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The Popularity Rules

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The meek don't inherit a thing. Nice girls win nothing but regret. Virtue is wholly overrated.

If you don't do it, some other girl will.

Kat Elliot has spent her life fighting against phony schmoozing-and it's led her nowhere. A rebellious music journalist, Kat is down on her dreams when her exbest friend Lauren swishes back into town. Ten years ago, Lauren dumped Kat for hi
Paperback, 459 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 2009)
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Oct 18, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Katherine Elliot is a music journalist for Think Louder. Though, she is at the bottom of the totem pole. This is because she does not kiss ass. Her co-workers disrespect her and so does her room mate. As if it could get worse, Kat’s ex-friend, Lauren Anderville reappears. The last time that Kat saw Lauren was when Lauren was ditching Kat for popularity. Lauren is pretty, rich, hangs with the coolest people and has a successful job. Lauren tells Kat that she wants to start over with Kat. In fact, ...more
Thomas Olivent
Oct 17, 2011 Thomas Olivent rated it it was ok
I'll start out by saying I never read Chic literature, but I won a pre edited copy of this on here. I wasn't entirely sure if I would like it, but after reading the first chapter, I thought it seemed pretty good. I was honestly loving this book for so long, then about 3/4 of the way through, the story changed. The book went from telling a story to pushing an agenda. I was really disappointed in the entire last quarter of the book. Even after she started pushing her agenda, I was willing to give ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
despite disagreeing politically and morally, i did enjoy this book. it kept me interested and engaged and constantly thinking. a pretty good read.
Julie Heckman
Oct 14, 2011 Julie Heckman rated it it was amazing
Note: I received an advance readers copy of this book from the Goodreads FirstReads program.

Brittish Chic Lit is my guilty pleasure. I love it. I crave it like ice cream on a hot summer day. If I've had a bad day at work or dating is getting me down, all I want to do is go home, draw a bubble bath, pop open a bottle of cheap red wine and read something deliciously entertaining. I'm somewhat of a chic lit snob in the sense that I still expect the book to be funny, witty, engaging and the characte
Nov 05, 2011 Shoshanah rated it it was amazing
Back in high school Kat's best friend Lauren dumped her to hang out with the popular crowd. Except 10 years later when they run into eachother, Lauren explains that it was because of the popularity rules that shes changed and offers to teach them to Kat in hopes to turn around her life.

Going into this I wasn't sure what to think. It felt a little like a YA plotline, except these were supposed to be 20-somethings. And now that I read the book, it IS basically a YA book for 20-something and it mak
Wendy Hines
Jan 14, 2012 Wendy Hines rated it liked it
As Kat's life is taking the final whoosh down the toilet, an old friend from high school shows up and offers her a way to finally take control of her life. The Popularity Rules are secret and sacred, but Lauren is willing to share them with Kat if she's only willing to listen. When Kat finally reaches the point of desperation, she gives Lauren a call and they both embark on a journey to remake Kat's life.

After reading The Liberation of Alice Love, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this b
Jun 08, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
OK, I have to be honest. This book is an example of why I don't generally read Chick Lit. I realize that sounds harsh, and I apologize for that, but I don't know how else to express it. I found the story and the characters to be very superficial and for much of the book I was absolutely annoyed with Kat. As I am so far behind on my review reading, I was tempted to call it quits on this book and pass it along after reading a few chapters, but I decided to persevere. And you know what? The book di ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Stacey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-journal
Review to be printed in the October 1st issue of Library Journal.
XPress Reviews, September 16, 2011:

