How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date)
December 4, 2013

It’s a listicle in a book! So why buy it? Because you can’t take the internet into the bathtub, which is the kind of environment perfect for this type of pick-up-and-put-down flip-through reading, which I found great light entertainment.

The subtitle, “Lousy Life Lessons From 50 Teen Movies”, is accurate. Each of the 50 movies included gets two pages with a snarky plot summary, a key quote from the film, a picture, and usually a joke quiz, usually with an answer along the lines of “All of the above. Being an egotistical jerk never felt so good.”

Of the 50 films, 15 are from the 80s, 15 from the 90s (of which 7 are from 1999 alone), and 16 from the 2000s. The remaining four are the grandaddy Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass, Carrie, and Grease. It’s a shame that the beach party films were left out, since there’s some real weirdness in there, but since the target audience seems to be today’s teens, they probably didn’t want to include too many oldies, only the best-known.

I’ve seen everything covered in the book except for a handful. The ones I’ve missed seeing are the horror flicks (A Nightmare on Elm Street, I Know What You Did Last Summer — although strangely, I’ve seen Jennifer’s Body, also included), Love Don’t Cost a Thing (although since I’ve seen its source material, Can’t Buy Me Love, which wasn’t included, I’ve come close), The Hot Chick (a teen movie? really?), Whatever It Takes, High School Musical, Youth in Revolt, and the forgettable Fired Up!. 42 out of 50 is a pretty good ratio, a solid B, which might be why I enjoyed this book so much.

The publisher provided a review copy and has posted sample pages.

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Reel Culture, The End, Scandalous!: Three More List Books » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] enjoyed How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date) from Zest Books, so I sampled three more of their list […]


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