Popularity can be compared to a house. It has walls, a strong foundation, and many different rooms. The more deeply the foundation is sunk, the stronger the walls are, and the more rooms that can be added on. This is why, just like there’s no such thing as a house with too many rooms, there is no such thing as having too many friends.
Four days ago I finished reading Meg Cabot’s book Ready or Not and was not that impressed over the book. Nevertheless, I picked up How to be Popular, another young adult book by Meg Cabot on a whim and read it.
How to be Popular is the story of Stephanie Landry, a sophomore who incessantly gets beaten by her peers. The down side of the book is that huge portions of the story are predictable and flimsy, for example, the way Stephanie eventually realizes she is in love with her best friend, Janson. However the emotions Stephanie feels, the need to follow the tips in the outdated book she finds on how to be popular, just to run away from what is overshadowing her life, could be realistic, specially after being ridiculed for something trivial over a period of five years, like this,
Cheryl, realizing I was telling the truth, started to turn as red as the paint she’d spilled.
“But you’re—I mean, you’re—and Steph is…she’s—” she sputtered. “I know your name is Steph, but I didn’t think you were THAT Steph. I mean, that Steph…didn’t she, like, shoot someone?”
“No,” I said.
“No, but seriously. She put a car in Greene Lake or something. I know it.”
“No,” I said. “And I should know. Because I’m Steph Landry. And I didn’t do any of those things. All I did was spill a Big Red Super Big Gulp on someone once.”
Further more, How to be Popular has an overall cheerful tone which was refreshing after the read of not-so-awed Ready or Not book, even though for me, Stephanie seems to lack the eccentricity Meg Cabot’s previous heroines demonstrated.
In any case, ultimately How to be Popular is a cute story, which gets three stars from me, yet, unfortunately far from Meg Cabot’s best. There is no doubt Meg Cabot creates a likable cast of characters, for example, especially the character of Darlene, a pretty, friendly girl who pretends to be stupid to get her own way and although there isn’t anything profound about the book, it is made into a delightful prose. But I sincerely do wish Meg Cabot’s this consistency in style will not pop up in the other books I’m planning to read by her and instead show some variety.