In McDonald's (The Liberation of Alice Love) latest chick lit title, protagonist Kat is rocker Bridget Jones, though she prefers to take journalistic vengeance on sleazy players than hem and haw over her boss's affections. A hard-core feminist with indie leanings, she strives to be genuine in a world that doesn't value truth. When an old friend shows up wit
Mary (BookHounds)
Oct 22, 2011 Mary (BookHounds) rated it really liked it
Kat looses her music journalist job just as her former BFF from high school returns to her life. What Kat doesn't know is that Lauren had dumped her as a friend when she discovered a book called The Popularity Rules much like those *RULES* books on how to get a guy. Now, Lauren is back to make amends and help Kat discover her inner popularity. Each chapter starts with a bit of wisdom from the book. Kat goes through an extreme makeover of personality, career and appearance which help propel her i ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Spanglemaker9 rated it liked it
Probably more like 3.5 stars.
I'm still learning how to express what it is I like about certain books and I'm sure I won't be clear here.
I like Abby McDonald's writing a lot. Her prose is very clean, uncluttered, and descriptive without ever venturing near purple. For that reason, I really enjoyed reading this. She has a particularly adept hand with characterizations, especially secondary or support characters. They're all very vividly drawn and fully realized. It makes the read so much more enj
Oct 26, 2011 Patty rated it really liked it
Kat Elliot enjoys her job as a music journalist writing about alternative music and occasional diatribes about the awful behavior of rock stars towards young women. One of those stories goes just a little too far and she finds herself out of a job and blacklisted from just about every magazine around. At her lowest she agrees to meet her boarding school friend Lauren who betrayed her in the worst way but who is now offering her a new life.

Is it possible to forgive?

While this might sound like a s
Aug 01, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing
When Kat Elliott was in school she had a best friend, Lauren Anderville. They were inseparable. They stood against cliques, bullies, equally hated, and equally alone. But as long as they had each other they didn't care. Until one summer when Lauren's parents sent her to camp and Lauren was introduced to "The Popularity Rules" and came back to school a changed girl. Now years later she is back in Kats life to explain to her what happened and also to teack Kat the lessons she learned that summer. ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Angela rated it it was ok
Shelves: chic-lit
So I can't decide what I think of this book. I didn't really like the main character and I didn't really like anyone else. Oscar is the only character I liked and he wasn't in it enough.

I won't lie I started reading the book thinking OK maybe I'll learn something or two that'll help me be more successful but what I learned instead is shallow people have shallow lives. Not a new lesson but one that was really reinforced with this story.

What irritated me the most was the idea that women who don'
Jan 28, 2012 Aphie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A story about friendship and "what's truly important" in a Very Special Presentation style. This book straddles the great divide in the lives of many intelligent women - between the allure of pop culture and its critique. It doesn't make the mistake of painting feminism as Angry Hairy Manhaters (though it does skirt dangerously close). Mostly this is done by means of the manchildren the protagonist seems to be surrounded by; in light of their behaviour, her views are realised as justified. But i ...more
Helene Harrison
Review - I've read Abby McDonald's The Popularity Rules a couple of times now and what never fails to get to me is how much stock we do place in popularity, particularly at school. Although at first glance, this novel seems to be your average chick-flick, there's a serious message behind it. Excellent book. Kat and Lauren learn that popularity isn't everything, unless you use it to make a difference to someone else's life, and make a difference for the better. You get to see both sides: the self ...more
Gerri Leen
Dec 18, 2011 Gerri Leen rated it did not like it
God, this is NOT my week for books. I'm hoping the next one takes. This one...I guess it's written fine but I DETESTED the heroine. To the point where if bad things happen to her I'd quietly cough "karma" into my drink and if good things happen, I'd quietly mourn. Was I supposed to root for her? Very confused. Frankly if she was going to turn into a bitch to get popular--well, she was already there to my way of thinking. Note to self: never dress down coworkers at office events in front of their ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
If Machiavelli's Prince wore lipstick, it would look a lot like The Popularity Rules. McDonald takes her protagonist, who teeters between fabulously liberated and the kind of mentions-the-patriarchy-in-every-sentence feminist that gives the rest of us a bad name, and explores what really constitutes Girl Power while neatly dancing around the conventions of chick lit. For those of you who might be starting to nod off after that summation, rest assured that there's plenty of SEX!, DRUGS!, and ROCK ...more
Nov 08, 2011 Diane rated it it was ok
Received an ARC from Goodreads. The book has an intersting concept, and is written well I just didn't care for the content (lots of sleeping around and pervasive language, IMO). I feel conflicted about the ending. I'm not sure if I wanted Kat (the main character) to become and stay totally popular, or if I wanted her to be true to herself, and I'm not convinced that the character knew the answer to the question either.

Well-enough written with some interesting dialogue and background on being a w
Feb 02, 2012 Georgette rated it liked it
I won this as a Goodreads first read.

