Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (A Memoir), Paperback

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (A Memoir) Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


New York Times Bestseller Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek is a touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen. 'School is the armpit of life ...and my school is no exception.' 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 humour and grace, Maya's journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence. "The real deal...A teenage John Green for the next generation.

Stunning". (Margaret Stohl, bestselling co-author of the bestselling Beautiful Creatures series). "Popular is wonderful. It is charming, touching, entertaining - and brought back a lot of memories about my own high school anxieties. I will be saving my copy to give to my daughter when she is a little older". (Jo Elvin, Glamour). "I was inspired by [Maya's] journey and made a point of saving a copy of 'Popular' for my sister, who starts middle school this fall.

Maybe if I had read it when I was her age, it could have saved me from a world of hurt, or at least put that world in perspective". (Maude Apatow, New York Times Book Review). "Made me smile, giggle and question what my idea of popularity really is...A must read this summer". (Guardian Books Blog). "Honest, funny, and thought-provoking". (Gretchen Rubin, number 1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project). "Her year-long experiment in popularity is timeless; the intelligent and humane way she gets to the heart of the matter is uniquely her.

Funny, determined, and wry, Van Wagenan has written a wise, heartfelt guide for other kids eager to keep up". (Rachel Hartman, NYT bestselling author of Seraphina). "A talented writer, she's funny, thoughtful and self-effacing...Teens will readily identify with her". (Kirkus). About the author: Maya Van Wagenen is fifteen years old.

When she was eleven, her family moved to Brownsville, Texas, the setting of Popular. When not hunched over a desktop writing, Maya enjoys reading, British Television, and chocolate.

She now lives with her parents and two siblings in a rural Georgia.

She is a sophomore in high school but still shares a room with her sixth grade brother.

Remarkably they have not yet killed each other.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: True stories
  • ISBN: 9780141353258



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I really enjoyed this book. I tend to like memoirs so it isn't surprising. Toss in that fact that it refers to a vintage book written about social advice and I was sold. Maya is a good writer for one so young. I'd love to meet her or then woman whose book affected her so greatly, Betty Cornell. I hope some of our kids will read Maya's book.

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