Michelle's Review: The Popularity Rules by Abby McDonald

book cover Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: September 1, 2011
ISBN: 9781402256684

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: no
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Rule 1: All’s fair in love, war and popularity…
Kat Elliot is no social butterfly: she’s spent her life rebelling against phonies – and it’s led her nowhere. Just as she’s ready to give up her dreams and admit defeat, in steps Lauren Anderville. One-time allies against their school bullies, Lauren and Kat had been inseparable. Then Lauren returned from summer camp – blonde, bubbly and suddenly popular, and Kat was left to face the world alone.
Lauren finally wants to make amends by teaching Kat the secret to her success: “The Popularity Rules”. A decades-old rulebook, its secrets transformed Lauren that fateful summer.
Tempted by Lauren’s promises of glitzy parties and the job she’s always dreamed of, Kat reluctantly submits to a total makeover – only to find that life with the in-crowd might have something going for it after all. But while Lauren has sacrificed everything to get ahead, is Kat really ready to accept that popularity is the only prize that counts?

Michelle's Review:
I can always count on Abby McDonald for fun reads that will at the same time make you think. I have read and enjoyed her previous novel The Liberation of Alice Love and I was really excited to read this novel--especially because I am a sucker for friendship stories and the cover is just plain gorgeous (love the colors used!).

The Popularity Rules is the story of Kat, a feminist that works as a music journalist--she loves her job even though she had to deal with snobby, fake and bratty interns, musicians and industry people. But when she looses her job and was blacklisted due to her angry, feminine bitch reputation, she knew she had no choice but to approach her ex-best friend Lauren, who pretty much changed overnight into a bubbly blonde and dumped Kat for popularity when they were in boarding school together. Kat had never forgiven Lauren for her betrayal. Lauren, who claimed to have the secret to popularity and her success, wanted to take Kat under her wing and teach her "the popularity rules" as a way to make amends. Kat was reluctant and didn't want to sell out but having no choice and no money, agreed... and this is where the story pretty much took off.

I did sympathize with Kat and know where she is coming from. Her best friend betrayed her and left her for greener pastures and I knew how she felt having experienced something similar in high school. But at the same time I wanted to shake her and tell her to get over it--it's high school. Kat also showed some backbone in the beginning but I wanted her to yell louder at some of those people, like her boss at Think Louder. But Lauren, from the very beginning, intrigued me. She appeared almost robotic, ruled by the popularity rules but I thought she was a very interesting character and I wanted to know if her character will grow in the novel. You learn there was more to her and her vulnerabilities as the story went on. I did liked the insider view of the world of celebrities that author gave us. It was fun watching Kat and Lauren wade through it using the popularity rules. This book does have romance in it but it wasn't the focus of the story which was a nice change from other chick lit books I've read.

I didn't enjoy The Popularity Rules as much as I did Abby McDonald's previous novel The Liberation of Alice Love but it was still a fun, well-written read nonetheless. If you're a fan of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella or Jill Mansell, don't hesitate to pick this book or Abby McDonald's other book The Liberation of Alice Love.

1 comment

  1. This one has an interesting premise and it does really sound like a fun read. I have never read a book by McDonald, but will have to change that. Great review!


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