This month’s book was chosen by Logan. Since Book Club is the night of the Tony’s, Logan picked something that had some Broadway involved in the story. AS a result, she picked My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan.
By: Seth Rudetsky
Published Year: 2012
Publisher: Random House
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Justin has two goals for sophomore year: to date Chuck, the hottest boy in school, and to become the king of Cool U, the table in the cafeteria where the "in" crowd sits.
Unfortunately, he has the wrong look (short, plump, Brillo-pad curls), he has the wrong interests (Broadway, chorus violin), and he has the wrong friends (Spencer, into Eastern religions, and Mary Ann, who doesn't shave her armpits). And Chuck? Well, he's not gay; he's dating Becky, a girl in chorus with whom Justin is friendly.
But Justin is determined.
In detention one day (because he saw Chuck get it first), Justin comes up with a perfect plan: to allow Becky to continue dating Chuck, whom Becky's dad hates. They will pretend that Becky is dating Justin, whom Becky's dad loves. And when Becky and Justin go out on a fake date, Chuck will meet up with them for a real date with Becky. Chuck's bound to find Justin irresistible, right? What could go wrong?
What I Thought
This book is exactly what I expected it to be, and not necessarily in a good way.
Justin is a sophomore in high school who has recently admitted that he is gay, but only to himself and his best friend Spencer. He has a major crush on the most popular boy in school, Chuck, who is dating the most popular girl in school. Obviously, Justin thinks that he can convert Chuck and turn him into his boyfriend. In order to do this, he makes it his goal to become popular and Chuck’s boyfriend by the end of sophomore year.
Everything about this book was predictable. While this made it an easy read, it didn’t necessarily make it a very enjoyable one. Justin embodies everything irritating about a character that I hate. He is majorly in denial, obsessed with popularity and what people think of him, and majorly self-absorbed. In addition to that, there’s this underlying worry the entire book that this is going to end in major embarrassment. I do not handle embarrassing moments well in books or movies. I always start to feel sympathetic embarrassment pains and it’s super uncomfortable.
I did enjoy Becky and Spencer, but hated Chuck and Justin. Like I said, Justin is completely delusional. Even though Chuck has never shown any indication that he is interested in anyone other than girls, Justin seems to think that he can change that just by being funny. He starts to pretend date Becky, just so that he can spend more time with Chuck. Justin is also insanely obsessed with being popular. While I understand some of this, because he is teased a lot, he brings it to a whole new level of obsessed. It becomes all that h wants and he ends up sacrificing a lot for it.
I appreciated that this book was easy to read and quick to get through, but it’s not something I would have picked for myself. The one plus side is that I enjoyed the writing style of Rudetsky, and would possibly pick up a book by him again if the topic interested me.
What Book Club Thought
We were split 3/2 on how we felt about the book. I was one of the two that didn’t enjoy the book. The book club members that enjoyed the book did feel as though it wrapped up a little too perfectly though. The two of us that didn’t enjoy the book disliked it because we felt it was super predictable and had no patience for the main character. We were interested how Logan came to choose this book as it’s not the type of book that any of us typically read. She mentioned that she has read another of Rudetsky’s books and enjoyed it, so she picked this one because it sounded interesting. While I didn’t necessarily agree that this book sounded interesting, I did agree that his writing was enjoyable.
Next Book Club
The Assistants By Camille Perri
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Book Club Date: July 13th 2016