Thursday, 5 February 2015
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Author: Maya Van Wagenen
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Publication date: 15th April 2014
Genres: Young Adult/Non-fiction/Memoir/Contemporary
As I said in my November book haul (ahem, you should go and watch it if you haven't already) I didn't have high expectations for this book at all. I was offered this book to review a few times last spring, and I politely declined every time.
At the time, I wasn't interested in non-fiction, and I guess the cover put me off so much that I didn't look into it enough to realise this wasn't some random book for tweens wanting to be popular. But then I won a copy, and at the time I was far, far behind on my Goodreads challenge, so... I read it. And I'm so glad I did.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took all of the cliques at your school and mixed them up? Or why it's not socially acceptable to wear clothes that were once at the height of fashion but, for some unknown reason, aren't anymore? Or why you feel like there are certain people you're not allowed to talk to because they're different? That's what Popular is about. It's not fluffy and it's not a guide on how to become the Queen of the school. It's the fascinating record of Van Wagenen's social experiment, and the successes and downfalls as she applied tips from a century ago to adolescent life as we know it now.
Personally, I've never tried to fit in so there were one or two moments where I thought, "why is she going through such lengths to be popular? Why does it matter to her whether everyone likes her or not?" But she ended up having a huge and positive impact on everyone around her, and then I understood. She just wanted to free everyone from the rules of society, and I have lots of respect for the time and dedication she injected into her project.
And guess what? The writer was around fifteen years old when this book was published. I'd say she'll go far, but she's already gone miles and miles.
I hadn't thought I was going to read this, but then I couldn't stop. It's such an interesting book, especially because it's a true story. Popular is truly thought-provoking and, within the couple of hours it took me to read it, it changed my perspective on life.
18 year old book blogger who aspires to work in journalism and/or publishing, and dreams of one day seeing her own work on bookshelves around the world. Amber has been running The Mile Long Bookshelf single-handedly since 2009.