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About How Not to Be Popular. Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or .
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Maggie decides she will do whatever it takes to avoid getting to know anyone even if mea Maggie Dempsey has just moved to Austin, TX, and she is not happy about it. Maggie decides she will do whatever it takes to avoid getting to know anyone even if means making a fool out of herself. Mar 13, Jess rated it did not like it. I heard of this book through a tumblr post recommending "sunny afternoon books" and the title had grabbed my attention.

Boy, was I wrong. People complained that this book was unrealistic, that no sane girl would try purposefully NOT to be popular, because at this age, everyone craves to be liked. I can believe it, but what I couldn't condone in this book was I heard of this book through a tumblr post recommending "sunny afternoon books" and the title had grabbed my attention. I can believe it, but what I couldn't condone in this book was the main character's snobbiness. This is a book about a girl who purposefully does everything she thinks will make her look like a loser in order to not make any friends she'll have to leave later on since her parents move a lot.

For example, the heroine shows up to high school with a Star Trek backpack and lunchbox set. If she had always been a Star Trek fan, but never dared talk about it with anyone for fear of getting mocked, this would've been great. But she, herself, seems to think Star Trek is completely ridiculous and thus made her seem as shallow as the traditional mean girls, whom she constantly puts down, by the way. The heroine is just as bad as them and this really ruined the book for me. At one point, she learns that her boyfriend is dating a new girl that she calls "cheap and obvious" because she likes lace and red lipstick.

At the end of the book, we learn in the author's bio that she's never been unpopular. It's like she's never met any of these people. Another thing that annoyed me: And worst, once, she meets a classmate in front of a cinema and they end up watching the movie together. She realises he's starting to like him, so in order to make him not like him, she flashes him her knickers by accident. Then, she's all "YAY! No boy would ever like me after this. Unless those knickers sported Nicolas Cage's face on them, I doubt that would make any horny teenage male run away in the other direction, darling.

The only good thing about the book was Jack, who felt quite real more so than the main character. I don't "rully" recommend this book to anyone. Feb 26, Kelly rated it it was ok Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

How NOT to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

Maggie is in her senior year of high school, and her hippie parents are moving the family. It hurts too much to say goodbye, so what would happen if in their new town, she tried to not make friends? Things that bothered me: The only thing that ke Summary: The only thing that kept me reading was the budding relationship between Maggie and Jack. I am not a stranger to the 4-letter word.

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Apr 09, Adriana rated it liked it Shelves: The story centers on Maggie Sugar Magnolia by birth , who is the daughter of hippies that don't stay in one place too long. Her parents are free spirits and every time she moves, she always loses friends, and sometimes boyfriends. It picks up when they are moving to Austin, Texas. Maggie has a boyfriend, but not long after they have gone, he sends her a text saying he can't do the whole long distance thing.

So Maggie hatches a plan to not let herself get attached in Austin, since she knows they The story centers on Maggie Sugar Magnolia by birth , who is the daughter of hippies that don't stay in one place too long. So Maggie hatches a plan to not let herself get attached in Austin, since she knows they will probably be leaving in three months or so. She decides the best way to do this is to make herself unpopular.

Sure enough things don't go as planned, and she finds herself becoming a notorious trendsetter. I was a little disappointed by the climax and the ending. There was so much build-up and attention paid to all the things she does to make herself unpopular, but the ending kind of went really fast and it felt a little blunt. Overall though, it was humorous and touching, and many of the characters were very likeable.

May 23, Carolina rated it liked it Shelves: Jun 03, Janssen rated it liked it Shelves: I anticipated giving this a four stars, but the last quarter of the book was not as strong as the first part. Cute and funny, though. Dec 05, Ian Wood added it. Advice on how not to be popular, to authors like Jennifer Ziegler: This is the complete review as it appears on my blog. Note that blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates and modifications to the blog review be replicated here. I rated this novel warty!


  • How Not to Be Popular.
  • How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler (page 7 of 50);
  • How Not to be Popular;
  • Cuentan los sabios (Spanish Edition).

Wartius maximus, in fact. A Long And Snarky review! Maggie Dempsey is a cool name for a character! She is vacuous, uninventive, spineless, clueless, and thoroughly un-entertaining and in the end, downright obnoxious. She does have minor grounds for meriting sympathy, but she wipes those out easily.

