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My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  389 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the "in" crowd sits.

Unfortunately, he has the wrong look (short, plump, Brillo-pad curls), he has the wrong interests (Broadway, chorus violin), and he has the wrong friends (Spencer, into Eastern religions, and Mary Ann, wh
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 23, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it it was ok
Originally posted on The Book Smugglers

Justin Goldblatt has had enough of being the unpopular fat kid at school. He is fed up with being bullied, tired of his circle of friends and so he decides to start anew and become the New Justin. His goals are to become popular by mingling with the in-crowd and to date Chuck, the hottest guy in school. Does he care that Chuck is straight? No. Does he care that he doesn’t actually knowhow he is going to achieve these? NO! For Justin is a blindly optimistic
Feb 13, 2015 Randee rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, audible
I listened to this on Audible and found it charming, amusing and uplifting in a goofy sort of way. Seth Rudetsky wrote and reads the role of Justin Goldblatt, a gay sophomore, who has a crush on the star quarterback of his school; the good looking, straight, Chuck. I think Seth did a perfect job of narrating the character. His best friend, Spencer, is narrated by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, of Modern Family. He does a nice job as well. If that wasn't enough, Ana Gasteyer from SNL fame and Josh Gad fro ...more
Sarah Laurence
Apr 12, 2016 Sarah Laurence rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
Adorable and hilarious! This delightful comedy features both gay and straight romances and enough gender identity plot twists to rival Shakespeare. It was a nice change to read a YA novel with mostly Jewish characters that wasn't about the Holocaust. Good choice for musical theater fans too. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
May 01, 2012 Terri rated it it was ok
I really appreciate that Seth Rudetsky wanted to contribute to the growing list of GLBTQ books for teens, and I really appreciated his very sincere note at the end of the book (these are reasons I gave the book two stars, instead of one), but this book was as bad as the title: "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan." I picked it up because it promised humor, and finding more humorous books to recommend to my students is one of my goals for the summer. Unfortunately, I groaned in pain more than I laug ...more
Kiara Ramirez
Sep 21, 2014 Kiara Ramirez rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens
I've been reading this book for about two weeks so far, and I have to say this book is pretty cool to read during my free time and class. From what I read so far the main character Justin is basically not popular because of his choice of the people he surrounds himself with and because of his love for the male gender. Later in the story he basically comes up with a plan to become popular to others (mostly Chuck) he says:

A)start dating someone (please let it be Chuck)
B)have his first kiss
Jun 15, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Seth Rudetsky's humorous Young Adult novel. Awesome/Awful is fun, entertaining read; not a guide for surviving high school. Having spent nearly 15 years in the public school system, I've come to know these student 'types' pretty well. Not to say that all the characters are stereotypical, they each have their own unique qualities, strengths and weaknesses; that set them apart as individuals and make them interesting. Teen angst comes in many forms and Rudetsky does a great job of ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
Recommended to Richard by: Jeff Linamen
When I got to the end of the third chapter, I realized I had read this short, amusing teen novel once before, probably soon after its release. I enjoyed revisiting this coming out tale told from Mr. Rudetsky's comic viewpoint. It is a clever story of friendships and the wisdom of showing your true self to the world.
Feb 28, 2015 Allison rated it really liked it
Any avid fan of Sirius XM's On Broadway channel knows Seth Rudetsky very well. One of the best things about his foray into YA fiction is hearing his voice as the first person narrator (which apparently he does for the audio version...perfect!). But honestly, Justin is adorable even if you don't have Seth's voice in your head. The characters and story are perhaps a bit on the predictable side, but any YA novel with a gay protagonist, references to musical theatre and a quest for a first kiss is a ...more
Lexi Nelson
Justin was that kid in school that everyone made fun of. And even worse, he was gay, and the whole school knew. He could've liked anyone but instead he chose to like Chuck, the star quarterback, how cliché. But when he gets pulled into an elaborate plan involving Chuck's forbidden girlfriend, what will he do??

I LOVED this book simply because I just love how well the author captures the gayness of Justin, I absolutely loved it.

