How Not to Be Popular

( 83 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (49) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $4.90   
  • Used (40) from $1.99   
How Not to Be Popular

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 18.

The nomadic lifestyle of her free-spirit parents has moved Sugar Magnolia "Maggie" Dempsey so often that it seems just as she gets her bearings in one place, she is on to the next. After leaving her latest BFF and boyfriend behind, Maggie embarks on Operation Avoid Friends (OAF) upon arriving in Austin, Texas. Instead of trying to fit in, Maggie does the absolute opposite, taking great pains to be an oddball and not connecting with anyone. She believes it is a foolproof plan to avoid getting hurt when her parents inevitably decide to move on. Each chapter begins with a tip about how not to be popular and proceeds to detail Maggies attempt to implement that tip. Try as she might, Maggie can not seem to turn off other people and be totally ostracized. Her personality somehow shines through her many disguises. This book could have easily been a predictable, trite read. Several plot elements have been fodder for teen movies; however, the characters are engaging and the references to literature and culture are smart. The insightful voice of the narrator rings true, infused with a great sense of humor as Maggie details the high school landscape replete with its cliques, pressures, and possible romance. Maggie has flaws and makes mistakes in judgment, but she clearly grows and learns valuable lessons during her time in Austin. It is an enjoyable, satisfying read that will be instantly popular with girl readers. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

KLIATT - KLIATT Review
Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (Maggie for short) is moving for the tenth time since high school started because her carefree, hippie parents think that moving gives them better karma. Usually Maggie makes friends with the popular crowd when she moves to a new place, but this time, she creates a unique plan to not be popular so that it won't hurt as much when they move again. She dresses in crazy Halloween-like outfits and tries to be eccentric and weird so that no one will want to be friends with her. Through creatively humorous scenarios, Maggie's plan is put into action, but she doesn't predict that she will end up with more faithful friends then she has ever known. People start to follow her purposely awful fashion trends and quirky lifestyle because they think she is "real," which becomes the new "cool" at her high school. When Maggie realizes her popularity, she disowns her friends to stick to her plan. In a clever twist, Maggie learns that her parents have decided not to move again. The book ends with Maggie working hard to right the wrongs. While it's a positive and touching ending, Maggie does not get the "easy way out" or the happy-ever-after ending. Her character adds a witty, fresh perspective to the YA literature scene. Age Range: Ages 12 to 18. REVIEWER: Ashleigh Larsen (Vol. 42, No. 1)
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- Smarting from her recent breakup and on the road to Austin, TX, with her hippie parents who have decided, yet again, to relocate, Sugar Magnolia-known as Maggie-crafts an extreme plan to avoid emotional pain the next time she has to move. Instead of endearing herself to the local popular clique-a technique she has perfected as part of her family's vagabond lifestyle-she decides to shun friendship and popularity in her new town. To that end, she comes to school in bizarre castoffs from her parents' thrift shop and forges a casual relationship with a group of school outcasts. When the success of a group project leads the teen to recognize her growing feelings of warmth toward those misfits, she has to decide whether or not to make a dramatic statement equivalent to social suicide. Ziegler's novel is fun but somewhat fantastic and concludes with a rather made-for-TV-movie school assembly scene. The book has heart, however, and cliché set pieces aside (Maggie's antifashion statements become school-wide trends and her success leads to the takedown of the queen bee cheerleader), it has a sweet story of friendship at its core. A low current of romance hums beneath the surface; that Ziegler's story does not conclude with a pat resolution of this tension adds an element of realism.-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Zippy and full of wit, Ziegler’s work is engaging, touching, and full of laughs." - Rob Thomas, author of Rat Saw God and creator of Veronica Mars

“Maggie and Jack’s relationship rings true, adding an irresistible sincerity to both characters that allows Maggie’s self-discovery and growth to unfold naturally. Thoughtful and fun.”—Kirkus Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385734653
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/8/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 465,535
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Ziegler is the author of Alpha Dog and Sass & Serendipity. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

How Not to Be Popular


By Jennifer Ziegler

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2008 Jennifer Ziegler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385734653

Tip: Popular girls never go anywhere by themselves. Thus, it must also stand to reason that the unpopular are always alone.

First days of school always make me feel extra alive. My senses just seem magically improved. It’s like I can fully live in the moment and simultaneously float along beside myself, carefully recording everything for later viewing. And this, I know, will become a treasured memory. The kind that replays in full color and digital surround sound, with credits rolling at the end. This will be the day I finally figure out my life. The day I overcome the burden of being a Traveling Dempsey. Today I begin Operation Avoid Friends (OAF?).