The Truth about being the Popular Girl in School

The grounds are that, for no discernible reason, she's dragged around the country by her parents, being forced to start a new school every few months. At her last school in Portland Oregon, not Maine , she fell for Trevor, who evidently has now found himself a new babe, yet Maggie is not only too dumb to grasp that he has, she's also so devoted to him that's she has the hots for two guys at her new school! Seriously, is there ever a moment in her life when Maggie has anything else on her mind other than which guy she can sell herself out to next? Is there ever a time when she has something else to do other than contemplating her last guy or her next?

Is she really that shallow? It's mildly funny and even somewhat entertaining in parts, with some interesting plot ideas, but that's not enough, in the end, to salvage this story for me. The problem is that she's so utterly clueless about how to get herself organized and live her life that she fails even in being a failure. I suspect there's a trite moral awaiting us at the end of this story, but it's going to be completely wasted because of Maggie's comprehensive bigotry whereby she joins the school "losers" because she thinks the school winners are losers! Way to insult the entire population, Ziegler!

A moral is most definitely needed, but I can guarantee sight unseen that that the one we would get at the end of this novel would have nothing to do with what's actually required. I can't verify it because I quit reading when I hit the last forty pages since the novel was emitting such a god-awfully stomach-churning stench by then that I couldn't stand to be around it any longer.

Maggie's is a poor strategy for several reasons, not least of which is that she's robbed herself of any interests or diversions and so is now even more dependent upon her fantasy men than she would have been had she simply become popular. That's how stupid she is. She has some serious issues with logic, which is hardly surprising given the abuses her parents are dumping on her by dragging her around the nation unnecessarily, although of what quality her previous friendships were - given that no one from her past ever emails, writes, or calls her - is a mystery.

Her new friendships would not serve her any better given the unnecessarily large number of utterly absurd tropes with which Ziegler has larded Maggie's new school. The very fact that Maggie openly admits that she would be part of the most obnoxious group at the school were she not half-heartedly trying to go against the grain this time, is quite sufficient a reason to detest the kind of person Maggie is. Ziegler seems to be seriously technologically challenged: For example, when there is to be an announcement regarding an important new development in the "losers" group charity dance, Ziegler has them putting up bills around town.

She's obviously never even heard of Twitter or flash-mobs! Actually I think only twits tweet, so I didn't really care that she's so challenged. Her parents are at best an enigma, at worst, the poorest examples of parenting ever depicted in a novel. They're simply obnoxiously bad parents. If they were in their sixties and had a teen daughter in high school, that would be a story worth telling, but that would not be this cheap excuse for a melodrama.

This alone tells us how shallow she is. Her consistent failure to come up with intelligent ruses and excuses to avoid them tells us how brain-dead she is. Her lack of any sense of self-worth when the most obnoxious trope hits on her appallingly tells us how vacuous she is. That she accidentally and then repeatedly flashes her underwear at the guy she sees this movie with, and somehow thinks this will turn him off shows what a rock-bottom moron she is. On the interesting side, Maggie accidentally falls into a friendship with Penny, an overweight girl who is entirely uncritical of Maggie and perhaps the only student in the school who is as well as completely accepting of the fake quirks Maggie accretes to herself in her determination to be unpopular.

Maggie gets to know Penny, but we don't, and she's probably the most interesting character in the entire novel except for the fiery, petite Drip, about whom we learn less than we do Penny. If Ziegler had written the story about just those two it would have been an immeasurably better tale than the sad waste of paper she delivers. In another classic example of how shallow she is, Maggie tries to come up with some extra-curricular activity or other in order to beef up her college application, and hits on joining the "losers" group borne of the bigoted idea that if she associates with losers no one will want her.

The truth is that the only real loser in this entire novel is Maggie herself. I'd been leaning towards thinking that this story was fine but for the romance; the problem with that, is that the sad excuse for a romance starts taking over the entire story which is right where the entire story becomes completely uninteresting to me.

