How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot is about Steph Landry – who, five years earlier, accidentally spilled a Big Red Super Big Gulp (which, I’m assuming, is a drink) all over the most popular girl in school’s white mini skirt. Because of that, whenever anyone does anything stupid, it’s now referred to as ‘Pulling a Steph’. This book is about how she wants to become popular and make everyone forget about the ‘Super Big Gulp Incident’ with the help of a book she finds entitled How to Be Popular.
I don’t know when (or where) the How to Be Popular book that Steph Landry finds is set but it describes popular people as being nice, likable, friendly people. The popular people at Steph’s school are arseholes. (Except Darlene. I liked her character. Don’t know why. I just did.)
While Steph is changing herself to become popular, her best friend Jason, gets more and more frustrated with her. He likes her the way she is. Why is she straightening her hair? (She has short, curly hair, so he calls her ‘Crazytop’. It’s her evil mastermind nickname).
Eventually, though, Steph sees that popularity is not everything it’s cracked up to be and dumps the ‘popular’ crowd.
I like how, at the beginning of the chapters/diary dates, there is a quote from The Book. Once Steph realises that popularity is not for her, The Book quotes (which are pro-popularity) change to anti-popularity quotes from the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Oscar Wilde. I thought this was a nice, little addition.
Also, I found this quite funny (but annoying at the same time): Becca (Steph’s other best friend) is annoyingly obsessed with Jason. Even though Steph doesn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying that he doesn’t like her like that, she makes it pretty obvious that he doesn’t. And Becca doesn’t get the hint.
I’d recommend this for people who want a quick read and who don’t understand why jerky ‘popular’ people are considered popular.