Knowing I have nothing to lose this time around makes me feel better about the whole situation. To tell the truth, I’m even a little excited about it.

Of course, this is the first day of school only for me. Everyone else has been here for over two weeks. That’s another thing about my parents: they can’t be on time for anything. First they took their own sweet hippie time making it to Austin; then yesterday they had the entire day to officially enroll me at Lakewood High, but when did we walk in the door? At a quarter to five. The registrar was just about to shut down hercomputers—something she reminded us of several times as she raced through the enrollment process. Of course Les and Rosie didn’t seem to notice. As Les slowly filled out forms in his ornate handwriting, the lady kept tapping her car keys against her desk. But Rosie just hummed along with the rhythm.

So here I am, getting my first glimpse of Lakewood’s teen population. The students don’t look all that different from Portland kids. Or Seattle or Berkeley or Boulder or Madison or Santa Fe kids, for that matter. All the typical groupings are here. This is my tenth high school, so as you can imagine, I’ve gotten really good at figuring out the cliques and the power rankings, just by noticing the way kids dress and act.

Hanging at the edge of the parking lot, under a cloud of cigarette smoke, are the Thugs, aka Burnouts, Stoners, or Fry-Boys. Rockers and Skaters are subsets of this group, and they overlap like Venn diagrams for partying purposes. Trevor was a part of this group in Portland; shaggy-haired Skaters were the dominant breed there, but it’s obviously different in Austin. Here they seem to be of skinnier, squirrelier stock and they aren’t surrounded by a gaggle of admiring girls.

Sitting at a couple of picnic tables on the front lawn are the Brains. Or Nerds, Honor Roll Dweebs, Debate Club Dorks, or Goobers. Judging by all the big black instrument cases, I’d say most of them take band, which is typical. At other schools I’ve learned that almost all superbrain students take band or orchestra, but not all band or orchestra students are superbrains. Band as phylum, Brains as genus.

Swarming around a stone wall that separates the parking lot from the school is what I guess to be the art and/or theater crowd. A guy in camo pants and a T-shirt with something ironic on it (I’m too far away to read it) is reenacting some outrageous sketch with a bad British accent. Meanwhile his peers cheer him on. A Goth couple in the front is really cracking up, which makes me smile. It’s always funny to see Goths laugh.

And finally, scattered about the covered walkway leading to the school’s front doors are the heads of the high school ecosystem. This category differs slightly from school to school, but usually it includes perfect poser types with an overabundance of money and power. In this case, preppy jocks appear to be the ruling class—mainly guys with football-player builds, spiky flattop hairdos, and urban designer clothes.

There are a few pretty girls sprinkled in with them, but mainly as accessories. I haven’t yet spotted the school’s ruling females, the crowd I typically try to integrate with.

Being part of the power clique means you’re auto- matically protected to a degree. You get access to the best clubs and parties and sometimes have more privileges at school. Everything is just easier. I’ve never made top tier, but I’ve almost always been part of that scene—until this time, that is. Under the rules of my antipopularity plan, I can’t associate with any friendworthy people. Instead I’m going to be one of those weird outsider types—the ones who are always by themselves and give off lots of keep-away vibes. The kind of person no one notices after a while.

“Hey! New girl!” One of the alpha guys calls out to me. He’s cute. Real cute, in fact. Dark blond hair, strong jaw, dimples. I know I’m trying to avoid people, but this guy is so gorgeous it’s hard to look away. “Where’re you from?” he drawls, adding extra emphasis to “you.”

I hear my response in my head. All over the place. It’s a struggle, but I don’t let it out. Instead I tear my gaze off him and fiddle with my messenger bag, hoping he’ll lose interest. Just being near a guy reminds me of Trevor.

“Hey, you! I’m talking to you!” He raises his voice, and out of the corner of my eye, I notice that his pals all turn their heads simultaneously. Even a couple of passersby slow down to watch.

I wish he’d just declare me a weirdo and move on, but instead he hops down off his perch and walks up next to me. His cohorts pivot around, their faces gleaming expectantly.

“Didn’t you hear me?” the guy asks. He leans forward, hovering his face over mine as if to give the best possible view of his perfect cheekbones and navel-sized dimples.

A warm sensation trickles through me—probably hormones. This is the type of guy girls embarrass themselves for, a guy who could possibly help me get over Trevor… but even on the bizarro chance we hooked up (which isn’t likely), who would help me get over him when we move in four months?

