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How Not to Be Popular
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How Not to Be Popular

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  3,506 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belongin ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Looking for Alaska by John GreenCatori's Worlds by Murielle CyrDestroying the Wrong by Evelyne StoneHow Not to Be Popular by Jennifer ZieglerFlipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
High School Experiences
4th out of 110 books — 91 voters
Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsEpic Fail by Claire LaZebnikWe'll Always Have Summer by Jenny HanAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
2011 YA Contemporaries
56th out of 165 books — 561 voters


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Community Reviews

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Amanda
Definitely one of my more enjoyable forays into young adult literature. Sugar Magnolia "Maggie" Dempsey is the surprisingly well-adjusted daughter of hippie parents. While loving and supportive, her restless parents uproot Maggie every few months and move to another part of the country. As a young girl, Maggie loved the adventure and diversity of her parents' nomadic lifestyle. However, Maggie is now in high school and this latest move has resulted in a break-up with her first serious boyfriend. ...more
Cara
Mar 01, 2014 Cara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Sugar Magnolia, weird name right? But our main character prefers to go by Maggie. It would be an understatement to say that she moves A LOT. Her parents are the "free sprited" type and don't get tied down to one place. She is fed up with losing friends (and now boyfriend) everytime she moves, so she comes up with a brillant plan (well she thinks it's brillant). At her next school she is going to do everything possible to be the most unpopular student ever, so she'll never have to lose anybody ag ...more
Howdy YAL
To see full review click here.

She’s not related to Patrick Dempsey if that’s what you’re wondering. If she was, I might’ve liked Sugar Magnolia (Maggie) better.

If you want to really know how to be unpopular all you have to dress in an inconspicuous manner and have a desire to do something other than socialize (like read YA books). Of course, you might get French Fries thrown at you in the school’s courtyard, but that’s another story for another time.

This book though tells you that the only way t
...more
Ash
This book was incredibly funny, though it's mostly because the main character embarasses herself so often. I found myself being embarassed for her a few times myself.

Qucik Overview: Maggie(Sugar Magnolia being her given name) has been moving around with her hippie parents her whole life and she's tired of it. Having to say goodbye to friends she just made, and having to be the new girl all over again. This last move was different though because this time she had to leave a boyfriend behind. A bo
...more
Kristy
“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you”
Christian Morganstern

Meet Sugar Magnolia (seriously that is her name, I'm a little bit jealous... how cool is it to be named after a Greatful dead song?!?!?!). Uprooted from every home she has ever known, Sugar(Maggie) is forced to move around with her hippie, free-spirited parents. After her longest stint somewhere of 6 months, she has acquired friends and a boyfriend only to find out they are moving again. She decided she is going t
...more
Becky
Ziegler, Jennifer. 2008. How Not To Be Popular.

Oh crap. What did I just do?

How Not To Be Popular begs the question how far would you go to not be popular. Maggie Dempsey hates her life, hates her parents. Okay, maybe hate is too strong a word. She hates the fact that just when she's getting settled down, making friends, having a love life, her parents decide it's time to move. Again. And again. And again. This time, Maggie has had it. She's definitely HAD IT. No more settling down. No more makin
...more
Steph (Reviewer X)
I guess the reason I was so in dire need to read How NOT To Be Popular is that I, too, have moved around my fair share and I wanted to see if I could relate to the main character, Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (no, I am not kidding) (call her Maggie). I am so sick of reading sad books about moving--damn it, I have my own life's sob fest to keep me depressed if I wish to be. I wanted some humor along with the situation. And anyone who's read the back cover's Tips for NOT Being Popular (posted above) can ...more
Bunners
Ugh.

You know, unless it's explicitly stated that the book I'm reading is fantasy, I like it to have some kind of grasp on reality.

This one didn't.

I got about half way through before I gave up and read the last chapter before tossing it on the pile to take to the used bookstore. The characters were unrealistic and the plot was ridiculous and shallow and none of it seemed to get any better by the end of the book.