Frankly, the romance is so asinine that it's nauseating. This magical guy Jack manages to magically appear in Maggie's life magically. He's magically always there. Even when she joins her extra-curricular club he's magically there. She goes to a movie and he's magically there, too! She farts sweetly and he's magically there. Could Ziegler telegraph any more loudly the inevitable trope result of the inevitable trope romance?

Could Maggie be any more of a completely vapid wilting wench than she already is? That last is rhet Butler orical. Maggie is put into one situation after another from which her spinelessness prevents her from excusing herself. For example, Jack asks her out to dinner and it would be the easiest thing in the world for her to say no, but her lack of back-bone leaves her saying yes. That same evening before her date arrives, she finally learns from one of the most contrived plot points ever that yes, her ex is indeed dating someone else. She could right then call up Jack and tell him no, since she's so upset and angry, but her lack of anything even resembling a notochord prevents her from canceling the date.

Her parents prove predictably and tiresomely obnoxious. So Jack-off on the rocks has asked her out to dinner and therefore dominantly insists upon paying, and she dumbly knuckles under for it. And god forbid we should leave out the trope that he tips well, and therefore would absolutely make the best husband imaginable, of course. On the date she is so vacuous and shallow that she can't even come up with one good argument against her date's republicanism.

Not that he is a Republican! Maggie is too stupid to figure it out, and has blindly pigeon-holed him without it even registering! Their exchanges from this point onwards are not even fit to appear in a twelve-year-old's romantic fiction story. It would be quite easy to do the thing which Democrats have consistently and blindly failed to do, which is to call out the Republicans on their appalling hypocrisy: Maggie is such a loser that she even sells out her vegetarianism by allowing herself to be dragged to a restaurant where meat dishes are in abundance. I don't think vegetarians can have a truly fulfilling relationship with a carnivore, but apparently Ziegler disagrees.

She's entitled to, but the reason Maggie is in this position is because Ziegler has once again sold feminism down the river by chaining her "heroine" to Jack and allowing him to lead her like a prize pet on his date to his choice of venue. She's not; not even half-heartedly. Her character doesn't even make sense: She doesn't even remotely behave as though she's being eaten up inside by her grief over her previous relationship. We're told that she is, but we're never actually shown that she is. In this, Ziegler presents us with an object abject?! Instead of trying to avoid people and relationships, which was her stated aim, Maggie is devoting all her time and energy to them, and we're given no reason why the rest of us should go along with Ziegler's follies.

A simple "Leave me the hell alone" would dispose of Jack-of-all-tirades maybe not - he's a borderline stalker , and a sharp kick to the nut-sack would run Miles, not to say ruin. So why doesn't Maggie deliver on those goods? Because Ziegler is betraying her character and refusing to let her.

Ziegler's agenda here is at odds with that of her main character, and that would work fine if Ziegler had the writing chutzpah to get it done. She is so poor at telling this story that when a golden opportunity pops up for Maggie to run Jack out of her life by going on a date with Miles, and then run him out of her life by dumping him after said date, the thought never even crosses her incredibly empty mind.

Here's a thing about his novel that I'd noticed but not noted until now: This is a novel about rough-and-ready high school students and not one of them ever swears? Yes, Ziegler's writing a four-letter-word-free story, which is fine. I suspect her motive for this is religious, and my suspicion is bolstered by a lot of what she writes. I think the religious perspective ruins a good story, but sometimes it's of use and can actually add something. In this case, Ziegler doesn't have what it takes to do the addition.

The phrase is "pisses me off". Number ones me off? Golden rains me off? Only "pisses me off" actually works. So when Ziegler writes "pees me off" as a substitute, it does nothing save announce loudly to me that she's as clunky as she is clueless. I honestly hope she's not actually like that, because she does have a voice, and I live in hope that bad writers will get better, but just as Maggie is trying half-heartedly to convey unpopularity to Jack-off, what Ziegler is whole-heartedly conveying to me is a really bad impression of her as a writer.

If she wants to avoid swearing, then why not "tees me off"? How about "ticks me off"? God forbid she should actually come up with an invented phrase that's actually funny. I don't get at all why she felt the need to embarrass herself with this when she could have achieved her end with something perfectly suitable and devoid of the accompaniment of screeching fingernails on a chalk-board.

