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How To Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (and a Prom Date): Lousy Life Lessons From 50 Teen Movies Paperback – December 13, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Zest Books; Original edition (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982732228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982732229
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,751,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nikki Roddy is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. She writes on culture, fashion, and music for various publications including SOMA magazine,, and

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Teen movies are awesome. Where else can we see the nerdy girl wind up with the hot school president, the arrogant jerk accidentally fall in love with the girl he’s been lying to, or the underdog beat up the school jock and then attain top dog status? We love teen movies because they make us laugh and cry. They give us the opportunity to cheer on our favorite characters as they make their ways through the vicious battlefield of high school. But in the end, what are these movies really teaching us about life?

Let’s look at the classic film Grease. Sandy finally finds true love with Danny, but not until she ditches her good-girl clothes and gets a slutty makeover. Um, OK. In Twilight, Edward woos Bella by telling her he wants to suck all of the blood out of her. That’s romantic? In Carrie, we learn that teen angst can lead a girl to setting her whole school on fire on prom night (and then killing her mother). And in Lucas, the main character achieves popularity status by throwing himself under a dog pile at a football game. Dazed and Confused isn’t much better—Sabrina, a freshman girl, becomes popular only after senior girls force her to lie on the ground covered in condiments and flop around like frying bacon.

This stuff is funny, sure, but it’s not the kind of behavior you want to base your life on. You don’t need to look trampy to get a guy to like you, true love doesn’t have to be death defying, and it is not worth sacrificing your life or pride to be popular. Right? There’s more to life than fighting, crying, and lying your way to popularity and a prom date. Just maybe not in the movies.


It’s Sam’s 16th birthday and her family doesn’t even notice because they’re too busy planning her sister’s wedding. On top of that, she can’t seem to get Jake Ryan, the hottest senior guy in school, to notice her. Jake’s girlfriend, Caroline, has a ridiculously hot body and Sam has a tragic lack of curves.

Then, on her birthday, Sam accidentally drops a "sex quiz" in the school hallway. Jake finds it, and sees that his name is written in response to the question asking who Sam wants to "do it" with. Suddenly, Jake is intrigued. As the day goes on, Jake tries to figure out more about Sam, which includes having a heart-to-heart with a geeky freshman named Ted who’s in love with Sam. The next day, which happens to be Sam’s sister’s wedding day, Jake breaks up with Caroline and shows up in front of the church, ready to pick Sam up and make out. Later that night, he even brings her a belated birthday cake.

After Jake finds Sam’s sex quiz, he:

Brags to his friend about how Sam is "always looking at" him.

b. Threatens to kick Ted’s ass if he finds out that Ted lied to him about Sam’s affections.

c. Hands his drunk and practically unconscious girlfriend over to Ted, so that Ted could mess around with her.

d. Dumps his girlfriend, using her "hookup" with Ted as an excuse.

Answer: All of the above. Does Jake seem like kind of a creep to anyone else?

Sound bite

Jake [leaning over Sam’s birthday cake]: Happy birthday, Samantha. Make a wish.

Samantha: It already came true.


To snag your dream guy, just let him know you want to "do it" with him.  


More About the Author

Nikki Roddy is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. She writes on culture, fashion, and music for various print and online publications, such as 944 magazine and In her off time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, listening to music, and scouring San Francisco for dim sum. Visit her online at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Heptinstall on December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed all the short stories that Zest has put out when I get the chance too. This book is about teen movies from 1955-2010. It starts in my parent's generation for two movies, and then mine, my kids and my grand kids. That makes four generations. Each movie they show a picture, and then they have a short synopses of the book. Then you will read some crazy, really bad life lessons.

This was so much fun to read. It brought back some fun memories of movies in my time period, and what was going on in my life.

This is a fast, fun, and easy read. If you want to walk down memory lane this is the book for you.
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