Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Popularity Rules by Abby McDonald

As Kat’s life is taking the final whoosh down the toilet, an old friend from high school shows up and offers her a way to finally take control of her life. The Popularity Rules are secret and sacred, but Lauren is willing to share them with Kat if she’s only willing to listen. When Kat finally reaches the point of desperation, she gives Lauren a call and they both embark on a journey to remake Kat’s life.

After reading The Liberation of Alice Love, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book, but I was eager to get my hands on it. Though I wasn’t overly thrilled with Alice, it was a thought-provoking read that I enjoyed. The Popularity Rules exceeded my expectations. Abby has definitely grown as a writer. Her character creation is more intense as is her ability to keep me tuned into the story.

The characters are bold and bright with a smattering of sarcasm and wells of intricacies. Each character in the book is flayed apart to perfection; letting us not only take a peek at them, but analyze them without even trying. For me, this was truly the best part of the book. I was able to psychoanalyze myself as well as the characters without even realizing I was doing so until I’d finished reading. I hesitate to say, I may have actually learned something about myself and others.

As for entertainment value, this book is spot on. Kat is a music journalist, so we’re thrown smack dab into the glitzy glamour of the hip rock crowd and all of its fame. Though there weren’t many laugh-out-loud comedy moments in the book, I found myself smirking and grinning through parts. The Popularity Rules was a relatively quick read, considering all the content. I found myself turning page to page without being able to put it down.

Each chapter begins with one of the rules. Some of them I agreed with, some I didn’t, but all had a bit of truth hidden in them.

After finishing the book, I found myself comparing it to Mean Girls. Of course, it’s a much deeper adult version, but similar. We have a girl with strong ideals that she fights the rest of the world to hang onto until she finds that being one of the beautiful people can actually be a lot of fun.

ABOUT THE AUTHORAbby McDonald grew up in Sussex, England and studied politics and philosophy at Oxford University. She began writing in college, completing her first novel before graduating to work as a music journalist and receptionist extraordinaire. She is now a fulltime novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel, The Popularity Rules was a Glamour “must read” and was dubbed “brilliantly written, full of humor, heartbreak and attitude.” She is also the author of young adult novels Sophomore Switch, Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots, and The Anti-Prom. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Find out more here:

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