Maybe it's me? Maybe I was expecting too much? But the idea - a girl who has spent her
...more
Ms. Bounds
Maggie Dempsey has just moved to Austin, TX, and she is not happy about it. Her parents are hippies that have moved her around her entire life. This time is harder though. Aside from leaving behind some good friends, she also left behind a boyfriend. Maggie decides that there is no point in trying to fit in or make friends in Austin. It is just too upsetting. After all, she'll be moving again, anyway, right? Maggie decides she will do whatever it takes to avoid getting to know anyone even if mea ...more
Jamie
I loved this book. Maggie reminded me about how tumultuous high school can be and boy, am I happy to be through those years. Yes, her story is a bit exagerated, but at the same time high school can be so full of drama. Having had the chance to experience it vicariously through daughter numer two. Glad it's over. Loved the Austin touches and Maggie's character in general. She felt real in so many ways.
Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adriana
It was amazing! Her and all her little antics in not wanting to be popular just made me smile throughout. Her and Jack (the goody two-shoes) were great together and even though she messed up she made the right decision in the end and didn't become who she and others thought she was.

http://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot...

Later review:
If you do not know already this book is a favorite of mine so expect a glowing review. I just hope I can be able to do this book a fraction of justice with this rev
...more
Persephone
I heard of this book through a tumblr post recommending "sunny afternoon books" and the title had grabbed my attention. I read a few negative reviews and thought "Mmmh, I do not think this is going to disturb me / I won't see it that way" and started reading. Boy, was I wrong.
People complained that this book was unrealistic, that no sane girl would try purposefully NOT to be popular, because at this age, everyone craves to be liked. I can believe it, but what I couldn't condone in this book was
...more
Adriana
The story centers on Maggie (Sugar Magnolia by birth), who is the daughter of hippies that don't stay in one place too long. Her parents are free spirits and every time she moves, she always loses friends, and sometimes boyfriends. It picks up when they are moving to Austin, Texas. Maggie has a boyfriend, but not long after they have gone, he sends her a text saying he can't do the whole long distance thing. So Maggie hatches a plan to not let herself get attached in Austin, since she knows they ...more
Rachael
Maggie Dempsey is a pro at fitting in. That’s because she never stays in one place for more than eight months. And that’s because her parents are all about “going somewhere.” They don’t see it as “leaving,” unlike Maggie, who’s had to leave behind a best friend and a boyfriend in Portland, Oregon. Maggie is tired of being hurt, so she comes up with Operation Avoid Friends: she’s going to be unpopular.

This is harder than it sounds. Maggie has to come up with ridiculous schemes in order to seem li
...more
Leanne
Wow, I don't think I've laughed out loud so many times while reading a book in a long time.

Maggie goes to great lengths in order to not fit in. Like dressing up in crazy costumes, giving what she thinks is an embarrassing interview, letting sanitary napkins fall out of her bag, hanging out with the unpopular kids, etc. But all this has the opposite effect: it makes her one of the most popular people in school.

Jennifer Ziegler, I must applaud you for successfully creating such a believable prot
...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Two or three stars, three or two? Hmm.

This book actually annoyed me more than anything because Maggie is such a snobby bitch throughout most of it....but since the point is that she changes, I guess she kinda had to be...? Right? It's just hard finding any sympathy with her because she's just slightly intolerable. And that romantic ending? Really? What a letdown.

Screw it, two stars it is. I really had higher hopes for this one. Oh well.
Janssen
I anticipated giving this a four stars, but the last quarter of the book was not as strong as the first part. Cute and funny, though.
Eman
The ones who we think are weird are the people who are real.
Carolina Riojas


