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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 --...
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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.
T-minus two days and counting
saturday, august 26, 7 P.M.
I should have known from the way the woman kept looking at my name tag that she was going to ask.
"Steph Landry," she said as she pulled out her wallet. "Now, how do I know that name?"
"Gosh, ma'am," I said. "I don't know." Except that, even though I had never seen this woman before in my life, I had a pretty good idea how she might have heard of me.
"I know," the lady said, snapping her fingers, then pointing at me. "You're on the Bloomville High School women's soccer team!"
"No, ma'am," I said to her. "I'm not."
"You weren't on the court of the Greene County Fair Queen, were you?"
But you could tell, even as the words were coming out of her mouth, she knew she was wrong again. I don't have Indiana county fair queen hair -- i.e., my hair is short, not long; brown, not blonde; and curly, not straight. Nor do I have an Indiana county fair queen bod -- i.e., I'm kinda on the short side, and if I don't exercise regularly, my butt kind of . . . expands.
Obviously I do what I can with what God gave me, but I won't be landing on America's Next Top Model anytime soon, much less the court of any fair queen.
"No, ma'am," I said.
The thing is, I reallydidn't want to get into it with her. Who would?
But she wouldn't let it go.
"Goodness. I just know I know your name from somewhere," the woman said, handing me her credit card to pay for her purchases. "You sure I didn't read about you in the paper?"
"Pretty sure, ma'am," I said. God, that would be just what I need. For the whole thing to have shown up in the paper.
Fortunately, though, I haven't been in the paper since my birth announcement. Why would I? I'm not particularly talented, musically or otherwise.
And while I'm in mostly AP classes, that's not because I'm an honor student or anything. That's just because if you grow up in Greene County knowing that lemon Joy goes in your dishwasher and not your iced tea, you get put in AP classes.
It's actually sort of surprising how many people in Greene County make that mistake. With the lemon Joy, I mean. According to my friend Jason's dad, who is a doctor over at Bloomville Hospital.
"It's probably," I said to the woman as I ran her credit card through the scanner, "because my parents own this store."
Which I know doesn't sound like much. But Courthouse Square Books is the only independently owned bookstore in Bloomville. If you don't include Doc Sawyer's Adult Books and Sexual Aids, out by the overpass. Which I don't.
"No," the woman said, shaking her head. "That's not it, either."
I could understand her frustration. What's especially upsetting about it -- if you think about it (which I try not to, except when things like this happen) -- is that Lauren and I, up until the end of fifth grade, had been friends. Not close friends, maybe. It's hard to be close friends with the most popular girl in school, since she's got such a busy social calendar.
But certainly close enough that she'd been over to my house (okay, well, once. And she didn't exactly have the best time. I blame my father, who was baking a batch of homemade granola at the time. The smell of burnt oatmeal WAS kind of overpowering) and I'd been over to hers (just once . . . her mom had been away getting her nails done, but her dad had been home and had knocked on Lauren's door to say that the explosion noises I was making during our game of Navy Seal Barbie were a little too loud. Also that he'd never heard of Navy Seal Barbie, and wanted to know what was so wrong with playing Quiet Nurse Barbie).
"Well," I said to the customer, "maybe I just . . . you know. Have one of those names that sounds familiar."
Yeah. Wonder why. Lauren's the one who coined the term "Don't pull a Steph Landry." Out of revenge.
It's amazing how fast it caught on, too. Now if anyone in school does anything remotely crack-headed or dorky, people are all, "Don't pull a Steph!" or "That was so Steph!" or "Don't be such a Steph!"
And I'm the Steph they're talking about.
"Maybe that's it," the woman said doubtfully. "Gosh, this is going to bug me all night. I just know it."
Her credit card was approved. I tore off the slip for her to sign and started bagging her purchases. Maybe I could tell her that the reason she might know me is because of my grandfather. Why not? He's currently one of the most talked about -- and richest -- men in southern Indiana, ever since he sold some farmland he owned along the proposed route of the new I-69 ("connecting Mexico to Canada via a highway 'corridor'" through Indiana, among other states) for the construction of a Super Sav-Mart, which opened last weekend.
Which means he's been in the local paper a lot, especially since he spent a chunk of his money building an observatory that he plans to donate to the city.
Because every small town in southern Indiana needs an observatory.
It also means my mother isn't speaking to him, because the Super Sav-Mart, with its reduced prices, is probably going to put all of the shops along the square, including Courthouse Square Books, out of business.
But I knew the customer would never fall for it. Grandpa's last name isn't even the same as mine. He was afflicted from birth with the unfortunate moniker of Emile Kazoulis . . . although he's done pretty well for himself, despite this handicap.
Excerpted from How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot Copyright © 2006 by Meg Cabot. 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.
If you love Cabot's books, you may or may not like this. It's her usual style, and, for me, it's getting to be too predictable. It's always a girl in love with one person or another but by the end of the book she's realized her true love. Sure the story was great, and I really loved the message, but the characters get a bit boring when they don't really seem to change much.
Don't get me wrong. She's a great author, and all her books have a message, but I just get bored with the same basic plot. Yes she mixes it up a bit, and yes it's not the same cookie cutter version of a girl. The girls themselves are real, at least to me, but sometimes the situaion is not always.
