How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

Title: How Not to be Popular
Author: Jennifer Ziegler
Stand Alone
Format- Paperback
Publisher- Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published- January 8th, 2008
Pages- 352
Source- Own

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.

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 review. 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.

Maggie. 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. So begins the story of one of my favorite books of all time.

Maggie's plan mainly consists of dressing like she has no sense of what to wear what so ever, hanging out with the one person that no one would dare sit next to, and joining a club where only the supremely dorky would be caught there. Maggie is a fantastic main character. She's hilarious. I loved all her outfits. She has such a great teenage voice that I think a lot of people will love her (if they don't already). She makes some mistakes. She tried her hardest to keep her pain inside caused by her parents but that eventually explodes in one of the most memorable scenes ever. Maggie (her name is really Sugar Magnolia which is the cutest name ever) is a really great person. She says how before she would try to hang around the popular crowd and I am thinking "Why on Earth would you do that?" You are such a good person. How can you have ever wanted to hang out with the fake people of the world? Well she does act fake but her personality shines through anyways. She stands up for the people she cares for. She's strong and vulnerable and wonderful. But without a certain someone this book would be lacking in a major way. Without this one person it might not be a favorite. Who am I kidding Maggie alone sells the story but still. She has a love interest. One of the greatest love interests I have ever met...

Jack. I get all giddy just typing in his name. First of all I have always loved the name Jack. I don't know how the author knew that but apparently she did. Jack is a goody two shoes. I know. I know. Why would I be obsessed with a goody two shoes? Because it's not any goody two shoes. It's Jack. Jack's a gentleman. Jack's a sweetheart. When I think of him smiling at me my heart melts. You would think I would fall in love with a bad boy with all of them around or just someone who's sarcastic but has a little romantic side to him. I didn't expect it either. Jack is the one. He is my top fictional character boyfriend. That sounds so stupid but if others can say it I can say it too. If Jack simply just looked at me my face would go instantly red in the most embarrassing way and I would be breathless and giggly and act like the girl I am. It's just... He's Jack. He's perfection. "Why can't you be real!!!???," she cries in desperation...

I can't anymore with Jack. I'm going to do a happy squeal and it just won't work because I'm at school and other people will hear me. So... on to the parents. Her parents are hippies. They are carefree and actually also really nice people (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). They just have never listened or paid attention much to the internal anguish Maggie is feeling. She tried to hide it but throughout the story you see them catching on so I give them props for that. I couldn't really say anything bad about them. They were very loving parents although if I were them I would use discretion when walking around the house in the nude (just her mom once thank you very much) and going to her school doing exercises that should be banned to do in public for all parents or potential parents or anyone really. They were very good people with a different way of life that I enjoyed reading about.

Maggie did make some friends whether she wanted to or not. She sat with Penny, a social outcast who talks way too much about her allergies and just weird things... She's this weird person who accepts Maggie no matter how she acts or looks. I don't know how else to describe her... She's a character alright. Maggie's constantly running into her. At the gym where she discovers water aerobics taken by her, Penny, and some old ladies as well as a group that Penny introduces her to. It's an environment group where she meets this eclectic and dorky cast of characters. There's the tough one, the dorky twins, and some others... They create an unlikely bond. They aren't too much together where individually Maggie and one of them get to talking and you see a real connection but to the group she has a bond. Their her friends. Exactly what she didn't want.

As you progress in the story towards the end all the pain inside Maggie ruptures. Rereading it I didn't realize how sad it was. I feel like if I was a cliche I would have had a tub of ice cream while reading the book towards the end. Maggie could have really used that ice cream. You need a happy book after that end. Well, at least with me because I'm a little over dramatic with books. So I loved this book. It's one of my favorites. I plan on continuing to love it, Maggie, and especially *swoons* Jack for the rest of my life. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

For more info about Jennifer Ziegler and her books go to:


  1. You always read the cutest books. Kind of a bummer that the end is so sad, though.

    1. But it's also so uplifting! I just felt sorry for Maggie.

  2. I can't believe that I haven't read this book yet! It sounds so amazing from your review. I have to read it soon! Great review!! :)

  3. You've totally convinced me to read this book! I've never heard about it until now but it sounds really cute and if Jack is your favorite fictional boyfriend of all time it must be good!

    1. You might make fun of my fictional character if you read the book though. I'm so happy I was able to convince you! It's such a great book (:

  4. Sold! You made me want to read this book. The MC sounds so interesting and I like the premise of the book. I must read this one!

    1. Great! I;m really excited that everyone wants to read it now. It's a favorite of mine so that's what you want when you are reviewing a favorite.

  5. Sounds like a book designed for a special mood. When I'm there, I'll be reading it. Thanks for the post.


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