It took me awhile to read it, but I really, really enjoyed it. If you want something with more brainpower to it, and less "Gossip Girl" type young adult novel(which is what I thought this was going to be similiar to), this is the one. The girls are very realistically written, and at no point in the book was I putting down going "WTF?" or "Are you kidding me?" which sometimes does happen when I read YA novels. I really enjoyed it. I would like to see her writ
Oct 18, 2011 kimyunalesca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book triggered some very funny,never gets old yesteryears memories,ah the joy of youth! ^_^ Mind opening!the tips/advices that's being shared here,the pros and cons of things.I saw the younger version of me in such situations quite interesting really.I think its a very effective book,I'm moved, touched and I'm very thankful even up today looking back everything that I've done with no regrets.Indeed this novel is a must share story!

I won and received this book for free through good reads fir
Jun 25, 2013 April rated it liked it
This book was strangely satisfying. It had the potential to be generic, superficial and predictable but it defied all odds and was actually interesting. It felt like fluff when I read it, and had the occasional predictable moment, but it was well put together in the end. The characters escaped the potential to be generic cliches and became relatable, understandable people. Truthfully, I had low expectations for the novel and they were far surpassed.
Nov 01, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Received this book in the Goodreads First Reads Giveaways. It was okay...didn't love it or hate it. It would be a great book for a beach read! Lots of stereotypical mean girl/music industry things in it, but they were entertaining. One thing I appreciated about it was that although it's a British book, it wasn't SOOOO filled with British slang that it was difficult to read through. Makes it easier to appeal to a worldwide audience.
Mar 20, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it
I liked this book, and was entertained throughout even though it was predictable. It dragged on a bit longer than necessary - and it got to the point where I kind of stopped reading the actual "rules" at the beginning of each chapter and just skimmed through them but as an easy, lighthearted read - it wasn't a complete waste of time.

I liked the evolution of friendship throughout the book, and I especially enjoyed the ending.
Jan 02, 2016 Rheo3000 rated it really liked it
Again. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

It seemed like the prototype for the more mainstream Liberation of Alice Love - the story of two women who exert so much force on each others lives. Very little love story - despite the cover art, which would usually indicate the complete opposite.
Resident Optimist
After reading life swap I thought I'd pick this up. It earned me a few weird looks at the library, people clearly thought it was a real life manual >_> I'd definitely recommend a name change for this novel!

Massively disappointed with this after Life Swap, it was unnecessarily longer than it should have been and as I call, has no real romance element to it :(
Mar 13, 2013 Lexi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've picked this book up and put it down again so many times I've lost count. At this point, I'm 165 pages in and still find all the characters to be so frustratingly self righteous that I can't bring myself to care what happens to any of them. I could probably keep reading this, one chapter every few months, but I'm finally giving up.
Jan 14, 2014 Lynda rated it it was ok
Not a book I would have chosen, but as it was a Christmas gift, thought I would see what it was like. It seems to illustrate extremes of women's behaviour, based around a school friendship that was abandoned when one of the girls decided to 'be popular', aided by a book of rules. It is a book that gives cause for thought. Maybe worth 2.5?
Abby Jean
Aug 23, 2012 Abby Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
fun, light read about a london music critic who is too forthright and feminist to be accepted, and the tension she finds in trying to get ahead with her career/success and making choices she can live with.
Oct 03, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book. I received it today and I have not been able to put it down. It keeps you at the end of your seat wanting more. I will update my review further once I have read the complete book.
Atika Khanom
Jun 12, 2013 Atika Khanom rated it it was ok
I'm sorry, the protagonist was simply dull and a screwed up feminist, but I don't think you can actually call her that after she 'changes'. Can't be bothered to read the whole thing so quicjly ended it by reading the last two chapters.
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Author of several YA and adult novels, including DANGEROUS GIRLS and DANGEROUS BOYS (written as Abigail Haas).
More about Abby McDonald...

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“It's your life. If you don't make it so that you get what you want, nobody else will.” 6 likes
“We love the idea of transformation, so we can make ourselves something more than just ordinary. It's why you're doing this, isn't it?" she asked. "You don't want to settle for what you are; you want to be more. You want to win.” 1 likes
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