As I stand there, sifting through my jumbled thoughts, the guy’s face slowly flattens. “Man, what’s wrong with you?” he asks. “Just trying to be friendly here.”

“Blow her off, Miles,” calls out one of his guy pals. “She’s probably got someone else giving it to her.” Denied any entertainment, the crowd turns back toward the other approaching students.

Continues...

Excerpted from How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Ziegler. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Loved it:-)!!!!!!!!!!

    This book was funny some of the parts i almost cryed but it was really good but to much cusing they should make a move best book ever.This book is for13 and up.love it so much

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Awesome!!!!!

    I really enjoyed reading this book! It got me thinking of what it would be like to get to change and choose my personality. I would try so many things. Anyways like i said this book was an awesome read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Great book!

    An amazing book, and since I know the author, I can tell you that she's just as awesome!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Very good

    I truly enjoyed this book! I would definitaly recomend this book to all types of people..... 215 pages

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS IVE EVER READ!

    everyone MUST read this. i know when you read reviews you find one bad comment and one good and you're torn. but this book is sooo amazing you shouldnt be. just go buy it...NOW! i read it in 2 days and it ws funny, intereseting, romantic, and the main character is so much fun to follow!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2008

    Great

    I liked this book a lot. I can totally relate. School for me is just like this, all about the populars, hard etc.... I just enjoyed reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    review

    I just finished this book, after buying it because I thought that it sounded funny. The tips on the back were interesting, and intriqued me into reading the book. Although what I did not like was that Maggie was pretending to be something that she wasn't, and then finally she realized that the 'losers' of the school were not so bad. Also, this book has no climax. Where does the story get interesting? It really drags on in quite a few places, and to be honest is not a book that I enjoyed reading. A teenager's life is not like that, trust me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    One of the best books i've read

    I love this book its for hopeless romantics

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    Amazing

    Never could actually manage to put this book down

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    This book!

    This bookis absolutly amazing. Sure the main xharachter makes me bad choices and stuff but over all this book teaches a great lesson

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Anonymous

    This book was amazing!! I the story she tells and how you can feel what Maggie is going through throughout the book. The book is funny, too, which makes it even better. The book is about a girl named Sugar Magnolia Dempsey. Her parents are hippies who love to travel the world. But now that Maggie is in high school and she has to say goodbye to besties and a boyfriend in Portland. So Maggie's plan is to make her stay in Austin terrible. Now operation be unpopular has commenced.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Lol

    Kinda funny

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2012

    I would've rated this four or five stars, but I just hated the

    I would've rated this four or five stars, but I just hated the main character. I understood her logic, but she just judged others too much. she should just "follow her heart." The main character-I forgot her name-seemed stupid to me. She's all like "I don't like this nerd" and "Oh my god! He's hot now!" She's so annoying. Afterwards, she betrayed the people in the Helping Hands club for the popular group because she's all like "Oh my gosh, these are the people I won't miss. I should hang out with them instead."
    Sorry if you think I should to rough. I have my dislike-radar on.
    Overall, I would rate this to two point five, but the rating won't do that so I chose to rate this a three.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Loved this book

    Hey guys this book is amazing for any ages, it is worth the money so get it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    High schoolers this book is for you

    Ifyou like bad books then this is for you. This book stinks and should not be read until 10th grade. It is innapropriate and cusses a lot. DO NOT READ

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Awesome book

    I did't get the book on my amazing nook but I do own it and I must say it is a great book! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Funny

    This book was so funny.i was reading it in class in i got introble for laughing so muvh that is how funny if i could give this book to everyone in the world i would. Really really funny

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Have too get this book

    Thid book is amazing you have to get it you will love it but the age group i would say is 8th grade and up

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2011

    laugh out loud, kind of

    fun and quirky, this book brings the funny truth into writing. Maggy is a look obsesed girl who trys... well... not to be fashionable. Her laugh out loud character wiil quickly engrose you. Maggie is fun and quirky, trying not to fit in and somehow doing just the opposite, making someone fall in love with the fake.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2011

    Good Intentions, but Didn't Pull Through

    I thought that the general idea was original and interesting, but unfortunately I thought that the characters were general unlikeable (especially Maggie) and there was a lack of realistic character development and a general unrealistic quality that ended up making this book fall flat. Though the writing was pretty good, I thought it was lacking due to the author/narrator not using a proper amount of articulation in describing feelings and instead uses "the Stabbies" and other strange descriptions that made it hard to relate to Maggie. All in all, I was very disappointed with this novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 84 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)