After the meal with Jack, Maggie bemoans the fact that she failed to disgust him and turn him off, but she's so abysmally dumb that she never once thinks of merely saying good night and heading home alone to kill the mood. Instead, she dumbly persists in the very behavior she has deluded herself into thinking will do the job, and it's the same behavior she's repeatedly tried and failed at.

This screams to me that she's as limited of rationale as she is unimaginative. She could have killed the promise of a date by the simple act of canceling it. She could have killed the actual date by going out that evening before Jack arrived, so that when he shows up to pick her up she's simply not there.

She's telegraphed that sad goal ever since she Jacked him into the novel in the first place, but is it also a requirement of Ziegler's that she portrays her main character as an incompetent, and as a complete moron, in order to achieve her end? I would argue not.

How Not to Be Popular

Frankly, the one who is doing the better job of killing the date for my money is Jack himself. He's consistently obnoxious, treating her like a second-rate citizen - a weak woman, who needs to be coddled and paid for - and protected. Earlier in the day, they'd been cleaning up a park, and after the meal they go to that same park. Maggie cluelessly thinks she'll turn Jack off if she takes a turn on the park swings! Where did a brain as limited as hers come up with that idea? Jack is whining that he ought to have been there to protect her.

How freaking condescending can you get? If I liked him to this point, which I certainly didn't, this would have made me detest him. How can Ziegler persistently betray her gender like this? She portrays Maggie as not even remotely affronted by Jack-Ass's behavior. On the contrary, she responds warmly to a kiss that he abruptly and uninvitedly forces on her. It was right at this point that I just wanted this novel to be over with so I could move on to something less landfill to read, but I figured that I was so close to the end that I could finish this and further deplete the ammunition stocks of those who whine about DNFs!

The problem is that Ziegler was as determined to turn me off the novel as Maggie supposedly was to avoid dating.

How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

And Ziegler was doing a far more efficient job than ever was Maggie. About 40 pages from the end, Maggie openly declared herself, at the "losers" dance, to be the complete dip-shit and dirt-bag she had promised to be all along, and I honestly could not stand to deal with any more of her juvenile crap. I had hoped against hope that something different would come out of the story, but why I had this blind faith in Ziegler, given what a complete let-down she'd proven herself to be to this point, I have no idea.

Call me the eternal optimist when it comes to novels; however, this novel is now determined to be of the species Wartius maximus and I'm outta here! Dec 29, Adriana rated it it was amazing Shelves: Her and all her little antics in not wanting to be popular just made me smile throughout. Her and Jack the goody two-shoes were great together and even though she messed up she made the right decision in the end and didn't become who she and others thought she was. If you do not know already this book is a favorite of mine so expect a glowing review.

I just hope I can be able to do this book a fraction of justice with this rev It was amazing! I just hope I can be able to do this book a fraction of justice with this review.

Jennifer says . . .

I don't know if Barnes and Noble hates me or loves me. They are either cruel and decisive that's probably their approach or sweet and wonderful. Late one night I was looking up books on Barnes and Noble. I don't know how I came to this one but it sounded interesting and I love the cover so much I've been itching to draw it since I first saw it. This is where I am skeptical of Barnes and Noble's true motives. I know it's to buy their books but I didn't think they could be so calculated. I started reading the preview that just kept on going on and on and on.

That preview was like half the book. You can't just give me that much preview and expect me to not beg my mother to go the next day, scrounge for the book, and then buy and fall even more in love with the book than I had by that point. I did all of this and it was one of the greatest decisions in my life. God I love this girl! Her now ex-boyfriend couldn't do the distance thing so that was that. She's heartbroken and frankly pissed at her parents and their nomad life. The last place they were at was one where she actually got a boyfriend.

She's always had to leave friends behind but this is different. This is the last straw and like the evil genius she is she decides that she will not put herself through that. She will make sure she becomes so unpopular that no one would want to hang out with her so she doesn't have to deal with another heartbreak. I was all prepared to give this book four stars out of five , but the last quarter of the book kind of let me down, so it lost a star.

Is it worse to court possible heartbreak or to have no friends ever? Would you be lining up to tell someone that you wished your parents were like that? Notify me of follow-up comments by email. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family. Also by Jennifer Ziegler. See all books by Jennifer Ziegler. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Looking for More Great Reads? Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.