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How Not to Be Popular
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How Not to Be Popular

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  4,025 Ratings  ·  425 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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Jul 10, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, blog
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
Jan 30, 2009 Cara rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 10, 2009 Ash rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it
“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
Nov 28, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok
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
Steph (Reviewer X)
May 17, 2008 Steph (Reviewer X) rated it really liked it
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
Bunny McFoo
Feb 25, 2011 Bunny McFoo rated it did not like it

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
Jun 09, 2009 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-book
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.
Mar 13, 2013 Jess rated it did not like it
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
Ms. Bounds
Oct 05, 2010 Ms. Bounds rated it really liked it
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
Dec 29, 2010 Adriana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.


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
Feb 26, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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.
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.
Jun 16, 2010 Eman rated it it was amazing
The ones who we think are weird are the people who are real.
Ian Wood
Advice on how not to be popular, to authors like Jennifer Ziegler: write a novel just like this one.

This is the complete review as it appears on my blog. Note that blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates and modifications to the blog review be replicated here.

I rated this novel warty! Seriously warty. Wartius maximus, in fact.

Warning: big spoilers! This is ALAS! (A Long And Snarky review!)

Maggie Dempsey is a cool name for a character! I love it. I don’t l
May 23, 2012 Carolina rated it liked it
Shelves: fe

Haahahhha' so goood!
Mar 27, 2008 Rachael rated it it was amazing
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
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
Oct 25, 2012 Lizzy Abhold rated it really liked it
“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
Mar 08, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 15, 2013 Chrystal rated it it was amazing
I felt this book was an overall good read. Maggie the protagonist of the story is tired of moving around all the time. So she vows to not make friends at her new school because she will be leaving soon anyway. I found this story heartwarming and funny, with real life teen issues being tackled such as bullying and fitting in.
Nov 23, 2010 Jmart rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting the first girly- girl book i pick up by my self one day having no interest in the books in the library.
I give it 3.5 stars wasn`t the best book in the world but its interesting, this book is more as a girl book so boys don`t pick it up and read it, its going to kill some more brain cells of all of you trying to read it.
Mar 24, 2014 Rainbowdashingdalek44 rated it it was amazing
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!!!!
Aug 08, 2013 Λmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Λmy by: Alex
This was a sweet young adult book, with Sugar Magnolia Dempsey as main character, daughter of hippie parents which don't get tied down to one place. The thoughts going inside Magnolia a.k.a Maggie's mind are hilarious!

"How Not to Be Popular" was funny and enjoyable. Nothing much, but the light reading that I needed.
Nov 11, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who can say hippo
i liked it!!! there are sooo many books about girls who will do anything to popular, but theres barely any about those who strive not to be. I think Maggie made some really bad mistakes in here but thats what makes it interesting. Sometimes its a little weird but i garentee youll love it anyway. :) i totally think everybody should read this book. Everyone would absolutly love it. :)
Feb 01, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it
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.
Fawn-laughing till our ribs get tough but that will never be enough  *Pizza rolls, not gender roles* (Who gave us the idea that "female-fronted" is a  genre anyway?)
Good, but lacking in actuall.... I don't know... I just didn't really care for the characters or anything
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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.” 22 likes
“To be unpopular, you must look the part. Remember four words: plastic flowered swim cap.” 18 likes
More quotes…