Haahahhha' so goood!
Jude F.
I'm currrently reading "How Not to Be Popular". This book is about a teenage girl who keeeps moving all around the country and now she has landed in Austin, TX. The big thing in this book is that, since she moves around so much, she's just going to not make any friends in Austin because she knows she's just going to move again. This book is very fast-paced because at every turn, there a friendly girl, a hot boy, and her parents doing something insane. Maggie has come to hating her parents becaus ...more
Lizzy Abhold
“How Not to Be Popular” was a phenomenal book. It’s the story of a girl whose parents don’t like to settle down a lot and for that they don’t stay in one place very long. This time, she’s decided to not fit in so she doesn't feel bad leaving people behind. I liked the humor that the author brought to this book, from her parent’s zany actions to the outfits she wears to try and not fit in. The ending was a rather large twist; something I didn't see coming. I liked the view this story was written ...more
Rainbowdashingdalek44
This is a book that explain high school very well.... Well how it can be. Right after I finished reading it, the word beautiful rang through my head. The author makes it seem like you are her and you are experiencing everything she is going through. Personally, I agree that what she says about the Bippies. This is a great book for every girl and guy around. Pleasant reads! GERONIMO!!!!
Charlotte
This book is great entertanment, and it's really funny. It always made me happy for a strange reason. It's a great book about this girl Maggie who always has to leave schools/town/etc because her parents travel a lot. So she always leaves good friends behind, and this time she also leaves a boyfriend behind. So she comes up with a plan to have no friends in the next town she goes to, so when she leaves it wont be hard for her. But then she ends up liking a couple of people....
One of my favorite
...more
Gabi
I was pretty conflicted about this book.

On the one hand, it's interesting, and well-written, and I mostly enjoyed reading it.

On the other... Maggie. Oh, Maggie. I just couldn't bring myself to like her for the longest time, because what she was doing was so rude and condescending. Oh, hey, you look like a total social reject -- let me sit with you based only on that heavy-handed judgement! Hey, I have no idea what all this "geek" stuff is about, but I'll get myself a Star Trek backpack to keep
...more
Kelli
This is a story about a senior in high school who is the daughter of two free spirited hippies. Her and her family are constantly moving around the country, switching stats, schools, and houses, almost very four months. At her last home, in Portland, she fell head over heels for a boy named Trevor, she thought they were meant to be. But when she moves to Austin, he sends her a dreaded text saying they can never be together. She misses her friends, her (ex)boyfriend, her school, all she wants is ...more
Kathleen
I’m not one for typical, YA “coming of age”, high school novels. No, I lived through that crap; I have no interest reading about it.

Yet I picked up Jennifer Ziegler’s How Not to be Popular. Maggie Sugar Magnolia Dempsey, (“Yes, I’m named after a Grateful Dead song. Yes, it’s weird. No, I don’t particularly love it, but I just go by Maggie and bribe or threaten teachers never to read my full name aloud”.) has tired of moving. Her wandering parents insist on continuous relocation, and after her t
...more
Alisonmcalister
It was good, entertaining, and definitely humorous... But I think it lacked the character that you really need in a book for it to really connect to you.

Sugar Magnolia, who goes by Maggie, has the two craziest, most-hippie parents you ever did meet; Les and Rosie. They moved around a lot, and by a lot she means a lot. The longest she'd ever lived in one place was 8 months. Since her last move, where she had to leave her best friend Loraine and her boyfriend Trevor; Portland, Oregon, is much dif
...more
Jenna
3.5 stars this book was so funny, I was smiling from the beginning. Maggie Dempsey has been moving from place to place since she was little, her hippie parents want to discover the world. In the past she didn't mind to much but now she has the leave behind her boyfriend and her BBF and she's hurt. To top it of her boyfriend Trevor breaks up with her by mail not even trying the long distance relationship. So Maggie thinks of a plan how to avoid making friends. She start dressing like a Lady GAGA ...more
Valerie
This book is really funny and entertaining. I thought the girl (Maggie) was a bit mean, even in the beginning when she thinks that she can't possibly ever think of dorks as freinds. Also Maggie did not do a good job in not being popular. She could've tried to be standoffish and blend in to become invisible. That would keep her from getting freinds.
Its a fun read but not a must read.
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Share This Book

“Tip: Unpopularity is a state of mind. Feel nerdy. Think uncool thoughts. It also helps to use the word “vaginal” a lot.” 19 likes
“To be unpopular, you must look the part. Remember four words: plastic flowered swim cap.” 17 likes
More quotes…