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Don't Judge a Book by its Cover (Most Popular Guy in the School #1)

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  204 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
The Most Popular Guy in the School: Book One

High school can be some of the best years of life--and some of the toughest. Mark Mitchell's strategy for surviving is to emulate the mighty turtle: pull back inside his protective shell and keep a low profile to avoid trouble. And it works--nobody bothers him. Of course, nobody really knows him, either, even in a town so small
Paperback, First, 178 pages
Published July 15th 2012 by Harmony Ink Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Cole Riann
Review posted at The Armchair Reader.

1.5 stars

I had high hopes for this book, but ultimately I didn't like it for a variety of reasons, mostly because it needed a lot more work before it was ready to be presented to readers. If it weren't for the fact that I accepted this for review, I probably would have stopped reading it.

Mark is decidedly in the closet. He doesn't really have any friends and is a self-proclaimed math nerd. He meets Bill for the first time when they're forced to unload a truck
Oct 25, 2012 Camille rated it did not like it
Shelves: m-m-rom-erotica
DNF @30%.
Nearly all tell no show. Repetitive. Boring exposition. Stiff and unnatural dialogue. Extremely didactic. Extremely!
Apr 17, 2013 Mr. rated it liked it

“Bill was happy. My mother was happy. And I’d seen him naked and hard – I was happy too. We were all happy…”

The quote above basically describes this book, pretty much in a nutshell. It was designed to make us happy – everyone in the book was happy, and I am about 99 percent sure the author was happy writing this.

It is your typical feel-good, social outcast/math nerd meets school jock that has it all, and they fall head over heels. In this particular book, the social outcast is in the form of Mar
Susan Laine
Jan 05, 2013 Susan Laine rated it really liked it
So. This book is written two thirds like a journal, with scarce conversations. In fact, I think it would have served the story better to have this in a journal or diary form. I personally would have loved more dialog and interaction between the MC's. Because of the lack of getting-to-know-you dialog, the relationship between the MC's just sort of... was. They found out both of them are gay, and just... got together. I mean from zero to ninety in a heartbeat. From a tentative sort of friendship t ...more
Jamie Deacon
Jul 29, 2016 Jamie Deacon rated it liked it
What a perfect title for a novel exploring preconceptions, and the idea that not everyone is what they seem. Who would have guessed, for instance, that invisible Mark Miller would turn out to be such a force to be reckoned with? Certainly no one had any idea that Bill Cromwell, one of the most popular guys in the school, is actually broken inside. Yet, when these two very different boys are thrown together one Saturday morning whilst helping out at school, they forge an unexpected bond and unear ...more
Librarian Kate
Nov 28, 2012 Librarian Kate rated it liked it
I liked the tone of Mark's narration - it was simplistic and 'OMG!' in a lot of places, but fit with the perspective you might expect from a teenage boy. I do get very tired of 40-year-old attitudes and opinions coming out of teenage mouths in some YA books. And overall, I thought the plot was creative, and made a sincere effort to address several issues affecting teens and families: alcoholism, domestic abuse, bullying, the vulnerability of those hiding a family secret.

But the plot devolved in
Mark Mitchell isn't one of the popular guys in school. He's not a total pariah, but he's a bit of a nerd and not even the slightest bit athletic. His plan is to just do what he needs to do to get through high school and not make any waves until then. On one cold morning when Mark is volunteered to help unload the chocolate orders for a class fundraiser, he's a bit surprised to be working with Bill Cromwell. Bill's probably the most popular guy in school, and he's incredibly sexy. Mark manages to ...more
Rachel Emily
Sorry, couldn't finish this one. I am not a fan of the writing style for this book at all...too rambling and although it's written in that 1st person POV and as if he's truly "telling" the story, I think that's what hurt it for me. Telling instead of showing. I wanted to like this and struggled through the first 7 chapters and am calling it quits, sorry.
I really wanted to like this book but there wasn't enough dialog between the MC's, we got a whole lot of tell and not enough show, there isn't any conclusion to the bullying story, who did it? There was a lot that went on and at the end everything was perfect.
Jen Wilson
Jul 25, 2012 Jen Wilson rated it it was amazing
Great Book.
Penny Wilder
Jul 19, 2012 Penny Wilder rated it really liked it
This is a really cute YA book! Loved it!
When a snow storm ends up marooning athletic Bill Cromwell, the "most popular boy in school," at the home of (and in the bed of) Mark Mitchell, a gay boy who's made an art of being invisible, a sweet and unlikely relationship is born.

That's the beginning of this book's scenario and it is charming and an intriguing bit of wish fulfillment. The story is told in the first person with Mark as the narrator and voice actor Michael Stellman is a great choice whose voice fits the main character well. Th
Apr 02, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it
Title: Don't Judge a Book by It's Cover
Author: Robbie Michaels
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-713-3
Buy Link:
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
The Most Popular Guy in the School: Book One

