Popular - Maya Van Wagenen | Review

11:32 AM
Pages: 272 Paperback
Publication date: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: Speak
How I got the copy: Bought
Rating:  3/5
Series: N/A


New York Times Bestseller

A breakout teen author explores the true meaning of popularity and how to survive middle school in this hysterically funny, touchingly honest contemporary memoir. 

“I was inspired by [Maya's] journey and made a point of saving a copy of ‘Popular’ for my sister, who starts middle school this fall. Maybe if I had read it when I was her age, it could have saved me from a world of hurt, or at least put that world in perspective.” —Maude Apatow, New York Times Book Review

Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help a shy girl become popular?
Maya Van Wagenen is about to find out. 

Stuck near the bottom of the social ladder at “pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya has never been popular. But before starting eighth grade, she decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell.

The real-life results are hilarious, painful, and filled with unexpected surprises. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence, along with a better understanding of what it means to be popular.


Popular is an amazing book I would provide to young readers for confidence advice. This book is positive and great for positive inspiration to get through tough high school times. I also believe this is a great book because it's based on true events and that is an amazing factor of this book. 

Maya has the condidence in herself without even knowing it from the beginning! She steps out of her confort zone to become popular and what she gets out of it is so much more than just popularity, she developed friendships with so many new people. 

Popular follows Maya and her documented adventure of becoming popular using a 1950's popularity guidebook. She adapts each step and decided to follow one step every month until she's through them all. Some steps push Maya more out of her confort zone than others but for each step Maya follows through. 

My 3/5 stars doesn't mean this book wasn't good, I just couldn't completely connect with Maya's life other than her following the 1950's guidebook, also because I'm so much older than 13-years-old. However, I would recommend this to every young reader to check out. This is great for middle grade and highschool students.


Thanks for reading,
Alexa Talks Books


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