Do you want to be popular?
Everyone wants to be popular—or at least, Stephanie Landry does. Steph's been the least popular girl in her class since a certain cherry Super Big Gulp catastrophe five years earlier.
Does being popular matter?
It matters very much—to Steph. That's why this year, she has a plan to get in with the It Crowd in no time flat. She's got a secret weapon: an old book called—what else?—How to Be Popular.
What does it take to be popular?
All Steph has to do is follow the instructions in The Book, and soon she'll be partying with the It Crowd (including school quarterback Mark Finley) instead of sitting on The Hill Saturday nights, stargazing with her nerdy best pal Becca, and even nerdier Jason (now kind of hot, but still), whose passion for astronomy Steph once shared.
Who needs red dwarves when you're invited to the hottest parties in town?
But don't forget the most important thing about popularity!
It's easy to become popular. What isn't so easy? Staying that way.
Steph Landry is tired of being unpopular ("If anyone in school does anything remotely crack-headed or dorky, people are all, 'Don't pull a Steph!' "). After she discovers an old guide to popularity, she resolves to improve her status. She buys a new wardrobe, organizes a school fundraiser and smiles a lot. The plot is entertaining, if predictable: Steph quickly rises to the top, even forming a friendship with her cute crush. But along the way she strains her relationship with her best friend and neighbor, Jason and slowly sees that life at the pinnacle is not all it seems. Readers may have trouble believing that the heroine's sixth-grade faux pas would warrant the long-term wrath of the school's queen bee (Steph accidentally spilled her Big Red Super Big Gulp on Lauren's designer skirt in front of the whole cafeteria). But the characters and dialogue come across as genuine and funny. Readers will likely find the antiquated advice from the popularity book hilarious ("People are drawn to those who have the ability to make them feel excited whether about a car wash, a weenie roast, or a sock hop!"). Steph realizes there is some truth to it, though, even if what the book really helped her do was figure out how she feels about Jason. Ages 12-up.