High school can be some of the best years of life—and some of the toughest. Mark Mitchell's strategy for surviving is to emulate the mighty turtle: pull back inside his protective shell and keep a low profile to avoid trouble. And it works—nobody bothers hi
Amanda Surowitz
May 25, 2014 Amanda Surowitz rated it it was ok
While it's common for young adult literature to be didactic and guide readers to some sort of truth, this book has all the subtlety of a charging rhino. The messages readers are supposed to take away come in the form of stiff monologues that get redundant by the second or third page. But it's not just the redundant sentences in each speech; the characters often spend five or six pages describing to another character everything that happened in the last few chapters. It makes both the story and t ...more
John Ames
Jan 27, 2013 John Ames rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I loved the plot of this novel, but there were a few things that did not sit well with me. The story stars Mark Mitchell and Bill Cromwell. Mark is an outcast in his high school since he pulls back and tries to fly under the radar and that actually works for him. No one knows who he is or if he even exists. Bill Cromwell is the opposite of Mark. He’s popular, outgoing, athletic and handsome. What do they have in common? They are both gay teens with unique families. When the two meet one
Jan 17, 2015 J rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished
This isn't just a poorly-executed narrative that had some real potential, based on the turn of events which unfold. Rather, the portions in which both MCs share anti-harassment messages are problematic, and should not have been allowed. Having characters say things like "So what if someone's checking you out in the locker room? Just feel flattered. No one's going to jump you." is not an anti-harassment message. It's uninformed, ineffective, and downright dangerous. A speaker's bullhorn in the wr ...more
Jul 09, 2013 Lisa rated it it was ok
I was excited to get this book when it came off a hold, but it was not what I expected. There was too much detail, and things were often repeated. For example, the main character described the demonstration at the school, and then right after, his mom described it again for the cameras. The dialogue between Bill and the main character did not exactly seem believable for a couple of high school kids.

When the main character met some kid in the weight room and talked to him, I could feel like there
Jan 22, 2013 Halkovic's-Classroom rated it it was amazing
Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover by Robbie Michaels is about the highs and lows, the ups and downs of high school life, for Mark it’s about avoiding the crowd, for Bill, it’s about finding his. Together the boys find themselves in each other.
When Marks Dad volunteers him for some extra credit works he meets Bill, Bill is a jock; the total opposite to Mark, but you know what they say ‘Opposites attract’ a snowy night, a dead car, and a closed road, will change these boys life forever.
Bill stand
Book Faerie
Tiresome read. There's so much that happens in what seems to be a short time with these boys and so much of it just seems unrealistic. I like both of the MC's but the story drags with so many events that just don't seem to lead to a conclusion of any kind. I'm not sure if this is because the story actually spans 3 books or I just can't "feel" the story. I just keep reading and thinking "OK already...get to the point." This isn't a good feeling when I've still got 2 books to read. This book reads ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Dionne rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2012 Alexsilverx rated it liked it
Don't judge a book by its first chapters! I really loved the first third of this book. It's a beautiful heartbreaking love story that brought tears to my eyes! 5 stars for this part of the story! After that the story became totally unrealistic. It was an odd experience readings this part (1 star). The last third is quite okay again, although it is pretty eventless and partially even boring (3 stars).
Not sure if I'll read the other books of this series.
Feb 10, 2013 Sherry marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance
stopped reading on page 170 not long after I started skipping pages. There were things I was willing to overlook because I liked the story but when things started adding up (especially toward the ending) I decided to stop reading, even though there were only a few pages left - when they actually went to see the mother of the stewardess who then seems to be willing to rent her apartment to them out of the blue... that was the last straw for me.
Huston Piner
Mar 16, 2013 Huston Piner rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-young-adult
a bit of happily ever after quality to it. On the other hand, it's nice to read a story like this now and then, even if it does have more than a bit of a fairy tale quality to it. I've read a lot of books I liked better, but I don't regret having read this one.
Jan 11, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
This book really does have a good message about helping others in trouble, about not turning a blind eye to bullying. Unfortunately, the message comes across as clunky and heavy handed. I found the dialogue completely unrealistic, particularly (though not limited to) the teenagers. Still, it had a nice, though kind of ridiculous, ending and the romance was sweet.
Richard Hobaugh
Dec 16, 2012 Richard Hobaugh rated it did not like it
The author has one of the two high school students sounding like a Harvard-educated professor doing a lot of preaching out of a PFLAG brochure.
Kristy Maitz
Aug 16, 2012 Kristy Maitz rated it liked it
Story is nothing special. Its usual teenager story. We have one teenager with good family and one teenager with family where father is abusive toward all round.
Will Parkinson
Feb 09, 2013 Will Parkinson rated it it was amazing
I read this book a while back. I really enjoyed the characters and the story. The first book really was great, the second was really good. The third...I'm not sure how I felt about.
Josh Wolford-hurley
Jan 10, 2014 Josh Wolford-hurley rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I loved this series and I hope to see more from him because these 3 books rocked my socks!!
Gary rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2013
Alan rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2015
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Robbie Michaels grew up in rural upstate New York, the same setting as the beginning of The Most Popular Guy books. It was not always easy growing up thinking he was the only gay person in the world. He felt like a stranger in a very strange land for most of those years, always having to act a part, play a role, until he later met other gay folks and found out that he was not alone. He was teased ...more
More about Robbie Michaels...

Other Books in the Series

Most Popular Guy in the School (3 books)
  • Go West Young Man (Most Popular Guy in the School, # 2)
  • A Star is Born (The Most Popular Guy in the School, Book 3)

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“He was really OLD. Probably at least thirty.” 2 likes
“Oh! My! God! The man had an ass that was a work of art! Holy sweet Jesus! I nearly came on the spot as he climbed the ladder steps built into the truck, thrusting his gorgeous ass nearly into my face. His jeans pulled tightly across his backside, and I probably could have counted the number of hairs on each butt cheek—if I hadn’t been one step from hyperventilating.” 0 likes
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