Audio Review: How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

howtobepopular-book-cover-author-meg-cabotHow to Be Popular
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: HarperTempest
Age Group: Teen
Source: Library
Book Depository
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Do you want to be popular?

Everyone wants to be popular or at least, Stephanie Landry does. Steph’s been the least popular girl in her class since a certain cherry Super Big Gulp catastrophe five years earlier.

Does being popular matter?

It matters very much to Steph. That’s why this year, she has a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. She’s got a secret weapon: an old book called what else? “How to Be Popular.”

What does it take to be popular?

All Steph has to do is follow the instructions in The Book, and soon she’ll be partying with the It Crowd (including school quarterback Mark Finley) instead of sitting on The Hill Saturday nights, stargazing with her nerdy best pal Becca, and even nerdier Jason (now kind of hot, but still), whose passion for astronomy Steph once shared.

Who needs red dwarves when you’re invited to the hottest parties in town?

But don’t forget the most important thing about popularity

It’s easy to become popular. What isn’t so easy? Staying that way.

My Thoughts

I have expressed my love for all things Meg Cabot many, many times on this blog.  There has only been one book I’ve read written by Meg Cabot that I wasn’t madly in love with.  So it should come as no surprise that I adored How to Be Popular.

I was actually a bit hesitant to read this one because I usually don’t enjoy books where the MC wants to be in the popular group.  I think this is because when I was in school I didn’t necessarily want to be in with the popular crowd.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally had crushes on some of the popular boys, but being in that crowd was never a big focus of mine, especially once I was in high school.  So I wasn’t really sure if I would relate to Steph in How to Be Popular.  But seriously, I shouldn’t have worried.  I mean, after all, it’s MEG CABOT, and I pretty much always like all her MCs.

Steph is such a likable, relatable character.  And although she has this goal to become popular, it isn’t that she necessarily wants to be part of the popular group.  It’s that she is sick and tired of the way her name is used in everyday conversation.  Popular girl Lauren started this saying way back in middle school “Don’t be a Steph!”  It’s used whenever anyone did anything clumsy, silly, etc.  Lauren started that saying because Steph spilled a drink on Lauren’s clothes.  And, at the start of junior year, Steph has decided she’s had enough.  And she goes to school with a PLAN!  A plan based on an old book she finds at her grandfather’s fiancee’s place.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed seeing Steph plan her rise to popularity.  She’s so intelligent in how she plans things and works on putting together her strategy.  It’s something I never could have done in high school, and even now, as an adult, I don’t know if I could.  I really admired that in Steph.  I do admit that Steph could be a bit obtuse about some things, though.  Somethings being BOYS.  And the little time spent in the bathroom with binoculars.  Oh my gosh, so funny!  Actually, now that I think of it, that incident in the bathroom kind of reminded me of something Stephanie Plum would do.  Only in a Meg Cabot way.  Does that make any sense?

The other characters were great, too.  Jason was awesome, and I loved his reaction to some of the things Becca (Steph and Jason’s other friend) does.  Becca was hilarious!

The whole story felt very Meg Cabot-esque – which is exactly what I was hoping for.  There’s a lot of humor, and a satisfying ending.  Anyway, I totally recommend reading How to Be Popular.  I mean, it’s MEG CABOT!

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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10 Responses to Audio Review: How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot

  1. Ink and Page says:

    I adore Meg Cabot, too. I will gave to add this one to my TBR list. I am curious…which book did you not like?

  2. This is one of my favorite Meg Cabots, though my eternal love and devotion goes to her early series written under Jenny Carroll. Nothing’s better than The Mediator! I remember this one being so much fun!

  3. I also love Meg Cabot! I’ve read most of her YA and a few of her adult. This wasn’t one of my favorites of hers, though. I prefer her series. Although, it’s a testament to her skills that I still remember quite a bit about this book even though I read it when it was first released!

    • Quinn says:

      I actually quite like the standalones the best. All American Girl, Teen Idol, How to Be Popular, Avalon High (I know there are the graphic novels, but I think of it as standalone).

  4. I need to read this because I am likewise Meg Cabot fan!

  5. Daphne says:

    this is the first Meg Cabot book I ever read and it certainly had an impact because I went out and read every single thing she’d ever written 🙂 great review

  6. Oh my gosh, I remember reading this book a long time ago, and borrowing it from the library OF COURSE and totally gobbling it in a day — and like you, being impressed with Steph and how she puts together a plan, because I could never do that.

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