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My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan
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My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  270 ratings  ·  77 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
Paperback, Advance Reader's Copy, 224 pages
Published by Random House (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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)
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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

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
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
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
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
Judith Wright
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
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
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.
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.
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
Matt Heimer
Young-adult fiction that puts a quirky, frank spin on an "it gets better" story of high school self-acceptance. Seth is, among other things, a Sirius radio talk-show host, and he writes the way he speaks -- which is good news for the reader.
Amanda Callas

Favorite lines....

I knew she meant 'public displays of affection' and not 'personal digital assistants' but, ironically, I do hate being with someone who's making our right next to me or constantly typing on their phone. So the acronym was correct on two levels.

While I think alcohol is responsible for many of the problems in society today (drunk driving, bag karaoke, unintelligible tweets), it could pay off for me make-out-wise!

It's very weird not having him know every little thing that's goin
Michael Stevens
Seth Rudetsky's new teen novel is like a fluffy Broadway show; predictable in it's outcome and full of stock characters that you've met a million times before... but somehow it also leaves you smiling at the end. The themes of "coming out as a young teen" and "I was an outsider in high school" are overwritten in the teen novel but his title is a quick and good read for those who haven't already O.D.ed on the genre. Rudetsky's distinctive voice -just a notch deeper than David Sedaris'- can be hea ...more
This is one of those books that I believe may be better in audio than in print. (But then, as much as I listen, I must believe that about almost every book!) Because the audio is so good, listeners (like me) may be oblivious to deficiencies in plot and characterization. The narrators are great and it really works with multiple narrators. I don't usually appreciate authors reading their own books, but it's hard to imagine any one better than Rudetsky delivering this first-person narrative. All th ...more
When I saw the publisher’s blurb about My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky, it sounded too good to pass up. I think just about every kid in high school has at least wondered what it would be like to be one of the popular kids, part of Cool U. Is the price worth it?

Justin has always wanted to be one of the popular, cool kids. And he’s also got a huge crush on one of them, so he knows that if he could just become popular then this person would at least know he exists and might even g
Jon O
I am always on a lookout for a funny, gay fiction. I came across Seth's books and I was intrigued by the often high ratings his books received. So, I grabbed this and Broadway.

It was an amazing read - joyful, funny, ridiculous-but-acceptable ride. It was amazing how plots turned and flowed well. The ending felt like a Disney movie, where everything was turned out well and to an extent, explained. It was done nicely that I did not mind much.

Just that I kept thinking of Trevor, the plumb kid in th
If you've ever listened to the author on the On Broadway channel for Sirius/XM, this book sounds exactly like him! He is very true to his 'voice' and provides you with a very amusing tale. I've read better YA fiction, but my love of Broadway was probably why I enjoyed this as much as I did. I can't say I'd pick it up and re-read it like I do with some of my other favorite YA authors... but I'd recommend it as a fun summer read, as Mr. Rudetsky's love of Broadway shines and if you love show tunes ...more
This light hearted, cliched coming of gay anecdote was filled with the stereotypical fluff I expect to find in this situation. I enjoyed reading it but I am not going to recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a fondness for musicals and boys. You can probably predict the end of the book, and I wasn't disappointed. If you know a young gay boy who is junior high / high school you might think about giving them this book. There's no icky parts and there's some messages there that might help them ge ...more
I read this because Seth Rudetsky makes me laugh. This book was not as funny as I anticipated. It was also more homo-centric than I am comfortable with. That being said, as his first YA novel, Seth has created a solid novel that really reflects the thoughts and worries of a student navigating high school. The voice of Justin, his protagonist, is spot on. His desire to be recognized by the "in" crowd, and the lengths to which he'll go to achieve that are at once believable and heart-breaking. I w ...more
Nancy H
This is a good YA novel for gay teens, or anyone who wants a good read set in high school. The Justin Goldblatt decides that he is going to be popular, makes a plan to take him to that goal, and sets it in motion. Justin fails to take into account that the best-laid plans rarely work out, especially when they are plans like his. A touching and humorous look at how one sophomore tries to avoid the pitfalls of high school - and ends up falling into them. Justin surprises himself by figuring things ...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
More about Seth Rudetsky...
Broadway Nights: A Romp of Life, Love, and Musical Theatre The Q Guide to Broadway Broadway Nights Seth's Broadway Diary, Volume 1 The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek

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