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Available: March 18, 2008

Read The Excerpt

How to Be Popular

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.

But don’t forget the most important thing about popularity!
It’s easy to become popular. What isn’t so easy? Staying that way

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Steph Landry is tired of being unpopular. She has been the target of jokes since sixth grade when she spilled a red soda on Lauren Moffat’s white D&G skirt. Lauren coined the phase “Don’t be such a Steph Landry” to ensure she never lived it down. Steph has since been content to hang out with her best friend, Jason, but as she enters eleventh grade, she wants more out of high school. Luckily she finds an old copy of “How to be Popular.”

The book is full of useful tips, such as “No one likes an arrogant person who lords her supposed superiority over others.” She follows the book’s advice and begins the school year with flatironed hair and a new attitude. She is determined to be confident and enthusiastic about school. She sits with new people at lunch and organizes a talent auction. Steph does not anticipate Lauren being so angry about her attempt to join the popular crowd or that Jason would be so hurt that she is leaving him behind. As her popularity grows, Steph is forced to make some difficult choices about who and what is truly important to her. Cabot deserves her reputation as one of teen chick lit’s most entertaining authors. This endearingly funny book looks at the pain of feeling unpopular. Steph and Jason’s friendship will have readers laughing and rooting for her to see what is right in front of her. Public and high school libraries will definitely want to add it to their collection. – VOYA

 

Armed with a plan, Steph Landry starts junior year determined to shake her place as the butt of her town’s saying, “Don’t pull a Steph Landry.” The saying, coined by her stereotypically popular classmate, Lauren, is the product of a sixth-grade incident when Steph dropped her Super Big Gulp on Lauren’s white designer skirt.

Tired of suffering for her spill, Steph puts faith in How to Be Popular, a book specializing in reputation resuscitation. Snippets from this sometimes comically outdated text, introduce and loosely shape Cabot’s chapters, but don’t dominate letting Steph’s plan play out naturally as she rockets to popularity and tries to figure out how to reconcile her new status with Jason, her childhood best friend. Steph’s relationships with male characters, especially Jason and her grandfather, consistently ring true and develop Steph into a refreshingly believable teen. Despite featuring upperclassmen, Steph’s aboveboard actions and mostly pure thoughts make this a fun and light text suitable for a younger audience wanting to read about older teens. – Kirkus Reviews

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