Thursday 28 August 2014

Review! Popular: A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? 

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

Review: oh my goodness I learnt so much from this book! I didn't expect to learn anything for the book-I thought it looked like a fun read and loved the concept of someone taking a 1950s popularity guide and apply it to modern day teenage popularity but wow, this book was so much more than that! I learnt about what life is like in a modern day middle school, I learnt how teenagers cope with death of those younger and older than them, I learnt about what it is like to live on the US/Mexican border and I learnt what US teenagers really think about popularity...

I loved the way Maya decided to structure her experiment and then her subsequent book on the experiment, focusing on a different popularity tip each month. I thought some of her findings were absolutely hilarious! But at the same time, some of them had results which saddened me somewhat, and sometimes I really didn't want her to carry on. Obviously I knew that she would be carrying on, otherwise there wouldn't have been a book! I thought the way she ended the experiment was absolutely fabulous as well.

The voice of this author is so strong and so wonderfully familiar, I felt as if she were actually my friend and I became part of her family for the duration of the book, for someone to have a strong a voice as this at such a young age is something truly spectacular. I think I could have read this book if it we double or even table the length because it just captured me so much. I found it was an easy book to pick up where you left off and so good for me to read over a particularly busy weekend. This book has the makings of an amazing film and is a must read for anyone wonder what being popular is all about. It will reassure you of your self worth and give you hope that we are actually only human at the end of the day whilst entertaining you, making you laugh, possibly making you cry and making you think. A truly fabulous book and something which everyone should make their next read! 

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