It's a great book. But if you read a lot of Cabot, then you may not enjoy it.
I read this in five hours. That made it fun for me. This, even though typical Cabot, has to be one of my favourite books by her. Yes I've said some negative things, but it's still a good book. I enjoyed it.
12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2009
I'm 27 years old and I literally waited till my fiance went to bed so I can stay up all night and read this. I finished it so quick. Every woman should have this book hidden in a spot where no one can find it. I felt like I found someone's diary with secrets to popularity and that's just it! I did find the secrets to popularity. And even if you're not in school, it will still help in any job, with friends or anywhere there's people. It's filled with leadership tips and the fact that it's all wrapped up in a story, illustrates by example every popularity tip there is so it's easy to understand. This is my first book by Meg Cabot, and now I'm hooked.
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2008
If you've ever heard the phrase "Way to pull a Steph Landry!," you wouldn't be alone. Pretty much everyone who attends Bloomville High in the heart of Greene County, Indiana, knows who Steph Landry is. Or, they at least know better than to ever, ever, ever do something that would have someone uttering the aforementioned phrase. Even kids under the age of five know what it means to "pull a Steph Landry." In that they know it means instant social doom. <BR/><BR/>So what did this girl do, you ask? Shoot someone? Rob a store? Dump the Homecoming Queen into a lake, lock the quarterback in a dungeon, lob a hand grenade into the general store? No, what Steph Landy did was much, much worse. She accidentally spilled a Big Red Super Big Gulp on Lauren Moffat's white D&G skirt. And even though they had been kind of friends up until that incident in sixth grade, and even though her father tried to remove the stain from Lauren's skirt, and even though her mother ended up buying her a new one, and even though Steph herself apologized for the incident like ten zillion times, Lauren Moffat has been making Steph pay for her mistake ever since. <BR/><BR/>They're all juniors in high school now--Steph and her best friends Jason and Becca, Lauren and her posse of popular girls and guys, most noticeably her football quarterback boyfriend, Mark Finley. Nearly five years after that accidental dousing in the middle school cafeteria, and Steph is still living down the horror of being a social outcast. <BR/><BR/>That's all about to change, though. At least if she has anything to say about it. Now that Jason's grandmother is marrying her own widowed grandfather, they've been spending a lot of time at Jason's house. It's during one of those times that Steph finds the book; the one that will shoot her to the top of the popularity totem pole, the one that will exile the social pariah Steph once and for all, and turn her into mega-popular, wonderful, everyone loves her Steph. <BR/><BR/>Kind of. Maybe. If she plays her cards right. Or she just might end up getting what she wants (popularity), and losing everything she's ever held dear (most noticeably, Jason). <BR/><BR/>With HOW TO BE POPULAR, Meg Cabot has taken the typical high school teen angst and mixed it up with an all-too-believable situation to create a wonderful, fast-paced read. I'd recommend this book to all fans of Ms. Cabot, all fans of contemporary stories, all fans of young adult literature, period. This is another winner from the queen of teen fiction. Trust me. Pick up a copy of HOW TO BE POPULAR, and you won't be disappointed.
6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2009
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy for me to relate to a girl who wanted to be popular, and was willing to follow a book to become it. It wasn't a 5 star read for me, but it was definitely a worthwhile one. I found myself reading it maybe two more times after I first finished it, just to "relive" the story in my head and actually read parts that I only skimmed over. I fell in love with all the characters. They made me laugh a lot! A humorous, worthwhile book.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2010
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Posted August 26, 2008
I loved this book. After i got into it i couldn't put it down! I may have been thick , but it was worth the time. Any teenage girl could relate to this book. we've all fell for guys that are phonys and friends. It doesn't matter who reads this book 7th-12th you will enjoy this book. I know we've all fell for our best friends.....its happened to me multiply times. in this book i knew i must stay true to myself..... i am guilty of trying to change this year. but after reading this book im going to stay true to me!!!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 24, 2011
When i saw this book i thought " ooooh a meg cabot book must be good" but it was way more then good it was AMAZING!!!!
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2008
OMG!!!I read this the day i got it..i started at like,11pm,then finished at 4:30 in the morning!!!It's super addicting.i never wanted to put the book down!It had a bit of humor in it.i loved it.i actually think i might read the 3rd time right now.lol.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2008
I loved this book so much. Meg Cabot is such a great author. I love most all of her books. I couldn't put this book down for a second without picking it back up. I recommend this book to anyone who likes high school romance and friendship adventures.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2012
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Posted August 5, 2011
I absolurly love this book. It was soooooo amazing! I recommend it to girls who love romance and humor and suspensful twists. Ages 11 an up had some teen content
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2014
Wow your dumb. Ok, you opened it. Here's my message: U suck! Idiots! Loooooser. Ha i said dont open soooo you deserve it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 8, 2014
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Posted January 5, 2014
This was an amazing book. I finished it in less than a day! I've even reread sometimes. While it may be predictable it still is an interesting and enjoyable book. With lots of humor in it. And most girls are able to relate to the main character which is awesome. I think this may be my favorite book by Meg Cabot, beating The Princess Diaries.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2014
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