Popular by Maya Van Wagenen


This book is incredible!! It’s told through the eyes of high school student Maya Van Wagenen, who finds a 1950’s popularity guide and decides to follow it for a year as a social experiment. She follows the advice as much as she can, and even takes it a step further by sitting with different cliques at lunchtimes (at the start of the book she helpfully includes a popularity scale so we can fully grasp the hierarchy of her school).

The reason I find her so inspiring is because she carries out this big project and still keeps her personality intact throughout. It’s not like in some ‘transformation’ stories, where by the end the protagonist is a completely different character and is less nice than at the beginning! At the start of the book, you can tell that Maya is a really kind person, but as she is part of the ‘social outcast’ group she has learnt to hide this from people she doesn’t know. By the end it’s like she has accepted herself and is so much more confident in who she is. When you read it, you feel as if Maya is a best friend because it’s written in such a warm, chatty style. This book will change the way you view popularity- see for yourself!


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