I recommend this book to anyone who watches "Lush" or "Tyler Oakley"
Dec 17, 2014 Lili rated it liked it
This was, by no means, a good book. It should have gotten one star. The story was ridiculous and trite, the characters were thin, and the jokes and "plot twists" were predictable. But. I gave it another star for the amazing cast READING the book, and another star just because I love Seth Rudetsky on the Broadway channel on SiriusXM and I have to give anyone credit who writes an LGBTQ-friendly YA book that includes theatre. My interests fall squarely in the center of that Venn diagram, and for th ...more
Jan 13, 2012 Bookworm1858 rated it it was amazing
I have a total talent crush on Seth Rudetsky. I've seen him be hilarious on that Legally Blonde talent search show, I've read his columns for, and I've heard him on Sirius XM on Broadway. He's so funny and so knowledgeable about music and Broadway. However I wasn't sure if he could write a novel with characters I would care about-he's so good at that other stuff; could he be good at this too?

Well, I am happy to say that I found this book immensely satisfying with a likable MC a
Dec 21, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I haven't read many LGTB books and admittedly this is my first that was devoted solely to the LGTB theme. My objections do not come from the content. Rudetsky kept it clean.

I got this book at a book convention and heard Rudetsky speak about the book, his writing process, etc. He strikes me as the stereotypical gay man. His book, he admits, has loose similarities between his life and the protagonist (Justin's) life. I was able to relate to Justin through all the stereotypical gay men in my life.
Stephanie (Stephs Stacks)
Feb 11, 2012 Stephanie (Stephs Stacks) rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
Full Review and More on Steph's Stacks

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan is a fun, frothy, frolic that reminded me of some of my favorite “chick-lit” books. Justin finds himself in embarrassing/funny/awkward situations ala Becky Bloomwood and Bridget Jones. You can see that our hero is making bad decisions that will only lead to trouble, but it’s so much fun to see how he’s going to get out of it.

I’ve been a fan of Rudetsky (better known for his Broadway resume) for years. He hosts a couple of my
Jun 07, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2013 Adrianna rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, young-adult
To begin, I would like to clarify that I would give this book between 2 and 2.5 stars.

My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan is a young adult book written by Seth Rudetsky about the struggles of high school freshman Justin Goldblatt. When we meet Justin, he is unattractive, unpopular, and determined to turn these trends around by becoming popular and kissing, with the fantasy of dating, the school’s handsome, star quarterback. As he pursues these goals, Justin comes to realize their shallowness, brin
The main character and narrator, Justin, is portrayed as the lovable yet totally clueless underdog of the high school hierarchy. The guy that would unfortunately never fit in socially at the top, but whose goal is to be popular. Justin’s superficial-ness is balanced out by his all knowing best friend Spencer, who is also gay and the only person Justin has ever come out to. Becky is the ever so sweet girl who is unfortunately in the way, being girlfriend to Justin’s desire Chuck. Chuck
Amy Lignor
Feb 26, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it liked it
A great many readers will be reminded of a small movie called, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” as they read through this hysterical novel. Not only has the author combined a character that is fun and full of life, but he has also found a way to bring the gay community a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.

Justin Goldblatt is a nice fifteen-year-old boy who wants what everyone else wants - to find the love of his life, go out on a date, get kissed, and have a future. Of course, Justin has a bit of a problem because
Jan 23, 2013 Halkovic's-Classroom rated it really liked it

My Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky is about a troubled teenager who is a sophomore in high school. But, he has more difficult problems than a typical high school student. The book tells about a chubby Jewish boy named Justin Goldblatt. He is the antithesis of popular. Furthermore, he is homosexual which makes moving up on the social even more difficult. Justin’s ultimate goal of sophomore year is to become more popular, and he wants to date his fantasy boyfriend Chuck. Justin really wants
Book Twirps
Jan 21, 2012 Book Twirps rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Justin isn't exactly what the kids at his school would consider cool. He's short and pudgy, loves Broadway shows and plays violin. His friends Spencer and Mary Ann are pretty out there and don't help his cool factor at all, but Justin is determined to make two things happen his sophomore year: Claim the spot as the king of the cool table in the cafeteria, and date Chuck, the hottest guy in school. The problem is, Chuck isn't gay. In fact, he dates Becky, one of Justin's friends from cho
Jul 02, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
This book is funny and sweet and adorable. Fifteen years old, short, fat and Jewish, gay sophomore Justin (not out of the closet to anyone other than his also gay best friend Spencer) is tired of being teased and on the bottom rung of the social ladder at school. He creates a plan to become popular and get his first kiss--hopefully with Chuck the beefy star football player, on whom he has a huge crush. When Justin kinda accidentally starts dating Becky, a popular girl who has just publicly broke ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, young-adult, lgbt
Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become part of the in crowd. Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles in his way. First of all, Chuck isn't gay; he's dating Becky, one of the most popular girls in school. The outlook isn't that great for Justin's popularity, either. He has the wrong look (short and plump with a "Jew-fro") and the wrong interests (Broadway, violin, choir). His friends aren't exactly helping his social status, either: Spenc ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Judith rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, glbt
Justin Goldblatt is tired of being the unpopular kid in high school. Sure there are about six kids that he is more popular than, but Justin dreams of being the guy that everyone wants to be. So he devises a plan. First he needs to get Chuck the quarterback to notice him. With a quarterback as a boyfriend, Justin will be unstoppable. Too bad is plan is destined to fail.
My awesome/awful popularity plan is the first novel by Seth Rudestsky, who is a Broadway actor and SiriusXM radio host. The one
Apr 17, 2016 AJ rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Middle Graders
This book was definitely not for me. I didn't go into it expecting something super quality, it's meant to be a fun light read. However, it was just too silly, EXTREMELY predictable, and overall just dull. The writing was very simple, the characters were pretty awful, unintelligent and boring aside from Spencer. Maybe younger readers would enjoy this book, but I wouldn't suggest it for anyone looking for something with a good plot or quality writing.
Feb 15, 2016 Anna-Marlena rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, romance
okay, wow. I'm kinda glad this book is over. I don't think I have ever been annoyed by a character and their thoughts and choices ever before, and I have read a lot of books. Justin was just so ignorant sometimes, I wanted to scream at him!
Only saving grace was the narrators. I listened to the book on audible and the different narrators for different characters really did an excellent job at bringing the characters to life. Each voice was perfectly chosen for the character.
Really, hadn't it bee
Nov 30, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah
Shelves: onmyshelf, 2015books
I love listening to Seth Rudetsky on OnBroadway so I figured it was worth reading his young adult novel. I wasn't disappointed. It was a funny and heartwarming story about navigating the social classes in high school as a homosexual boy. I could definitely "hear" Seth in this story and it made me chuckle a few times. I think the story itself wasn't anything ground breaking but it was an entertaining, quick read and worth it for sure!
Dec 30, 2012 Skarjune rated it liked it
I bought the book from the author after he performed with Andrea Martin at Second City's UP comedy club in her show "Final Days! Everything Must GO!." He's a funny talented guy, so I just wanted to support him, plus I needed a read for a travel day.

Justin is an interesting character and likely based on Rudetsky's own struggles growing up gay. It's a nice balance of laughter amid the pain of being in the closet in high school. Aiming for the YA audience, he keeps it on the light side while dealin
Homewood Public Library
Justin Goldblatt is tired of being the unpopular kid in high school. Sure there are about six kids that he is more popular than, but Justin dreams of being the guy that everyone wants to be. So he devises a plan. First he needs to get Chuck the quarterback to notice him. With a quarterback as a boyfriend, Justin will be unstoppable. Too bad is plan is destined to fail.
My awesome/awful popularity plan is the first novel by Seth Rudestsky, who is a Broadway actor and SiriusXM radio host. His wri
Brian Ashmore
Sep 30, 2014 Brian Ashmore rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, ya
While this book has some cliched themes running through it, the audiobook is really amazing. I also like that Seth is trying to add a book to help teens, gay and otherwise, to know it sucked for everyone. For originality if the story, not too much to say. It's still a really good audiobook either way.
Apr 07, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
I've adored Rudetsky on Sirius for years and didn't realize this was YA. (Jesse Tyler Ferguson tweeted a picture with the cover once.) No matter. It was an adorable 24 hour read about the trials of high school, predictable in the very best of ways with characters that seemed like actual people.
Apr 30, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it
It sounds just like Seth! The flow isn't perfect, and unfortunately, it doesn't really flow perfectly and uses basic excuses to move the plot along. For example, one day Justin is working in the library during a class period, and he begins daydreaming when the daydream was finished being explained, Justin said the bell was going to ring. That's right. The daydream lasted that long. So if you can excuse those editing bumps, the story is cute and enjoyable. I did laugh aloud and get through it qui ...more
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Seth is the Broadway host, seven days a week, on Sirius Satellite Radio. As a pianist, Seth has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows including RAGTIME, LES MIZ and PHANTOM. He was the Artistic Producer/Music Director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts including DREAMGIRLS with Audra MacDonald (recorded on Nonesuch Records) and HAIR with Jennifer Hudson (recorded on Ghostlig ...more
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