texas, school backfires when other students join her on the path to "supreme dorkdom."… (more)

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